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Welcome to the weekly debate thread..

I have a radfem instagram in which I also post vegan activism. I get a lot of hate for my veganism, largely from other radical feminists. This isn't surprising to me considering that most radfems have the same excuses and anti-vegan beliefs and dissonance that the general public has ("animals eat other animals," "I'm a lion," "my ancestors eat meat," etc).

However, the one excuse and anti-vegan comment I see the most is that veganism is an eating disorder or will lead to an eating disorder.

Using veganism as a means to avoid eating or to restrict your calories has everything to do with your eating disorder and nothing to do with veganism. An eating disorder is a behavioral disorder, whether its an overeating or undereating disorder, and a mental illness. Veganism is a lifestyle which strives to reduce and eliminate the use of animal products in ones life. These two things have nothing to do with each other.

I have an eating disorder, albeit it is an overeating disorder, so it is not recognized, glamorized or popularized the way undereating disorders are. I have been vegan 5 years and I am vegan for the animals. I am able to separate my eating disordered behaviors and my desire to prevent unnecessary suffering from animals; one is a behavioral/mental condition I live with, the other is my morals and values.

I have seen a lot of radfems claim that veganism is inherently bad for women because its an ED or leads to "restriction." I find this to be massively condescending, firstly because there is an assumption that all women want to diet or dont know how to feed themselves properly if they were to be vegan, and secondly because most vegans are women! We are the ones who care about this issue and actually give a shit about saving animals!

Welcome to the weekly debate thread.. I have a radfem instagram in which I also post vegan activism. I get a lot of hate for my veganism, largely from other radical feminists. This isn't surprising to me considering that most radfems have the same excuses and anti-vegan beliefs and dissonance that the general public has ("animals eat other animals," "I'm a lion," "my ancestors eat meat," etc). However, the one excuse and anti-vegan comment I see the most is that veganism is an eating disorder or will lead to an eating disorder. Using veganism as a means to avoid eating or to restrict your calories has everything to do with your eating disorder and nothing to do with veganism. An eating disorder is a behavioral disorder, whether its an overeating or undereating disorder, and a mental illness. Veganism is a lifestyle which strives to reduce and eliminate the use of animal products in ones life. These two things have nothing to do with each other. I have an eating disorder, albeit it is an overeating disorder, so it is not recognized, glamorized or popularized the way undereating disorders are. I have been vegan 5 years and I am vegan for the animals. I am able to separate my eating disordered behaviors and my desire to prevent unnecessary suffering from animals; one is a behavioral/mental condition I live with, the other is my morals and values. I have seen a lot of radfems claim that veganism is inherently bad for women because its an ED or leads to "restriction." I find this to be massively condescending, firstly because there is an assumption that all women want to diet or dont know how to feed themselves properly if they were to be vegan, and secondly because most vegans are women! We are the ones who care about this issue and actually give a shit about saving animals!

23 comments

[–] platypus 9 points (+9|-0)

I'm also a vegan ED-survivor. I find it the opposite of restriction, in practice. Vegan food is less calorically dense in general, so I can eat throughout the day without worrying that "oh no, this will make me fat." I know I can really easily maintain a healthy weight, even if I "indulge" and eat a bunch of candy or something.
On top of that, I feel like veganism has shifted my association with food from "this is about weight" to "this is about helping animals." When I shop I'm not counting calories, I'm looking for new delicious vegan foods to try. Because the more delicious vegan foods I learn about and the more I can make veganism an enjoyable experience for myself, the more I can help other people transition to veganism in a fun and easy way.
Even when I'm feeling negative about myself, I'm still motivated to stay healthy so I don't make veganism look bad. Many days that one exact thought has convinced me to eat when I was really tempted to restrict.

Of course that's just my experience. I've heard there are people whose ED involved veganism in some way. But I'd say I've met way more people whose ED recovery involved veganism because it takes the emphasis off you and your body, and onto activism and concern for animals.

[–] InvisibleWoman 3 points (+3|-0)

I'm so glad veganism has helped you with your ED. I've had a similar experience with it: approaching food from a moral perspective allowed me to reframe it in my mind and take concrete steps towards healthier eating.

It has been my experience that those who use veganism as an excuse to limit their food intake usually don't remain vegan for a very long time and move onto another restricted diet instead.