I Think You Should be Kind and Gracious to Everybody, and I’ll Kill You if You Disagree

I have never been interested in wars with vegans. I don’t want to convince anyone to eat a real food paleo diet. I just want to share the information that has greatly helped me so people are aware of it and can make up their own minds.
But one should periodically re-examine one’s own decisions. Whenever I wonder if I should maybe try veganism for a month or two, I conclude no after looking at the long and continually growing list of extremely committed and vocal vegans who eventually ditched veganism upon experiencing health problems. The proof is in the pudding. A good diet should sustain you for life. What it should not do is work well for one or three or ten years then cause a long list of medical problems.
The infamous Denise Minger
So this morning, when Denise Minger, (a former vegan and something of a paleo rock star), posted on facebook that she was added to an online ex-vegans list, my first assumption was that someone had compiled a list whose purpose was to prove that veganism doesn’t work perfectly over the long haul.

Lordy, lordy, was I ever wrong.
“Our Mission.
If you’re no longer vegan, you’re going on the list.
The spirits of the billions murdered have risen to deliver: The Vegan Sellout List – an online directory of those who have regressed from moral consistency to moral depravity.

The Vegan Sellout List is our answer to the epidemic of vegan sellouts. Selling out veganism is a trend on the upswing, bringing with it swarms of haughty, nose-turning carnists uttering nonsensical buzzwords re: veganism being“privileged”, or “trendy”, critiquing themselves into ethical degeneracy and paleo-terrorism.

Nonetheless, for some who have regressed from veganism, yet display symptoms of a soul not fully blackened to it’s [sic] core, we ask you to remind yourself why you were what you were." [emphasis mine]
So this ex-vegan website, in its efforts to shame former vegans, is basically, as I see it, providing the most convincing proof that their diet isn’t healthy longterm. Why should selling out veganism be a “trend on the upswing” as they put it, if veganism is working? Why on earth would you want to stop being a vegan if you felt great? Why would a person like Alex Jamieson, who wrote  Vegan Cooking For Dummies and Living Vegan For Dummies stop  being a vegan when she is so invested in it? Literally. I imagine leaving veganism won’t do her royalties much good. And what about her pride? This woman has been on Oprah!! Can you even begin to imagine the courage it took to publically proclaim that she couldn’t be a vegan anymore? Or what about Marilyn Diamond, long time vegan and author of the New York Times bestseller, Fit for Life? Her story here.

I’d switch, if…
I regained my health by moving to a real food paleo diet. But if I thought I could be healthy eating a vegetarian diet, I’d gladly switch to that way of eating - today. I love the concept of vegetarianism. I think it’s difficult, but possible, for a vegetarian to get all the necessary nutrients to live decade after decade. I think it is close to impossible for a vegan to nourish him- or herself over many years, but hey, people are individual (or, to quote Denise Minger, "we're all special snowflakes"). If someone has been a vegan for 10, 20, 30 years and is feeling great, then maybe this person is simply better than most at extracting nutrients from plant sources or coping with the anti-nutrients found in grains and other foods. All I know is that it’s not the right diet for me.

As an aside, I just wanted to state something obvious. Not all vegans are militant. Some are very live-and-let-live, as it should be. I’ve come across more gentle vegans than militant ones.

Something we can agree upon. Photo credit Steven Depolo

The Consequences of Choosing to be an Ex-Vegan Blogger
I’m reminded of the story of Tasha, who wrote the popular Voracious Vegan blog. I became aware of her when she wrote a post called A Vegan No More. Over the next 2 and half days, she got half a million visitors. Her Vegan No More post took you through her very emotional journey that started when her doctor told her that she was in dire physical condition (B12 almost nonexistent) and her heart-wrenching decision to give up veganism. She got lots of sympathetic responses, including ones from prominent vegans who confessed that they are secretly struggling with their health or eating meat when no one was looking. Very telling. She also got death threats. Let me repeat that. She got death threats! Even worse, people threatened her family. How does a human being who won’t eat honey because he doesn’t want to hurt a bee threaten a person’s children? This is beyond my comprehension. I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around it.
Just to fill in the rest of the story, Tasha kept blogging for a while after changing the blog name to Voracious Eats. Since then she’s stopped blogging and taken her blog down, wonderful recipes and all. The message on Shout it Out Design, her website designer says “I’ve heard from her a few times since she took the site down in 2012. She seems to be much happier living in a world without the negativity that her blog post seemed to bring up in some people.” Sad.
I’ll leave you with this fun video of Denise Minger and the Rawbraws . In case you’re not familiar with some of the terms they use, “SAD” is the Standard American Diet and 80/10/10 is 80% carbs, 10% each of fat and protein.



Diane Jaquay said...

I have to chuckle at all this nonsense. My sister, who's mother-in-law is vegan, wouldn't let my sister cook a turkey in her oven for a recent family celebration, because, well, she just didn't feel right having a turkey cooked in her oven (despite the fact that hundreds of pounds of meat had been cooked in that oven for many years before she became a vegan). I suspect that not eating meat is rotting their poor little brains, turning them into NUT JOBS!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ruth! Welcome back! It is so nice to find you in my emails again!

I love this post because, well, I can't stand vegans. Granted I haven't met every single one in the world, but it just seems they are such an angry lot of people. Their hostility is beyond mind-blowing and I just can't wrap my head around how any one can be so "off" Is it because they suffer a lack of vitamins, minerals and good fats and their brain has become out of whack? I don't know, but many, many of the food sites I used to enjoy (like on HuffPo) I no longer visit because it always came down to such negative, god-awful comments from the vegans that I just couldn't go back to visiting those sites. And sometimes all it would be was an article or recipe about apple pie and off these people would go telling everyone that the butter they used (or God forbid- lard!!!) they used in the crust was going to kill them and how happy they would be when another meat eater dies. Terrible.

If their diet is making them feel so "amazing" then why are they acting like such and ass???!

Ruth Almon said...

Hi Diane. In all seriousness, I sometimes wonder if the more extreme vegans may have emotional problems induced by vitamin deficiencies. When I've read stories written by former vegans, some have talked about depression. Makes you wonder.

Ruth said...

Thanks for the comment, anonymous. :)
No point in hating vegans, though. I think they start out with their hearts in the right place. It's a compelling idea. But if their anger truly is due to deficiencies, they really can't help themselves.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be the same hatred if you dare say you do not believe in Paleo or you admit to eating wheat. Cheeseslave wrote a post about why she was not Paleo and was almost stoned for it!
Aren't there more pressing issues to be upset about?

Ruth @ Ruth's Real Food said...

I remember that post, and some people were pretty vocal about it, but generally speaking, I'm surprised how little of that I see coming from the paleo community. For the most part, they seem to play nice in the sandbox.

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