Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Vegans.. I need to talk to you..

I don't talk about being vegan on here.. there's nothing to talk about really in the context of body acceptance or fat pride, but the rest of you guys and gals.. well, you're giving me something to talk about and it's not good. I want to talk about the fatphobia and sizism that goes on in a lot of vegan communities. Now, I realize that this post is going to piss off a lot of people for various reasons, but this is serious and it needs to be mentioned. I want to go on record as saying that I know that not every vegan or vegetarian is sizist, but I've noticed a very obvious pattern in groups and forums over and over. I even wrote a blog about it quite a while ago. In that blog, I talked about how Dr. McDougall, a doctor who pushes a vegan diet as a way to reverse heart disease, said, "Fat vegans, however, have failed one important animal: themselves. Furthermore, their audiences of meat-eaters and animal-abusers may be so distracted by their appearance that they cannot hear the vital issues of animal rights and the environment; resulting in an unacknowledged setback for a fat vegan’s hard work for change." which basically means- sorry, but if you're fat nothing you say really matters. 

So, now that we've established that I'm not talking about all vegans, I think it's fairly clear that vegans (and many vegetarians) hate fat people. Now.. I get it. I do. Vegans tend to get lots of hate, even if they're keeping quietly to themselves. Their very existence tends to offend people so they feel like they have to have the very best image possible. People assume that vegans are malnourished, nutrient deficient, sick, and basically every sneeze, sniffle, or bad day is blamed on their lack of animal products. Because fat comes with the stigma of unhealthy and vegans want to present the epitome of health then fat vegans are bad for business. So I want to say that I understand the psychology behind all of the fat hate. But that being said I have to also say that it's fucking unacceptable.

So here's your strategy, right? Animal products are full of fat and calories and, therefore, if you stop eating them you'll lose weight.. so, market veganism as a diet or "lifestyle change" will bring more people to the movement by preying on their low self esteem and body hatred. While the strategy may work initially what do you intend to do when all the newbie veg's don't lose weight? Or when they lose it but then gain it back? As a diet, it fails, just like any other, and you've lost your pull. More so, you've become part of an industry which is cruel to animals.. specifically the human animal. Yeah.. maybe only beautiful, thin, tanned girls and buff, handsome, wavy haired guys will make you look good on the surface, but do you really want to be that shallow? More so, do you want to alienate over half of the population?

I asked some vegans over at reddit to give me their opinions on fat people. Over and over I was told that vegans are thinner than omnivores, but when asked for evidence I was given studies which, again, only showed a very slight difference in BMI (which we all know is what? That's right.. inaccurate and horribly flawed to begin with), which amount to 30 lbs or so. In addition, 25 vegans were turned down for weight that wasn't near enough to the ideal, likely skewing the results. Otherwise the results were pretty typical. The same fat hate and social beliefs were present in the vegan community as any other- fat people were lazy, gluttonous, unhealthy. They're fat because they over eat and under exercise. I tried not to correct anyone because I just wanted to see the honest answers. And honestly what I saw was that people believed veganism makes people thin "if they're doing it right" and, if they're still fat then they're gorging on fries and cakes all day. Fat vegans are the "bad" vegans and there were definitely some people who said fat people should be hushed to the back of the line so that veganism can appear as awesome as possible (because we all know that doesn't include fat). More so, the same people who said they were against bullying of fat people also tended to say that they should hate themselves and their bodies. The same people who said that bullying and shaming hurt more people than it helped qualified it with "but it does help some people".

One girl, a vegetarian, said that she wanted to go vegan, but isn't because she's afraid of facing judgement (user solutions were for her to go vegan and not tell anyone- like that 'friend' you always hang out with in secret but pick on in front of your other buddies). Another said that she's vegan but doesn't tell anyone because she's afraid of the same. She said that she even stopped protesting or talking to others about it because she felt that she didn't represent veganism very well because she was fat. A non veg friend said that vegans were both ableist and sizist. A vegan from twitter said that the fat hate in vegan circles kept her from attending vegan events. 

