Monday, June 23, 2014

From the Archive: So, are you trying to lose weight?

"From the Archive" is a series of posts that I wrote on past, no-longer-updated blogs that I feel are good enough to need a new home.

This post was originally written in January 2014.

I have been following vegan blogs and Twitter accounts pretty frequently since my month-long foray last year, and in doing so, I've encountered a depressing amount of fat-shaming.

There seem to be a lot of places touting veganism as a hot new way to lose weight, and frankly I'm pretty sick of it.

I am NOT doing this to lose weight. As I say in my FAQ section, I practice Health at Every Size and am a believer in fat acceptance. I am a fat woman and will likely stay that way.

I have a checkered and troubled history with dieting, as do many women nowadays, especially those of us who grew up as the chubby kid. I was on and off diets from the age of 8 or 9 until I swore them off entirely in my mid-20s. Name a weight-loss company or fad diet, and I've probably tried it. At one point (the last straw, really) I even did one of those liquid things that keeps you at caloric levels below what might be considered torture if it were done on prisoners of war. Oh, and that was supervised by a "doctor" who also prescribed me Phentermine, which was one half of Fen-Phen. Which, you know, killed people.

If anyone is going to come at me with how terrrrrrrible it is to be fat, I'm going to point you here, here, here, and here.

I've seen too much anti-fat bias in the vegan community. It needs to end. There have been fat-shaming PETA ads (they are one of MANY reasons I dislike PETA) as well as everyday, casual uses of anti-chub language all over vegan blogs and social media feeds.

This is NOT a weight loss plan. This is a way of eating that makes me feel good about my choices for animals and the environment, and makes my body feel better. It has nothing to do with the amount of adipose tissue residing under my skin.

This is a body positive vegan blog.

Monday, June 16, 2014

From the Archive: Enough with the protein question, already

"From the Archive" is a series of posts that I wrote on past, no-longer-updated blogs that I feel are good enough to need a new home.

This post was originally written in January 2014.

Inevitably, if you are vegetarian or vegan, people are going to ask you how you get your protein. After restraining yourself from saying "by drinking the tears of my enemies" or "feasting on the unborn," you may want some information on how to actually answer the question.

I'm going to pull a few things from the Vegetarian Resource Group to show you. All of the following foods are vegan and have a decent amount of protein in them:

1 cup Oatmeal - 6g
1 cup Soymilk - 7g
1 Bagel -  9g
1 cup Vegetarian Baked Beans - 12g
5 oz firm Tofu - 11g
1 cup cooked Brown Rice - 5g
2 Tbsp Almonds - 4g
2 Tbsp Peanut Butter - 8g
1 cup cooked Lentils - 18g

That's just a few examples from their sample meals. They've got a list with more detailed information about various protein sources including tempeh, beans, quinoa, vegetables, nuts, and pastas.

Basically, if you are eating a balanced diet, you are getting plenty of protein.

(Now stop asking, non-veggies.)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Scary, New and Educational

This week marked the beginning of my summer semester. That probably doesn't seem like a huge deal -- I'm basically a professional student at this point -- but there was something about it that was pretty unnerving. I'm taking a class that is outside both my university and my subject area.

For my program, I have to take three classes of electives in a related field. I decided, since I'd like to focus my dissertation somehow on marginalized groups of people, that sociology would be the best choice for those courses. Unfortunately, my school doesn't offer that subject at the graduate level, so I had to take them elsewhere. The upside of this is that the school where I am going is in the CUNY system, and thus a whole lot cheaper than my private university.

It's also significantly closer to my apartment. I'm talking a 20-30 minute commute instead of two hours. But, as much as the distance to my regular classes sucks, I'm comfortable with the setting and the people. I've also been in the program for two years, so I feel as though I have a decent grasp on the subject area. All of that is out the window for the next several weeks.

New people. New setting. Less comfortable chairs. A subject area in which I have only a tenuous grasp. Administrative headaches so that the credits can be recognized and financial aid will still be disbursed. It's scary. But I'm confronting it. Which is something to be proud of.

I'm trying to acknowledge to myself when I do things that are brave. Going to a book club meeting a couple of weeks ago. Calling Medicaid for information. Taking a class in an unfamiliar setting. I'm hoping if I keep that all in mind I can develop confidence in myself.

Monday, June 2, 2014

From the Archive: I don't want to associate with fat-shamers

"From the Archive" is a series of posts that I wrote on past, no-longer-updated blogs that I feel are good enough to need a new home.

This post was originally written in January 2014.

I recently requested to join a "vegan humor" group on Facebook (what? Vegans have a sense of humor?! Gasp!), and was somewhat dismayed with what I saw.

You guessed it, fat-shaming.

I don't clearly remember all of the stuff that I came across, but there were at least a couple that related to animals who had gotten fat by eating fast food. First of all, that's not even original. The "lol, McDonald's makes you fat" trope has been happening forever. Don't insult me with lazy comedy. Second, it's not based on truth. Fat people don't have significantly different lifestyles than thin people. Individuals have different sizes and shapes across the spectrum of eating and movement regiments -- from couch potatoes to Olympic athletes. Stop spreading misinformation. Third, you're being hateful and rude. Don't do that.

Needless to say (I assume), I left the group. While technically the admin seems to have decreed that body-shaming wasn't allowed, these posts were still up, and any dissent against them was thinsplained away. Not worth the aggravation.

But here's the most important part: I don't want to associate with people who think that kind of hate is funny or clever. The internet is a place where I have forged friendships, and I prefer not to have those sorts of individuals in my life. I don't stand for bigotry, and I don't want to make friends with people who do.