Yesterday, a well known vegan nutrition coach and author of several best-selling books on vegan nutrition and lifestyle, made a public online declaration that she has decided to go back to eating animals. This of course came as a complete surprise to her loyal followers who saw her as a vegan authority and role model.
In an open letter on her blog she stated what made her come to this decision. After a lengthy review of the circumstances that led her to a vegan diet and the process she has undergone since, she went on to describe the cravings that now led her to go back to eating animals and their secretions.
While her letter might have confused many, leaving them bewildered that a person so identified with the vegan diet could revert in such a way, a closer examination allows us an interesting glance into the lives and circumstances that lead people to revert back to eating animals.
A rare phenomena
As our guest writer Sarah Taylor have observed in the past, despite the fact that the vegan diet is considered by many to be harsh and restrictive, it is followed with great passion and loyalty. Unlike most diets that people go back and forth, in and out of, the vegan diet once taken on fully as a lifestyle choice, is rarely abandoned, and when it happens we are all quite surprised because it is so rare.
Unlike other diets that are focused on weight loss/gain, appearances, or health, the vegan lifestyle encompasses many other areas of life and ethics, accounting for a greater good rather than just one’s self.
Those who initially choose the vegan lifestyle as a tool for weight loss/ gain and good health, often also discover the truth about the meat and dairy industry along the way, and the many benefits a vegan diet has not just for us and the animals, but for the environment as well.
So what is it that makes some people abandon it still?
Interestingly enough, in those rare occasions that we do hear of someone reverting back to eating animals and their secretions, it’s for the same reason, repeated in different variations; a feeling of worry/ inconvenience:
- I felt my body was craving it
- I felt like I needed meat
- I had a medical condition and my doctor told me I should go back to eating meat (have you ever noticed that for some reason those who say that never consider going to a vegan doctor to resolve the issue?).
- I found the social pressure too difficult to deal with
- I found the lifestyle too demanding
No mention of a flaw in the logic behind the vegan lifestyle, no claim that the vegan lifestyle is not a compassionate and inclusive lifestyle, no argument about it being unhealthy or damaging in any way, but only inconvenience.
What kind of person are you?
The thing is that most of us are not following the vegan diet for convenience; we are following it for ethics. The health benefits, the eco-friendly impact, the good feeling that comes from doing the moral thing- these are all just added perks. And yes, it might not always be convenient, but so what? The person I and many others want to be is the person that despite inconveniences and difficulties chooses to do the right thing.
It is NOT always easy to be a vegan. We ALL have cravings and challenges! But if it is really important to us to not harm animals, we do our best to find a solution.
As one of the commentators in the open letter wrote: “If you can go back to meat eating knowing what you know, then I guess you are not the person I thought you were”.
Why don’t we ask ourselves, what type of person do we want to be?