It's no wonder so many fatties are afraid to go near veganism or vegetarianism with ads like this from PETA: 



"Obesity is a sign of a societal problem. We didn't used to be fat. Our children did not use to waddle. And we need to stop being so sensitive about pointing out that people are overweight."
- Ingrid Newkirk to the Washington Times.

But we know that PETA is sexist and sizist- after all, their spokeswoman, Ingrid Newkirk, has said that she believes that it's impossible to get fat on a vegan diet and that people are only fat because of animal products, but what about your average vegan? I follow a lot of vegans- in my blog reader, on facebook, on twitter.. and I'll tell you that it's pretty common for me to de-friend someone for photos like these: 

 
Meat eaters are more often unhealthy, unfit, fat, and morbidly overweight. You'd never praise an anorexic. Obesity is worse: diabetes, heart attacks & death. Chicken meat contains arsenic: put "arsenic chicken" in google & go look! Chicken meat contains phytic acid which can hurt men & the genitals of your child.
"Live fat Die young" vegetarian T shirt



Keep in mind that these are all photos that have been posted by actual vegan advocates in the name of veganism.. one facebook vegan advocate had an entire album of nothing but these types of photos with sizist, fatphobic, captions. Vegans that I spoke with seemed caught in limbo between fact and prejudices and their own experiences. Many claimed that you didn't have to be thin to be healthy while turning around and insisting that fat was unhealthy. I can't say that I saw anyone really respond in a body positive way. 

I spoke to one vegan fat activist, Kreeli, or, ZaftiVegan, whom i follow on twitter. She said, "I'm fat, and i've been vegan (really) since 1998. i got sick of being told i "wasn't doing it right" or i was lying about my veganism within the first year. enough is enough. there is room in the veg' movement for ALL animals - why not ALL people?" in one reply talking about sizism in the vegan community. Kreeli went vegan in '98 back before the explosion of online forums and vegan meetups.. in response to an email I sent her about fatphobia in the vegan community she said, "I didn't even know there *was* a vegan "community", at least not as it exists today. There were a few websites and a couple of message boards that I joined........I did find on those sites that fatphobia was rampant." 

Not a lot of fat people come to veganism already loving their bodies (as Kreeli pointed out to me, neither did she- she had the same problems many fat people face in terms of body image and disordered eating/eating disorders) and many vegan communities like it that way. A lot of, though, of course not all, vegans and vegetarians use "the obesity epidemic" and people's fears about weight and health. They prey on people's weakness and insist that going vegan will make you thinner and healthier and happier and the world will be made of rainbows and and unicorns! In other words, they're about like every other part of the diet industry- seeking to gain something from your misery. And I hate that.. because I'm vegan and I love veganism and it does make me happy and when I think of the animals my little heart just swells with love and hope and I do think it's a great thing, but what they're doing isn't. 

Kreeli told me, "I feel that there is a percentage of the vegan community that actively engages in fat- and health- shaming... I have been told I must be "cheating" at my veganism because no "real" vegan could be as fat as I am. I have been made to feel liek I am an object of curiosity and revulsion at local vegan events and restaurants because of my size. I have been offered tons of unsolicited advice from other vegans about how I shouldn't eat this or that vegan items because they are what are making me fat- everything from tofu, to sugar, to potatoes, to fruit." 

Seems awfully familiar- oh yes.. it's the "bad vegan" theory from earlier. You remember.. the one that says if you were a "good" vegan who ate all of the "good" foods then you'd be super thin and happy by now. Still.. there's some hope. People like Kreeli and myself who do what we can to spread the word of fat acceptance and body acceptance in the vegan circles that we do come into contact with. "I...have the immense pleasure of knowing several fat-positive vegans who make the connection between oppressions and understand you can't liberate animals by grinding fat folks (or people of colour or women, or disabled people) into the dirt." 

It's obvious that the message is that veganism is only for thin and healthy people. Thin unhealthy people and fat people are unwelcome. So if 64% of the US is supposedly "overweight" or "obese" then you're alienating the majority of people and, very likely, keeping them far far away from veganism or vegetarianism. More so, the hypocrisy is obvious and ridiculous in a community that's supposed to be about compassion and understanding.  You need to get it together.. fat vegans aren't the ones hurting the movement, fat haters are. You have an obligation to all animals- even the human ones. 

