We've got a new breed of vegans in town. Talk Show Vegans. They are typically fairly new to the game and are the perfect package for talk shows. They will oblige to withholding all the gory details about factory farms (the facts) and are just the most appealing thing ,since sliced bread, on camera. These Talk Show Vegans tend to focus on weight loss and veganism as a diet rather than a moral choice. I am happy when people choose veganism for any reason, because it save animals and is better for the environment, but I have some bones to pick with these Talk Show Vegans.
The problem I have is that by presenting veganism as a diet or a trendy new way to lose weight, leaves the person with the inevitable downfall of their "diet". Let's be real, how many people really stick to a weight loss diet forever? Its not really healthy to be losing weight forever or to be trying to. The key is to get to a healthy place and stay there. I know personally, when I was on weight loss diets, I would get so fed up or sick of them, that I would do the opposite of what the stupid book or video told me to do; I would rebel. So now, the people who are not presented with veganism as a moral decision to save the lives of animals, might rebel against this way of life once their weight loss diet fails, and could possibly go back to eating more animal products than ever before.
I know that anyone who sees a video from a factory farm, and sees the abuses against animals, will make some kind of decision. They will either choose right there and then to stop eating animals and stop supporting abuse, or they will choose to continue to eat animals and try to ignore what was just imprinted into their mind. However, the neat little package that is Talk Show Vegans, present little to none of the facts about the industry and why most of us choose this lifestyle in the first place. I personally gave a crap less about health, I saw a video of a chicken supplier, the abuses were awful (I had no clue before then), I immediately changed my lifestyle that very moment and never turned back. I do not have cravings for "meat", because "meat" to me is not food, it is a carcass of a dead animal who once was; a tortured dead animal at that. The health benefits of veganism are an awesome bonus that I enjoy, but not my motivation whatsoever. I ensure I get the proper amounts of all my nutrients, protein, fruits, veggies, carbs, omegas, etc. and I also take a vegan multivitamin with all my B vitamins (although I get them all pretty much from food) and you all know that I am a big fan of liquid aminos for amino acids - but I do all that so that I remain in excellent health so I can continue to fight for animals for as long as I possibly can. You all know I eat my junk food and I love it!
Now, what I think, is that talk shows that choose to talk about veganism, should incorporate or completely focus on the animals (which is the importance of this) and convenience/ family friendly foods; the things that really concern most people who are weary about this lifestyle. Show people what is easy, where to get vegan products, what to do with them, tips and tricks, etc. Help take the guesswork out of it. A lot of people in America live on Pillsbury brand - show them which Pillsbury items are vegan! Yeah of coarse quinoa is a lot healthier than crescent rolls, but people will get there, lets stop throwing all of our fancy vegan foods/ words at people because we have been doing this for a while and its so easy for us (now).
These Talk Show Vegans lure people in with promises of weight loss and health benefits (which will absolutely happen), so people happily buy their quinoa, kombucha, burdock, daikon, kombu, etc. to lose weight, but get easily turned off or frustrated when their own (normal human) willpower gives into a decadent cookie or a crescent roll! How about first teaching principles of compassion and some factual talk or footage about animal cruelty then we can focus on being a squeaky clean vegan. I lose weight sometimes. I eat clean sometimes. I use macrobiotic or raw principles for a few days after being really Dirty. But that is not a starting point for new vegans. If it works then I am glad; all I want is to see animals being liberated from their abuse and tortures. But people who are introduced to veganism solely as a weight loss diet run the risk of "falling off the bandwagon" and "cheating" to eat something naughty. For them, all they know is "clean=vegan", "dirty=non-vegan". I would like to see people start off by seeing veganism as normal, learn how to make all the foods (including Dirty, yummy, cakey, crumby, greasy, convenient - and also the healthy stuff), so when they feel the urge to be "bad", they can eat something that's bad and also vegan. It is better for you because it won't have cholesterol whatsoever, but at least people will be going into veganism the right way, for the right reasons. I personally know people who were gong-ho veg and are no longer.
If you are vegan for health or weight loss; great! I hope you keep it up forever. This post is directed towards the Talk Show Vegans and talk show hosts who influence so many and encourage people to do things; just start including some facts about the lives of these animals, will ya?
There is definitely a vegan "trend" happening right now. Every talk show, newspaper, article, is talking about it. I love that the word vegan is becoming more mainstream, but I fear the disappointment I will feel if it phases out and people who have turned "vegan" now, turn to something else instead. What do you think about it? If you are vegan, how does it make you feel? How about if you were vegan for a very long time, before it was trendy? Do you think this will last; is this a major turning point for this social movement? Let me know what you think; I look forward to reading your comments. Have a Dirty day!