Health Vegan – the new insult

I belong to a few vegan groups on Facebook and for the most part I don’t really fall into ‘fights’ or have issues with anyone. Recently I noticed one vegan calling another a ‘health vegan’, ie, not being a compassionate vegan and only eating this way for health reasons. Wow, who knew two little words could be a slap in the face. I do not consider myself a health vegan. I don’t scoff at others as I realize they are on their own journey.  The only time people may accuse me to being an elitist is with Vegan Bloggers Unite! I have to turn away people who are in transitions or people who are freelance writers who want to hock their health products. That doesn’t really works with the mandate of a) being a vegan and b) being a vegan blogger. I mean really, the concept is pretty darn simple.

Regardless, I see the term ‘health vegan’ as a way to a) not only insult someone, but b) polarize an already fragile group. Let’s face it, veganism is not the majority of lifestyle choices people make. I don’t understand how that is the case, but that’s probably what other people think too. How could they do this, how are they not all lacking vitamins, they’re probably sickly etc. It’s all a matter of staying true to your health and making sure you are taking every precaution to educate yourself to what foods will keep you well. Failing that, yes, people will harm themselves. Logic and common sense seem to be pretty rare these days.

I chose to live in a real world where I know horrible things are happening and I do my best to not contribute to that. I cannot in good faith pretend these aren’t happening and turn a blind eye. Some of the vegan groups I’ve been in refuse to acknowledge that fact. Personally, I find that is odd and frankly childish. Whether you chose to call yourself a plant-based, herbivore, or vegan, the point is that you’re on a path of do no harm. (I hope at least) The real problem is the holier than thou attitude that gets the whole group lumped in with being nutbars. No one wants to be told what they’re doing it wrong – especially from a group that one goes to find solace in.

Either way, the issue at hand is that as vegans we ought to be helping each other, not attacking.

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Filed under Rants, vegan

3 Responses to Health Vegan – the new insult

  1. It’s really sad when people have to adopt a holier-than-thou attitude to make themselves feel superior to others. It’s not doing anything for the cause, and it just serves to tear the group apart, unfortunately. People should learn to focus on the positives, rather than alienate.

  2. Andreaa

    While I agree we have enough hostility from outside the community, I would make the argument that there is no such thing as a “health vegan.” Words have meanings and the definition of vegan essentially means living a life that causes as little harm to, and exploitation of, living creatures. I’ve seen people walk into Candle 79 wearing full-length mink coats. If that woman eats only vegan food (which I doubt, but that’s not the point) is she a vegan? Of course not, that’s absurd. So while I am glad that people don’t eat animal products for whatever reason, those who abstain for their own health but wear leather jackets and take their kids to the circus are not vegans.

    • aireater

      I think what it all comes down to is others making people feel small and or wrong. I don’t agree that people who only eat the diet are vegans, that defeats the purpose of no harm, but therein lies the distinction. Perhaps those people will realize sentient beings are valuable too, but it’s a decision they come to on their own. Hard to tell someone you think they’re doing something wrong when they think the same of you. It’s one of those catch-22′s I believe. I wish everyone was kinder, gentler, more considerate towards their fellow beings, but it’s a point one makes by leading with examples not judging. Full length mink…uugh. So sickened by this.

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