47 comments:

  1. I was a vegetarian for many years. Funny, I never lost weight! I am lactose intolerant, so the dairy thing wasn't an issue (though one MD insisted I was gorging myself on cheese and ice cream).
    My friends and I all cut out soda at the same
    time, too. They lost weight, I remained the same.
    I used support PETA. Until they started the fat hating. Maybe it was there all along, but I didn't see it? Then they hated on Michael Moore! That was enough for me. I write Ingrid a letter, she never replied (of course).
    Then while enjoying vegan baking to no end I joined theppk.com and quickly got hooked on their forums. Until their fat hating ways became blatantly obvious, too. I called 'em out on it. Then got shunned. F-'em all! Thank you for speaking up and out about this! It's such BS that veg=thin. Way to perpetuate thin=healthy BS, PETA!!!

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  2. Fat-phobia aside, I think fat people could be seen as good "advertisements" for veganism. Many people seem to insist that all vegans they know are "thin, sickly, pale and malnourished". (I know many vegans and only one I can think of who would fit this description.) Yeah, I'm European, so most people I know are what's considered normal weight or near normal weight, but still.

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  3. I'm a vegetarian and I'm totally aware of this attitude, and I really hate it. Thanks for addressing this important issue; I think I may write about it myself.

    But I'd also like you to know that you're not alone. If you haven't already, you should check out "The F-Word," a fat-acceptance blog written by a vegetarian. She has written about the offensive "Save the Whales" billboard, and why she dislikes PETA for hurting the cause more than helping it, a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree.

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  4. I feel like maybe the title of this post could be "Famous vegans and vegan media, I need to talk to you!"
    Yes, I hate the emphasis, in media, about how you're totally going to lose weight when you become vegan. Hey, guess what everyone! I didn't! Because suddenly food was awesome to me again and it fit into my moral and ethical worldview and I wanted to f*cking cook it and then eat it! So I did! And then I gained weight! And I was like, holy sh*t! How can I gain weight after turning vegan? The internet, Alicia Silverstone, Kathy Freston, McDougal, Dr. Oz, and even Oprah told me this was impossible. (Full disclosure: I was vegan long before any of these people were talking about veganism.)
    And I struggled with it. Not because of the vegan media (maybe I was really lucky that I became vegan when there was no "vegan media") but because, well, the vegan media is a product of the US media market and they're all telling me to get skinny. By being vegan.
    I agree with Kreeli -- I don't see a vegan community. I don't even know what that means. I know like 5 other vegans in real life, and I follow a couple on Twitter. I think you're overlooking parts of the vegan world, like Isa Moskowitz of the Post Punk Kitchen, who enthusiastically and wholeheartedly support body acceptance. She talks about it on her Facebook page, where there have been some pretty solid arguments about fatphobia, on her Twitter feed, and even in her low-fat cookbook.
    Do I wish mainstream media and the celebrities they've chosen to represent my ethical system would shut the hell up about how we're all going to lose weight? Yes. Do I ever think that vegans I meet at bake sales, vegan restaurants, cupcake shops, and ice cream parlors are fat-shaming me? No, I don't.
    Media filters up and out and the attitudes we're seeing reflected in vegan "celebrities" are just what we see in all media culture. Or I'm just totally oblivious.

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  5. Rollingstone- thanks! hadn't heard of that blog but I'll definitely check it out!

    renee- while a lot of 'famous' vegans do add to the problem (like PETA) it's definitely a common problem among average vegetarians and vegans as well.. the average ones are the ones that led me to write this blog to begin with actually. While I know that there *are* body acceptance vegans if you join forums, or local groups then you'll most likely be hit with a *lot* of fat hate. I'll definitely look into Isa Moskowitz though.. it would be awesome to follow some body positive vegans

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  6. Hello, I'm a french fat vegan girl and I like your article, but I don't think there is more fat-hating in vegan community than everywhere. Nevertheless, Peta's sexists and sizists advertisements sucks.

