Guest Post: Proud to be vegan, happy, and chubby  »

Before I became vegan I knew that the world hated fat people, but I didn’t know that vegans hated us as well. I find that as a chubby vegan who has no desire to be skinny I am an outcast within the vegan community. I am forced to read about how a blogger lost 40 pounds on a vegan diet—yeah, that’s nice, but I don’t really care. Just give me recipe ideas, and keep your skinny preaching to yourself.

I went vegan for the animals, and one reason I will always stay vegan is because it is better for your health. Unfortunately, we live in a culture that equates being slender with being healthy, and I don’t think that is true at all. Sure, I might have a few extra pounds, but I eat a whole-foods-based vegan diet and you are telling me I am less healthy on the inside than a skinny person who eats McDonald’s every day? I beg to differ. According to my doctor, I am in great health with near-perfect blood pressure and cholesterol levels—two major issues in American health. I might be fat on the outside, but my insides are well cared for.

However, it isn’t just about health. Even if those who worship at the altar of skinny were to agree that fat people can be healthy, we are still ugly, or at the very least less attractive than skinny people. Here you can read about how PETA is trying find the sexiest non-celebrity vegetarian. This is what they have to say about sexiness: “On average, vegans and vegetarians are fitter, trimmer, and healthier than their meat- and dairy-eating counterparts, and that makes them sexier too.” Apparently you have to a skinny vegan to be a sexy vegan. Well, I call bullshit on that. Sexiness is not tied to any number—your dress size, or the number of inches on your waist, or your age! Here is how Merriam-Webster describes sexy:

1. sexually suggestive or stimulating

2. generally attractive or interesting

Hmm, I don’t see the words “fit or trim” in there—but they do say “generally attractive or interesting.” I would rather be interesting any day.

Sexiness is a feeling from within; the confidence to parade around your house naked because it just feels good. It is wearing lacy panties to work every day because it makes you feel a little sassy. Sexiness is loving yourself just as you are and thus attracting another sexy person who loves your body as well. And finally, perhaps most importantly, sexiness is exploring and enjoying your sexuality with someone you love (or maybe someone you just met). The point is, none of these things require you to be skinny. Here is a quote from my husband (a skinny man) who married my chubby self: “I can see a woman who might weigh 400 pounds and find her sexy as hell. It is all in how you carry yourself.” If you are confident, vivacious, and happy, that is sexy.

You have until March 26 to enter PETA’s contest. I for one will be sending in a picture of my not-skinny but still sexy as hell vegan self. I hope you will join me—whether you are fat or skinny, we are all sexy. This society needs to learn that skinny does not equal healthy, happy, or sexy. I am all of those things, and haven’t been skinny a day in my life.

Ashley Hermann is a happy, chubby vegan who resides in Milwaukee, Wis., with her husband and three cats. Any free time she can find is dedicated to volunteering with cats, reading classic literature, and scouring the internet for recipe inspiration.   

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