Jennifer Lopez adopts vegan diet and we think that’s great  »

Say what you want about her music but Get Right is the jam. I couldn’t make it through this video but trust I have the 12 inch. 

Yesterday, my FB feed was aflutter with the news that J. Lo has taken on a vegan diet. I know some people don’t like when I say “vegan diet” but I’m just like, that’s what it is. And you know exactly what I mean when I say it. But maybe I don’t get “plant-based diet” because “plant-based” sounds like you eat mostly plants whereas “vegan diet” sounds like you never eat that non-vegan junk. 

Back to the matter at hand, Jennifer Lopez did a recent radio interview in NYC where she dropped the v-bomb. I didn’t listen to the interview because I feel exhausted just thinking about listening to it but Celebuzz has some choice quotes:

"Being vegan, it’s basically no diary, no meat, everything is plant based and from the ground," she says. "Butter is the one thing I miss!"

She continues about her new diet, “You do feel better. I do recommend the vegan diet because you wake up and feel great!”

There you have it! And I know many of you are not on the celeb-news train but I’ll say what I’ve said before: a celebrity going vegan raises a ton of awareness. And even if it’s only a vegan diet, cutting out non-vegan food seems to be the biggest barrier for people when they think about what veganism means. So that’s a great place to start. And eating less animals means less animal suffering, full stop. I know Lopez has a disgusting history of wearing fur, but it’s not like she’s going to wear more fur because she’s not eating cheese. 

And, on the raising awareness tip, who’s more likely to become vegan? Someone who knows about it because some celebrity tried it or someone who’s never even heard the word before? Plus I think people are more likely to open up to veganism if they have a vegan friend—and guess what! Celebrities are very much like friends to a lot of people! Basically, it normalizes veganism, which is great PR considering so many people regard veganism as “extreme” and realistically impossible. 

In conclusion: Yay J. Lo! Hope it sticks! Let’s go to Blossom together, my treat.


"Is Veganism for Everyone?" A New York Times debate!  »

You guys, the NYT is all over veganism lately. We’ve made it! Or is this a rehash of every other “fad diet debate” the media have ever had? Let’s decide together.

Today, Room for Debate asked some people* to discuss veganism and YOU. (Not “you,” of course, everyone else who isn’t vegan.) Repping for the vegans are Rip Esselstyn, hot-stuff author of The Engine 2 Diet; and Brian Patton, author of The Sexy Vegan Cookbook. Other debaters include scare-mongering vegan-parent-hater Nina Planck; scare-mongering author of The Happiness Diet Drew Ramsey; ex-vegan and known jerkbag Rhys Southan; and author of A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss blog Erika Nicole Kendall.

What are their conclusions? Esselstyn is proud to have helped convert Lance Armstrong to a part-time vegan diet, and Patton notes that transitioning to vegan eating can pose more cultural than dietary challenges. Ramsey warns that “vegans are often vitamin-deficient!” (which, what are the stats on omnivores and vitamin deficiency, buddy?) and Planck begs vegan parents to THINK OF THE CHILDREN before forcing their poor helpless offspring to eat vegan food. Kendall points out that meat and dairy are vectors for disease, and Southan is very concerned about the guilt that vegan diets can induce. Fully half of the debaters focus on weight loss aspects, which is fine, I guess, considering they’re discussing a vegan diet, rather than a vegan lifestyle.

Look, we welcome all vegans! Even deliberately eating vegan part-time is better than doing it never. Still, it’d be nice if the national coverage of veganism included any of the other aspects of veganism besides “quick and easy weight loss” and “not being such fat fatties.” It’s not just a way of eating. We don’t change what we put on our bodies or how we stock our bathrooms out of concern for our cholesterol levels. It’s great that eating vegan makes us healthier, but there’s more to it than what we eat, and I worry that focusing so hard on the “vegan diet = perfect body” argument trivializes the work we all do to live a cruelty-free life. Besides, it’s not true!

This Room for Debate really should’ve been called “Is a Vegan Diet for Everyone?” which would’ve allowed all the participants to make the same arguments without glossing over all the non-food issues a vegan lifestyle addresses. What do you guys think?

*Our feelings are a little bruised that we weren’t asked to participate, but seeing as how your Vegansaurus is staunchly anti-diet, we understand why.

[photo by Charles Roffey via Flickr]

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