Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How to Gain Fame and Fortune as an Ex-Vegan in Roughly Five Easy Steps

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Have you been feeling a little attention starved lately? Do you have a sinking feeling that the social media gravy train is leaving the station and worry because you’re not a celebrity yet? (How did this not happen???) Is your YouTube channel mostly just filled with comments from your mother and the occasional foot fetishist? Has your blog centered around pugs making pithy comments on Mid-Century Modern furniture not resulted in the lucrative book deal you were hoping for yet? 



Friend, it may be time for you to learn how you can “go vegan” and then quit it for fame and fortune. I see your confusion: Wait -- what? Really, it’s true. The beauty of this plan is its sheer simplicity and elegant economy: all you need to do is embrace veganism and then dump it like a demanding, high-strung boyfriend who bosses you around all day.  The key to monetizing your putative vegan lifestyle is to have a very public breakup with it that the public will be eager to applaud. I will provide the template of what you need to do but turning it into a profit-making venture is up to you.  



1. Go Vegan and Get Fans



Okay, don’t freak out: you don’t really need to go vegan but you should at least leave a photo trail of green smoothies and massaged kale salads on Instagram or wherever.  Think aspirational. Think branding opportunities. Think of a glass of cantaloupe juice in a Ball jar on your balcony ledge with the sun rising behind it. Project your life to the public as if you were the living embodiment of a vision board cut exclusively from Anthropologie and Free People catalogs. Ask yourself, what would Lana Del Rey do if she were a future ex-vegan with a sunnier disposition? Experiment with the most retro-quaint filter you can get on your Instagram (maybe Toaster or 1977) and take pictures of every single thing you eat and drink as long as it’s imbued with virtue. If what you photograph is not aspirational, choose a better filter and embellish with a pretty vintage spoon or embroidered cloth napkin. Get some clouds in the background, maybe some sand, put your feet in the shot once in a while (make sure you’ve had a decent pedicure) and Photoshop some simple words on the pictures. Think metro-meets-retro. Just when you think you’ve added too many hashtags, slap on a few more. If you really want this to pay off for you, ex-vegan, you’ve go to big or go home. Writing in complete sentences is an impediment to getting a lot of fans, which should be your entire objective at this point. Some examples: #raw, #greensmoothie, #kaleaholic, #fallinlovewithyourself, #detox, #juicing, #veganforlife, #ihavenoideawhatimsaying, #blessed, #livingthelife.  At this point, you feel sooooooo great and you should have fans who think you are just phenomenal. 



2. Restrict



Start out slow but eventually you will need to go really overboard with dietary restrictions that have nothing to do with veganism. The importance of this cannot be overstated. Anything that you can cut out, cut it out. (Or just pretend that you did.) Develop a sudden but intense aversion to nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, oil, sugar, salt, gluten, nightshades, garlic, combining fruits and vegetables, water that isn’t reverse-osmosis filtered, and on and on. Connect it to your veganism even though there are no connections. As far as the viewing public is concerned, your life is still #blessed and you are still #healthyandhappy. (And the foreshadowing strings would commence...NOW.)



3. Suffer in Silence




At Stage Three, you will still need to commit to at least a couple of months more of your public life as a vegan and it is during this time when you will want to start to falter. Break a nail. Stub your toe. Twist your ankle. Get a stuffy nose. Grow an eyebrow hair that is just too long. In retrospect, you will say that this was all unprecedented and almost certainly linked to your diet because it had never happened before. Meanwhile, keep posting images of your green smoothies with the retro-quaint filter and the aspirational hashtags. #Partoftheprocess. Know that when you start the Fourth Stage, you will need to claim that during the Third Stage, behind the scenes and cloaked in secrecy, you were actually terrified and perhaps even dying of malnutrition and maybe even a chlorophyll-induced psychosis. Your family was scared. Your high-speed blender seemed to have evil intentions. Looking back at Stage Three, be sure to claim that late at night, when you weren’t staring at the ceiling in the clutches of a panic attack brought on by nutritional deficiencies, you had visions of a steak, rare and bloody, dancing through your head. You were so ashamed.


