I’d like to address something that I recently read about – something that seems so incredibly counter intuitive to the core of vegan philosophy, “do no harm” – that it sort of baffles me that it exists.
And then I realized, I’m a victim. And a culprit.
Vegan Body Shaming.
Yeah – apparently that’s “a thing”.
If you want a serious discussion on what VBS is, you can read the catalyst to my post on One Green Planet, “Vegan Body Shaming : Analyzing the Evidence”. But for the gritty version, and my humble POV, read on.
Apparently, VBS is where external audiences (non-vegans/vegans/media etc) perpetrate this idea that all vegans are skinny. Hipster skinny.
And – as you (should) know – this is so not the case. While studies have shown that vegans have a lower body amounts of body fat (Click here for the SCIENCE!) – some of us still have body fat. Some of us have more body fat than non-vegans. That doesn’t make us any less (or more) “vegan” than the 115lb girl sipping her soy latte in the middle of Brooklyn.
Ah sterotypes… you strike again.
I subscribe to a YouTube channel of a chef who refers to himself as “The Sexy Vegan” – he once answered a fan letter that included a rather insensitive (and admittedly irrelevant) question, “I thought all vegans were supposed to be skinny?!” The Sexy Vegan responded candidly, saying, “I’m working on it!” – and taking it with a dose of good humor.
And that’s fair enough for him.
Maybe he is working on his health and weight…maybe he’s not….
But he’s a CHEF for goodness sakes! You’re not supposed to trust a skinny chef!
Even some well-meaning non-vegans get caught up in the hype. This year for Easter my Dad got me 2 books. The first was “Lean In” by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (the contents of which are for a whole other rant). The second was a decadent, drool-worthy vegan dessert cookbook. He’d even earmarked a recipe he’d like me to recreate. He mentioned to me, almost shocked, “you know – you can be fat and still be a vegan!”
LOL – I know Dad – I am one 🙂