Monday, April 1, 2013

Never Trust an Ex-Vegan

I, like many other people in the vegan community, have sat silent after reading Alexandra Jamieson's post about not being vegan anymore.  I silently unfriended her on facebook.   I silently removed her from my twitter feed.  I silently read the comments (It took me more than two hours before I finally had to stop, there are over 1100 comments!) without leaving one myself.

Then I listened to Erin Red's podcast, Red Radio Episode #57.  She may have well been talking directly to me when she called me out on being silent.  So, here I am, finally speaking my piece.

Let me begin by saying, I am in no way perfect.  I never have claimed to be, and never will.  I don't grow my own food, and I admit to really enjoying some of the most ridiculous of vegan convenience foods.  Often.  But, I am a vegan.  I have a "V" tattooed below my right ear to remind me of it every single time I look into the mirror.  This is a commitment I have made for life.  And I will not waver.  Have I made mistakes?  Of course.  But to consciously order and eat a steak?  Nope.  That will never happen.  Ever.

How does someone, after knowing what they know about the absolute disgusting practices of murder and torture that are a part of the animals-for-food industry, ever even think twice about being meat free for life?  Well, she did.  Because she was craving it.  What the fuck?  Are you kidding me?  Almost every single day, my body craves french fries, cigarettes (which I gave up almost 3 years ago now, thank you very much), Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, Vegenaise, coffee, and yes, even bacon.  Yep, I crave bacon.  The smell of it doesn't make me sick to my stomach, it makes my mouth water...just like you Alex.  But guess what?  I don't eat the bacon.  I just don't.  Why, because I know it is wrong.  IT IS WRONG!  It is wrong to eat another animal.  Just like it would be wrong for me to eat my sister.

Let's calm down for a minute and look at this more closely.  She says she did it because her body needed it.  Because it was the right choice for her.  Because it was a healthier option for her, and that she wasn't thriving on a vegan diet.  Okay.  Fine.  But in her blog post, she offers absolutely no science to back that up, other than it made her feel better.  Now, let's take a look at that statement.  Lots of things make me feel better (the french fries, cigarettes, Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, Vegenaise, coffee...) in the moment.  You know what else makes me feel better?  Exercise, sex, laying in the sun on the beach, rolling around on the floor with the dogs, watching three episodes of Supernatural in a row when I should be cleaning the house.  All of these things make me feel better.  And no one had to die for it.

She could have posted the results of some blood tests, showing the deficiencies.  Then showing that she had tried all she could have to fix those deficiencies using a plant based approach.  But she didn't.  Instead she talks about giving into cravings.  About listening to your body.  A bunch of foofoo nonsense if you ask me.  Want to see how it's done right?  Read Sayward Rebhal's blog post on how she overcame failing health on a vegan diet.

But it is about more than her personal choices.  I mean, each and every one of us can make our own choices.  I have never ever been a preachy vegan.  Never forced my opinions on anyone.  I spread the word through my food and through educating people about veganism when the opportunity comes up.  I have been with my husband for over 18 years, and he has only recently made the transition into vegetarianism.  I am very tolerant.  I am very compassionate of others and their personal dietary choices.

But, like I said before, it is about more than her personal choices.  Because, she is an "expert" in veganism.  She is a wellness and nutrition coach.  People look to her for advice on living healthfully.  And she tells the world to give in to your cravings?  That is seriously dangerous language.  Seriously.

And then there is the hypocrisy.  She has written two books on being vegan.  And she still sells them.  Why would she still sell them if she didn't believe what she wrote, herself?  She is still making a profit off of veganism, that she no longer believes is healthy.  And if she does still believe it, and simply was weak, just admit it.  I would have more respect for her if she did that.  Instead, she calls out vegans as being judgemental and having a lack of compassion for her and her choices.  The wordplay and double talk she uses when talking in her video rebuttal is just sickening.  She puts vegans in a place that makes them seem "holier than thou" if they disagree with her, and like just plain hypocrites if we do.

Basically, Alex jumped on the vegan bandwagon while she thought it could make her a few bucks, and now she's jumping on the Paleo bandwagon, now that it might make her a few bucks.  And the pity party she is throwing for herself, looking for support in her "journey" is so ridiculously shallow and stupid.  It makes me sick.

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All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, and remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni