Friday, 30 December 2011

Veganism in Glamour

Why is everyone going vegan?

I wish 'everyone' was! Even if, as the article seems to think, the primary motivation is a health one. The overall effect would still be to reduce the demand for animal products. Sadly, I don't think that's the case.

Now, I like that veganism is getting mainstream coverage, Glamour is probably seen by more people than my entire blogroll put together (sorry folks). Unfortunately, the article doesn't really do much to promote veganism.

Firstly, my views on celebrity veganism are no secret - there's always the risk that they're doing it for attention and will backslide pretty sharpish. Or that they'll stick around long enough to be taken seriously then decide that non-vegan cake is the only sensible source of B12 once they get pregnant, NATALIE. So while I can see that such an opener is likely to appeal to Glamour readers, it isn't the best basis on which to promote veganism.

Secondly, yet again veganism is equated with weight loss. I honestly believe this (like the Skinny Bitch craze) does more harm than good - there's a fine line between weight loss diets and eating disorders, and many people already think vegans automatically cross that line. I've no objection to people cutting down on animal products for health reasons, see above, but the weight loss angle is as dodgy as the celebrity angle in terms of encouraging people to go fully vegan and stay that way. It needs to not be a miracle diet that gets dumped if you haven't lost a stone after a week!

Thirdly, the health section at the end contains a level of scaremongering that looks likely to put people off going vegan. I'm all for appropriate nutrition, and for most people (vegan or not) this probably will involve supplements at some point in your life, purely because of lack of time to create a perfect diet. I'm not convinced that all vegans need B12 tablets, but at this point in time I feel healthier when I take them, and I have too much to think about without worrying about finding more natural vegan sources. I call it my insurance. But the 'you won't get enough protein oh and soy kills oh and B12 oh and you'll die without a multivitamin so you might as well just forget this vegan nonsense and cut down on eating animals and by the way let's apply that to other moral issues so you might like to only shoplift once a week rather than three times' approach is chronically unhelpful and likely to put people off veganism altogether rather than encouraging them to find out more.

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