Your race, religion and political party affiliation aren’t the only markers we use today to sort people into groups. Now, food ideals are playing a huge part in how some people identify with others and how they define themselves.
For those who live in “meat and potato” communities, it may seem odd to hear folks call themselves things like pescatarians, vegetarians, vegans or fruitarians.
As the obesity epidemic gets worse in the U.S., however, we're seeing a surge of new diet trends ranging from Atkins, to paleo, to South Beach, to Weight Watchers, to the Master Cleanse. While some diets are more extreme than others, it’s quite obvious that Americans are trying to trim their waistlines and reduce their health risks.
But what happens when the diet is used as a political platform? What happens when it switches from a meal plan to a religion? What happens when a diet has zealots for leaders who expect others to blindly follow?
Sound extreme? You bet, but it’s happening.
When it comes to those who abstain from eating meat, I often see it as a short-lived youthful trend. Perhaps it's due to rebellion, the need to feel trendy, or a desire to be more healthful, mindful to the environment or somehow saving animals. These folks have good intentions, and even though I disagree with their reasons, the great thing about America is we all have right to make choices. I still think I can convince many who are on the fence regarding meat that it’s okay, but even if I don’t, it doesn’t mean I have a “beef” (pun intended) with those individuals.
According to Politix, the folks I described above -- vegetarians -- are actually closet bacon-eaters, not that I blame them, of course.
The article reads, “Over half of self-described vegetarians ate something perhaps lean - but very much not green - as recently as yesterday, according to a new survey. Business Insider reports on two polls revealing that the minority of American eaters who fancy themselves vegetarians aren't living up to that label. "Six out of 10 of those polled by CNN who called themselves 'vegetarian' confessed to having had meat in the prior 24 hours. A full two-thirds of those surveyed by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition admitted the same, giving researchers reason to believe that no agreed upon standard of vegetarianism is at work among Americans.”
Don’t tell the folks who run www.exvegans.com about these secret meat lovers. The consequences for giving up the “religion” of living a vegetarian and vegan diet are quite harsh if these people find out.
A friend of mine, Kelly Rivard, posted this website on her Facebook page.It reveals a very concerning group of people who need their site shut down immediately, if not sooner.
Ex-Vegan’s mission statement reads (warns), “If you’re no longer vegan, you’re going on the list. The spirits of the billions murdered have risen to deliver: The Vegan Sellout List – an online directory of those who have regressed from moral consistency to moral depravity. The Vegan Sellout List is our answer to the epidemic of vegan sellouts – those who are aware of the suffering caused by meat, dairy, egg, fur, and leather production, yet choose to look away while the animals suffer. Selling out veganism is a trend on the upswing, bringing with it swarms of haughty, nose-turning carnists uttering nonsensical buzzwords re: veganism being ‘privileged’ or ‘trendy,’ critiquing themselves into ethical degeneracy and paleo-terrorism. To those who have regressed from veganism, yet display symptoms of a soul not fully blackened to its core, we ask you to remind yourself why you were what you were.”
A link to “Meet Your Meat,” an animal abuse video that has gone viral, is listed for sympathetic viewers to watch. (Note: the link is broken.)
The mission statement continues with this deeply troubling closing statement: “And if that fails to stir your conscience, we ask that you go here and follow the directions closely.”
The “here” they refer to is a link to a Wiki article on “How to commit suicide.” I find this more than utterly offensive. In an age where more people are ending their lives due to bullying, it’s certainly not something to joke about. Here is some more food for thought on this topic.
Frankly, I think the anger found on this vegan site perfectly illustrates the fanatics I described as coverting their dietary choices into a cult. This is classic bullying at its most extreme, and my heart aches for the folks who decided to add meat back into their diets, only to be publicly blacklisted for their choice.
It’s clear to me that these vegans are angry. Perhaps all that anger stems from a Vitamin B12 shortage -- something that is readily available in beef, but must be supplemented heavily on a vegan diet.
Obviously, the vegan diet is much more than a simple diet to drop a few pounds or live a more conscious and aware lifestyle. Instead, it is now showing its true colors as a manipulative political movement.
End of the day, I just want to eat my steak in peace, without feeling ridiculed or judged. And I think others deserve that same courtesy. When did what I put on my dinner plate become a topic of epic proportions anyway?
What do you think about the figures listed in the study? Do you see veganism as a political movement, or is it just another diet trend? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.