Please read this article if you:
- are trying to figure out why I did not answer your private question,
- would like to know why I do not discuss fruitarianism privately,
- or want to talk with me in private anyway.
Before I start, please let me tell you that I am painfully aware that by refusing to discuss fruitarianism in private messages in the recent years and by making it difficult to contact me, I might have lost precious opportunities to get to know wonderful human beings. I hope you will understand me better after the following explanation.
Even till this day, after I many years ago announced that I would not discuss fruitarianism or any related subject in private any longer, I still receive questions even through my personal public profiles, as well as requests for my help in specific personal situations, for recommendations, product reviews, and health advice.
First, if you have been considering to message me with some of these of similar concerns, please read about my credentials, and consider whether you need an input from someone like me.
Second, let me explain with examples, why I do not engage in private conversations on this topics any longer, and describe the ways to receive my thoughtful suggestions if you really want to.
Why I Stopped
During the years from 2009 to 2013 I was very active online, creating communities, sharing information on forums in three languages, and responding to private messages. I was sort of on a mission to provide information about fruitarianism as truthfully as I could, because I realized that people usually don't invest much time into serious research and reading, and prefer human interaction in form of questions and answers. I thought, popularizing fruitarianism, and specifically higher fruit consumption for everyone, was a noble cause, for which I was ready give most of my free time.
During those five years I changed my position. I still feel that it is partially my duty to humanity to share my unusual experience and knowledge, but I am not willing to throw away my time on it inefficiently any longer. My mailbox grew so much, that at any given day I had hundreds of emails I tried to answer, but it would take me hours of work just to respond minimally to simple questions or provide links to existing materials.
Most of the questions though, required me to read the lengthy description of the situation, ask additional questions, review additional materials, and only then I could give a satisfactory piece of advice - in terms of what I would do, what doctors I would search for, or which topics I would look into. I would spend anywhere from five minutes to an hour on such requests, and was still constantly behind.
To give you a fun example, one of the questions to me was from a young girl about her increased sensitivity to condoms: which type I would recommend to use in a specific situation. My answer turned out to be useless to her, because she already tried that brand and hated it. She was very sweet about it, but still, because she did not mentioned what she already tried in her initial letter, I spend about half an hour on our interaction: from reading the lengthy message, typing recommendation, making sure I got the brand right, to reading her following letters and responding in kind.
Even filtering out most important, urgent, deep, or friendly messages and concentrating on communication with deserving or simply polite people, would take disproportionate chunks not only of my spare time, but all my time. Plus, many people vividly described tremendous suffering, and just the visualizing made me sad. And then, there was an urgency of warning: many people shared obviously dangerous practices resembling self-harming. Not only I was not ready for any of it, I always knew I could not deal with such things and therefore would never go into medicine.
After a while, my personal life suffered tremendously.
Prior to implementing at least that basic filtering strategy, I had noticed that many people took my efforts for granted. In some cases they did not even thanked me or not acknowledged my responses, probably because they did not like my answers. In some cases - too many for my taste - providing my informed perspective, stating the limitations of it, and pointing to the unknown that possibly mattered as well, did not evoke even sufficient respect to me as to an engaging conversational partner. Instead, some people tried to preach to me their religious, moral, or cultural convictions. Some would just state their current preferences and displeasure with my questioning them.
Maybe you have already guessed that I could not allow myself to invest the precious time of my fleeting life in this process much longer. I burned out and withdraw myself almost entirely from such communication - not with hundreds, but with thousands of internet users. It took me a few years to return - on different terms - to any form of dialogue on these subjects.
Indifferent attitude my multitude of people to a subject close to one's heart is not that easy to endure. I have noticed few other people who tried to maintain their presence online back then, without monetization, accumulated this type of tiredness. Many of us were exhausted by attention, which was not only positive or negative, but promising, then turning indifferent:
- journalists seeking for exotic guests or topics;
- lonely people looking for any kind of attention, and getting upset by not getting enough after using your cause to start conversation and switching onto personal matters;
- random site visitors exploding in sporadic adoration or rudeness, often interchangeably;
- emotionally unstable persons who persisted in communicating any way they could find;
- individuals targeting anyone approachable to engage in completely irrelevant debates;
- readers significantly misinterpreting your content and reacting inadequately;
- people with various flaws in their critical thinking sending letters loaded with logical fallacies (on one site I even have created a whole section dedicated to identifying common fallacies, but it did not help a bit - people who write with disregard to proper reasoning seemed to be unlikely to read such materials);
- slightly curious folks with partial or poorly put together comments;
- spammers, who were constantly finding new ways to get around any defenses.
