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#1 Old 04-02-2012, 04:14 AM
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Warning: can be triggering, (links included). I'm sorry I didn't think about specifying this before.

Following this post from Ginny Messina's blog: http://www.theveganrd.com/2012/04/bo...n+Dietitian%29 , I've read this one by Doctor McDougall: http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2008nl/dec/fat.htm (I haven't read the whole stuff as I was kinda upset).

I must admit that I'm kinda floored by this and by the campaigns mentioned in Messina's post). I'm not (medically) overweight but I'm fat and I'm always given the you-don't-look-like-a-vegan look by omnivores as, clearly, I do not correspond to the cliché of the skinny vegan they've been nursing for years.

I know I'm fat and I'm “used” to people (at least in France) telling me I am, since we live in such a thin-centric, fat-phobic civilisation but, at least, I was expecting support and a we-don't-care-if-you're-fat attitude from my own community. Seems that it's not the case, in the end...

What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you think fat vegans shouldn't tell they are (vegans) for fear of dissuading omnivores from becoming vegan? Or do you side with Messina and think it shouldn't matter?

Here's an example of MacDougall's prose that I find particularly offensive: "“The fat you eat is the fat you wear”—olive oil and Earth Balance spreads are just as unattractively worn on the thighs, hips, and buttocks, as are lard and butter."
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#2 Old 04-02-2012, 04:20 AM
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I dont see why anyone shouldnt say they are a vegan. That is discriminatory to say only thin people should have the right.

And, that guy needs to eat more pizza. Enjoy life a bit.
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#3 Old 04-02-2012, 06:08 AM
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Dietary fat does not equal body fat. High fat items tend to be high calorie which can lead to weight gain. You could eat a totally fat free diet and gain weight if you overate.
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#4 Old 04-02-2012, 09:10 AM
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The girl in the pic on the McDougall article doesn't even look fat to me - she's got a lovely face. Can't understand the obsession that some people have that we should all be skinny!

@ the OP - sorry you found the articles so distressing and hope you're ok x
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#5 Old 04-02-2012, 09:38 AM
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Hey, I'm proud to be a curvy vegan. It's so unfair to assume that all vegans are skinny. I did lose some weight when I first started being a vegan, but it eventually levelled off and that was that. I still felt great and better than I ever did dieting as a meat-eater and 25 lbs lighter than I am now. It's all about how you feel, not how you look.
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#6 Old 04-02-2012, 10:10 AM
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Say it loud and say it proud!!!!!
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#7 Old 04-02-2012, 11:35 AM
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I agree with a lot of what Dr. McDougall says about health but I don't fully agree on the notion that fat/overweight vegans should lose weight before they begin advocacy.

Quote:
At extraordinary personal costs, many of these guardians labor tirelessly to protect the welfare of all animals. Fat vegans, however, have failed one important animal: themselves. Furthermore, their audiences of meat-eaters and animal-abusers may be so distracted by their appearance that they cannot hear the vital issues of animal rights and the environment; resulting in an unacknowledged setback for a fat vegans hard work for change.

I think this statement may be factually true, but the core message that many large vegans may hear is that they should just stay quiet until they lose weight... which often never happens and then the animal movement just lost another "soldier".

Also, I know lots of slim vegetarians and vegans - and a lot of them spend so much time on their appearance that they're hardly doing any activism at all. The only people they influence is the tiny number within their sphere of family, friends, and co-workers. They never reach out further and really get involved in the movement. You know, I attended a McDougall conference once. You know how many activists I met? NONE. I met lots of healthy people who had turned around their heart disease and diabetes, but activists.... nope.

I know I would probably be more effective if I slimed down. But I also know that waiting until I'm perfect before I advocate for animals is a never-ending cycle of procrastination. I would also be more effective if I had a different personality or if I had more money or if I didn't have a family... the list goes on and on. But the animals can't wait for perfect advocates. They need us - all of us - NOW.

I will say, I think the truth in McDougall's claim is in the fact that advocates need to take care of themselves. We do need to eat well and exercise. We need vacations and other stress relievers. We need close friends and all those other things that protect physical and mental health. We can't run on fumes all the time. But if we're doing all that and carrying around a spare tire, too, well then, so be it. Stay calm and VEGAN on.
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#8 Old 04-02-2012, 11:53 AM
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I happen to think thin looks better than fat, but I don't look down on people who are overweight, nor do I think they shouldn't advocate for a vegan lifestyle. And one could always blame all of the newfound, ultra-delicious vegan foods.