4. Cheat 




This is where you will begin living as a non-vegan again, though not online yet. Start out by eating cage-free eggs. You will say that they tasted “so good” but also that you “hated yourself.” You will have to claim to notice that this gave you energy again and your period magically reappeared and your ankle stopped being sprained and you just had a sudden glow that people stopped to tell you about. In your break-up letter to veganism in Step Five, you will claim that you couldn’t just stop at eggs and so at this stage, you will put on your sunglasses, wrap a scarf all dramatically but stylishly around your hair (think Sophia Loren in a spy movie circa 1958) and buy some meat at the most adorable farmers market in town, the one where all the farmers are so friendly and kind. You will hide it in your bag - or claim to (again, facts are not all that relevant here) - and eat the chicken or the steak or whatever in secrecy in your apartment. Again, repeat that it tasted “so good” and you “hated yourself” but also that you couldn’t stop yourself. Your story here is that at this point, you started to tell a few trusted friends. They will support your decision, saying that they were so worried about how skinny-obsessive-weird you were getting. With each bite of meat, you will claim to feel less guilty and more relieved. 

A. You will claim to talk to others like you, people who lived as vegans but in fact were living a double-life. They were too scared to talk in public about it, though.



B. You will claim that by owning your truth, you will help help liberate others who have been oppressively shackled by the vegan powers that be. Attach this to a hazily articulated feminist-but-not-all-feminist-like-you-don’t-shave belief. Think Beyonce.


5. Renounce Your Veganism 




Publicly break up with veganism. This is where it starts getting fun. Write a long, melodramatic, nonsensical screed - again, the words don’t really matter - where you say that you are so very scared of the backlash (rest assured that you will, in fact, mostly be told again and again how brave you are) but you need to “listen to your body.” Say that you can now see that you were starving, losing your mind, your family, your friends and your chance to have babies in the future because of this crazy diet. Now instead of being vegan,  you are seeking sanity and farm-fresh eggs, hormone-free meat and dairy. Some key buzzwords/hashtags to hammer again and again: #balance, #listeningtomybody, #balanceisthenewblack, #vegansarebullies, #itsonlyfood, #joy, #wholehealth, #sorrynotsorry. You refuse to be silenced anymore by the vegan mafia. (Act like there really is a vegan mafia after you.)



Okay, how you will now exploit it next is up to you. Shop your story around. Post it to your thousands of fans (you’ve acquired them by now, right?). Say “balance” and “my body told me” again and again for good measure. You can’t say it enough. Remember that 97 - 98% of the population is very comforted by your message. And if Good Morning America and People Magazine don’t come calling? If you don’t get a book deal from a big publishing house for a tell-all about your four harrowing months and near-death experience as a deprived vegan? I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe you can try medical billing from home. Apparently there’s still some money in that.

Thanks for visiting my humble blog. Please visit my website for vegan recipes, tips, interviews, reviews, message gear and much more.

66 comments:

  1. This ex-vegan thing has been taking off recently. I cringe ever time I saw it in the news... Thanks for shining a light on these attention whores.

    I feel like they couldn't make it in vegan ism, so they decided to sabotage is as much as possible to make themselves feel better.

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  2. I enjoyd rhis. I don't understand this ex-vegan craze of late. How do you unlearn what you know?

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  3. This is the most brilliant thing I've ever read. Ever. Ever. Marla Rose is my hero.

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  4. THIS. So much THIS. I will be quoting this blog post for at least the next decade. I hope all ex-vegans read this.

    To the Ex-Vegan:

    There is nothing interesting or special about re-joining the 97% of people still eating animals. You and your momma may think you're a speshul snowflake for going back to eating animals, but as for those of us who would literally die for the cause of animal rights, you're just another dipstick trying to trivialize the most important social justice cause of our time as a "diet". If this was 1832, your equivalent would be a conductor on the Underground Railroad who capriciously decided to humanely turn in all the slaves hiding in his basement one day. Why? For the sake of a few extra dollars from your neighboring slave-owners, of course! #getmoneybitch #slaveryisfreedom Enjoy your last thirty seconds of fame.

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    1. Amen, sister! Beautifully said. :)

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    2. Comparing eating animals to slavery is simple madness. I wish anyone who would choose to enslave a human being over, butchering a chicken to feed a starving family - all the blessings that that mentality may bring them.

