Posts Tagged ‘Vegan for Dummies’

White People Wednesday: A Vegan Expat Shares Her Feelings

March 6, 2013
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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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