KD and Charleen are having a cup of coffee one early Tuesday morning.

KD looks over at Charleen and says, “So, that voracious vegan post, A Vegan No More…”

Charleen:  “Oh, that vegan defector?  Defector- is she implying that veganism is as horrible as life in North Korea?  The movement she was once such a zealous member of was really just the same as living in a communist dictatorship?  She’s a fraud.  She’s a once-self-described vegangelist.  What cause will she attach herself to next?  Apparently the meat-eating cause.  Oh, oh- wait- locavore.”

“I’m a vegan but I honestly have no idea what I would do if I started getting sick like Tasha did. However, I do know that because I’m a vegan for ethical reasons and am trying to live a compassionate life, if I were to choose to start eating meat again I absolutely would not post something like Tasha did.

I think if a vegan felt he or she had to go back to eating meat for health reasons, it would be possible to hold divergent views on this. I feel if it were me experiencing this, I may relay my story to others but I would certainly encourage those who are also vegans for ethical reasons to carry on in their journey if they are able. Eating meat to maintain your health does not mean you can’t continue exhibiting compassion in other areas of your life.

I do feel sad about Tasha’s post, not because of her decision to eat meat, but of her choice to espouse such negativity by really trying to negate many of the positives of veganism. Just as Tasha’s decision to start eating meat was a personal one that she had to decide for herself, she should leave that decision for others to make for themselves as well.” ~ Brian D., Commenter, A Vegan No More

KD: “She said that there are vegans who confessed to her via “private emails” that they weren’t really vegan but still had an online vegan presence.”

Charleen:  “There’s a conspiracy in the vegan blogosphere?”

“Who are all these supposed vegans who are secretly binging on steak in their closets at 3am when no one is watching? Names, people, I want names. Back up your accusations with names and let’s get to the truth.” ~ Steve, Commenter, A Vegan No More

KD: “As if vegans don’t have enough fact checking to do, now we have to find out if our vegans are really vegan.

Charleen:  “And how much sway do these vegan frauds have in the vegan community?  Like, why does some blogger who gave up on veganism after 3 years all of a sudden become the poster child for the anti-vegan movement?  People give up on veganism.  It happens.  We all hear it, ‘…I used to be a vegan, then I got sick…,’ as if meat-eaters don’t get sick.  What the fuck.”

“If you actually consider that over 25% of omnivores actually fail with their diets (look at obesity, levels of heart disease etc amongst the omnivorous population), then the fact some people cannot get a vegan diet right should not surprise you. Everyone, whatever their dietary choice, should take the time to learn about the best way to approach their food. Often people say they go to nutritionists, I’m sorry but many nutritionists don’t understand the first thing about implementing a vegan diet. You need to find someone who understands the diet.

If you were an athlete you wouldn’t go to an endurance trainer to learn to sprint. In just the same way you shouldn’t go to a ‘meat & potatoes’ nutritionist to learn about going vegan.” ~ Pete, Commenter, Are Some People Not Fit to be Vegan?

KD: “I know.  For some reason it seems to please meat eaters when vegans get sick, it seems to strengthen their case against veganism- when the fact is, anyone can get sick.”

“There are many, many people in the world that tried to be vegan but couldn’t make it. Just like me, they wanted it with all their hearts but their body just wouldn’t cooperate. When vegans deny that this issue even exists and that it is simply impossible for people to have different dietary needs, that is not helping fix the problem.

If more vegans would realize that this is a legitimate issue for many well meaning people, perhaps more energy would be expended trying to solve it and create ways for these kinds of people to remain healthy as vegans. That’s just my opinion, but it does seem like that’s a lot more productive than just telling me I’m a fictional construct created by the meat industry.” ~ post author Tasha, Vegan Defector talks back

Charleen: “This begs the question then, why didn’t she go to the vegan community for help- to remain a healthy vegan?  Why wouldn’t an ethical vegan consult experts in the field of vegan nutrition, instead of non-vegan doctors?  Isn’t that a bit one-sided?”

“I read this yesterday and will probably be doing it again to get a better grasp on everything. To be honest, it makes me sad because you were such an inspiration to me and your new daily tweets on how much you love bacon just make me sad. I support your doing what you need to to help your body though I do question some of what you say. For example, going back to bacon, how much locally raised bacon are you finding in a Muslim country? And more grain is grown, thus destroying agriculture, to feed cows than humans, which puts a damper on that claim. I admire your honesty but I’m taking it with a grain of salt. Before, you were a die-hard, everybody-should-do-as-I-do vegan and the problem is that that has not changed, just switch out “vegan” with “omni.” You may want to explore a middle-road and avoid looking a little ridiculous.” ~ Jennifer, Commenter, A Vegan No More

KD:  “She lives in the Middle East, I don’t think that there’s a huge market for vegan nutritionists there- but then again, isn’t that another point?  Geographic location?”