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  7. I'm sorry for the sizism you've gotten. I LOVE "fat" vegans--it shows people that vegans don't have to be skinny and malnourished-looking :D My blog focuses mainly on the environment, but it touches on everything, since it's all connected; check it out! <3 TheRewildWest

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  8. As an ethical vegan, I could care less about the jean size of the person choosing veganism. I care about nonhumans not being exploited and slaughtered for something the vast majority of us don't need to survive - animal flesh, nonhuman breast milk and eggs.

    If I can show empathy and compassion towards cows and chickens, I am as capable of extending that sentiment and attitude towards my fellow activists and humans. I hope others in and outside of this social justice movement are able to do the same.

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  9. the problem is from what I've seen, there's two basic arguments for being vegan; animal concern and health.

    The fact is, meat-eaters mostly don't have the same level or type of animal concern that ethical vegans do and they aren't really going to start, despite all the rhetoric tossed at them constantly.

    So you've really got "health" as your main argument for going vegan when it comes to "converting" meat-eaters. Sorry but that's going to lean towards fat-shaming. I wish they could be more sensitive and not make "fat = not healthy at all" the bottom line but that's where most people are right now. Its been hammered into their heads from the medical community for so long its pretty impossible to get it out.

    Here's a wacky idea; stop trying to "convert" meat-eaters. Present factual information and let them decide. And when they decide to stay meat-eaters, get over it.

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    1. I think you're confused about what vegan means. Someone who only eats a vegan diet is actually a strict vegetarian. Veganism is a movement that was specifically created as an animal rights movement which is another reason the health argument is a terrible one besides the fact that you can eat meat and be just as healthy as a vegan. I'm all about presenting factual information which is why veganism as a health fad has got to stop.

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    2. Fat does not = unhealthy. Thin does not = healthy.

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    3. so.. pretty much everything in your comment was either incorrect or problematic. firstly, you forget that almost every single vegan (all vegans are ethical vegans. that's literally the definition of veganism. if you're a "health vegan" then you're what's called a strict vegetarian) used to eat meat and other animal products. saying that meat eaters will never go vegan for ethical reasons is contradicted by the evidence that every vegan used to be a meat eater. ie, alllll those meat eaters went vegan because of compassion and ethics. there's nothing in your comment that makes any sense.

      as for health nuts being automatically fatphobic- while that's more or less true, it doesn't make it okay, it doesn't mean that we can't or shouldn't fight it because it's important for people to realize that fat people can be health nuts too and that health is not solely the realm of super skinny people.

      as far as converting meat eaters- that's kind of how any ethical or social movement works.. by trying to get other people on their side. it's how it i work as a fat acceptance activist, as a feminist, as a queer woman, as an ally to people of color, etc etc. i'll tell you that as a feminist i'm not going to just politely ask that people stop oppressing me and then, if they don't, "get over it". that's not how it works (nor should it be how it works)

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  10. I am a fat vegan and I eat very healthily... except I love food and eat a lot of it! I exercise, I look after myself, I care about the animals but of course the fact I am fat makes me a "bad person". I am judged way more than my unhealthy, uncaring meat eating friends. All because of one thing- looks. At the end of the day, I don't care. The people that judge me because of what I look like are not the people I want to be amicable with anyway.

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    1. it's great that you don't care that other people judge. that's the best attitude to have.. to be confident in yourself and your life. that's all that really matters.

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  11. As a fat vegan, I could not agree more, and I've written a bit on this myself. I find the fat-hate I've experienced in the vegan community to be absolutely emotionally exhausting and disheartening. Wonderfully written piece. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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    1. thank you so much for reading. it's so encouraging to see how many fat vegans there are and how many people are against fat shaming in the vegan community.

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  12. I know you wrote this a long time ago, but a friend just shared it, and I I feel this so much.

    The fatphobia within the vegan community is something that I struggle with, both as someone that is trying to promote a positive vegan life, as well as someone who had a serious eating disorder.

    My partner is a fat vegan, and I notice the often subtle reactions people have to finding out he's veg, and it makes me embarrassed. Not of him, but for them. To be so judgmental... must be a sad life.