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    3. Why not boil up some rice beans or potatoes to feed a starving family? Its cheaper, better for them nutritionally, widely available, better for the environment, no animal has to die, less messy, and tastes better in my opinion!

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    4. Omg yes! Well said Jennifer E.!! :):):):)

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  5. A defender of one such person referred to the ex-vegan as "no longer a true vegan". I jotted down a couple of other examples under the heading "Knitting is Not Truly Abseiling". It is beyond ridiculous that the ex-vegan in question is still using "vegan" in some of her social media accounts.

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  6. This is fantastic. I'm quite frustrated by the style over substance nature of so many "vegan" bloggers in recent years, and this makes a perfect mockery of it. I finally started my own blog this year after being vegan for nearly a decade (no chance of becoming an ex-vegan blogger!) I wrote a post recently that focused primarily around point 2 - the dietary restrictions that have nothing to do with veganism. http://themindfulmavens.com/2014/07/15/what-veganism-isnt-about/

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  7. There are not several different kinds of vegans in this world (dietary, environmental, etc). There is only one kind and those are ethical vegans for life.

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  8. Good piece! I am so sick of the "why I'm not vegan" announcement.

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  9. Well done. An XVegan was never really a vegan in the first place. Can you say Clueless? How does one get past the stage of "it's all about me?" Xvegans can't seem to.

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  10. The crux is really whether you see veganism as a diet. If you do, then as soon as this „diet‘s“ health and beauty claims don‘t come true or you‘re just generally frustrated with your life, you‘ll start examining your diet. If you don‘t see veganism as a diet, but the only ethical way to live, your veganism would never cross your mind when trying to figure out why you're fatigued, vitamin deficient, anemic or whatever. You can‘t discredit an ethical choice with health arguments, only a dietary one.

    http://www.veganzeitkritik.com/

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  11. I reviewed Marla's "The Adventures of Vivian Sharpe, Vegan Superhero" at Our Hen House two years ago. Have been a fan of hers, and her writing, ever since. The "ex-vegan coming out of the closet" thing simply leaves me feeling sad. No argument - of any kind - could convince me that any kind of animal exploitation is justifiable. I certainly respect that physiology differs from person to person. But if there's intent to "convince" that resuming consuming animals and their secretions is somehow necessary to "feel better" or "sleep better" or is in some fashion "necessary" - please - don't bother. I can't hear your argument over the screaming of the animals being abused, tortured, transported, maimed and killed. Please - just go away quietly. PS - please try listening to heart while you're listening to your body.

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  12. Thank you for articulating in so much detail what I've felt when seeing an XVegan post. So sad, but finally, so glad it is voiced!

    Zsu

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  13. Even MORE brilliant than your usual brilliance! Bravo!

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  14. Hilarious article. very a la Natalie Portman or Ellen Degeneres.

    Natalie Portman, exactly said those words. Like her body needed eggs and dairy when she was pregnant.

    Veganism is a lifestyle. If people can't maintain it, I can understand it, but don't go in the public eye, and say how terrible it was. Because veganism is about saving animals' lives, that's important here, not about how difficult the diet is.
    In Hollywood they see it to much as a diet, not as a lifestyle that has to do with everything buy.

    Also I think that the only reasons these ex-vegans were malnurished is because they didn't eat well during their vegan diet. So if you don't eat well, of course you are going to feel weak, and are going to give up sooner than later. Also a lot of people have been eating dairy and meat their whole live, so the body is probably detoxing, and that is why they felt weak, but they translated it as 'I feel so bad I am going to die>>> I need meat and diary again'.

    Again I don't want to criticize anyone who genuinely makes an effort to go vegan, I am talking about the people who never took it serious to begin with, and only saw it as a new fad, a new diet.

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  15. Nik Anti-SpeciesistJuly 30, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    As we say in the UK Top Banana! Well in my neck of the woods. ;)
    Nice one Marla, we also say nice one - a lot. :D

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  16. Delightful read. I've been reeling from the undue media attention of the last month; dumbfounded.

    Your post was spot-on and your Instagram guidance drove me away from logging in any longer.

