First of all, no one here on Tumblr take any offense to this, because literally none the people I talk about in this rant are from Tumblr. Some Youtube and Facebook, but not here on Tumblr. ALSO this is not about ALL vegans - I name specifically the sites and groups that have given me this impression and discouraged me from veganism.
My personal experience
So I tried to phase into raw veganism slowly. Two weeks ago I was a vegetarian who had one cooked meal a day, slowly transitioning to no cooked meals and fully vegan.
It worked alright during the first few days, but I wasn’t feeling nearly as good as when I was just a vegetarian. A part of this problem was I wasn’t able to fulfill my daily calories with just fruit and veggies, because when you start out, one meal is like 20 bananas and when the hell had I ever tried to fit 20 bananas in my stomach in one sitting. So you know, I was ony a learning curve.
I decided to join a popular vegan site, 30 Bananas a Day, which makes you apply to be a member - like it’s a freaking job interview. Okay, maybe they don’t want people just being members and trolling the site, I get that. I fill out the questionnaire and it asks like, have you read 80/10/10 which is a book on raw veganism, and the options were like: a) Yes I have. b) I will read it soon. c) I don’t want to read it because I’m an ignorant person and I’m going to be a brat about it anyway. This is a website designed for like, mature adults, and their questionnaire to get in is like this?! Are you joking.
So I filled it out anyway, sent my application - one week later, still no response.
This is what I immediately felt: that veganism was some sort of exclusive club that just hates anyone who isn’t fully committed to the mission. Like you could be full on vegan, be in PETA, and rescue animals, but heaven forbid you use non vegan shampoo and you’re shunned.
Next, to try to learn to eat more fruit and fulfill my daily calories, I joined an all ladies Facebook group that logs everything they eat so they know they can have enough calories. Sounds like a good plan right?
In my description, I put that I was struggling with that aspect and also a short bio of how I was still phasing into veganism. I was enthusiastic about the group and told them so. Some members extended a welcome, which I loved because - just like 30 Bananas a Day - it’s not necessarily the random members who are rude and mean, it’s the owners of the websites, the starters of the groups, the members who have been there for years and think they are holier than thou.
So some members were nice. I started logging. Two days in - literally I only logged two entries - and the creator of the group comments on my post. In the most condescending attitude, she comments on my thing where I said “And for lunch I had a big bowl of fresh green beans!” that I posted this afternoon.
Her reply: I assume you ate raw green beans. But Sweet Bean, how are you going to get your nutrients and the full effects of delicious veganism if you don’t eat more?
What the actual fuck. Am I twelve or what are you doing addressing me like it’s my fault I can’t fit more than that in my stomach for lunch?! I ate so much today, I just can’t take that much food in one sitting like lunch but I will eat a LOT. That’s what drew me to veganism in the first place! The fact that you can eat fruit and veggies to your heart’s desire and still be healthy and lose weight.
And yet, here you are just demeaning my progress (all comments are public) and just being so snotty and arrogant. Next, she made another comment giving me a website and some eBooks I could buy including 80/10/10 so I could “learn how to do it the right way.”
As far as I was concerned, I was eating the healthiest I’d ever eaten, I was feeling full, I was exercising - it’s like what do you want from me? In Youtube videos I’d seen before, I did notice that a fully vegan person eats maybe like 2000 calories per meal, but those are also the damn vegans who run 100 mile marathons (see The Fruitarian).
That’s a very, very different exercise regimen from me, to say the least. Plus I am a 130 pound little girl. I am tiny compared to The Fruitarian. I just couldn’t.
I hated it. I hated that me eating only green beans for lunch basically was treated with the same horror as if I just posted that I had some raw cow carcass for dinner. I hated that they were telling me to count calories when, still recovering from binge-restricting tendencies, I wanted to go vegan to never have to count calories again.
I hated that they preached happiness, and peace, and love, and all this oneness with nature and with one another bullcrap and were so hostile to newcomers and outsiders. I heard this one Youtube channel say that when she went raw vegan, her friends supported her but she chose to break ties with them because “they weren’t on her level.” All her friends now are all raw vegan.
But most of all I hate that no one stands a chance. What if I was morbidly obese, and this was my last haily mary at making a change for myself? Here I am making a huge change in my life, and then two days in you criticize me for not knowing something? Or if I’m recovering from an eating disorder? You’re going to tell me how many calories I’m putting in my mouth? You’re gonna tell me I’m not eating enough? Eating too much? You’re going to tell me my health is based on a number?
Like I said, this isn’t with all vegans AT ALL. I know that there those out there who practice what they preach, who welcome everyone who tries their lifestyle with open arms and who genuinely change and make a difference in people’s lives.
With that being said, I’m sorry to disappoint my lovely followers but I’ve basically gained all the weight I lost from being vegetarian due to the short time I spend being vegan. I think I’m going to go back to just not having any meat, and still cooking my meals.
I was losing weight, I was getting healthy, and most importantly, I was getting happy.
I wasn’t even that hungry.
But I did.
On bread and ice cream and Coke and chips and pasta.
Why can’t I do anything right.
I wasn’t even hungry, and it wasn’t even that good.
I wasn’t craving for those foods, that’s just what happened to be there.
And I just ate it, for no other reason than just that I wanted to at that moment.
And for some reason, that food that I didn’t want, at that moment
looked better to me than the progress I’d made, the hard work I’d put in,
and the goal I’ve been trying to achieve.