From Butcher to Vegan Nutritionist with Fraser Bayley: PYP 266

Fraser Bayley's arc of transformation is long and inspiring. Growing up in Auckland, New Zealand, Fraser was a poor student who struggled in school despite putting in the effort.

He felt stupid, like something was wrong with him. His social anxiety was so severe, he dropped out of college but managed to keep a crushing load of student debt.

When an after school job at a local supermarket offered him a chance to learn about butchery, Fraser jumped on the opportunity to apprentice himself in the grueling trade. It didn't require smarts, or much reading, or sitting still.

Butchery was (and still is) a male-dominated field, where toxic masculinity is both a prerequisite and outcome of the brutal, repetitive, soul-numbing work. Fraser suffered from bipolar episodes, which he self-medicated through alcohol, drugs, and the company of other alienated, emotionally scarred, alpha males.

With no ladder for advancement (there were 50-year-olds working the same jobs they had done for decades at the butchery) and every day a dirty, miserable, and inhumane repetition of the day before, Fraser felt hopeless and stuck. And then, one day, the pain of remaining the same became sharper and more acute than the pain of trying to change.

In our heartfelt conversation, Fraser and I covered:

  • the challenge of documenting and measuring a mental shift
  • the toxic world of butchery
  • hitting cysts and tumors with the bandsaw – the lack of decontamination protocols and quality standards for meat
  • turning the animal tumors into sausage and ground meat
  • butchery as both a cause of mental illness and a magnet for the mentally ill
  • crying at 4am because he hated the job so much – at age 22
  • going back to college to study nutrition
  • getting to the gym and enjoying it
  • discovering that working out triggered a cascade of positive changes
  • how strength and bulk can serve as another type of defensive mask of the self
  • nutritional studies funded by animal agriculture – “everything pivots around animal consumption”
  • no discussion of nutrition for optimal health or longevity, just athletic performance
  • becoming a personal trainer and promoting a meat-heavy diet
  • moving to the United States to meet (and eventually marry) Lauren
  • discovering a vegan diet through The World Peace Diet
  • improving his bloodwork dramatically within 6 months of going vegan
  • how going vegan was the blue pill from The Matrix – questioning everything
  • weaning himself off his psych meds
  • how we need to evolve the concept of an Alpha Male to include compassion, courage to take the road less traveled, and strength to resist the pressure and whim of mainstream culture
  • and much more…

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Links

Evolving Alpha website

Evolving Alpha on Facebook

Evolving Alpha on Instagram

The World Peace Diet

VeganHealth.org

MinimalistBaker.com

The Plant Power Way – Rich Roll and Julie Piatt

OneGreenPlanet.com

Born Strong documentary

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Music

The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.

Gratitudes

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