Online influencer Alyse Parker, a former vegan, conducted an experiment in which she ate only meat and eggs over a 30-day period.
She chronicled the experiment on a video on YouTube, and after only a week online, it had reached more than 360,000 views.
Suffice it to say, it got a lot of attention. And as you can imagine, much of it has been negative. The 25-year-old Parker had developed quite a following among vegans, many of which have expressed their disappointment.
At the same time, this should be pleasing to people who are in the livestock and poultry industries, correct?
Not exactly. Some of the video’s content I liked, but there was also some content that I didn’t. I’ll start with what I liked.
Parker said she had heard of the “carnivore diet” and that it had its health benefits. She said she had wanted to feel healthier herself, so she gave the diet a try.
After the experiment was over, she noted that by only eating meat and poultry products, she felt healthier, she was thinking more clearly, had “amazing digestion,” lost fat and felt “increased power in the gym.”
Those are all messages people in animal agriculture can appreciate.
They can also appreciate that she said she will not be returning to a vegan diet, but she will occasionally incorporate plant-based foods.
"I did notice enough benefits from eating this way to make me want to continue eating mostly animal foods," she said in the YouTube video.
While Parker explained the ways she felt meat, poultry and eggs helped her health, her message wasn’t entirely pro-animal agriculture.
Her repeated use of the cringe-worthy phrase “factory farming,” showed that she still had a lot to learn.
She said in her video that she made sure the meats she ate were from animals that were all “grass-fed, pasture-raised and organic.”
She also said: “When I first transitioned from the vegan diet back to eating meat, I made a point to learn about the importance of meat quality and how much of an impact it can make both on our health and the environment. At this point, I believe most people are aware of factory farming, but for those who are unfamiliar, factory farming is an industrial system of farming mass quantities of livestock in very confined and often unsanitary factories. This practice also includes feeding the animals cheap, low-quality foods such as grains and soy, as well as giving them antibiotics to keep them from getting too sick in their unhealthy living conditions.”
Talk about generalizations made, based on stereotypes. Where did she get that information? She didn’t exactly say.
But later in the video, you can get an idea.
She later talked about how she got about 20% of her food from local farmers’ markets, and the other from ButcherBox, a meat delivery business that markets grass-fed, free-range and organic meat and poultry.
Hmmm. That product placement may have just explained how this experiment was financed and where at least some of her information came from.
What to do?
Parker’s occupation can be described as an influencer, but we can all be influencers.
She said one of the reasons she conducts experiments and chronicles them on video is to keep an open mind about other people’s perspectives.
So we should be led to believe that if you raise poultry or livestock through production methods that are not free-range or organic, and despite sterotypes, still have animals are healthy and well cared-for, she would be willing to learn about that and share that story
It would be interesting to see how she would respond if she were invited to visit a so-called factory farm. After all, she did say she wanted to have an open mind.