What makes for
By Don Bennett, DAS
Just as there are different kinds of raw vegan diets, there are different kinds of raw vegan educators. And some of those educators can be very helpful, and some can cause harm. Sadly, the ones that can cause harm give a public appearance that of the ones who are truly helpful, so it's often impossible for people to know the difference... until it's too late.
The best raw vegan educators...
Have a "people over profits" mindset, rather than a "profits over people" business model
Are themselves "teachable". They are able to learn new things, for the benefit of those they teach and counsel
Can admit when they are wrong (very important).
Adheres to the "ethos of science", which means: open questioning, no reliance on authorities, no biases or personal preferences, honesty, transparency, and reliance on evidence
They have a respect for rational and honest discussion, and they can engage in dispassionate discussion
They have a desire to peer-to-peer (instead of wanting to be an island unto themselves)
They have the ability to change their position on issues when the evidence merits it without fear of losing credibility
They have an intolerance of distortion and misrepresentation
They have a skeptical interrogation of accepted notions
As I mentioned, there is a spectrum of educators, with some who adhere to all of the above, and some who give the appearance of adhering to all of the above but really don't. And at the very end of that spectrum are the charlatans who knowingly lie because of their "profits over people" mindset, but they seem so caring, charming, kind, and knowledgeable. These are the most dangerous educators, and sadly there are a few in the raw vegan community.
Next up from them are the educators who want to be of service, and they teach mostly accurate info, but they teach some inaccurate info that has the potential to do harm, but when alerted to this, they do not change what they teach, maybe for fear of losing credibility for teaching inaccurate info for so long. So they dig in their heels and double-down and defend the inaccurate info they teach, with some even going so far as to try and discredit those educators who are teaching the accurate version of that misinfo.
Next up from them are the truly caring and well-intentioned educators who've simply been miseducated but don't know it. These people aren't dangerous, but some of their info can be potentially harmful. And they might change what they're teaching if they discover contradictory info, but if they don't bump into that info, they continue to teach that potentially harmful info.
How to avoid learning misinformation...
Learn as a researcher and not as a student
Have a multi-source educational approach to learning; don't look at info from just one person
Be glad when you find conflicting information instead of being bummed. Researchers love discovering conflicting information because their goal is finding what squares with reality, so the more diverse their info intake, the better
Don't have any biases yours or anyone else's
Since some people have high levels of certainty that are uncoupled to the world of evidence, debate, and rationality, don't be one of those people
Seriously care about your health; realize it's your most important commodity
Don Bennett is an insightful, reality-based author, and health creation counselor who uses the tools in his toolbox like logic, common sense, critical thinking, and independent thought to figure out how to live so we can be optimally healthy.