The Age of Vegan Gurus...


May 22, 2022
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  1. Raw vegan
Hello everyone!

I remember when YouTube began to be a presence and how people were posting different videos about different things and what not. In particular, not sure when or how, but it launched the age of the gurus. These so called experts (mostly self proclaimed) whom were giving advice and monetizing their advice, be it legit or malicious. I noticed bad advice seems to spread faster than a brush fire, even to this day. So I thought I'd write this thread with the intent of reminding the veterans of the community and informing the new comers, to use better judgement when reading or watching something based on either being vegan or eating a plant based diet. Because at the end of the day, paying $7,500.00 for some so called expert M.D.'s program is just wrong, stupid, and it set's a person up for possible harm in my opinion.

I'm talking about the ability to understand the differences between micro and macro nutrients, and depending where one lives, environmental toxins and other strong mitigating factors that can affect ones health. I think we all can agree that PFAS should be at the top of everyone's list, because we all are exposed to them, and they are prolific carcinogens, yet I've seen this topic all but ignored by the so called gurus. If I were to pay someone $7,500.00 for some vegan program that would allegedly help me improve my health, I want a guarantee paying such large sums of money would bear fruit, but it would not. So I view these kinds of people and their programs as no more than snake oil salesmen and women. As if medical expenses (here in America) aren't bad enough, I feel these extra curricular programs are nothing more than distractions and a waste of time and money with no guarantees.

My message to people thinking about joining the vegan family, please do not waste your time and money with a guru. There is plenty of free information on PubMed (which is where the gurus should be getting their information from that they want to charge you for) and other credible sources among peer reviewed journals. There IS no gold standard either, that we should eat this or that fruit or veggie, however there is a standard of maintaining the practice of eating whole foods that are plant based, and this I believe should be the basis for beginning ones journey of eating whole foods.

I wish everyone well.
Very good thoughts above.


I haven't noted any programs being hawked on YouTube that would cost thousands of dollars.
Maybe you might think that getting professional medical care would fit in that category. I believe several of the most famous Dr/authors of vegan books do see patients and treat things like obesity, heart disease and diabetes. But I wouldn't classify physicians as gurus.

I do agree that people need to apply critical thinking skills to the advice they get.

For the most part I think the vegan community does not have as much BS as other communities. And for the most part the only monetizing I see is YouTube views and maybe some book sales.

That being said there are some notable exceptions. The first one that comes to mind is Stephen Grundy. Oh, and Weston A. Price.
There are courses and/or books or programs for people that would like to eat for health and I don't think you can universally say they are all bad. I will use Dr McDougall as an example. He used to have an in-person 12 day course that cost a lot of money because it included accommodations, all meals, medical attention etc and covid put an end to that. Now that same course is available for much less.

I have never paid Dr McDougall one cent as all of his information is available on his website. This doesn't mean that anyone who does is a fool. There are many people with lots of money who thrive on the personal attention a course (either online or in person) brings and find it very helpful.

I have purchased and received as a gift Dr Greger's books and very much appreciate them and absolutely everything else that he produces is free and he doesn't even run ads on his YouTube videos.

I could go on.... everyone always has a choice with so much available for free and I would never judge anyone for their decision to pay for help.

Emma JC
Find your vegan soulmate or just a friend.
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@Emma JC I wonder if @Qettesh had McDougal in mind when he wrote his post.

McDougall does have an expensive program. And also has been criticized for some of his recommendations - one guy called him an extreme vegetarian or something. And. not all of his ideas are based on evidence.
But in defense of him - you do get a lot of bang for your buck when you go enroll in his plan.
And as Emma said you can subscribe to his ideas for free from YouTube and just reading his books.

I was thinking he might have been thinking of T. Colin Campbell, and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, the two guys featured in Forks Over Knives. I don't think it's a stretch to call them the original WFPB diet advocates or gurus.
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I was thinking he might have been thinking of T. Colin Campbell, and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, the two guys featured in Forks Over Knives. I don't think it's a stretch to call them the original WFPB diet advocates or gurus.

I agree they are some of the original and I was an Esselstyn fan before I was a McDougall fan. Thing is that I tried my best to make it work with Dr Esselstyn's recipes and plans and just couldn't make it work, it was only when I heard McDougall that it fell into place for me.

All of them are whole food plant based including those already mentioned and Dr Barnard :heart_eyes: too and his Physicians Committee website has so much free and helpful information including this webpage and the booklet associated with it is $0.74
Vegan Starter Kit

I just think that critisizing someone for providing a service is like being upset that someone has an iPhone 15 when I still have an iPhone 7 - we all have different levels of ability to pay more or less for something that is helpful to us. If he was talking about Dr McDougall that is a shame because he was worked so hard, as has his entire organization, over the years to help more and more people be healthy and eat less/none animals all of which is helpful for the environment and as you reiterate so much of the info is available for free.

Emma JC
Find your vegan soulmate or just a friend.
There have always been, and always will be, shills that take advantage of peoples ignorance and desperation.

Whether you're simply wanting to go vegan for ethics, or go the extra effort in taking advantage of the health benefits of a whole food plant based diet as well, there are far more helpful sites that cost nothing.

A man I used to work with had suffered from heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, going through stents and many drugs for years. After his last life threatening triple bypass he found Dr Esselstyn--followed his program, got off meds, lost weight, exercised, and did indeed reverse both the tests for heart disease and diabetes

What do you think cost him more? The drugs doctors and hospitalizations, or the .... food?