Beyonce And The Vegan Police

Beyonce VeganLast week Beyonce announced on Good Morning America that she is vegan. The segment included a video of her describing why she is eating a plant-based diet. She talked about how she has struggled with weight and finding a diet that actually works for her. She said eating vegan has helped her keep the weight off.  In case you missed it you can watch the video here. I was surprised by the comments and other responses.

First were the folks who were angry because they were hoping and expecting an announcement about a new song or album. Some felt that this was just an infomercial for the company she and her trainer and business partner have started, 22 Days Nutrition. I mean how many segments on Good Morning America aren’t really infomercials? I’m just saying!

Second were the vegan folks who went off on Beyonce for claiming she is vegan. Instead of embracing this very visible person promoting the vegan lifestyle and possibly helping other folks consider making the choice, the Beyonce haters were in full force.

Apparently according to some of these commenters, Beyonce can’t claim to be vegan, only plant-based because she is making the choice based on the powerful impact it has on her skin, weight and how she feels.

She didn’t mention any concern for animals, and in fact has been seen wearing fur, which disturbs those vegans who feel that the animal rights issues are the most important aspect of choosing to eliminate animal products from your diet and your life. So for them, if you are wearing leather, or fur, or purchase furniture or other products that are derived from animals you aren’t really vegan.

Now I agree that concerns for animals is a good thing. It pains me to think about the horrendous treatment animals must endure for our pleasure and taste preferences.

However I am also aware that people come to veganism or a plant-based diet from all different places and for all different reasons. For each of us it is a journey. We grow and develop as vegans as we live with it. Even if the animals aren’t your main concern for changing your diet, they benefit from your giving up eating animal products anyway.

I firmly believe that our consciousness changes as we change what we are feeding ourselves. As our body rids itself of the energy and substance of animal products we are able to open our minds and hearts to change and growth on many fronts. As one of our patients once said, “As my body began to detox, so did my mind!”

So I say, don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t really vegan unless you do xyz. If you are not consuming animal products you are vegan. If you are not quite there yet, just keep moving forward. One step at a time. Celebrate what you have accomplished so far and keep your eyes on the prize.

I would love to hear from you. How would you respond to the sentiment that only people who have concern for the animals and have given up all animal products from every aspect of their lives can claim to be vegan? Do you prefer to say plant-based? How do you feel about Beyonce’s announcement?

photo credit: via photopin (license)

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Ama Opare
Lifestyle Coach, CEO at Opare Institute
Supporting you by bringing you flavorful and satisfying vegan and raw vegan recipes, inspiration and online training and one-on-one coaching to help LOVE YOUR VEGAN LIFE! I am an educator and revolutionary who has teamed up with my physician/dietitian husband, Nana Kwaku Opare, MD, MPH, CA, to address the growing health problems in the Afrikan/Black community by building a Nation of Black Vegetarians and Vegans.

13 comments on “Beyonce And The Vegan Police

  1. Who cares about her “announcement”. People are so consumed with other people’s lives and actually missed work (your livelihood) to watch this so called announcement. Big deal. I guess this was her “coming out”. She’s overrated in my opinion. There’s so much of insignificant Beyonsh** it makes me want to vomit my kale. There are bigger issues going on in the world. Now if she were talking about GMO’s and the effects of it, renouncing Monsanto (the devil incarnate), then I’d say let’s listen to it. More media bs.

  2. I am happy for Beyonce and her family. Those “Veganer than Thou” folks and their Dogmas are not an asset to the world as they promote hate and hell with their anal retentive attitudes. Beyonce’s demonstration of Veganism will probably do more to encourage healthy living habits than all of us physicians and Supervegans combined. Thankfully, we can make those haters be our motivators. What does wearing leather and fur have to do with how a person chooses to eat, anyway? Can we give audiences to Celebration instead of Damnation?

  3. When I first began transitioning it was strictly for my son’s health and I didn’t think pass that issue but as grew on my journey other areas of our lives changed as well. Transform the body you will transform the mind. Her reasons at this point may seem superficial, but weren’t we all at some point in our journey? But look at how you have changed and the time it took. The ones with the backlash maybe haven’t grown to that point of understanding but I applaud her rising light to being vegan because so many (often times people of color) don’t even know what this lifestyle is. She has a strong following and this will only help lead to the awakening of more people.

  4. I’ve watched the article a number of times, and tried to find out where Beyonce has said that she is vegan, and I haven’t been able to find anything.
    What I have seen and heard is the media and everyone else saying that she is vegan.

    This is where the problem lies. When ‘experts’ and the media define veganism as a diet, it is understandable that people will start getting a little upset.

    Doesn’t this mean that it is up to us to educate the media on the difference between a plant based diet and being vegan?

    • Cameron, I don’t know if it is up to us to educate the media. That ultimately is the question I am asking. IS vegan only reserved for those who also don’t use any animal products in all aspects of their lives? According to the dictionary it is not. The Merriam-Webster dictionary site says “a person who does not eat any food that comes from animals and who often also does not use animal products (such as leather)” Note they say “OFTEN” does not use animal products such as leather.

      On the other hand The Vegan Society website says “From ‘junk food vegans’ to raw food vegans, and everything in between, there’s a version of veganism to suit everyone. Yet one thing we all have in common is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat, dairy, eggs and honey – as well as products like leather and any tested on animals.”

  5. Greetings Ama. When I initially heard about Beyonce’s announcement, I was a bit confused because she had already previously mentioned her decision to become a vegan. Maybe she wanted to bring more attention to the benefits for everyone to consider as she also announced a means for them to transition using the 22 day program without having to worry about how to prepare their meals. Who knows? With so many of our youth following Beyonce’s every move, it can only be a positive decision, especially for young girls, teens, and women. If we truly believe that the woman is the heartbeat of the family, then educating us on proper food choices from the very young to our elders can only be a great decision to benefit the world!

  6. Hi Ama, thanks for this important article regarding Beyonce announcing her shift to a plant based diet. Huge! As you point out, there are many paths leading to a plant based nutrition society. Let’s celebrate Beyonce’s shift and share this tremendous leap for our collective health and survival far and wide. Keep up the great work.
    Kimbizi

  7. When we decide to make choices that impact our health in a positive way, should we be slammed that our “reasons” for those choices aren’t the same as yours? When I volunteer at my local urban organic farm, Truly Living Well, of course I do it to help the farm. But there is a great deal of self-satisfaction, exercise, meditation, etc. that is my motivator. Does that mean I need to a “gardener” or “farmer”? There are many benefactors regardless of motivation. Kudos to Beyonce for finding what works for her and keeps her healthy. If we take care of ourselves first, we are healthier and better equipped to take care of the world. Self-health is a step toward community health….which is another step toward global health. Great article Ama Opare!

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