    Vegan isn't a fad or passing diet; it's a lifelong belief system. When you go vegan for the right reasons it is impossible to go back.

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  17. Never trust an ex-vegan.

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  18. Thank you, this made my day. I'm so glad I found your post before I read this: http://www.theblondevegan.com/2014/06/23/why-im-transitioning-away-from-veganism/

    Made for a funny read, instead of just horribly annoying.

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  19. Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant - did I mention Brilliant?

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  20. clap clap clap [standing ovation] just brilliant!!!

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  21. Ex-Vegan meaning: NEVER WAS VEGAN!
    Love your POST! So true! It is a shame the attention these FAKE A$$ people are getting for being FAKE!

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  22. Thank you all so much! The last few weeks have been very upsetting with all the "I quit being vegan" stories and they are all so boilerplate, as if they're all following the same template. Thank you for appreciating my outlet here. :D

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  23. Kimberly, you are brilliant and you ARE a "speshul snowflake." ;)

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  24. Thank you, Pamela! I can't wait to check out your blog!

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  25. Thank you, Stephen, and thank you for that review of Vivian Sharpe. I appreciate all your insights, especially, "PS - please try listening to heart while you're listening to your body." Bravo!

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  26. Thanks, everyone. Instead of making my husband listen to me rant, you've allowed me another outlet and I am grateful for all your kind words and insights.

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  27. YES thank you! So tired of people being vegan "for the animals" and then turning around and still "really, really caring about animals" but also eating meat. The animals are still suffering even as you enjoy your new found fame.

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  28. this happens to be one of the most incredible things I have ever read. only because of how true it is. loved it.

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  29. Do you think that big ag us behind this? Not to sound all tin foil hat but there seems to be some really advanced mass manipulation tactics at play here

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  30. This is brillantly written. Thank you for turning attention to the fact that veganism does not lead to eating disorders nor is it an eating disorder. Eggs, milk, and meat aren't going to make anyone healthier, try beans, tempeh, and tofu instead! I love your bit, "Your high-speed blender seemed to have evil intentions." Hahaha.

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  31. Spot on! And you're right that these ex-vegan stories contain all the same elements -- it's so clichéd it isn't even funny. Well, except when YOU write about it, snort. But couldn't at least one of them come up with something a little bit different?

    Essentially, in all these lame stories, the focus shifts entirely from the hurting of animals (the real victims, and the best reason to go vegan) to the hurt feelings of the supposedly brave blogger who now claims to feel victimized by the vegan "diet" and the vegan community. So sad. So thanks for taking the sting out of it somewhat! :)

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  32. Excellent :) Enjoyed it. Thanks

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  33. Love it! Now I'm all for being healthy but all these "I wasn't a healthy vegan" stories are getting to me. How does every popular vegan blogger suddenly have the same issue at the same time? I also notice how none of them discovers this issue with health as the result of meeting with a doctor. And the ex-vegan for pregnancy thing drives me mad b/c it's a misconception (plus a lot of women's health specialist and midwives are very WAPF slanted).
    If your vegan diet is forcing you to become obsessive you need to see a therapist, not profess to the masses that you're no longer vegan. It's more "who cares about the animal suffering now that I'm not the 'weird' one of my friends?"

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  35. Excellent!

    This was the best take on this subject I've read yet.

    Here is my own post about an earlier iteration of the ex-vegan thing, eerily similar

    Where Was *MY* Meatgasm?

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  36. I just read the Blonde Vegan. I wish i could unread it.

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  38. I'm not sure what you are referring to here, Anonymous.

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  39. I love this! They all really do seem to follow the same template... Weird. I have to admit that I followed her (I assume we all know who I'm referring to) for a while on Instagram, but soon unfollowed because her obsessiveness scared me. I always ended up feeling really stressed and uptight about my diet after I read her posts. I'm glad that she's seeking professional help, but I wish that she didn't feel the need to blame veganism for her eating disorder. She had clearly suffered from disordered eating for a long time - certainly longer than she was vegan.

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  40. Brilliant!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for this!

