To begin with, we vegans are no strangers to disappointment. And this is not about the fact that manufacturers stealthily tear off the labels from packs of cookies or indicate whey at the very end of the product composition. It’s about the frustration we feel when another “vegan” is out of the game.
Sometimes we find out that ecologists and vegan writers are seen buying meat – and they were our idols! Anyone who has been on a plant-based diet for a long time can attest that it is simply painful to see someone abandon veganism, and especially when it happens in public.
Not so long ago, vegans around the world experienced this disappointment again because of Jovana “Rawvana” Mendoza, who promoted raw food products on her YouTube channel. Jovana made a video confession after she got into the frame of another vlogger along with a plate of fish. Of course, soon the story was overgrown with new details, the media began to offer their views on what had happened, but everything revolved around the same topic: the deceitful “vegan” was exposed!
Many disapproved of the vegan backlash, stating that vegans should only bring peace and love to the world. Well, from the outside, the reaction of vegans may seem ridiculous and overly dramatic, but when those who were vegans leave our ranks, it is a really painful experience for us, because we cannot forget the real victims of the animal business.
For many of us, the reaction comes from a sense of loss that feels like real grief: more animals will now be killed and eaten – not only by the former vegan, but by the vast number of people he or she influences. It’s no surprise that someone who cares deeply about animals would take such news painfully and feel betrayed, especially when a former vegan has a large influencer platform created by that person to encourage veganism. And the fact that we perceive such news as something personal is completely natural, because it is so. Many so-called influencers have become “Instagram stars” thanks to the online community that shares their content – of course, its members may feel used and offended.
Mendoza’s video followed several other high-profile coming outs. American actor, producer and hip-hop artist Steve-O admitted that he is no longer a vegetarian and now eats fish, and English freerunner Tim Schiff admitted that he began to eat raw eggs and salmon.
It’s important to note that both Mendoza and Schiff described all sorts of dietary practices in their blogs that have nothing to do with veganism, such as eating mostly raw food, prolonged fasting on water, and, in Schiff’s case, drinking his own urine… Both of these former vegans began to complain about the malaise and blamed veganism for this, which justified the fact that they began to consume animal products again, but perhaps the reason for this is the restrictions and even dangerous eating habits that have nothing to do with veganism? It is very important to note that the vegan diet does not call for limiting yourself to anything other than animal-based ingredients.
We do not claim that a diet that excludes animal products is a diet suitable for absolutely everyone and a panacea for all diseases. Of course, different people may have nutritional health problems, in which case they should consult a competent dietitian who is knowledgeable about plant-based diets. But if someone is trying to convince you that there is a sure way to get a beautiful body and eternal youth in just a month, during which you need to eat only organic strawberries soaked in alkaline water and drink it down with the liquid that was previously stored in your bladder – you can feel free to close the tab and look for a new inspiration.
Rest assured that all kinds of incredible diets are just a way to attract an audience and earn some fame, and this has nothing to do with the vegan lifestyle.