Does Dogmatic Vegan/Vegetarianism Discourage Partcipation?“My goal from all this was to propose a more relatable and achievable diet that is good for animals and the environment since many people can’t easily sustain a fully vegan diet. ” ~ Claire Boucher, a.k.a. Grimes

“You can only please some of the people some of the time,” and the web is definitely the place to showcase Honest Abe Lincoln’s old axiom, especially for those with some celebrity status. Indie pop musician  Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher,  posted to Tumblr about a new super-duper butterscotch Ben & Jerry’s flavor “Scotchy Scotch Scotch” (marketed for the comedy Anchorman 2), which would have been an innocent enough everyday commentary, if she weren’t self-proclaimed vegan. Boucher, who believes in living more of a flexitarian lifestyle than a strict veganism, wrote, “1 day hiatus from veganism is being had starting NOw.”

According to Stereogum, apparently a fellow-vegan Grimes follower took offense to that, posting an “outraged comment,” a nasty NSFW mini-rant which can be read at the site.  She graciously replied:

“this is something i was anticipating and have been meaning to address for a long time: Part of the reason I posted the ben and jerry’s thing is because I like to encourage people towards a type of veganism that is inviting and accepting. For the longest time I was vegan but I just wouldn’t say I was because of the bad reputation of veganism. most of the vegans i know are dogmatic a**holes, and it completely turns people off. I believe more people would be drawn to having more ethical diets if they didn’t feel bullied to do so, or if they felt they were entering a welcoming community.

My brand of veganism is one wherein if your grandparents have no idea what you are talking about then you eat their beef stew rather than upset or confuse them. or if you really want to have cake with an egg in it on the holidays then you have that rather than just not being a vegan because you don’t want to give up occasionally having something that you love.

Ben and Jerrys is the only brand of ice cream i ever eat. their cows are treated ethically and beyond that they put a ton of money into researching green hydrocarbon freezers that would use alternative refrigerants which (unlike current freezer gases) do not contribute to global warming. they’re also working on a bunch of other initiatives like using completely renewable materials in packaging.

this comment is why no one wants to be vegan. unlike this dude, i would like to fully encourage everyone to be vegan rather than scare them away. I love being vegan. my skin is better, i have more energy, i feel really healthy and i get sick way less than i used too and I’m not contributing to factory farming. that said, I also occasionally enjoy things i used to eat because it makes me feel good and i am less discouraged about not eating those things the rest of the time. <3″

A few more comments volleyed back and forth, though Grimes did her best to downplay the spat as less of a “beef,” as she called it (insert vegan pun here), and more of an open dialog between herself and an opinionated fan. It’s admirable that she’s eager to focus less on the pseudo-controversy and more on the message of acceptance.  Do you agree that more people might be open to learning about and dabbling into vegan/vegetarianism if there were less judgement from its more committed participants? — Casandra Armour

Image credit: bradcalkins / 123RF Stock Photo

2 thoughts on “Flexitarian Lifestyle Angers Some

  1. You have valid point. I so sick of polarizing debate where either you are judging vegangelical hating all those evil meat-eaters; or else you eat meat with every meal, ranting over ‘grain cartels’ as a paleovengelical living in cave with dr. Atkins. I think a flexitarian diet that 99% of time totally reject sugar, soda, white flour cakes, white flour bread, white rice, white flour pasta, potato chips, and 75% of time reject meat & dairy; & has you consuming unsweetened fortified coconut milk, vegetables, whole fruit, berries, whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds, 98% – 100% of the time is really the best idea for US & the world .

    If person go from eating meat 3 times daily to eating meat 3 times monthly; congratulations are in order; calling them a murderer is not.

    We are not to starve or torture humans or animals ; ever! Do not put humans or animals into cages unless truly needed. Do not kill humans or animals unless there is a need. When killing must be done; the killing is quick, painless, clean, & private.

    Our diet must be governed by long term health concerns, logic, science, & compassion for all the humans on earth. All humans are equally entitled to healthy good food & freedom.

    The book: “the vegetarian myth” does not agree with my views and is in my view mostly a sad unfair illogical book.

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