Vegan Sets the New World Record for Knuckle-Pushups

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K.J. Joseph, a 45 year old South Indian, did 82 knuckle pushups in one minute to beat Ron Cooper‘s standing world record of 79. Joseph, who is vegan, joins the ranks of many elite vegan athletes who, despite popular myths that stigmatize plant-based diets, continue to push boundaries and prove that one can thrive, build strength and enhance competitive performance as a vegan.

The notion that strength and endurance athletes can be vegan typically sends the mainstream athletic communities into a defensive frenzy because it challenges a core and sacred ideology of our civilization: that harming animals is an unavoidable necessity for survival, and therefore, while unfortunate, the cruelties inflicted in something like animal farming are justified. Because it flatters masculine aspirations of power, many people cling to the notion that one must eat muscle to become muscular. While aesthetically poetic, this performance of power against already powerless animals is proven to be simply unnecessary.

ROMBAUT 2016

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ROMBAUT envisions a future where man and machine form symbiotic hybrids – where exoskeletons enhance human physical performance. This is the concept for the spring 2016 collection of footwear; technical man-made materials combine with innovative organic materials to form an athletic, modern and experimental collection.

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“Our performance and our impact on our surroundings will be ever greater – the full convergence between body, technology and fashion will challenge our notions of where our body begins and ends. There is no longer any separation between our selves, what we wear and our environment.”

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The future-scaping, Parisian shoe company does not disappoint with their autumn 2016 collection, either. Slick blacks, arctic whites and otherworldly metallics with pops of blue and tufts of fuzz come together in perfect balance.

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This Doctor Wants to Find Out Why Men Are So Scared of Giving Up Meat

“In Western societies,” explains Dr. Attila Pohlmann, “masculine behavior is socially valued and needs to be on constant display in order to be validated”. Dr Pohlmann is currently crowdfunding a new Experiment.com project, entitled “Meat! Can manhood stomach the punch of the vegetarian alternative?“, which has almost reached it’s goal of $3000.

The experiment is designed to answer the questions: 1) Is there scientific support for the pervasive myth that red meat affords masculinity to consumers? 2) Would masculinity suffer psychologically and physiologically from the consumption of vegetarian alternatives? 3) Why do masculine persons highly value meat dishes, and which biological and psychological factors/processes motivate their preferences?

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We at TheDiscerningBrute.com have been talking about the volatile link between meat and masculinity for years. Resident dietician Matt Ruscigno argued that we are Protein Obsessed, we were astonished to find out what happened to over 500 male inmates when 85% of a California prison went vegan.  We interviewed one of the world’s strongest men, Patrik Baboumian, about being both an ethical vegan and one of the most fearsome strongmen on the planet, and we contemplated how strongly the tools of meat preparation resonate with those seeking to exhibit masculine power.

The president-elect of the American College of Cardiology is vegan (as are some of his cardiologist colleagues), as are increasing numbers of men in hyper-masculine sports – from the NFL’s defensive lineman David Carter to NBA’s Ben Gordon to Crossfit coach and gym owner Ed Bauer and the entire Plant Built bodybuilding team. Even ex-military intelligence officer Damien Mander is vegan, who uses his training to protect endangered species. Hollywood heartthrob Liam Hemsworth famously went vegan recently, and even in nature, elephants, many gorillas, pandas, rhinos, horses and other powerful, muscular animals are mostly herbivorous. But despite all of this many people still believe the mythology that you need to eat muscle to become muscular. It’s an aesthetically irrational logic (it seems to make sense on a purely aesthetic level, like eating brains would make you smarter).

Since the Stone Age, the incorporation of meat has served both as a symbol and as a signal for masculinity. Today, meat still has the same meaning. Many men would gladly embrace the health risks associated with red meat rather than taking the slightest risk of being associated with the feminine attributes of a vegan diet. Meat consumption is often used to psychologically defend the ego against omnipresent threats to coveted masculine status.

Pohlmann’s team has already studied the psychological mechanisms underlying this phenomenon. With additional funding, the team intends to conduct saliva testing to expand on their initial findings using hormonal biomarkers, such as testosterone and cortisol.

In a previous experiment the researchers found that after consumers experience a threat to their masculinity, the availability of a meat pizza lowered their anxiety back to the level of an unthreatened control group. A vegetarian alternative presented to the threatened group did not produce the same anxiety-alleviating effect. The researchers hypothesize this effect is due to the masculinity-symbolizing power of meat, but want to conduct further research to partial out the psychological and physiological effects of meat consumption on masculinity.

With men being their primary target, many marketing messages promote meat consumption by exploiting masculine anxieties and fortifying an alleged natural link between meat consumption and manliness.

“The strongly pronounced gender-food linkage presents a dilemma for traditionally masculine persons when it comes to deciding what to eat. Consistently they choose the steak over the vegetarian alternative. Helping us to complete the picture of the psychological and physiological factors involved in this process will hopefully influence marketing messages about masculinity and meat consumption in socially beneficial ways,” says project leader Dr. Pohlmann.

While it is a staple method in medical and clinical research, salivary analysis has only become practical and affordable to social scientists in recent years.

