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Shawn Baker: Why the carnivore diet, conspiracy theories and crypto currency go hand-in-hand

The author of the best-selling The Carnivore Diet explains the reasons why so many of his biggest fans harbour anti-science, anti-establishment and conspiracy theorist beliefs, and explains whether an association with extreme, fringe and even right-wing world views is helping or hurting his attempts to educate the general population to the perceived benefits of eating a meat-only diet
Dr Shawn Baker, MD
Dr Shawn Baker, MD

Dr Shawn Baker, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon, the best-selling author of The Carnivore Diet, world champion athlete, and the Chief Medical Office of Revero, which provides personalised care for metabolic and autoimmune conditions. He is a leading authority on nutritional therapy and raising awareness about how it affects chronic disease and speaks internationally on the subject. Follow him on Instagram and X. Visit carnivore.diet.

Shawn Baker on the carnivore diet and conspiracy theories

Unfiltered met with Dr Shawn Baker, MD, author of The Carnivore Diet, to ask him to explain why so many of his biggest fans have an inherent distrust in the establishment, with a huge overlap in carnivore diet advocates and far right, anti-vaccine and conspiracy theory groups and movements.

This transcript has been taken from our video interview with Dr Shawn Baker, MD. It has been edited for clarity and brevity. You can watch the full video interview here.

It doesn’t take long when researching the carnivore diet to discover online forums with people very passionate about it, with many followers harbouring anti-science, anti-establishment and conspiracy theory sentiments. Have you noticed that? Why do you think fringe world views are so intrinsically-linked to the carnivore diet?

Yeah, absolutely I see that. You know, there are people that are carnivore diet advocates, and I just I shake my head and think this is ridiculous.

But people are going to say what they want to say and there’s people that become hyper-polarised.

There’s definitely a “you’re bucking the system” type of thing. The nutritional guidelines say eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables and avoid saturated fats. So [to follow the carnivore diet] is going against a major system recommendation. And so it’s very easy to say, “well, they lied to me about meat. What else did they lie to me about?”

There’s a lot of people that are that are upset about the whole pandemic and how that was handled. So a certain percentage of those people don’t trust the government, they don’t trust the CDC [US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] or FDA [US Food and Drug Administration] You know, the IRS [US Internal Revenue Service]. They think everything’s corrupt.

You’ve also got this sort of crossover with Bitcoin. A lot of Bitcoin finance guys are coming [to the carnivore diet] too. So I think there’s just this generalised anti-establishment [sentiment].

Dr Shawn Baker: “The media want us to be wackos”

Are the most ardent carnivore diet advocates typically young men? The media reports a lot of young men feeling lost and unsure of their place in society who are fighting back against the established system. Does this resonant with your experience?

I would say the demographic is male dominant, but I don’t know for sure. There’s been studies, and I think it skews maybe 60%-40% in favour of men compared with women. So there’s plenty of women doing the diet. The age demographic, honestly. It’s an older demographic because most people that are younger, can do whatever they want and feel pretty good. It’s not until people start developing illness – in their fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties – that they’re motivated to make changes. When you walk around every day and you’re miserable, that’s when you want to make a change.

Listen to our full audio-only podcast interview with Dr Shawn Baker on Spotify

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