Well this is a long-time-coming post….
I’ve followed Jordan Younger since well.. I first created my Instagram account, which was back in the summer of 2013. She was even the person who kind of inspired me to go vegan! In December 2013, I noticed I was having really bad bloating and stomach problems. I happened to be reading her blog (theblondevegan at the time), and she discussed how she had these exact same problems and that is what caused her to go vegan!!
YAY!! I was so happy. Someone I could finally relate to. I ended up going vegan (or.. plant based actually.. but I didn’t know the difference at the time), and immediately my stomach issues went away and I was never happier.
I’ve mentioned this in previous blog posts, but basically, I was a very uneducated ‘vegan’. I didn’t go vegan to be healthy, I didn’t go vegan to save the animals, and I sure as hell didn’t go vegan to save the planet. I didn’t even KNOW about any of those things. It wasn’t until two or three months of being vegan, that I randomly decided to watch five documentaries in one day (Forks over Knives, Food Inc, Vegucated, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, and Earthlings) WOW. That changed my opinion on EVERYTHING. I was like, “wait.. what? Meat and dairy are UNHEALTHY!?? Animals get TORTURED AND SLAUGHTERED every single day!!??? I was overwhelmed to say the least. So I changed my ways and was a full fledged, committed VEGAN (and proud).
But I think my vegan/plant based ways were influenced by the person who introduced me to the word vegan, which was Jordan Younger.
She labeled herself as a vegan, and so when I went ‘vegan’, I thought everything was fine and dandy. But it wasn’t. (Now I know that there is a huge difference between vegan and plant-based)
It is now November 2015, and things have changed… a lot.
In June 2014, Jordan Younger announced that she was no longer vegan due to the fact that she developed an eating disorder called Orthorexia. Everyone was shocked and horrified to say the least. I think she lost about 1000 followers, tons of blog readers, and received plenty of hate and even death threats.
I was devastated. I had followed Jordan for so long and looked up to her as my vegan inspiration. And now, here she was, ditching the title, and returning to not only eggs and dairy, but fish and MEAT as well!!!
So long story short, her story blew up. Every single news outlet was reporting about THE BLONDE VEGAN: the girl who turned away from veganism and received death threats!! It was everywhere!! Every website I turned to was reporting on Jordan Younger. Then she got a book deal.
So two weeks ago, her book/memoir finally was released. And can you guess the title? BREAKING VEGAN. BAM.
I already wrote a blog post on this topic back in April of this year titled: Veganism or Orthorexia, so you can read that posts for my thoughts on that whole controversy.
But basically today I am going to be talking about my thoughts on the book release, Jordan Younger, and it’s title.
Since the release of her book, Jordan has been getting tons of hate all over again. Angry vegans getting angry for the huge amount of publicity this is getting.
But Jordan has not once, but three times, written about this on her blog. She has NOTHING against veganism; she has made this evidently clear. She does not BLAME veganism for developing orthorexia. She knows this was caused by her obsessive all-or-nothing personality. Yet, if Jordan is admitting these things, why are all these media outlets blaming veganism?
Now, I haven’t read the book (yet?) but I already know it gives a bad name to veganism. And that will probably apply to the majority of people. Because not everyone in the world is going to read her book, but if they see it online or on a bookshelf, the first thing they see is BREAKING VEGAN, and the first thing they think is, wow, veganism DOES suck!!!!!!
This isn’t Jordan’s fault. (Okay, maybe a bit for choosing to name her book that). But it is mostly the news outlets and agencies that are reporting on this. I saw this one screenshot online from the TV with this message broadcasted across the bottom:
BLOGGER SAYS BEING VEGAN NEARLY KILLED HER
Okay.. a bit extreme, don’t ya think?
It wasn’t veganism that nearly killed her – it was her orthorexia, which may I just mention that literally anyone in the world can develop, vegan or not? Why is no one mentioning this?
Also some will argue that Jordan was never truly a vegan; she just chose to follow a plant based diet.
That is a big thing that many people get confused with. The term vegan was created solely for animal rights. A plant based diet is a health choice. And while I don’t blame Jordan for developing an eating disorder or even writing a book called Breaking Vegan, I do have to admit that I think she was plant based rather than vegan, and that should have been made clear from the beginning.
Jordan had an obsession with healthy eating. That is the reason that she decided to ‘vegan’ (or plantbased). So already right there the problem was in her head, not veganism. Veganism was simply another by-product/result of her obsession with clean eating.
Tons of people live vegan and never develop eating disorders. And some vegans do. But the same thing applies for meat eaters. TONS of girls develop anorexia and bulimia each year, but no one blames it on being an omnivore, do they? Why not? Because it’s a mental illness that is not CAUSED by diet, DIET is simply the OUTCOME.
Girls starve themselves. Starving themselves doesn’t make them anorexic (underweight), the mental illness in their brain does that. Being skinny is simply an outcome.
That’s why I’ve always hated when people say, “you look anorexic”. YOU CANNOT LOOK ANOREXIC. ANOREXIA IS A MENTAL ILLNESS IN YOUR BRAIN!! Overweight people can be anorexic because it is all in their head.
ANYWAYS, MOVING ON.
I do not hate Jordan. I applaud her for her bravery on making this huge announcement and dealing with the immense amount of hate she is receiving. However, I do think she is in the wrong for labeling herself as a vegan, when she was in fact plant based, and also for naming her book breaking vegan, when like I just stated, she was plant based.
But I understand Jordan’s side of this. She says the point of the book is not to shame or blame veganism, but to make a point about breaking labels. Well, that’s great and all Jordan that you choose not to label yourself, but again, labels were not the problem; your mental illness was. I can label myself as anything I want, but it’s up to me to determine how that label affects my life. (Similar to the recent argument about Essena Oneill and Social Media. Social Media is not detrimental – but it’s a tool that allows you to have detrimental thoughts)
I love the word vegan. To me, I associate it with love, well-being, compassion, animals, earth, and so many other beautiful things. It is unfortunate that because of this, people will see veganism differently and perhaps even not allow their children to go vegan because they think it causes orthorexia. (Again, not your fault Jordan.. it’s the media’s fault)
End note: And VEGANS; stop yelling at her, swearing, and telling her she belongs in hell. This is NOT helping the vegan movement. Do you want people to associate veganism with psychopaths who yell at others? I understand your anger, I really do. But please consider taking a more gentle, understanding approach and perhaps seeing the WHOLE story rather than just the part about her making a book called Breaking Vegan. We are all humans and we’re allowed to get angry, but getting angry really just isn’t helping anyone.
Jordan’s Blog: http://www.thebalancedblonde.com/