Vegan Is Not The Opposite of Fat

vegan-and-fatNot satisfied with having had a hand in created the abomination that is The Biggest Loser, produce JD Roth has a new show:

“JD Roth’s new series The Big Fat Truth helps participants lose weight, fight diabetes, and attain a healthy lifestyle through whole foods, plant-based nutrition.”

Oh goody.

There is nothing wrong with being a vegan, for whatever one’s reasons are.  There is something wrong with acting like “vegan” is the opposite of “fat” or “diabetic” or “unhealthy.”

Why?  Because there are fat vegans.  There are vegans with diabetes. There are healthy and unhealthy vegans (no matter what definition one uses.)  I’m writing about this because a number of fat vegans, diabetic vegans, and “unhealthy” vegans”  have told me about how poorly they are often treated within the community because of the sizeism and healthism that exist in vegan community and are massively perpetuated by the marketing for this show.

Besides the fact that health and body size aren’t an obligation, barometer of worthiness, entirely within our control, or guaranteed under any circumstances, when someone suggests that being vegan will result in everyone being thin or “healthy” (and these are two separate things) they set up the people who are vegan and aren’t thin or “healthy” for the stigma and judgment that they somehow aren’t “doing it right.” And that’s bullshit.

There could be really cool shows about being vegan for those who are interested – with the understanding that this isn’t an option that is accessible to everyone, and that focusing on making sure that each person has access to the foods that they want to eat is the most important thing. But I do not trust someone who produced a show whose goal is to physically and mentally abuse fat people for profit to create a cool show about being vegan.  Especially since they’ve announced that one of the shows features former Biggest Loser contestants (as if the reason that they all gain their weight back is because they eat meat, and not because every bit of research tells us that regaining their weight is exactly what would happen.)

Anyone who conflates a way of eating with a body size, or a health status doesn’t know what they are talking about, and whatever they say (or put on the air) should be treated as highly suspect.

Edit:  For clarity:

The press that I read said “Vegan meal delivery service Kitchen Therapy will provide participants with vegan meals for the first 10 days of their journey, and their individual progress throughout the time period will be monitored by vegan medical professionals” So I believed it to be about a vegan diet. Others have pointed out that it may be about a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet, as Jennifer pointed out in the comments below:

But…whole foods, plant based is NOT vegan.

Vegans can eat anything that doesn’t contain an animal product. That includes Oreos and cans of chocolate frosting. Whole foods, plant based (wfpb) means you only eat WHOLE foods. Nothing processed, not even oils. It’s VERY different.

Comment note:  This is not the place to discuss the morality of veganism, or any other way of eating. It’s definitely an ok conversation to have, it’s just not a conversation to have in this space.  Any comments that moralize any way of eating over another will be deleted.

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Published in: on January 3, 2017 at 12:40 pm  Comments (15)  

15 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I hate this bullshit as well!

  2. I feel for the vegetarians/vegans who have to put up with this nonsense.

  3. Some cool supportive merch for fat vegans here: (I’m not affiliated. I’ve just bought some of their stuff before) – http://www.compassionco.com/product/fat-happy-and-vegan

    • Thank you so much for this link! I’m so sick and tired of looking at vegan-promoting t’s only to find they stop at what they call XL, around a size 14.

  4. I will never support this franchise. I don’t for a second believe this will be a healthy environment for these participants. And yes, absolutely, veganism does not mean you are thin or healthy or anything other than a non-animal eater. But…whole foods, plant based is NOT vegan.

    Vegans can eat anything that doesn’t contain an animal product. That includes Oreos and cans of chocolate frosting. Whole foods, plant based (wfpb) means you only eat WHOLE foods. Nothing processed, not even oils. It’s VERY different.

    No judgments or morality. Just a point. And the show still sucks. 🙂

    • Sorry for any confusion – their press says “Vegan meal delivery service Kitchen Therapy will provide participants with vegan meals for the first 10 days of their journey, and their individual progress throughout the time period will be monitored by vegan medical professionals” so I believed it was about a vegan diet. I’ve edited the blog to clarify.

  5. I quit gluten (and many things cleared up for me, thankfully) but I did not lose weight. The gluten-free people tend to think the same thing too – – if you don’t lose weight, you’re not doing it right. I’d like to decry the moralizing of food – – but I admit that I have a lot of personal attitudes about junk-foods (or non-foods) and about factory farming practices. I wish more people would (or could afford to) quit supporting bad practices in the growing and manufacturing of edibles – – but it’s really more of a disdain for the people who make the junk than for the people who chose to (or have to) eat it. I tend to moralize about plastic packaging too. Sorry, everybody.

    • I quit gluten several years ago after finding out I have celiac disease. I became both fatter and healthier after I stopped eating it and my intestines started healing. And people still act all shocked that I didn’t *get skinny* since I don’t eat gluten. It’s really not all that shocking that my body would gain weight once it could actually absorb nutrients again. I used to be fat and malnourished, now I’m fat and healthily nourished.

  6. I really enjoyed this post. I abhor the environment of weight loss shows such as The Biggest Loser!

  7. Because making a show about the benefits of veganism and/or whole foods without painting targets on the backs of an entire population just doesn’t bring in the ratings, I guess.

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one: What’s the difference between JD Roth and Eli Roth? One of them specializes in appealing to the lowest common denominator with sensationalized images of gratuitous torture and romanticized abuse against dehumanized caricatures. The other is Eli Roth.

  8. Whatever would make anyone think eating vegan or whole food plant based would automatically induce weight loss if “done right”? I regularly eat vegan because I don’t digest meat/dairy well, so it makes me feel good to avoid it for a month here and there (can’t do it full time: I LOVE cheese) but I don’t change weight. I replace the foods I’m not eating with *gasp!* other food, because I need energy to get me through my day. Is it that some people don’t know what they would like to eat if they couldn’t eat meat/dairy, and so assume they’d eat nothing? Also, if the meals in the show are pre-prepped and delivered, how is anyone learning anything about the foods: where to buy them, how they grow, how to prep and cook them?

  9. Pahahaha. That’s the old stand by. There really isn’t a diet or food program or “lifestyle change” that has been touted in the last eight decades where the ultimate, main, side, or even unspoken goal wasn’t weight loss. Why don’t they just drop health and fitness tagline and say un fat. Eat this, not that, do this, buy this, think this way, join this, do this, that, and some other thing and we promise to make you un fat. For reals.

  10. When I was dieting and trying to maintain a weight loss, I went vegan for about a year and a half. I did it for the purpose of “eating healthy”.
    I became orthorexic. At one point I stopped eating soy because I thought it causing hormonal imbalance. then I ate so many beans that I never want to see a bean again… I kept re-gaining the weight I had lost prior to going vegan even though I mostly ate beans and veggies. Then I went to see a doctor and did some tests. My insulin was high. The Dr recommended I go back to eating animal protein and follow a reduced carb diet. I’m not arguing one way over another, but I can attest to the fact that veganism definitely is not a weight loss diet.
    1

  11. A while back, I saw a Youtube video where a vegan dude spent the whole time ranting at the fat vegans, because “You’re giving vegans a bad name! Just lose the weight, already, or stop telling people you’re vegans! And take your vitamin B!”

    That was it in a nutshell, but with more swearing, ALL CAPS and exclamation marks.

    My favorite, “You’re giving us a bad name.” By existing in a fat body, while doing what you do, in a thin body? Riiiiight. Ranty dude, on the other hand, is not, apparently, giving vegans a bad name by being a ranty jerk.

  12. I started this project precisely because of this: bigfatveganzine.tumblr.com


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