Stuck in the Middle. Vegans hate fat people, Fat Acceptance people hate vegans. Where do I go?
Trigger warning: Discussion of veganism as a weight-loss diet and disordered eating.
I know, y’all might be tired of me talking about veganism all of the time, but it definitely has a special brand of fat hate. There was the Plan V that PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals… and objectification of women) pulled, along with PETA’s classic fat hate. But let’s be honest. it’s not just PETA pulling this shit.
What prompted this little rant? I went over to /r/vegan on reddit today and literally the first video I clicked on had fat hate in less than 30 seconds (and please, if you’re on reddit, please feel free to add a body positive comment to that video). The video opens with a man standing in front of McDonald’s saying that he’s planning on showing kids slaughterhouse videos. That’s the whole premise of the video. But he’s standing in front of a handicapped parking sign and at one point he says that McDonald’s has special parking when you become too fat or too immobilized to move.
Wow, just wow.
I’ve seen the studies people have pushed at me claiming that veg’s are thinner than meat eaters and I can tell you, it’s pretty much bullshit. There’s about a five pound difference and no study takes into account starting weight before going veg; meaning the people who go veg could, in general, be slightly thinner to begin with. This makes sense as veganism and vegetarianism has been picked up as another fad diet and health craze. One of those studies even refused to use vegans over a certain weight.
Vegans like to completely ignore the existence of fat vegans or, if they acknowledge us, we’re eating the wrong foods, stuffing our faces with Oreos and vegan cupcakes and fries all of the time. We’re bad for business, bad for the image of veganism. VegNews magazine on Facebook the other day posted a status about vegans needing to exude a healthy look to make veganism look as positive and tempting as possible. This ignores the fact that thin vegans eat junk food too and that, well, no one like a pretentious pompous health nut trying to act like they’re better than you because you had a candy bar while they munched on kale leaves.
But it’s not just all on vegans. I see quite a lot of veg hate from fat activists comparing veganism to disordered eating, eating disorders, starvation diets, etc. Veganism is mentioned casually as something that skinny body policing yuppies do, again, completely ignoring the fact that there are fat vegans and even body positive fat vegans. Remember, veganism is a moral stance, not a diet.
If you eat a plant-based diet but still live a non-vegan life (e.g., wearing fur, leather, wool, using products tested on animals) then you’re not a vegan, you’re someone who follows a plant-based diet, a strict vegetarian. The point of me bringing up the fact that it’s not a diet is that because it’s not a diet it doesn’t clash with body positivity, Health At Every Size® (HAES), intuitive eating, or Fat Acceptance.
I’ve had an eating disorder, thanks very much! And veganism is most definitely not an eating disorder. Though with any “fad diet” (thank you asshats for turning it into that), it can be used for ill purposes, but most people just want to love animals and be left alone.
I’m tired of my ethical choices being used as a nail in the coffin for the body acceptance police and health zealots. Please just stop bashing vegans. Criticize the fatphobic ones! Criticize PETA! Do it! But please don’t generalize and pretend like we’re all bad people who hate fat people. Some of us are fat people and some of us want so badly to just be able to be fat and vegan without comment.
I’m stuck in the middle. I can’t talk to Fat Acceptance people about veganism and I can’t talk to vegans or be a part of their community because I’m fat. My husband has the same problem. We’re a part of all of these communities, but separate from them as well. It makes us feel stuck and lost and hopeless. Is there anywhere that we fit in? Anywhere it’s okay to be ourselves? If everyone could just stop being a dick to each other, that would be fantastic!