It is interesting how Soylent seems to arouse persistent and ignorant hostility from so many non-Soylenteers. Even when confronted with unambiguous proof, for example, that one can in fact still eat other food, that it doesn’t taste like mud, etc., I find that folks cling to their false beliefs and disgust with the very idea of Soylent. When reporting that I feel better because of it, I have been met with casual dismissal of the “Of course you’re not” variety (because it is impossible that something intrinsically wrong could make one feel better) or claims of it being a placebo effect. Something about Soylent really touches a nerve in a lot of people, and for these people, there is a very powerful refusal to be educated or in any way re-assess prejudices about it. I have found it odd, interesting, and disappointing. One consequence has been to encourage folks to interpret anything that I say positive about Soylent as evidence of blind partisanship, and anything negative (see: gas) as confirmation of why Soylent is evil.
Soylent, in my experience, has therefore generated quite the unintended, small bore sociological experiment. I never intended to be especially pro-Soylent, only to have certain solutions to my own consumptive and dietary insufficiencies made available. Soylent has in fact done what I hoped it would do for me–and more, since I did not expect to feel so much better by drinking it, only to be able to avoid “bad” food more reliably–but I have been forced by others to defend my actions and be accused of participating in something like a diet fad. What is interesting is that the folks accusing me of participating in a fad know that I have never joined fads and usually don’t even know what the current fads even are. They know, in other words, that I’m not the kind of person who derives satisfaction from fads and yet still see Soylent as a fad and me as a faddist. This is despite the fact that I am the only Soylenteer they know, and therefore, I am to their eyes part of a fad of one.