    I know firsthand how dangerous equating one's value with their size is, and it kills me a little every time veganism is promoted for "health" purposes when "health" actually ends up meaning weight loss. You don't have to be skinny to be healthy, health is not size, and size is not health.

    I'd like people to be happy in their skin, in their body, and if they happen to be veg while doing it, all the better. To me veganism extends to how I treat other people. Compassion, kindness, and thoughtfulness is central to that, and I think some people have lost their compassion in their zeal to convert.

    The fat-shaming doesn't do us any good. You are so right, and I'm really tired of it too. Thank you for writing this.

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    1. thank you so much for sharing your story. I am in recovery for an eating disorder myself and I know what a daily struggle it is. I also know how hard it is being a fat vegan and getting all that judgement directed at you. your partner is lucky to have someone who understands that weight doesn't equal health. you have a great attitude!

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  13. I'm a fat vegan. I hate what society has done to us...I don't go a minute without feeling hideous, unacceptable, and ashamed. I have a wealth of things to offer this world, but you hit the nail on the head when you said that the current thinking is that if you're fat, you're not worth listening to. My veganism isn't about being thin and my weight is about a lot of things, including a combination of medications that make losing weight -- according to my doctor -- "damn near impossible". I am repulsed by these PETA ads, and think there has to be a better way. There has to be a better way for all of us, I just don't know how to make it clear to more people -- and ridicule couldn't be further from the path. Too many of us walk alone.

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    1. thanks so much for sharing. If I may, I'd recommend reading Lessons From the FatOSphere by Kate Harding and Marianne Kirby to maybe help you feel more comfortable in your skin. it has nothing to do with veganism, but it's a fantastic fat acceptance book and it put me in recovery for my eating disorder. it's a powerful read.

      you're right.. there NEEDS to be a better way. the PETA ads are disgusting and we need to find solidarity with each other.

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    2. Thank you very much. I'm going to go investigate that book NOW. I used to be very comfortable, but got lost along the way. Looking to find a new path, enjoying suggestions for new directions.

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  14. I'm in there with you, too. I have found that many non-vegans have the impression that if one is vegan one must be thin, I heard from a friend that others have asked her if I am really vegan, because I'm fat. So of course it isn't just vegans who suggest that one must be doing it wrong if one is fat. It's entirely possible to be vegan and unhealthy as well.

    We need to stand proud and out loud so others know that vegans come in all sizes.

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    1. thanks so much and you are so right- solidarity!

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  15. Spot on. I've been on both sides of the fat/thin fence. Currently a four month old vegan and currently rather fleshy. Kudos to you. Fabulous piece. Consider me a fan, precious. Deborah

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    1. thanks so much! and welcome to veganism ;)

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  16. I am vegan exercise a lot and I am fat. I now weight 85Kg and my height is 1.64 m. I have not lost weight by being vegan but I have saved the lives of many animals and that is what I really care about. Fortunately I haven't had any really issue being fat and vegan in the "vegan community" but to be honest, people like to criticize regardless of what group they belong to. We are all in different shapes, sizes and characteristics and being an ethical vegan is about rasing awareness about animal suffering. For a healthy body, one needs to follow a healthy life. If you are still "fat" then so bear, just enjoy your body and be happy you are alive and you are compassionate.
    Thanks for the great post.

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    1. you're spot on :) I may not be he vegan ideal, but I save lives. Love your attitude and I hope you never have to experience fat shaming because of your size from fellow vegans.

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  17. 1.) F Dr McDougall. I am sorry but he just grates on my ever loving last nerve.

    2.) I agree with everything you are saying here. While I have never been on the super large size, after having 2 kids I swear if one more person asks me 'when I am due' I am going to bite their heads off. When I tell them I am not pregnant but they just had a baby they start offering all sorts of diet advice. Hello? I am already vegan and gluten free. And I can't seriously slash calories because I am nursing an infant. SO I completely get where you are coming from. Nixing a food group isn't the magic ticket to success. And you may not even lose any weight. And also some people have medical conditions or have to take medication which causes them to gain weight. Shame on anyone for judging or acting superior because they are thinner than you.

