I just finished reading an article on how Bob Harper, celebrity trainer from The Biggest Loser, gave up being Vegan for a more Paleo based diet. It’s interesting to see how people change their approach as they find what once worked no longer does and how they often feel guilty or apprehensive, particularly if they have associated themselves with an idealistic paradigm of some sort. I have seen quite a few of these “so and so is no longer vegan” articles recently and find the stories to be similar to this…
(Here’s the full article for those interested)
What a fascinating dynamic. People can be preaching one lifestyle one moment and then decide it doesn’t work for them anymore and have to secretly change or do so with guilt and fear their credibility or livelihood is on the line. Goes to show you how careful we need to be with what we believe or take as truth, particularly when from the mouth of a celebrity. Now it doesn’t mean veganism is bad or he was wrong for preaching it, it means we all have to critically think about what we come across because his experience is very common. I don’t find anything wrong with it actually, as long as you’re willing to change. He found benefits from vacationing to Vegan-land but that it wasn’t his long term solution. Nothing wrong with that and hopefully he’s better off for this experience. Who knows, he may even find he wants to go back to veganism again some point down the road and if that’s what works for him, great. He shouldn’t have to feel shameful or guilty for trying to keep on top of what works for him, even if it changes. I applaud anyone who is willing to do this, particularly if they have been committed to one extreme or another.
The Polar Bears Descend
Even more interesting to me than the actual diet revelation discussion is the comments that follow an article like this. After a reasonable first comment, this was what followed…
And so on and on it went, comment after comment going back and forth basically like this… “Veganism left me feeling bad”, “I’ve been vegan for 25 years and never felt better”, “what would vegans do in the winter in Canada?” “Here’s a link to plant based program backed up by science” and on and on until I just gave up wasting my time and brain cells.
I’ve seen this type of exchange deluge a comment section so many times it makes me nauseous. Today’s experience reminded me why I stopped reading comment threads a while back because of this type of circus. Of course there’s a few level headed people in these discussions but they’re always drowned out and/or outlasted by the growling polar bears (people who argue the polar opposites so strongly) fighting for their territory. It just leaves me feeling sad for how much negative energy and frustration these people soak in while they comment, read, argue, wait to see a reply, rinse, lather and repeat. I think how many days and/or nights are ruined for these people as they stew in this online conflict with another polar bear that they don’t even know and will probably never see in their life.
The thing that makes these hypothetical dietary polar bears different from the real ones is that no one ever wins. These polar bears growl, flash teeth, stomp around and slash at one another with all of their might and at the end of the day they’re tired, mad, bitter and the only thing that got accomplished was rearranging some snow.
Why can’t we all just say, ‘hey, vegan works for me” and leave it at that. Why must people strive so hard to be right and prove other people are wrong or misguided?
“Oh, if those saturated fat loving animal eaters only knew what they were doing to themselves- if I can only argue well enough they might see the light!”
“How can they think veganism is the answer? It is so obviously not, must be the lack of nutrients in their brain…”
No one has to be right here and we certainly shouldn’t be arguing for extremes. There’s so much we don’t know that we should know enough to say “hey, you do what you want to do and I’ll do what I want to do so let’s both do our own things and have a good day.”
Because as the eerily similar old saying goes, “when elephants fight it’s the grass that loses.”
Thanks for reading, have a great day!