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 Post subject: Excellent commentary on ex vegans
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:09 pm 
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From The Thinking Vegan http://thethinkingvegan.com/articles/st ... gveganism/


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 Post subject: Re: Excellent commentary on ex vegans
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:26 pm 
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I do agree with a lot of that post but I gotta say, I really don't think it's cool to call out other people on presumed eating disorders on a blog. Veganism is a pretty small community- even though the author didn't name names, I knew immediately who he was talking about, and I really didn't like it. If anything, making those kinds of assumptions about someone and using what I imagine could be a harrowing personal struggle in an argument detracts from an otherwise excellent piece.

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 Post subject: Re: Excellent commentary on ex vegans
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:27 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Excellent commentary on ex vegans
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:29 pm 
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I'm not sure that it's an excellent commentary. People sometimes need to move away from veganism for all sorts of reasons.


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 Post subject: Re: Excellent commentary on ex vegans
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:50 pm 
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8ball wrote:
I'm not sure that it's an excellent commentary. People sometimes need to move away from veganism for all sorts of reasons.

Like what? Are there actual medical reasons like some people claim? I could imagine places where obtaining vegan food is extremely difficult, but I've always personally defined veganism as the attempt to avoid animal products as much as "possible." With possible not being literal, but really just accounting for all of life's other demands. So if I was in a place where I often couldn't get a vegan meal I'd just do my best.

I'm straying, I was just curious what some legitimate reasons are and I started to expound on the idea in the back of my head about someone not having much access to vegan food (like in the military maybe?).


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 Post subject: Re: Excellent commentary on ex vegans
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:53 pm 
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I understand people who are recovering from eating disorders to (temporarily?) stop veganism. I never did because veganism never was a restriction to me, but yeah, it can help to get the mindset that some foods are "wrong". At the same time, I don't think animals are food so it's a confusing concept...

I don't think there's non-psychological good reasons to stop being vegan. I can only think of things that make it "difficult" to be vegan but that's a perception thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Excellent commentary on ex vegans
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:08 pm 
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I won't fault someone for moving away from veganism if they have an eating disorder. A lot of the posts I've seen lately are from people who used hyper-healthy and restrictive forms of veganism (no sugar, oil, gluten etc.) to mask an ED, so it rarely shocks me when they don't stick around for the long haul. My hope is that they learned a lot about living compassionately and they can come back to veganism when they're in a better place with food and their bodies. That also includes ethical vegans whose recovery might not allow any room for food restriction.

I do hate that a lot of these people throw veganism under the bus when they quit and seem to conflate their issues with food with ethical living ("ohhh, it was just too restrictive! because I made it that way!"); I just try to remember that they're in a seriously difficult place in their lives and they're looking for support in their posts and probably trying to build themselves a new community.

I do roll my eyes when I hear about "medical" reasons people have for quitting veganism, which tend to include conditions and deficiencies diagnosed exclusively by listening to their bodies.

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 Post subject: Re: Excellent commentary on ex vegans
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:15 pm 
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Nebraskalaska wrote:
I won't fault someone for moving away from veganism if they have an eating disorder. A lot of the posts I've seen lately are from people who used hyper-healthy and restrictive forms of veganism (no sugar, oil, gluten etc.) to mask an ED, so it rarely shocks me when they don't stick around for the long haul. My hope is that they learned a lot about living compassionately and they can come back to veganism when they're in a better place with food and their bodies. That also includes ethical vegans whose recovery might not allow any room for food restriction.


Thank you, that is a fantastic way of putting it. I think what is harmful about the post linked above is that those are the kind of 'Mean Girl' shaming attitudes that would totally put a person off from trying veganism again once they get well if indeed that is their struggle.

I understand that it's disappointing and even hurtful when people you know and respect stop being vegan. But I fail to see how haranguing them and shaming them is helpful to the animals. If someone walks out the door, are you gonna slam the door behind them? Cause if you leave it open, maybe they'll turn around and come back in.

