Monday, December 5, 2011

On "Vegan" Celebrities

I recently read an article posted in Stuff about vegan celebrities - "Celebs make veganism sexy".

I have a number of problems with articles such as this. It suggests that veganism is a diet, a trend, a health thing. Celebrities seem to always misrepresent the word "vegan" and what it actually means!

Many celebrities who say they are vegan, aren't really vegan at all. They just follow a plant-based diet, yet still wear leather, wool, eat honey, or promote non-vegan products. Veganism is NOT a diet. It's a rejection of violence towards all sentient beings. It's about respecting their right to life. Far more than "just a diet", it's also about the clothes we wear, the products we buy, the activities we engage in, the places we go, and how we live life. Vegans do their best not to participate in animal exploitation (be that human or nonhuman) by not buying animal products or products tested on animals, not going to places that profit from using other animals (eg zoos and rodeos) and, where possible, buying fair trade products.

The caption for this article is "Vegan Celebrities Leading Diet Trend". I just mentioned above that veganism isn't a diet, and it's also not a trend. Saying something is a "trend" is saying that it will only last a while.. only while it's considered "cool" (or "sexy")... and then when society's had enough of that trend you can go back to eating animal products. But veganism isn't about being "cool". I don't care what people say about my veganism, whether it's "totally awesome" or "a stupid thing", I will never go back to participating in animal exploitation. Why? Because it's not about me. It's about them, the nonhuman animals who are enslaved by humankind to produce products for our pleasure. It should always be about them.

I must also make something clear about a text in this article..
"The group says its latest figures show that about five per cent of American adults are vegetarians - saying they never eat meat, fish, seafood or poultry - and that half of these vegetarians are also vegan, meaning they don't eat dairy or eggs, either. (Strict vegans also don't eat honey.)"
ALL vegans don't eat honey! Honey comes from enslaved bees, whose food that they store for the winter (honey) is stolen from them so that humans can spread it on their toast. If you eat honey, you're not a vegan. You're a pure vegetarian. Just to make that clear. And if you eat honey, I'd recommend trying agave nectar instead!

I'll admit, some celebrities such as Ellen do a good job of showing the public how delicious vegan food can be, which is great. I'll also say that a purely plant-based diet is still better than an omnivorous or vegetarian (including dairy and eggs) diet, and I wouldn't ask them to go back. Just to re-think what it means to be a vegan, to remember who they're doing this for, and to please not misrepresent it! It's not a diet. It's not a fad. It's not a health thing.

It's justice.

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