I do agree that adding fats is generally a bad idea, but I LOVE olive oil and Earth Balance...
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#9 Old 04-02-2012, 01:33 PM
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I agree with Ginny Messina.

The McDougall article is totally ridiculous, both in its health/weight loss advice and the idea that vegans should lose weight in order to impress omnivores.
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#10 Old 04-02-2012, 02:00 PM
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I'm with Messina. As usual she's a voice of reason as opposed to a voice of ... well, whatever it is PCRM think they're promoting. It's not apparently the wellbeing of animals.

I've never had anyone tell me they take me less seriously as a vegan because I'm bigger than whatever stupid ideal body size society promotes. In fact, I think people are more prone to listen to someone who isn't a walking stereotype. I personally see it as an asset rather than a liability.

Tam! RUGH!
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#11 Old 04-02-2012, 02:22 PM
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McDougall, yeradik.

Honestly, as if women aren't shamed enough for being too fat, too thin, too old, nose too big....

I was fat as an omni and am average weight as a vegan. I'm 40 pounds lighter and have maintained it without struggle for years now, but I made changes aside from veganism, dropping soda and most chocolate and exercising and practicing yoga daily. My decision, doesn't make me a "better representative" than if I were still big.
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#12 Old 04-02-2012, 02:35 PM
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Veganism is not a specific diet or a medical intervention. Veganism is a sociocultural philosophy about animal rights and not harming those who can not do anything to protect themselves, it just happens to inherently involve a strict vegetarian diet.
If your a vegan and as such your in it for the good of the helpless cute little meat creatures your body type shouldnt cause shame or embarrassment, at least from the vegan perspective. Your still avoiding proliferating the suffering of the cute little meat creatures.
Just look at the chinese, they venerate idols of a fat monk (often mistakenly called the Buddha) that went around giving gifts and making people happy. Compassion is good, regardless of waist-line.

If, however, your a strict vegetarian for your own health or a vegan who extends your compassion to animals to yourself as well then it would be worth it to work toward a better way so you can improve your future. Fat isnt always unattractive, I know some quite hot overweight girls, but it is undeniably linked to numerous avoidable diseases. And weight isnt the only measure of health or increased disease risk, there are lots of processed foods which may not promote obesity but still promote disease.
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#13 Old 04-02-2012, 02:36 PM
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At extraordinary personal costs, many of these guardians labor tirelessly to protect the welfare of all animals. Fat vegans, however, have failed one important animal: themselves. Furthermore, their audiences of meat-eaters and animal-abusers may be so distracted by their appearance that they cannot hear the vital issues of animal rights and the environment; resulting in an unacknowledged setback for a fat vegan’s hard work for change.

So fat vegans have failed an important animal - themselves... Wow, if we now look at the human animals that continue to fail themselves because they

- smoke
- drink too much alcohol
- are too sedentary
- engage in whatever other unhealthy behavior there might be

the army of vegan soldiers who is worthy to "bring across the message" shrinks down quite a bit, huh?

I don't agree with his statement at all. It's BS and just a shame.
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#14 Old 04-02-2012, 03:36 PM
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Also, not meeting idealized beauty standards of skinniness doesn't mean you're unhealthy.
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#15 Old 04-02-2012, 03:39 PM
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Not being fat is not the same as being skinny.

"Hell exists not to punish sinners, but to ensure that nobody sins in the first place."
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#16 Old 04-02-2012, 03:55 PM
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Some vegans depend on to many pre packaged things and maybe that is a problem. Like most of Americans.
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#17 Old 04-02-2012, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hekaterine View Post

The girl in the pic on the McDougall article doesn't even look fat to me - she's got a lovely face. Can't understand the obsession that some people have that we should all be skinny!

Agreed. she looked cute! Mcdougall reminds me of that "FAT PEOPLE ARE IMMORAL!" guy on that episode of family guy.

"A-yup. Ya wasted yer life, son"

- Old Man
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#18 Old 04-02-2012, 04:30 PM
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Yeah, McDougall does NOT speak for me or the vegan community as a whole. Vegans come in all shapes and sizes and that's beautiful

"If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others... why wouldn't we?" - Edgars Mission
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#19 Old 04-02-2012, 04:35 PM
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I've seen overweight ve**ans, but I have yet to see an obese one.

