Bitcoin's carnivore cult is each silly and proper

This entire article is Saifedean's fault.

Saifedean Ammous, author of "The Bitcoin Standard", kept tartar on my plate at a Bitcoin meeting in August 2018 amid jokes about liberal plebs.

As the youngest woman in the room, I wanted to be accepted by the Bitcoin clan as usual. Despite nearly a decade of (capricious) vegetarianism, I accepted the author's meat offerings in exchange for a confidential interview. I torpedoed questions between bites. Ammous told me via direct message last week that he couldn't remember if this was his first public steak dinner. But many would follow.

Long before he became a bitcoiner, Ammous was a carnivore.

"I was independent in low-carb keto," he said, referring to ketogenic diets. "These two things merged more and more as people who were interested in the Austrian economy became interested in meat and good food."

Over the past decade, bitcoin-themed steak dinners have become a global ritual hosted by communities from San Francisco to Tokyo. It was Kraken Exchange's Bitcoin evangelist Pierre Rochard who organized most of Ammous' steak and bitcoin dinners in New York and invited friends from the Socratic Seminar meeting. That was all before COVID, of course. (There are some outdoor gatherings at beaches and parks these days.)

"I was traveling in the US and Pierre told me to stop by New York and he would organize a dinner for me. Then 70 people showed up," said Ammous. "After that, everyone on Twitter kept asking and demanding their own steak. Dinner in her hometown. "

Become a Bitcoin Carnivore Evangelist

Since then, Ammous has organized Bitcoin-themed dinners in more than a dozen cities, including Hong Kong, Amman, Beirut, London, Madrid and Milan. Hundreds of Bitcoin fans now routinely post meat-food porn on Twitter and Telegram groups like Citadel Chefs. Like Ammous, they often claim that they naturally found this a hobby combo rather than following a demographic trend. The Crypto Twitter icon @cryptomedici wrote, "I don't follow the Chad lifestyle, the Chad lifestyle follows me."

Ammous is one of the most famous carnivore evangelists tweeting hot pictures of fat steaks, his version of thirst traps. In fact, the prolific economist wrote a steak grilling manifesto to "beat fiat food" and equate empty carbohydrate calories with government-issued inflation money.

The (ironic) narrative goes that bitcoins like Ammous will avoid the impending collapse of Western civilization simply by reinventing feudalism as Lord's private "Citadel" meat cabinets are paid for with the "hardest" money in the world. Loving meat is part of the shtick of some bitcoin, as is hating journalists and socialism. There are many memes and jokes that "Soy Boy" or vegan token fans compare to hyper-masculine Bitcoiners.

"It's very manly to grill. In the Wild West, cowboys always have that massive steak," nutritionist Lorraine Kearney said in a telephone interview. "Especially when they're trying to lift weights and gain mass, it's always about getting more protein eat."

In 2018, I told Ammous I would try meat-eating, if only to be happy if my body hadn't magically turned into a lean, mean hodling machine. To my great dismay, after two weeks of a 90% meat diet, I felt stronger, more energetic, and less emotionally volatile than ever before. In the third week, I stopped craving for sweets and my doctor noticed a significant improvement in my health compared to my last annual exercise.

As it turns out, I'm barely the first liberal woman to fall in love with Bitcoin and grilled meat. On the contrary, writer Amber O’Hearn was one of the most influential writers in the early days of crypto-carnivore. She has been writing about her keto diet experiments for almost a decade.

"I'm out of medication," O & # 39; Hearn said, describing how this diet helped after her diagnosis of bipolar. "I never had symptoms of mood disorder again."

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Like any crypto trend, believers can appear quite fanatical. Zcash co-founder Zooko Wilcox even tweeted that keto diets can help treat cancer. (Wilcox and O'Hearn were once married, but have since continued their meat evangelism separately.)

On the other hand, Kearney said that high amounts of fat can contribute to problems like heart disease. Bitcoin carnivores often dismiss this warning as "false news" from the media fiat food industrial complex that seeks to brainwash the masses. Of course, every hero who lives in a citadel needs a villain of the “mainstream elite” to thwart his own justice. However, the reality of carnivore diets can be more nuanced.

Herbivores clap back

Kearney broadly agreed with O’Hearn that high protein diets can be very healthy and that everyone's body is different.

The nutritionist said she knows customers who feel great after years of only eating animal protein, while others prefer low-carb diets made with different plants. She added that grass-fed meat has a lot more nutrients in it, so results may depend on the quality of the ingredients.

“The carnivore diet has been around for several years. But research will take a decade, if not more, to reap the benefits of such diets, ”said Kearney. "When people remove inflammatory, highly processed foods and adopt a more natural diet, as they did with meat, they will see results like reduced weight gain and gas, less fatigue and better bowel health."

The Bitcoiner mantra may also be true that established norms were based on inaccurate scientific knowledge. Kearney said the diet of nutritionists has changed massively over the past four decades.

"Some of the products they recommended were processed foods … it was all about cutting calories," Kearney said. "Now it's more about focusing on balance and understanding the psychological aspects too."

Read more: You have driven, run and swum over 200 miles across Europe – all for Bitcoin

There are also plenty of vegan Bitcoiners out there, from Bitcoin Core developer Matt Corrallo to Lightning Labs CEO Elizabeth Stark.

"Bitcoin doesn't care what you eat," Stark said in a direct message.

The steak-loving author of Bitcoin: Sovereignty Through Mathematics, Knut Svanholm, agreed with Stark.

"I think we should probably leave diets out of any bitcoin discussion," Svanholm said. "It's a little silly and people are semi-religious when it comes to food preferences."

Thanksgiving celebrations

Wilcox and O’Hearn are now among many Bitcoin lovers who ate a predominantly meaty dinner for Thanksgiving 2020.

“I like fat steak, roast beef, minced meat and bacon more than turkey. And that's even more true of Thanksgiving, a festival of abundance and togetherness, ”Wilcox said in a direct message.

For a festive version of the Christmas classics, O’Hearn combined turkey with a keto-friendly filling.

"Sausage filling with ground pork and rinds to absorb the fat just like bread does in a filling," O’Hearn described the menu on the phone. “I also eat eggs and dairy products without having too much of a problem. So I could have eggnog during the holidays. "

It was O’Hearn who convinced me that the Bitcoin meat fetish is not primarily the result of testosterone-induced Freudian fixations in loud men.

“There are these ideals about what a woman should be that keep women from enjoying their bodies and being physical. Meat is linked to it, "said O’Hearn, contradicting the diet stereotype. "Meat is sexy and carnal … and one of my main jobs as a mom is to feed my children in my body by breastfeeding them and then preparing their food and nutrients."

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Like so many Bitcoiners who had Thanksgiving dinner with their families, O’Hearn said she was grateful for her healthy family. I ate a lot of plants myself on this vacation, although lean protein makes me feel better than pecan pie. Instead of traveling to family, I attended an outdoor meeting of bitcoiners for Turkey, my first friendship gift as part of the clan. I no longer felt like an outsider, nor was I the only young woman. But I brought my own rosé because we all know the Bitcoin cowboys only bring beer and whiskey.

It is precisely because of our differences, rather than in spite of them, that we were so grateful that we met with different friends who contributed in our own way to the first open source digital money. Especially during the pandemic, we are grateful to be part of an economic change that may manage to survive our barbecue grills and small stone castles.

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