White People Wednesday: A Vegan Expat Shares Her Feelings

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The confession letter I would have preferred from vegan expat author Alexandra Jamieson:

•I’m no longer vegan.
•I believe in the good of veganism but I’ve decided to oblige my cravings for meat.
•The values I have preached can not be reconciled with the violence required to take the life of an animal on my behalf.
•I accept the contradiction.
•I will be donating the royalties from Vegan…for Dummies to Farm Sanctuary in perpetuity.

Instead, her letter hit me with—this is the only description I have—a tsunami of whiteness. A boatload of faux-spiritual, pop psychobabble about her “truth” and happiness, along with an “it’s-not-me, it’s-my-body” argument to displace any agency in the matter. It’s Manifest Destiny, it’s eugenics, it’s fundamentalist religion—everyone’s got God on their side. Except those being preyed upon.

I accept that some people depart. I don’t accept the justification. Even if you want to, you can’t die on a  diet of nutrient-dense natural foods. It can’t be the protein or the texture of meat that Jamieson missed—because by all measures those can be replicated to a level of placebo—I suspect it was the idea, the culture, and the “forbidden” that was nagging at her. If, in the wake of her cravings, she had written a public letter in which she confessed her cravings for meat, asked for ideas, or promoted ways to deal, she would have been overwhelmed by the support and compassion she implies her now-critics lack. That level of candidness would have been a better qualifier of the “honesty” Jamieson is being lauded for now. But she didn’t decide to keep it real during her cravings for a reason—she really didn’t want any advice or encouragement to stay vegan. She wanted to do what she wanted without interference. Same story from dominant classes throughout history—and no amount of soft-spoken, aha-moment, self-congratulatory rhetoric hides it.

When Jamieson advertises “Lose the Cravings” on her site, I guess she means give in to them (I’m sure she would still draw the arbitrary line at Twinkies, however). Great coaching for addicts.

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9 Responses to “White People Wednesday: A Vegan Expat Shares Her Feelings”

  1. Lisa is Raw on $10 a Day (or Less!) Says:

    Well said, Ruby. I’m newly shocked and amazed every time someone becomes “ex-vegan.” I do think, perhaps, veganism was a health commitment rather than an ethical one for Jamieson. I personally can’t imagine ever going back.

  2. Moky Says:

    For me, being vegan is both about ethics and health: it’s like a marriage based on a physical and mental connection, when one is lacking, for whatever reason, the other is right there, to help you continue your commitment, and remember the reasons why you made this choice.
    I never even heard about Alex Jamieson (and I’ve been vegan for over 7 years!), only from the comments of other “famous to me” vegans, so her “betrayal”, or caving in to her “cravings” have no effect whatsoever on me.
    I’d like to fast forward in time and check her health in 30 years…
    Indeed, it’s a true tale of addiction!
    How sad.

  3. cleaninggirl Says:

    Well said Ruby I have to agree with all of what you said. Most people who become ex-vegans irk me, not from the point of view of them deciding it’s not for them (because some people try diving into veganism and struggle usually because they don’t have a support system and have pressure from family/friends to ‘give into temptation’ I suffered with that in my early stage of veganism but stayed strong and now have support from my family & friends) but someone who has been vegan for years to suddenly give-up is mind boggling because I know I could never go back

  4. lame Says:

    Lol. She just wanted to write a book and get paid. Sad.
    I suggest any of you morons who actually bought this book to either poop in it and send it back, or demand a refund. 🙂

  5. Jessica Says:

    Well said Ruby! The in the spotlight vegans who then change there minds, like Jennifer Goodwin, as an example, and scramble with mumbo jumbo excuses really disappoint and sicken me. When your famous, you have a chance to do so much good. Shame on Alex!

  6. Jason Says:

    I generally agree with what you said, but what does “whiteness” have to do with any of this. Is it a white phenomenon to do things without proper justification?

  7. Conscious Vegan Says:

    What is stopping Ms. Jamieson from becoming a cannibal? I hear cooked human flesh is more delicious than pork. What justification does she provide for not practicing cannibalism?

  8. Moky Says:

    Funny, Conscious Vegan: I was going to link a post I just read exactly on that idea…
    http://paleovegan.blogspot.com/2013/03/cannibal-for-month.html

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