Eat the blond vegan

Published on July 3rd, 2014 | by Jill Ettinger


Blogger ‘The Blonde Vegan’ Gets the Vegan Diet Really, Really Wrong

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the blond vegan

Blogger Jordan Younger, best known as “The Blonde Vegan” recently confessed to her 70,000 followers that she’s given up on her vegan diet because of a battle with orotherexia—an eating disorder described as an obsession with eating only healthy foods. She’s now going as “The Blonde Veggie.”

Younger started The Blonde Vegan blog a year ago when at the ripe old age of 22 she identified as “being plant-based.” But in the life of a now-23-year-old, that was way back when she apparently didn’t know just how much she’d miss eggs. Younger claims her vegan diet quickly spiraled into an unhealthy obsession with food. “I would just stand in front of the refrigerator for 20 minutes totally panicking that I wasn’t going to be eating the right thing for my body,” she told ABC News. “I was a slave to food.” And now, reintroducing animal products is supposed to be helping her recover from that obsession.

We can only assume there’s a book deal on the way for Younger chronicling her terrifying year enslaved to eggplants and zucchini. The horror she must have experienced. Thank goodness she’s returned to eating real food like eggs and cheese. No slavery there….except for the actual slave-like conditions animals raised for food experience until they’re brutally slaughtered. Perhaps someone should tell Ms. Younger about that.

I’m not suggesting that Younger shouldn’t be truthful with her followers or even eat animal products if that’s what she craves. But the tragedy here isn’t that she stood in front of her refrigerator for 20 minutes panicking—she seems to be doing just fine now—it’s that veganism will once again get lumped in with unhealthy eating “obsessions” or worse, the dreaded eating disorder. Which. It. Most. Certainly. Is. Not. Younger’s flip-flop is a problem happening a lot lately when it comes to the vegan diet: It’s being treated as strictly a weight loss or health management diet and not the important ethical and environmental choice it is. I have a lot of sympathy for a 20-something who took her eating choices to an extreme–eating disorders are an issue in this country–but this just smells like the cheese she couldn’t keep herself from eating.

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About the Author

Jill Ettinger is co-director of Eat Drink Better. She is the senior editor at and A focus on food, herbs, wellness and world cultural expressions, Jill explores what our shifting food, healing systems and creative landscapes will look, sound and taste like in the future. Stay in touch on Twitter @jillettinger and .

  • geraldshields

    Let’s be fair here: It’s tough being a vegan. You’re always having a hard time finding the right things to eat. I’ve had those same issues that Jordan faced. My honest opinion is that if you’re a vegan because you want to save the world or you love animals, then you’re already on a path that lead to relapsing back to the meat world. I’m still a vegan not because of moral reasons, but because of health reasons. And let’s face it : Man wasn’t made to digest vast quantities of meat or fish or milk or dairy products.

    • Nigel

      Hi – can you be more explicit on the difficulties ? -what is so tough about being vegan other than eating when travelling etc.

  • Rachel

    Clearly you’ve never met somebody with orthexia or had to battle it yourself. It’s a severe disorder that can be as dangerous as bulimia and anorexia. If the restrictions of veganism leads somebody with a particular psychology to become too restrictive, then yes, they should stop. That’s why you’re supposed to consult with a doctor before making any drastic dietary changes. And if she’s in a position where she can help prevent others from taking things to far and hurting themselves, then she shoulod share her knowledge and experience. Before you start judging her for just wanting cheese and a book deal, why don’t you learn a bit about the problem so you sound like less of a pretentious asshole.

  • Danielle

    I’m vegan, and I couldn’t agree more with Rachel. Live and let live. The only body you need to worry about is yours. The only choices you have control over are your own. And unless you’ve lived in her body and her mind you have absolutely no idea what went into her most likely very difficult decision to occasionally eat animal products. Why does eating a plant-based diet have to be so black and white? Instead of flipping out when someone eats a piece of fish once a week, how about focusing on all the animal-free meals they ate the other 95% of the time? Or acknowledging that the eggs they had two mornings a week were from a small, local organic farm where the chickens roam freely and happily, a farm that is now supported by one more person in the fight against factory farming? Having such an elitist, vegans vs. the world mentality does more harm than good and turns more people off to including more plant based foods in their diet, and I feel like I’m fighting against the holier-than-thou “vegan police” stigma just as much as I’m fighting against hardcore meat and potatoes eaters every time I tell someone I’m vegan. You can still make enormous strides towards a more sustainable future, fight cruelty to farm animals and enjoy better health without being 100% anything, and that’s something that seems to be overlooked way too often. Labels are for designer handbags. Not for humans.

  • Rebby

    What a gross blog post. Why so judgy?

  • Jordan Younger

    Just came across your post when searching for the GMA segment on the internet– thought you might want to get your facts straight. I am not eating cheese, and reintroducing animal protein isn’t serving to help me recover from “being a slave to eggplant and zucchini” (funny though). You can read the whole story on my blog if you’d like to have a more correct article on your site!

  • Rachel

    I find it both extremely interesting and saddening that, rather than respond to the three comments calling this post judgmental, the author decided to simply delete the comments. Seems cowardly to me. I wonder if Jordan Younger’s post will be deleted next.

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  • George

    I believe Orthorexia is misspelled.

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  • Allie

    Really? Shame on you for attacking this woman who has battled through an illness that she didn’t ask for (newsflash: no one asks to get sick!!). Do you think she wanted to stop? Do you really think she didn’t know about factory farm cruelty?

    My mother is a lung cancer survivor and is still frail from it. She cannot eat too many carbs because cancer cells feed off of sugar (naturally occurring or not) so he has to eat meat. She eats mostly vegetables though because he prefers it and has been inspired by my plant based lifestyle. Are you going to sit there and judge my mom for eating a small piece of chicken every day for lunch, even though she eschews eggs and dairy? It’s same thing. My mother didn’t choose her illness and she needs to consume meat because of her condition. She also buys chicken from a small farm from our state called Mary’s Chickens. Here’s a video of the chickens (not) being brutally abused: If I had to eat meat I’d buy from this farm, too.

    Instead of making her look like an a**hole now you look like one. Congrats. Veganism is about practicing compassion for all animals-try including the human ones next time, too.

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