Why You Won’t Hear Us Bashing Ex-Vegans

I love YouTube and follow many plant-based YouTubers. Recently I’ve noticed that some of them have chosen to stop living a plant-based lifestyle. In response to this, there has also been an increase in videos calling out those who have decided to resume eating meat.


While we won’t mention people by name (on either side of the issue)–we would be doing the very thing we’re speaking out against–we do think it’s important to talk about the issue as a whole because it feeds into so many unhealthy behaviors that can hurt the plant-based community as a whole.


Back in episode 291 of the VZ podcast, we talked about the call-out culture and why shaming people publicly is usually just a bad idea, as it causes people to raise their defenses and not listen to anything you have to say.


This situation in particular is ripe for criticism but we still believe it’s destructive.


Thus far, I’ve seen several different types of “call-outs” or criticisms of ex-vegans:

  1. The good old-fashioned bully. There are a few videos I’ve seen that make fun of ex-vegans, inserting laughter and utilizing name-calling in their videos. This feeds the cyber-bullies and really no one else. If you’ve followed us for a while, you know we are NOT about that at all. In fact, we call our community a “no-bully zone,” meaning that we just won’t tolerate that type of behavior.


  1. The pragmatist. Definitely a bit more substantial but potentially more dangerous. I can easily identify cyber-bullies and write them off. Those who go point-by-point, trying to medically diagnose what it was that caused the former vegan to abandon the lifestyle, are more frustrating. They are not in a position to know what discussions occurred between the former vegan and their doctors, or what physical, spiritual, or emotional changes may have occurred. Personally, I do appreciate their input, but it’s important to remember that information you gather from anyone, especially Joe Shmoe on the internet, should be taken with a giant chunk of salt.


  1. The conspiracy theorist. Yes, some people have gone there, noting how “strange” it is that so many vegan influencers are suddenly abandoning veganism at the same time, and attributing it to some sort of “conspiracy” by the meat and dairy industries. We know that these industries are capable of a lot of things but this is a bit of a stretch. I’m unsure if these “conspiracy theorists” are joking or serious but it seems awfully unlikely that, years ago, some folks got together, decided to become mega-vegan influencers, consequently raked in a lot of money, and then all decided to jump ship at the same time.


Many former vegans and vegetarians who chose to share their stories on YouTube have been dragged through the mud online. It will likely be difficult for them to recover their online presences. Seems like a high price to pay for such a personal decision.


We hope this episode has helped reinforce our mission here at Vegetarian Zen. When we turn against each other no one wins, especially the animals. While we certainly aren’t advocating complacency, we are advocating tolerance and understanding. Being a compassionate person should extend to every living thing on this planet.



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Recipe of the Week


Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

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