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  41. Instagram is really good for new vegans to get ideas for food options etc. it is a shame she has been made famous for being ex vegan and saying this caused her eating disorder. Also theres no need to go hungry on a vegan diet, just eat more. My friend sent me the article on TBV when I had a break out on my face. I was a bit insulted. The reality is most people just dont get it and always have an answer as to why its okay to eat meat. Does anyone else sometimes struggle with what to say, I have all the facts in my head but sometimes saying them is harder.

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  42. I'm an ex vegan but never made a big deal about it or followed a process like this. When I tell people I used to be a vegan I talk about the positives that being vegan, even if not permanently, gave me - e.g. I eat lots more veg, and still eat vegan meals most of the time. I also encourage others to try going vegan, not everyone sticks with it but those who do have made a lifelong positive change and I admire them for that :) I don't want to be one of those ex vegans who dismisses the lifestyle, I see at as my failure rather than the lifestyle's failure.

    Something I have learned since is that my failure as a vegan was probably due to just not eating enough food (duh). I may go back one day...

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  44. This is so spot on! I believe there's an element of schadenfreude involved they couldn't be successful at being vegan so don't want anyone else to be.

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  45. Thank you for this! Great read

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  46. This is exactly what the Blonde Vegan did. So upsetting to see people using veganism for publicity and fame. People get sucked right into it and why the hell should we care about someone who went from veganism to eating animals and no one cares about someone who went from eating animals to eating plants. I just don't get it.

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  47. There's a new one, unfortunately, that fits the profile perfectly: http://www.yumsugar.com/Why-I-Stopped-Being-Vegan-35306835#comment-1529648063

    And what's particularly ironic and horrible is that the cover photo to her "coming out" article is of a sanctuary turkey!

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  48. Patti, that was the one that pushed me over the edge more than any of 'em. :D

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  49. Hysterical and well-written article but sadly true. I met someone recently who espoused the exact same nonsense. I feel like I battle people constantly to understand that meat, eggs and dairy is murder, no two ways about it.

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  50. The strawman here is that most ex-vegans turn into "bacon-gasming" drama queens. While this stereotype is certainly attractive to some who identify as vegan, many ex-vegans stay vegetarian, veg, or even veganish. In fact, in my experience one of the primary motivations to leave the vegan fold is the kind of ideological rigidity shown in this blog post. It's no surprise that many animal rights organizations now de-emphasize veganism:


    http://www.animalliberationfront.com/Practical/Health/veganish.htm

    PS: Bill Clinton is Vegan.

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  51. I'm also an ex-vegan who stopped for health reasons. Already gluten-intolerant, I developed an allergy to soy and I was hungry, tired, and protein craving all the time.

    I'm sure it would be possible for me to eat very specific foods and be healthy, but it was way too much work.

    I didn't make a big deal about not being vegan anymore. I didn't post it on Facebook or make a declaration. When people ask, I tell them I couldn't manage it with my allergies.

    I do think it's important to try to be encouraging to everyone who tries veganism. I love Marla's post because, as usual, it's great sharp satire, but a lot of comments here are very discouraging. We shouldn't assume other people's legitimate concerns--for their health and well-being--are stupid. People do have health problems.

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  52. I loved this and featured it in my latest blog post here: http://blameitonlove.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/im-no-feminist-nor-liberal-but/

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  53. I'm an ex vegan and since I know how much it frustrates vegans to know that animals are being exploited - to this I say: 97% of the population are eating meat. I hope this hurt you people even more. I really do hope you remain frustrated over the fact that veganism or eating a plant based diet wil never be accepted and popular, and most importantly that you people will always, I mean ALWAYS be looked at as crazy lunatics

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  54. Yes! I actually just read a "why I stopped being a vegetarian" one that boiled down to their vegan diet made them only eat fries, beer, and fake frozen chicken cutlets and they got fat and they needed to eat meat to lose weight. Because that's what was wrong with their diet.... Guess what? they got a cookbook deal.

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  55. "I really do hope you remain frustrated over the fact that veganism or eating a plant based diet wil never be accepted and popular, and most importantly that you people will always, I mean ALWAYS be looked at as crazy lunatics"

    Why is it that the non-violent people are the crazy lunatics and the ones that promote the violent lifestyle are 'normal'? If that's normal, I don't want to be part of it.

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