ETA: not 'you' personally, 'you' in the sense that... oh, you get it.

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Last edited by Erika Soyf*cker on Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Excellent commentary on ex vegans
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:15 pm 
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Nebraskalaska wrote:
I won't fault someone for moving away from veganism if they have an eating disorder. A lot of the posts I've seen lately are from people who used hyper-healthy and restrictive forms of veganism (no sugar, oil, gluten etc.) to mask an ED, so it rarely shocks me when they don't stick around for the long haul. My hope is that they learned a lot about living compassionately and they can come back to veganism when they're in a better place with food and their bodies. That also includes ethical vegans whose recovery might not allow any room for food restriction.


In the eating disorder clinic I was, I was allowed to eat vegan food while some others weren't. They basically quizzed you on your reasons for being vegan and when you convincingly could explain your ethical reasons it was ok. I mean, I don't think it was less difficult for me to let go of restrictions just because I wasn't forced to eat dairy (especially since I'm also lactose intolerant...).

I mean, I also know a lot of eating disordered people that were helped my ethical veganism. As in "no food is immoral because of it's calorific content or healthfulness" and having a more logical body-positive framework for "moral" food consumption.

I definitely have compassion for people who say "look, I did this to restrict, now I need to let go of it", but the ex-"animal activists" who suddenly feel some urge to eat steak and then magically feel better the next day? Urgh.

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 Post subject: Re: Excellent commentary on ex vegans
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:30 pm 
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Nebraskalaska wrote:
I do hate that a lot of these people throw veganism under the bus when they quit and seem to conflate their issues with food with ethical living ("ohhh, it was just too restrictive! because I made it that way!"). I just try to remember that they're in a seriously difficult place in their lives and they're looking for support in their posts and probably trying to build themselves a new community.
This. Obviously eating disorders are horrible and do terrible things to our brains and our bodies, but I really hate it when someone blames a way of life that is perfectly healthy when approached with care and education for their abuse of it to create opportunities for more restriction. That's not veganism, that's an eating disorder, and it's not cool to publicly tar an entire movement with such a broad brush because some people actively choose to interpret it in extreme, unhealthy ways.
Nebraskalaska wrote:
I do roll my eyes when I hear about "medical" reasons people have for quitting veganism, which tend to include conditions and deficiencies diagnosed exclusively by listening to their bodies.
Also, the way these raging, life-threatening deficiencies that took months or years to develop are miraculously cured by one piece of fish or a scrambled egg. "Praise the Lard, I'm free (of ethical responsibility) at last!"

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 Post subject: Re: Excellent commentary on ex vegans
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:05 pm 
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I stopped reading at "obesity epidemic". No time for scientifically baseless fat shaming, thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Excellent commentary on ex vegans
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:00 pm 
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veganchubosaurus wrote:
I stopped reading at "obesity epidemic". No time for scientifically baseless fat shaming, thanks.


This was when I stopped too.

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 Post subject: Re: Excellent commentary on ex vegans
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:33 pm 
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I liked the article but I have to agree with other posts about eating disorders. If someone stops eating vegan because of an eating disorder I wouldn't hold it against them. I had symptoms of orthorexia nervousa for nearly a year (This was pre vegan) and even though that is a short time to have an eating disorder, it was debilitating. My entire day was spent being obsessed with food and how clean it was. Also, if someone does end up having a nutritional deficiency and they eat animal products to help fix it, I don't hold it against them. I would encourage them to try veganism again and figure out why the deficiency occurred. (I've run into people who claim that B12 supplements are not necessary and that B12 can be found in plant foods. These people tend to be against all supplements)

What I often don't understand is when people have issues with veganism, why do they go back to full blown omnivore? Why not just try vegetarianism? I know there is still cruelty with eggs and milk but there is still some concern for animals. I have heard that some people may have issues absorbing plant based iron but I'm not sure how true this is or if it is just more anti veganism.


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