Last 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?