Body-shaming in our society is a huge thing. It’s unfortunate that some people feel they have the right to have an opinion on others’ bodies, because they don’t. A person’s body is their own and shouldn’t matter to other people.
Sadly, there’s body-shaming everywhere we look — even in the vegan community. The vegan community is supposed to be a community that’s about choosing compassion for other living beings; but there are individuals who, either intentionally or unintentionally, body-shame other people. And, frankly, it’s unacceptable and it turns people away.
Even if some vegans are not specifically commenting on others’ bodies, I’ve heard some talk about how a certain body type is best. Some vegans believe that we all need to be a positive representation of the vegan community…in terms of how we look. They feel that it’s important to have a “nice” body to promote veganism. And that’s bullshit. There is no “right” type of vegan body. Vegans come in all shapes and sizes, and I feel that making statements like this turns a lot of people away. Even if it doesn’t turn people away from being vegan, it, many times, turns people away from becoming active in the community because they may fear being shamed. And that’s not fair…for people or the animals. We need to make sure that all vegans know that they’re accepted as is and their contribution to the vegan movement is valued.
Being vegan has nothing to do with size. Veganism is about choosing compassion for all life. Everyone is welcome in the vegan community…regardless of your size. Please don’t ever let body-shamers make you feel like you’re the “wrong” type of vegan because your body is not up to their standards. If you choose to live a vegan lifestyle, then you’re the “right” type of vegan…regardless of what your body looks like.
Vegans, let’s make sure that we welcome everybody and every body. Do the animals really care what we look like? No, they don’t. They’re too busy being slaughtered by the tens of billions per year. Let’s stay focused on what veganism is all about.
To all the non-body-shaming vegans…I see you and I appreciate you! Compassion is the heart of the vegan movement, so keep going.