The Vegan vs Paleo Debate



Every vegan podcast has to have one: A paleo vs vegan fight to end all fights. The caveman vs the carrot. The meat vs the beet (both leave your cutting boards covered in red).

But ours, well, it might be a little different. When Doug and I really took a look at the principals of these two diets, we found more traits in common than many on both sides like to believe. Today’s podcast not only looks at the differences, but also the similarities, and how we in the vegan community can start thinking of our paleo friends.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • What being paleo really means
  • Similarities between the paleo and vegan diets
  • That one thing we just can’t get over
  • The food triangle, and how both diets fit

Phone number to ask listener questions:

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Links from the Show





  1. I just want to say thank you for sharing this. I especially appreciate the part when you talk about being able to back up whatever ideas on nutrition we have with the access to information we have on the internet. At the same time of loving this wealth of information – the exposure to information we have at our fingertips is extremely confusing to people. I work with clients with eating disorders and emotional eating and for my client it is very important to eventually develop a diet beyond the external figure/image. Often times I find when people are given the opportunity to explore how they feel about eating animals they choose not to. This is an individual experience. I have been both paleo and vegan – gone back and forth many times. Recently as I have connected with the environment and what happens to animals (both large and small scale) it is just a must for me to stop eating meat. And I feel amazing. Because it aligns with what I believe not just the external. Both diets can change the external/body image, it is proven by the experience of many. But it is to each his/her own to explore the in depth process of understanding ethics and challenging society and family beliefs in that process. Great Podcast- and it is a difficult subject to tackle. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Which paleo athlete book did you reference? There’s 3 on Amazon with the exact same name. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. You were way too polite and diplomatic with the supposed “Paleo” athletes in this episode – to the point of ignoring the facts. Tim Olsen is mentioned as a “Paleo ultra runner who wins races”. Of course “Paleo” doesn’t actually mean anything and it’s just a buzzword that seems to have been invented by guys selling books, but in popular usage it usually means “very low carb”. Tim Olsen eats carbs and sugar. He MIGHT consume less carbs than your average ultra runner, and he seems to like the meat eating cave man image, but he’s not “Paleo” at all. He is in fact sponsored by an energy gel company! In addition to energy gels he admits to drinking soda during races. His daily training diet also seems to include significant sugar and carbs like sweet potatoes.

  4. Arthur Schaub says:

    Actually your comment on bears of the same species eat the same diet isn’t quite correct. The grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) of interior Alaska eats a mostly vegetarian diet and weighs about 300 pounds or so average. The coastal brown bear of Alaska, also Ursus arctos (although it is a different sub species) eats a very high fat, high protein diet of fish and is 3x the mass of the interior lands grizzly (and lives in a much more mild climate). Just a point to ponder…

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