Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Guest Post- Day 3

By Soy Cheese Sucks  GUEST BLOGGER

{Guest blogger and self-confessed paranoid vegan Jess Jacob is the author of Soy Cheese Sucks, a vegan blog dedicated to “realistic vegan living, eating, and cooking with NO preaching.” Amen to that.}
- George from Why Vegetarian

A Bad Vegan is Often a Fat Vegan

“It’s easy to be an unhealthy vegan, just like it’s easy to be an unhealthy meat-eater.”1

The first vegan I ever met was when I was 14. She was a friend I’d made online. Knowing she was vegan, when we first met in person I expected her to be perfect and skinny. I was shocked to find that I, a chicken nugget eating, french fry munching, Coke guzzling girl was thinner than her. I don’t know what her eating habits were behind the scenes and I’m not judging. It’s just funny to me now that, 13 years (5 of them vegan/vegetarian) later, I’m the fat vegan.

But I know why.

I don’t drink Coke anymore, I don’t eat candy, I hate potato chips, my work lunches are Tofurkey sandwiches, my dinners are usually something with brown rice and vegetables. So what is it about the food I eat? Oh: I am a fan of the frozen processed foods like soy chicken nuggets, veggie burgers, and pizza rolls. I can’t cook, don’t really like to cook, so these kinds of things are frequently my quick and easy dinners.

I like beer. Yes, I know most beer isn’t technically vegan. Bad Vegan that I am will never give it up. Whatever. But as anyone who knows anyone who drinks more than a few beers a week, beer makes you fat, particularly in the belly. I also like mixed vodka drinks which do the same thing as beer calorie-wise.

It’s not just that though.

I don’t exercise. It doesn’t help that I’m a computer science major and was a web designing, Photoshopping freak for years before then. I’m also a writer which isn’t exactly a physical sport. So I sit a lot while the calories continue to compound.

A Bad Vegan Goes Good: A Plan for True Health

I agree with John McDougall that what we as vegans eat can be a major contributor to our weight and overall health.2 I don’t agree that we must cut out all our meat substitutes – like Boca Burgers – to be truly healthy. Should we make them “sometimes foods” and limit our intake when we do eat them? Of course.

I am vegan for animal cruelty reasons. It infuriates me that animals are treated like objects with no feelings (emotional and physical) and are daily mutilated, harmed, and murdered in the name of dinner. I believe that vegans who choose a vegan lifestyle for this reason also have the potential to reap immense health benefits from it. If they’re like me they’re squandering this potential.

So starting this week I’m going to change that! No longer will I tolerate that I am a poster child for the oxymoronic term “fat vegan”. I’ve already tweaked my eating habits over the past two weeks and have been a remarkably good vegan (compared to my recent habits) with many fresh vegetables and non-processed proteins included in my meals. (Tofurkey is still 90% of the time the best and easiest thing for me to eat at work.) I will get a 45+ minute walk every day that I can stand it. I will drink as much water as I can stand and drastically cut back on the alcohol.

And on that happy day months from now when I proudly tell someone I am vegan, they won’t be thinking, “I thought vegans were supposed to be thin.”


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