Sometimes, I still responded to an occasional question due to the difficulty of ignoring or quickly dismissing people, especially if their letters were nice and urgent. Then I tried harder to discipline myself.
Imagine dealing with the mass of barely relevant communication that would result in nothing, while you have turned your body and social standing into an experiment, most likely deadly, according to the dominant views.
Hell, I was ready to participate in all possible tests and scientific research, providing I could find a scientist who was interested (I tried). After staying healthy for two decades predominantly on fresh fruit, I could have been a decent subject for a case study that could at least establish what was possible for some humans. Or so I thought. From the small number of known people with similar experience, it seemed that only I had no close family to worry but had trust in science and willingness to throw away my time.
The scientific community was busy with other things, and I was flooded with nonsense.
At least, I could leave a subjective record of what I knew about myself. The problem was, how trustworthy would such record appear. A few better known fruitarians at that time had some questionable components in their public image, or were rather preachy, secluded, or negating civilization all together. I clearly stated my trust in scientific method and process and diverted my time into building detailed forms for the network, so that people who had experience with fruitarian diet could share in in a systematic manner.
I understand that many people don't want to post publicly. However, public interactions can be useful to multiple people instead of one. We could figure out together what are the pros and cons - the favorable and the unfavorable factors or reasons. Public comments and answers on sites like that network was, are indexed by search engines and can attract more people to fruitarian topics.
And that is what I want: I want most people on the Earth to think about ethical issues, about consequences of their consumption in our common environment, about preventing distraction of wildlife and torturing farm animals, and about increase of fresh fruit in human diets (likely beneficial to our health).
I have invested uncountable hours into building and maintaining a database on this site, and accessing it would save your time as well. It is relevant, concise, free, and you can follow the links to sources, which I check carefully. If I had shared those snippets with various individuals in private, I doubt it would have had any value at all.
My 10 Incentives to Talk Publically
- I want to build friendships. Intellectually, I am lonely as a fruitarian. I found only a few long-term fruitarian friends, they all are far away, and with most we have significant philosophical differences.
- Misrepresentations of and in fruitarianism upset me - fruitarian online resources are very lacking, deceiving, ideology-loaded, pseudo-scientific or based on disproved data. I would like to balance that out a little. I would have loved to refer you to another person or resource as I did it in the past, but I am no longer able to, due to critical portions of misinformation I have discovered.
- I want to present the relevant concepts and facts in small interconnected bits of information.
- I would like to gain some recognition for my experience, so I won't vanish without summarizing it more or less coherently while I still can.
- I believe that I can do some good by promoting higher fresh fruit consumption.
- I am worried about our devastating impact on the current biodiverse ecosystems.
- I want to appeal to the most progressive and beautiful minds.
- I need to sort things out for the script of a documentary, and I search for the best ideas.
- Discomfort of being on camera is my weakness, and I need to work on it.
- I felt partially unfulfilled when I did not do anything listed above.
Avoiding Tedious Job
For all those and a few other reasons, I am unable and unwilling to invest my personal time in private conversations with acquaintances or strangers. I will do it only in person, or for people who would prove to me that fruitarianism matters to them: primarily in form of clear explanation or money. In most cases, I would not do it for free, just because it is not realistic, or sustainable, or fair.
I enjoy real human interaction. Being helpful intellectually also gives me tremendous psychological satisfaction.
However, typing private messages is in not only a non-rewarding activity, but also a highly restricting job that keeps me by the computer, reducing my time spent with people I love, on work I am passionate about, on being outside - living my life. Plus, taking responsibility for my words requires extra carefulness and concentration.
If I do all that, I want to have more chanced to be heard than in private exchange.
Thus, if you really want my friendly advice - a serious discussion of any of your concerns related to fruitarianism and finding the best ways to improve your life in your particular set of circumstances, just compose your letter thoughtfully and pay a small fee for my time, unless you can not. Then, I will be happy to give you my best.
The more relevant detail about yourself and your situation you could give me (a paragraph or two is usually enough), the better and more specific my answer would be.