Eat the blond vegan

Published on July 3rd, 2014 | by Jill Ettinger

16

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 EcoSalon.com and OrganicAuthority.com. 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?

  • http://www.theblondevegan.com 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: http://www.maryschickens.com/farmvideo.htm 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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  • http://www.EmpireOfTheSunspirit.com/ Lara

    Wow, people are really putting down Jill for her blog post. I feel for her because I actually liked her article. I believe that we all have a right to live as we were created and that humans don’t have dominion over animals or this planet. I think it is really easy to be a vegan. I used to be all raw. I may dothat again. I tried 5 times and might get it right in the future. However, having had that experience, I find that being vegan is really easy for me. I chose to let go of the negative hype over soy and I don’t eat tons of it either. That helped me a lot. It might change in the future, but I am good with it. I happen to like the fact that I am cruelty free and if I was
    sick, I certainly wouldn’t blame my diet. I believe that illness doesn’t start
    on the physical level, but on the mental and emotional and sometimes spiritual
    level. So, I look for the core cause. My solutions to all health issues are never about should I use another living being that was created to live here as I have been and wishes to share the planet with me. We co-exist in nature, that’s the way I see it. I am a vegan for the animals, for the environment, for my spiritual evolution, for my levels of compassion to increase, and lastly for my health because I think I can survive in most conditions pretty well and, again, because I don’t have the basis of my health just on the physical level. I manage most of my
    health with regards to my brain chemicals. Moving my body in nature is
    for me like eating an organic salad and increases my endorphins. I
    am not consumed with what to eat or not to eat. I don’t even think that
    much about it because it is not the center of my life. I do feel for the
    ones who have the eating disorders, but I would talk to someone about what is going on in the mental and emotional spheres and not blame it solely on the physical level, i.e. on foods. I don’t believe in what most doctors
    say so I cannot understand those viewpoints because they don’t resonate with my
    own personal truths. I think we should all do what is best for us, but I
    include animals when I write the word “us.” I include them in my group of beings, they are my “we,” “us,” “you” etc. pronouns. I don’t separate animals from my group. They are my group. I am as concerned about them just as I am concerned about people suffering needlessly in the world. To me, we are part of a whole and were created here to live together in peace and harmony. I feel that to attain world peace, we will eventually come to that conclusion in our own time. Hopefully sooner than later because world peace is necessary for “us” all to live.

  • Kristina

    Having the choice to be Vegan in the first place is a privilege. Getting to choose what we eat, having options. All a privilege. Animal products or no animal products. We have a choice in this country. Even still there are people in this country who still don’t have that choice or the option to buy food at all. Be glad you can gobble down all the fruit and vegetables you want. Other countries, people are vegan not by choice. It’s because they are poverty stricken and it’s what’s available. Just vegetables. They don’t even get a variety of vegetables , it’s one or two vegetables that they consume over and over. Being a Vegan is not tough, it’s a lifestyle choice. Choice.

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