Sunday, September 19, 2010

Of cheatatarians & turncoats...

(Above: Angelina Jolie, "ex-vegan"...)

There's a new word in the English language (as if we need any more of them): cheatatarian.

Recently, AOLNews contributor Katie Drummond defined the word: "At home, they're an avid devourer of rubbed kale salads and scrambled tofu. To friends and family, they're known as the resident vegan or vegetarian. But behind closed doors, or maybe even after one too many drinks at a cocktail party, they're shoveling down bacon-wrapped scallops." (Source.)

The newly coined word "cheatatarian" appeared on a recent Blog entry on the Website As the author of the post, Sami Grover, noted:
Ultimately there's no easy term for such a habit, and it's no easy concept to discuss. Whether "cheatatarianism" is just an amusing manifestation of our search for ethical eating, and the moral ambiguity of what those ethics are, or whether it is an absolute abomination will depend on the people in question. Some vegans and vegetarians will no doubt be disgusted at the concept of their partner eating meat—and if they've been open about it from the start, then sneaking around is just plain wrong. Others, most likely, would just rather not think about it, see it, or know about it. And then there are those who came to veganism/vegetarianism after the relationship started—in which case, can we really expect our partners to follow suit? (Source.)
Not surprisingly, the word "cheatatarian" is catching on at a time when we're hearing about various famous people and celebrities abandoning veganism and vegeterianism. Maybe some of you heard about Angelina Jolie (pictured above) declaring that she was giving up on veganism. "I was a vegan for a long time and it nearly killed me," she said. "I found I was not getting enough nutrition." (Source.) Jolie, who never made much of a public issue of her veganism before (you gotta wonder how dedicated she really was...), received a lot of publicity when she fell off the vegan wagon and said the secret of her beauty is a "juicy steak."

Over the summer, the press reported that actress Zooey Deschanel ditched veganism. "I gave it a good try," she said, "but sometimes you just need a little something, a little meat." (Source.) Deschanel cannot eat soy or wheat products, so her diet was limited. She said she needed meat to give her more nutritional variety.

A less famous ship jumper was British author, Guardian columnist and activist George Monbiot. The headline of his September 6 column said it all: "I was wrong about veganism. Let them eat meat - but farm it properly." Monbiot writes:
In the Guardian in 2002 I discussed the sharp rise in the number of the world's livestock, and the connection between their consumption of grain and human malnutrition. After reviewing the figures, I concluded that veganism "is the only ethical response to what is arguably the world's most urgent social justice issue". I still believe that the diversion of ever wider tracts of arable land from feeding people to feeding livestock is iniquitous and grotesque.... I no longer believe that the only ethical response is to stop eating meat. (Source.)
These aren't the first high-profile people to abandon veganism and they won't be the last. Expect other ex-vegans to milk their conversions for all they're worth. They'll fall back on the old litany of excuses: A plant-based diet depletes the land. Veganism is not healthy or nutritious. Human beings are omnivores. You can't get vitamin B12 by being a vegan. You can't get enough protein by being a vegan. Vegans cheat anyway (hence, the term "cheatatarian"), so why bother? There are even those dim-witted souls who argue that "plants have feelings, too," therefore it's fine to eat meat.

Expect to hear more from "cheatatarians," the "ex-vegans," the people who fall of the wagon or experience an "epiphany" about the evils of a plant-based diet. They'll pop up all over the place. They'll admit they were "wrong," "misguided," maybe even "foolish." And they'll undoubtedly express happiness about seeing the light.

What they won't discuss - what will be curiously absent from their turncoat commentaries - is any sort of discussion about the mass murder of animals. They won't mention anything about animals being sentient beings, with feelings. They won't grapple with the fact that we, as a human race, have no right whatsoever to exploit, kill, experiment on or abuse - in any way, shape or form - animals.

Animals will be absent from their "awakenings." It's all about me. Me, me, me, me, me. My nutrition. My diet. My realization. My well-being.

On this Blog, I often say that denial is our main adversary. But there are others. Narcissism is another. The ex-vegans will either take animals out of the equation or - worse - reduce them to unfeeling commodities, who deserve to be on our dinner plates.

Don't believe a word of it.

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