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    1. UGH, i'm so sorry you have to deal with that. Giving diet advice is ALWAYS inappropriate but especially to a nursing mother. How ridiculous! they can't think for one second that you might be happy with your body which just brought a beautiful life into this world. thanks so much for reading and sharing.

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    2. Can I just say how much I agree with you about Dr. McD? He "grates on my ever loving last nerve," too. Glad I am not alone.

      I am also vegan and gluten free. After four years of breastfeeding I can tell you that every time I try to cut calories, my milk supply tanks. I have to have about twenty extra pounds on me to nurse. Nursing a baby is more important than being skinny! Some people have their priorities all out of whack.

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  18. Hello, I haven't read the responses to this post yet, but I read what you wrote and here's what I've gotta say. Who cares about people's weight? I sure don't. Yeah, lots of people lose weight by going to whole-foods vegan route. But even if you do not lose weight for whatever reasons, studies show that no matter what weight, vegans suffer far fewer health problems than meat eaters. So, weight aside, you're doing your body good by going vegan, not to mention the enormous environmental benefits and the invaluable benefit of living a compassionate life doing minimal harm. Whether you weight 90 pounds of 590 pounds, if you're not harming animals, I want to be your friend.

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    1. great reply :) and you're absolutely right!

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  19. It's sad that we still have to talk about fat shaming. More people these days are fat than not fat, regardless of whether they are vegan, vegetarian, Paleo, or just eating a standard diet. So, why are the majority being shamed by the minority? If you are happy with yourself the way you are, if you care about the world and its creatures outside the little bubble of your daily life, if you're doing your best to be the person you want to be, then you have nothing to be ashamed of.

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    1. And just to be clear, I don't mean this as a criticism of the blog post. I think it was an awesome post with so many good points -- I just think it's sad that we are in this state of affairs.

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    2. thanks for your reply! you're right.. it's ridiculous that a majority has become oppressed and discriminated against. so much of it is because of internalized oppression. too many chubby/fat people buy into the diet myth. but being a good person is so much more important than weight.

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    3. thanks! you're right that the majority of people are considered "overweight" or "obese" (or in my case "morbidly obese") by the BMI index. We are a majority and yet we've internalized the hatred of fat people so much that we can't stand and fight. we should be demanding better treatment! Sadly internalized oppression is not something one can easily shake. so the few of us who can speak out will continue to do so and hopefully, *hopefully*, it will help change something or someone.

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  20. Hi, my name is Crystal. I am 37 years old. I stopped eating all animal products one day after I went to a Paul McCartney concert, and he and his first wife, Linda, spoke of being veggie, animals rights, etc. I was 14. I was skinny all through high school and college. Even after my first baby in 1997 I shrank back to regular size right away. Then we had another baby in 1999. I did not shrink. Then my gallbladder was taken out that same year, and the Dr. says "we only see this in people that eat a lot of fried food and meat" and I was like "buddy, I don't eat EITHER ONE" and he looked at me like I was full of shit. (I was 24, 5 ft. 9 and 190 lbs) So, I have been big since then, and bigger even since 2007 when we had our son. I gained 70 lbs. My son was born in perfect health, 3 weeks early at just under 10lbs and 24 and 3/4 inches long. I am still big. But, other than two brain aneurysms, I am in perfect health. Is that not what matters? My kids, 15 (5 ft. 8 138 lbs, female, honor student that plays six instruments and wins math awards) 14 (5 ft 4, 120lbs) female, plays two instruments, has perfect complexion, gorgeous hair and nails (natural) and my son, just turned 6 in May, 4 ft 2 inches tall, 58 lbs, tall, and lean and excellent student, reading at a grade 2 level, plays soccer and baseball, can carry an adult conversation with no problem, dr.s are amazed at how intelligent he is) HAVE NEVER EATEN MEAT. Yet everyone always says "they don't eat meat, oh my god, you starve your kids"...well, clearly not. I have had to deal with the childrens aid society, people (in my family) call on me, they don't understand our way of life, and that is why they are ignorant. But fellow veggies discriminating is BULLSHIT. Wow. I am so disappointed. We are not supposed to put each other down. I am veggie, for 24 years, I did not just jump on the bandwagon in the last few years like so many people. I say that we are all welcome to events, we are all beautiful, because we don't eat animals. Screw the hypocrites. Its like when you go to a "Christian" church and half the congregation is outside SMOKING. Total bullshit. I would like to apologize on behalf of us DECENT veggies. Do what is in your heart, and to hell with what anyone thinks and says. I know it hurts, I face it all of the time. Stupid remarks like "oh, you must be a new vegetarian" or "oh, you must eat a lot of junk food". I do not eat chips, pop, cookies, etc. But I do make a gooooood vegan pizza and I eat a small one of those everyday. Screw it. I am healthy. Fat people can be healthy. All the best to all of you beautiful veggies! Would love for some of you to add me on FB :) Peace and Love.