In using Experiment to help raise the funds, Pohlmann and his colleagues are sharing progress reports in real-time. In return for backing the project, donors will also be recognized when the results are published in publicly accessible outlets. If fully funded, the project’s findings would have implications for psychology, food marketing, as well as studies in nutrition.

Help fund this study by clicking here.

ALSO SEE:
• The American Psycological Association published Real Men Don’t Eat (Vegetable) Quiche: Masculinity and the Justification of Meat Consumption by Hank Rothgerber.
• The University of Chicago Press’ Journal of Consumer Research highlighted the phenomenon of masculinity in association to meat: Why Do Male Consumers Avoid Vegetarian Options?
• The Discerning Brute on Masculinity & Meat

These vegan “leather” jackets made from cork are Germany’s most successful fashion crowdfunding ever

by Eric Mirbach

Acessories by vegan eco fashion brand bleed

When Michael Spitzbarth founded German streetwear brand bleed, he created the flagship of German eco-fashion brands – as in comparison with most of his colleagues, Spitzbarth took one aspect into consideration most other eco-brands choose to ignore: not only are all bleed products made from GOTS certified cotton or other sustainable materials in fair labor in Portugal, but the whole line has been a 100% vegan from day one.

The crowdfunding campaign Spitzbarth and his small team launched for their version of the classic black leather biker jacket made from dyed cork in 2015 went through the roof – the most successful German fashion crowdfunding of all time is a good example how innovative design and the use of surprising, superior materials can create attention.

Hi Michael, please introduce yourself and tell us a little something about your company bleed.

My name is Michael Spitzbarth, I’m the CEO as well as the head of design at bleed clothing. After majoring textile design, I worked as a freelancer  in that sector for a couple of years. I was able to take a close look of the machinations of the textile industry during that time and then finally decided it was time to create change. I founded my own brand in 2008 and the name says it all – bleed; because for our entire product-line, no human, animal or any part of mother nature has to suffer. I wanted no harm, no poison, no living being harmed in the process… that’s part of our DNA, anchored within the production of our goods through the entire supply-chain. Eco-friendly, vegan and fair production of GOTS certified sports- and streetwear straight from the heart of Upper Franconia.

Michael Spitzbarth, CEO of vegan eco fashion brand bleed

 

It’s safe to say that you’re one of Germany’s leading eco-fashion brands – all organic and sustainable and you’ve also been vegan forever. How come you go that extra mile?

First off, thanks for the compliment. To answer your question, it’s just common sense to not “just” go organic, but also fair and vegan. These three pillars are what bleed stands on. Sustainability and a fair production process, free from animal suffering, these things just go hand in hand.

Can you tell us more about your biker jacket, about the material and how all this came about?

We always saw a great potential in the use of cork – not just as an alternative for leather, but also as a sustainable substitute for already existing, toxic imitations. That is why we already used it for accessories and patches. But the idea to create even more items with this amazing material has always been in the back of our heads. We finally made that step with the Montado Black Edition, a fashion- and accessory collection with cork as the main constituent.

“Cork is the 21st Century version of leather”

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The highlights of this collection are the two vegan “leather” a.k.a cork jackets. They are as stylish as the original – but they’re the renewable and vegan version. All items are free from animal suffering, toxic chemicals and have not been made under exploitative working conditions. All of this makes cork the leather of the 21st century. It’s not just a sustainable resource with an extraordinary appearance, but it’s value to the environment is priceless as well. The bark of the Portuguese cork oat protects the land from erosion and increases the absorption of rainwater. Furthermore, it binds CO², a process which is even increased every nine years due to the peeling of the bark. The cork tree has all these great benefits and allows us to create these sustainable and vegan products. And we don’t to chop it down, either.

You put together the single most successful fashion crowdfunding in Germany for that jacket, is that right?

That is actually right, the Montado Black Edition became the most successful fashion crowdfunding in Germany. We collected close to € 74.000 , which was 14.000 more than we originally were hoping for. We are convinced of our products and their quality, of course – we wouldn’t sell them otherwise. But the success of the crowdfunding campaign still came as a bit of a surprise. It looks like the people were just waiting for a sustainable and vegan alternative and it’s overwhelming to see what has been set in motion here.

 

Acessories by vegan eco fashion brand bleed

How’s the general feedback? And did you get a lot of requests from mainstream media? Is that topic interesting?

Fortunately, most of the feedback we got was very positive. A lot of people who got in touch were simply surprised, what cork is actually capable of. The majority just didn’t expect that you can actually make clothes out of this material that seems a bit fragile at first glance. But after they’d touched it, they were all very positive.

Most people associate the material with corks for wine bottles or even floor tiles, which made it surprising for a lot of folks, so it wasn’t a topic for the sustainable media outlets only, but for mainstream media as well. We had a lot of press.

What do you answer when people claim that vegan items “try to emulate non-vegan ones”?

I would say that this is nonsense. Just because we don’t want anyone to suffer for our consuption, be it human beings, animal or nature, doesn’t mean we’re not allowed to dress stylishly. That has actually been one of our goals from the start: Prove that fashion can be both – sustainable and well, fashionable.

Visit the brand’s website: bleed-clothing.com

Fashion Livestock

It’s often difficult to explain why using livestock products like leather or wool in fashion is harmful. I designed this infographic to help communicate some of the major global impacts.

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