"Hell exists not to punish sinners, but to ensure that nobody sins in the first place."
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#20 Old 04-02-2012, 04:38 PM
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McDougal shouldn't be promoting veganism, as his intolerance and misogyny could dissuade many to attempt it themselves.

Personally, I've found more people to be responsive to my vegan message because I'm overweight.
Too many people associate vegan diets with little choice of food, and little to eat.

I lost more weight as a lacto/ veg. When I turned vegan I learned so much more about cooking and baking.

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good
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#21 Old 04-02-2012, 04:46 PM
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Agreed. she looked cute!



If that's a soy cheese pizza she's about to chow down on then I'm totally into her.
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#22 Old 04-02-2012, 05:18 PM
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McDougal is a McDick.
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#23 Old 04-02-2012, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Hekaterine View Post

@ the OP - sorry you found the articles so distressing and hope you're ok x

I'm allright ^^. I do tend to get a "tiny bit" worked up with these kind of thoughts, though, as blatant discriminations (and especially body shaming) make me really cringe and want to hurl something at the head of the person who spew them.

I finished reading the article and decided that this guy was a total moron who is probably hurting veganism way more than I do with my chubby thighs.

Glad to see where you guys stand, though

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Originally Posted by Auxin View Post

If your a vegan and as such your in it for the good of the helpless cute little meat creatures your body type shouldnt cause shame or embarrassment, at least from the vegan perspective.

That's easier said than done, but I'm working on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auxin View Post

If, however, your a strict vegetarian for your own health or a vegan who extends your compassion to animals to yourself as well then it would be worth it to work toward a better way so you can improve your future. Fat isnt always unattractive, I know some quite hot overweight girls, but it is undeniably linked to numerous avoidable diseases. And weight isnt the only measure of health or increased disease risk, there are lots of processed foods which may not promote obesity but still promote disease.

I take the improved health (assuming it has improved) as a bonus, but that's not why I'm vegan in the first place. I'm vegan (or as vegan as I can possibly be in a place such as China) first and foremost for animals and their right to live a human-interferences-free life.
I'm not overweight, though, just esthetically recognised as fat (and this, not even because I'm a junk or processed food vegan), so I don't think I'm at risk of anything, right now. ^^

The thing that baffles with with the McDougall piece is that he associates systematically being overweight with the type of food you eat. I don't know about the US (never been there) but I know plenty of other countries where the thinnest people I've ever seen were all following a staunch omnivorous diet in which pizza was often on the menu, for example.
So how can this guy, who's an M.D. make such blatant mistakes when it comes to weight management...? O.o
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#24 Old 04-02-2012, 09:02 PM
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I have learned so much from this site and also have observed a lot. I used to think vegetarian meant healthy. I have read so many posts of people that eat total crap. It seems some people think it is ok to eat anything as long as it is vegetarian. I would say I am fairly healthy eating, but still eat processed stuff. I don't eat a ton of fried foods or tubs of peanut butter either. It is very easy to consume thousands of vegetarian calories and we still have to watch out intake. I love hummus, peanut butter, avocados, almonds, beans etc, but they are all so high in calories. I am not really a whole foods person, but that is the lowest calorie way to eat. I make a huge salad with my own dressing and it is only 180 calories and it is huge. So, I would guess fat vegans are eating too much or eating the wrong things. Sure, some people may just have slow metabolisms, but it is hard to think that fat people are eating right.
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#25 Old 04-02-2012, 10:08 PM
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McDougal is a McDick.

Agree. And he needs to learn that veg*n food is not about deprivation and is about eating awesome stuff.
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#26 Old 04-02-2012, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jezebel View Post

...The thing that baffles with with the McDougall piece is that he associates systematically being overweight with the type of food you eat. I don't know about the US (never been there) but I know plenty of other countries where the thinnest people I've ever seen were all following a staunch omnivorous diet in which pizza was often on the menu, for example....

McDougall's research is not about weight loss, its about preventing and reversing heart disease and diabetes (and some other diseases) so he doesnt go into much depth on the intricacies of weight.
He associates overweight and obese with diet and exercise, yes. He also acknowledges in some articles that some people, his younger self included if I recall correctly, do not get fat easily or at all.
Metabolism is a very variable thing between different genetic groupings of people, some groups or families gain weight quite easily while others almost cant gain weight. I'm one of the latter, my blood line doesnt get overweight unless we go way overboard and then the males get visceral fat building up past the age of 50 (imagine a skinny pregnant man, those were my uncles) but the freedom from not gaining weight makes most of my extended family eat as bad as the clinically obese. We all die of heart disease and diabetes just like the clinically obese. Most of my extended family is now dead and the remainder think I'm insane for being a strict vegetarian since I cant gain weight anyway, they just dont see the link between food and diseases that kill after decades of bad eating.
I dont blame McDougall or anyone for playing the weight loss card to help people make changes that will lower chances of heart disease, diabetes, senile dementia, arthritis, parkinsons disease, etc.
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Agree. And he needs to learn that veg*n food is not about deprivation and is about eating awesome stuff.