“Please send us a list of VEGAN nutritionists in the Middle East.” ~ Ginger, self-proclaimed friend of Tasha, A Vegan No More

Charleen: “Do you mean to tell me that everyone must have access at all times to a vegan nutritionist or else they will die?”

KD:  “No.  Why would you give up your ethical beliefs because doctors where you live deemed it necessary- even before you check with other doctors in other areas of the world?  I’m not suggesting a trip overseas, but contacting other vegan experts in the field- talking about it, writing about it- looking for help.  My own veganism (and the animals I’m sparing) is worth that.  I mean, she talks about being honest about health concerns now, as an omnivore- not then, when it mattered.  She stayed silent instead.”

Charleen:  “She took the way out that most people do when just merely following a diet, and not a moral philosophy- she changed her diet.  She followed a diet for three years and she gave it up, this doesn’t make her an expert on vegan nutrition.  And what’s worse, the cause of veganism is suffering because of her supposed status in the vegan community.”

“Natasha received a flood of support but also a ton of “you must be doing veganism wrong” feedback and suggestions to eat more tofu/nuts/spirulina/whatever. She even received threats, which, if nothing else, belie the stereotype of vegans as sickly, peace-loving hippies. (On a side note, vegan bloggers seem to hit a level of hypocrisy matched only by right-wing evangelical preachers. Natasha recounts exchanges with several other well-known “vegan” bloggers who admitted they “weren’t really vegan ‘behind the scenes’. They ate eggs, or the occasional fish, or piece of meat, all to keep themselves healthy, but were too scared to admit to it on their blogs.”)

I like her post because it highlights much of what repels me about veganism. The self-righteousness. The impracticality. The unsustainability. The denial of corporeal desire. The way veganism is automatically conflated with health. The way its counterpart, meat-eating, is automatically conflated with a diet heavy in sugar, carbs and processed foods (because, let’s face it, that’s what it usually means in America). The way veganism has become a knee-jerk lifestyle choice for a certain set of privileged hipsters.” ~ Elina Shatkin, LA Weekly, Formerly Vegan Blogger Threatened by Angry Vegans

I hate militant vegans

“Tasha got her health back. On a cooked omnivore diet. Which goes to show, it is better to have cooked meat than no meat at all.” ~ FWAdmin, Rural Bankers Association of the Rural Philippines (!!), Hardcore Vegan Admits Veganism Wrecked Her Health Adds Meat to Her Diet

Die hard vegan

KD:  “Her story speaks to the masses, that’s why it’s become the beaming example for anti-vegan rhetoric.  Let’s be honest here, health just doesn’t come from eating a steak.  Regardless if you eat meat or not, you will only be as healthy as you make yourself- in other words, any eating plan can lead to a decline in health if done improperly.  I’m not saying she did it improperly- just that it’s easier to be unhealthy than it is to be healthy.”

“I’m glad you’re better. I did notice that your posts had lagged off, occasionally were more negative than before, and that your energy/motivation seemed to be flagging. I just fear that you’re fitting your ethics to your new choices, rather than the other way around.” ~ Jennifer, Commenter, A Vegan No More

Charleen:  “Every individual will have varying dietary needs, no matter how slight or drastic.  The fact is, veganism as a diet works.  There’s going to be a high rate of failure for something that is still new, like veganism is, and support for the lifestyle is growing, but is still inadequate compared to mainstream dietary science.”

“…a lot of vegans think they are eating healthfully when they really aren’t. And I believe that a lot of vegans get sick and return to eating meat when all they needed was more sound information about vegan diets and less misinformation from the pseudo-scientific anti-vegan world (as well as the pseudo-scientific pro-vegan world.” ~ Ginny Messina, Do Ex-Vegans Make the Case Against Vegan Diets?

KD:  “I never took a How to Eat Healthy on a Vegan Diet class, just because you decide you want to become vegan doesn’t mean that you are going to know how to eat healthy as a vegan.  One isn’t exclusive to the other.  Similarly, just because you have a baby doesn’t mean you know how to be a good parent.  It takes practice, education, patience, and desire- and it’s not always easy but that doesn’t mean you give up the baby.

