More often than not, the tendency of animal rights activists is to sell their meat-free ideology by appealing to others’ self-annihilating “thin is in” vanity.
One billboard sponsored by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals states, “Save the whales. Lose the blubber. Go vegetarian.”
This isn’t unique to PETA, either. The New York Times bestseller, “Skinny Bitch” by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, aims to fat-shame its way into every future vegan’s heart, mind and soul.
Here is a quote from the book: “Your junk food has a shelf life of twenty-two years and will probably outlive your fat, sorry ass.”
The authors make a disclaimer at the end that they could not “care less” about how thin someone is, and that they’re only trying to promote good health and animal welfare, but you have to read the book from cover to cover to realize this.
The reader will inevitably absorb the overly repeated message that they must avoid dairy and meat to achieve a thigh gap, a flat stomach and bony appendages. They will not retain a badly sugarcoated footnote.
As a movement we are trying to save animals’ lives, but how are we doing it? We’re doing it through the slaughter of people’s self-worth, body image and mental health.
I’m glad when anyone gives up meat. People are sometimes surprised when I mention I’ve been a vegetarian for ten years. “I cheat a lot,” I would often humbly add after I mentioned the length of time.
Recently, I discovered the Animal Liberation Front, a group of revolutionaries who illegally free animals from torture, slaughterhouses and experimentation. They compare themselves to the Underground Railroad, and they risk putting themselves in prison. They’re often unjustly called terrorists.
My former “flexitarian” self silently exclaimed, “Such rebellion!” It inspired me more than “Skinny Bitch,” more than PETA and vegetarian celebrities boasting about their perfect bodies combined.
Now at family gatherings, my family members will suggest that I forget the label or just cheat this one time, but they are promptly countered by a passion-driven “Nope.”
Fat-phobia is antithetical to all I love about the ALF. The organization values rebellion, leadership and karma.
I don’t want this movement I’m passionately a part of to be just another glossy magazine, promising others this glorified skinny body when honestly, it’s not the only or even the truest route.
There are overweight vegans. There are those who eat meat who weigh significantly less than me.
If your sole reason for avoiding meat is to lose weight, you will fall off the bandwagon at a very quick rate. I’ve seen it happen, and it’s heartbreaking.
If you want to get thin, you can do plenty of things, like work out, cut calories, avoid carbs or play a sport.
If you want to have a reason every day to feel good that you’re doing something that saves the lives of sentient beings, you can cut meat out of your diet.
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