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    1. thank you so much for sharing your story. it sounds like you have wonderful children and your priorities are in the right place! i'm sorry you have to deal with ignorant crap from other veggies- it's all too common and congrats on being veg for so long! (i went veg at 14 too in a small town where no one had ever even met a vegetarian. then went vegan four years ago). also, having a 7 year old myself, I know exactly what you mean about people thinking bad things about you raising your kid veg. it's ridiculous and it's all about ignorance. thank you for being a decent veggie ;)

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  21. Vegans should accept everyone where they are in their journey and I hope that people find as much strength in the place that is within them (Hercules for animals by going vegan in the face of discrimination and taunting) and use that same strength to channel to being who you are as you are, whatever your body size, to help animals. My weight as a vegan this past decade has gone up and down due to periods of exercise and healthy eating and periods without. Every vegan is strong for doing what they do. Let's be a positive group of accepting and kind individuals, the compassionate people we all are (regardless of outwardly misguided anger - I don't approve but I get it; I was there too) and be the movement people are excited to join. The more vegans, the less suffering. The more debate and discussion, the more truth gets out there. Be positive. Love yourselves and whenever you need someone to stand by you, I'm right here. I won't badmouth you behind your back. Thanks for writing your though-provoking and important post. I've asked the person who pointed this out to me to write a guest blog about it for me (for danielhauff.com) and we will definitely link back to here. We need to be better as a movement in a number of ways. Thanks again.

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    1. thanks so much for your wonderful reply and great attitude. :) it would be wonderful if we could all be as thoughtful and kind to other human beings as we are to the animals. i can't wait to read your guest blog post :)

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  22. Love this post really engaging and thought-provoking. I shared it widely.

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  23. It not a bad thing there are fat vegans. Shows rest of world that, yes, you can still have cake! Sorry if this sounds flippant but that vegans can be overweight normalises veganism and goes someway to dispel the myth that the vegan diet is extreme and restrictive.

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    1. haha, you're right. diversity normalizes veganism. unfortunately some vegans who recognize this like to use the phrase "well there's always vegan junk food" which still creates an us/them mentality in the vegan movement. "we (skinnies) eat healthy and they (fatties) eat junk food" when really everyone eats a variety of foods!

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  24. LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED this and shared, shared shared it!
    If I had a doughnut for every time I'd heard a variation on "But you're too FAT to be vegan..."

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  25. YES!!! Thank you! I fight these things every day, constantly hearing "you're awfully fat for a vegan." Since when are vegans one size? Sad we live in such a hateful world.

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  26. THANK YOU for this blog post. Two things irritate me, as a vegan animal lib activist who is larger about fat-shaming related to my being vegan: 1. A good amount of it comes from people (including some tactless family members who will remain unidentified) who are not vegan themselves, and presuppose that it's a weight loss program, and not a stance against the idea that other animals belong to humans, and 2. It takes the focus off the animals, and that's who veganism is really about. I didn't go vegan because I thought it would give me a supermodel figure; I went vegan because I recognize that other animals aren't here to serve human beings. I think I eat fairly healthy, now that I eat mostly home-cooked whole foods, but I wish people would stop looking at veganism through the "it's all about me" lens.

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