As I explore the various diets that I’m getting ready to sample, the two I hear the most about being too preachy are the Paleo and the Vegan diet. I have heard some over the top comments from each, but nothing I would call completely outlandish or batshit crazy. That is until I see stories about a site supposedly setup to “shame” ex-vegans. After confirming that this wasn’t some Onion story or overblown story I have to say I’m beyond appalled.
I won’t link to the site, but you can find it soon enough by just searching on “ex-vegan” or “Vegan sellout list” and it comes up as the top site. I figured that perhaps it would be a site for those celebrity people who claim to be vegan but who aren’t. Or for the same sort of people that made a name for themselves based on living a vegan lifestyle and have now found another form of eating as their daily lifestyle. Unfortunately that’s not the case. Instead it’s a site for people to report everyday people who once were vegan and who now are not, or who may not be purely vegan anymore. That’s a combination of creepy and self righteous that I’ve never even heard of before!
First, the language they use sounds so dramatic and over the top that I would think it was dreamed up by a right wing talk show host to make them look bad. These former vegans and their mainstream non-vegans are “carnists.” These people “regressed” from veganism and supposedly have done so by turning a blind eye towards the animal cruelty that made them vegan originally.
First of all, it’s quite presumptuous that everyone has become vegan for the same reason. Some people may have done it for sustainability purposes. Others may have done it because they felt it worked best for their bodies. There are many who may do it because they can’t stand factory farming, however there are as many if not more people that are trying to address the factory farm problem by looking at alternative agricultural business sources.
Second of all, it’s presumptuous to jump to the conclusion that they left veganism while turning said blind eye. They may have major medical conditions which prevent them from adhering to the diet. I know fans of specific dietary styles love to think that theirs is the one and only way to eat, but that’s not how nature, or the human body work. Second, while veganism is one way to potentially deal with animal cruelty of factory farming, there are other ways. Perhaps these people did that instead of adhering to veganism; assuming that that topic had anything to do with them converting in the first place.
Lastly, this site isn’t just castigating long time vegans who have converted (with no evidence to back up these claims mind you). It also goes after people who have just dabbled with the diet. On a search for one state I found a person who was put up on this want list for having been vegan for four months and since “regressed” into being “just” vegetarian. Seriously!? Well excuse me, but that would mean that after three months of eating vegan I’d be a candidate for this list, even though my reasons for trying it have nothing to do with the reasons assumed by the site owners or contributors? That makes me want to jump up and try veganism!
Let me spell it out for those that can’t see the damage being done to your cause. When you setup a website to post pictures, personal details and potentially contact information for people that try your way of life and then leave, you have basically made the threshold for people wanting to try it extremely high. It’s even higher than it would be when you bombard them with self righteous bullshit and overly inflamed rhetoric. You don’t win converts with such tactics, you only placate your own ego and sense of superiority. Case in point, after reading the site I have strong reservations about subjecting myself to such invective and character assassination. Smooth move vegan warriors!