Eating lots of awesome stuff is one of the most distinct themes of his site...
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#27 Old 04-02-2012, 10:33 PM
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He associates overweight and obese with diet and exercise, yes.

In a highly misleading manner that makes it sound like extra weight is caused by fat and protein calories and that the solution is to eat a high starch diet.

Quote:
I dont blame McDougall or anyone for playing the weight loss card to help people make changes that will lower chances of heart disease, diabetes, senile dementia, arthritis, parkinsons disease, etc.

So it's cool to trick people into a diet that you believe lowers the chance of disease by making them feel unattractive and falsely telling them it'll make them lose weight?

I will say in McDougall's defense, though, that the article was written over 3 years ago, so it's possible he's changed his tune since then.
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#28 Old 04-03-2012, 12:27 AM
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Well I liked the Registered Dietitions article. Of coarse I did. She spoke to and about me.

And I won't be buying any more of this individuals products that is for sure. And as of last year I don't donate to Farm Sanctuary anymore. Something that has saddened me greatly. And here is why. I won't say who it was but someone very heavily associated with the organization, at the Hoe Down last year, in their speech stated that vegans needed to be advocates for veganism. And the last way this individual mentioned was "by our appearance" They may have said "by how we look" but I think it was the former. As a fat vegan, those words slapped me in the face. It was not the first time I'd been shunned there by attendees but to hear that from a speaker was so hurtful. I've not donated since. I have no passion to.

I removed my youtube subscription. I didn't attend the Thanksgiving celebration last year. I had attended the last 8. Recently I found out the cow Loretta (Harrison's mama) had died of cancer. I remember donated to them when they were first rescued and it brought me joy to do so and then to meet them. I wish I could get that joy back but I can't seem to. Since I hadn't donated in a long time I recently sent a check to our local all volunteer spay and neuter program because I know the woman who runs the organization and she has always been nice to me. She was very grateful for the donation. I've had to come to the conclusion that although the money is for the animals, who the people are the money filters through matters.

I've requested the time off to go the the Hoe Down this year but I'm not 100% sure I'll go. I wish to f*** people would think about what they say and how it affects others. Apparently I'm not good enough for the vegan community but they still want my money. I guess that's good enough. But they haven't got any recently, the kitties did.
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#29 Old 04-03-2012, 04:09 AM
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There's a lot of ways I might choose to describe myself as a person, both health related and non health related. None of them really has anything to do with my waist size. I've been told that it's an indicator of one's risk for heart disease or diabetes, but thus far my vitals have been spartan, especially in the eight years I've been vegan.

I have no issues with my blood pressure. It's in the athletic range. My blood sugar, blood cholesterol, pretty much every vital statistic that usually indicate bodily health aside from outward appearance are fine. In fact I've been told they're incredible. I also rarely get sick, and haven't ever been sick enough to call out of work in my adult life. My blood work shows more than sufficient vitamin and mineral content, even B12 and D which some vegans lack.

I think I'm doing pretty damn well, health wise. You can't tell anything about a person's lifestyle based on their looks. There are people I know who look athletic outwardly but can't run 20 yards without heaving for breath because they fill their bodies with junk food and their lungs with tobacco. By Mc.Douchebag's standards they're "healthy".

I've mentioned on a handful of occasions since coming here that I don't personally like Mc.Douchebag and his medical advice. This is one more nail in the coffin. He doesn't speak for me or the vegan community.

Tam! RUGH!
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#30 Old 04-03-2012, 10:11 AM
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From what I understand Dr. McDougall is coming from primarily a health perspective so it's not too surprising that he would be concerned about us fatso's promoting a vegan diet. There's not a diet guru on the planet that would want us fatties promoting their diet given that our appearance doesn't exactly speak volumes for it's effectiveness. I've pretty much given up altogether on these jokers. Just eat how you feel, and don't worry so much about the rest.
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