Charleen:  “Word.”

“And then there is the kind of instantaneous healing that occurs with the first bites of animal food…Tasha says “I had only eaten a small piece of cow flesh, and yet I felt totally full, but light and refreshed all at once.” Eating meat also instantly improved her heart rate!

“I don’t doubt for one second that Tasha experienced these feelings when she ate meat; I just know that it had nothing to do with what she had eaten and everything to do with her expectations about what the food would do for her. As I said in my review of The Vegetarian Myth, you have to actually digest and absorb the nutrients in food before you’ll feel any of its effects. And if you are consuming nutrients to reverse a deficiency, it will take weeks to feel the benefits.” ~ Ginny Messina, the Vegan RD – Do Ex-Vegans Make the Case Against Vegan Diets?

KD:  “I read her husband eats animals now too and from what I can deduce, he wasn’t sick.”

Charleen:  “And there are other frauds amongst us.”

“But the main reason I can’t give you a lot of applause for making the switch back to a normal diet is that you continue to support the sham of veganism. You say you know some of the “big” names in veganism secretly eat meat. One is even selling cookbooks to the public. I think that’s fraud and by not naming those names, you are involved in that fraud.” ~Daisy, Commenter, A Vegan No More

KD:  “It goes back to Vegan Unification and Unapologetic Veganism, doesn’t it?  These stories are going to keep happening.  Solid vegan information needs to be put out there and we have to have a consistent message- and appropriate (factual) rebuttals.”

If veganism had its own story straight a majority of these stories wouldn’t even exist or at least be explainable. Many of them do happen to be textbook cases of anecdotal or pseudoscience fails but they shouldn’t be dismissed so lightly. Veganism has about the same credibility as these stories so the playing field is quite level.

Can veganism even have relevancy towards animal justice? If so, you think they would have figured it out by now. So far it tends to jealously claim the moral high ground with vegans clamoring for the very tippy top to secure their own righteousness. Anybody else who doesn’t commit such devotion is excluded from the club. Meanwhile the ideas of justice for nonhumans are left to wither. Veganism is a dusty and dry doctrine suffering from it’s own toxic dogma. It’s time to let it go and get real again, for the animals.” ~ Dave D., The Vegan Bubble

Charleen: “Mmhmm.”

“Not all vegans are like this. Not all vegans are self-aggrandizing hipsters or judgmental a-holes. Veganism, just like any other -ism or belief, has its loud-mouth proselytizers and near-militant fundamentalists. So it’s good to remember not every vegan is like that. Some people just don’t want to eat animals or animal products for their own personal, health or ethical reasons. ~ LT, Commenter, Formerly Vegan Blogger Threatened by Angry Vegans

KD:  “So, I’ve been asked how YDV feels about the issue.”

“So while I do not think the poster is a horrible, awful human being for choosing to be a part of more suffering (and that is truth, not hyperbole), I cannot in good faith, stand idly by and accept that we should just “eat what makes us happy”, suffering and unnecessary killing be damned.

Because there are 10 billion nonhumans in this country who face the kill room, who flinch and scream and cry, who DIE for this so-called “happy and healthy” lifestyle, and they deserve a voice. They deserve to have people stand up and say that it’s not okay to eat whomever makes you feel ‘happy and healthy’ just because you can. There is no pride or joy in choosing to NOT be a part of egregious suffering and then, for whatever reasons, choosing (or feeling forced) to be a part of that cycle again.

Eat what makes you feel happy and healthy. Remember this, though – when given the choice between causing more harm and less harm, it is our moral imperative to choose the latter. ~ Marji, Eat What Makes You Feel Happy and Healthy

Charleen:  “Listen, she failed at the vegan diet after merely three years. The diet didn’t fail her.  Big fucking deal, let’s get over it.  She also failed the animals.  That’s the real issue. “

KD:  “Hmm…..well I think I’m just going to write that I ain’t no fraud.  100% vegan, trust that.”
[line]

There have been multiple people who have questioned whether the comments on the original post, A Vegan No More, were censored since there are so few opposing views from vegans on, what used to be, a vegan blog.  Further, there are speculations that trackbacks and pingbacks to vegan blogs with opposing views have also been censored.  I don’t know if this is true, I’m not going to speculate.  I am going to provide you a list of stuff I found, you know, just because.