Friday, October 4, 2013

Fat Vegans, Skinny Vegans, It's None of Your Business

A colleague brought this to my attention this afternoon:  a certain high profile vegan advocate posted a Yahoo article on veganism and weight gain and warned readers that if they eat too much pasta and processed foods it could happen to you, too!

Well thanks Mr. Vegan Activist, M.D. for your expert medical advice.  Also thanks to the tons of commenters who responded, shaming vegans for their "gluttony."  Others can't seem to understand why some people wouldn't just fill up on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Lots of folks wrote about why we should all go raw.

What an astounding level of white privilege, class privilege, thin privilege, and basic ignorance.

Okay, first off, fat, skinny, or anything in between:  NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

Secondly, not everyone has the privilege of eating healthy, unprocessed, whole foods.  It is simply unobtainable for people living in food deserts and people living in poverty.  Diet-related diseases disproportionately impact poor persons, and that's not due to some innate personality defect.  Believing so means privileged people don't have to think about their unearned advantages and their responsibility for the suffering of millions of vulnerable communities as they reap the benefits of an unequal society that funnels wealth towards them and away from the marginalized.

But that's not the end of the story!  Fortunately, a few intelligent individuals intervened and noted that fat-shaming has no place in our movement.  But then Mr. Vegan Activist, M.D. insisted that being called on his fat-shaming simply means that those folks lack the ability to think critically.

So, let's blame those poor fat people of color who are too gluttonous and lazy to eat like rich, white, privileged people.  Got a problem with it?  You can't think critically.

How unbelievably arrogant and violent.

I just love how efficient privilege is:  It grants folks the ability to believe their superiority is due to their uniquely amazing character, and everyone else is just not trying hard enough or just doesn't care.  And if anybody questions this logic, well, heck, privileged people get to decide what is legitimate and what is not legitimate, so critics be damned--you just don't get it!  Or you're just a trouble maker!


I would screen cap some of the things I've seen posted in the comments, but the hate just goes on and on endlessly and I have work to do today.

You can read more about the problem with fat shaming in vegan communities in my piece for Vegan Feminist Network.