I once spent quite a lot of time reading raw vegan forums and message boards and interacting with the people who posted there – but just lately I’ve noticed that a lot of these places are becoming platforms for people to bully others who may not hold such extreme views as themselves.
I was once a “food evangelist” too, pushing my almost religious beliefs about food and health on to anyone who would listen – and to plenty who didn’t want to listen either! I knew my views on health were right, and there was no way I was going to let anyone slip through the cracks!
Thank goodness I grew up!
Maybe we all need to go through this stage before we come out the other end wiser and more humble people with a greater appreciation that every individual is on a different journey through this life, and that one size dietary regimes do not fit all.
I have been accused on this blog of being “religious” in my views around food – but obviously those people haven’t read a lot of what I’ve written, because many a time I have urged people to lighten up, to not be obsessive about every morsel, to eat a small amount of organic meat if you so choose, to not judge others for their choices, to not use your choice of diet to act superior to others, and to know that there is more to health than just food.
So it saddens me to hear that people are abused on some raw vegan sites for expressing differing opinions about what is best to eat. Surely a healthy attitude is about sharing knowledge as compassionate, caring human beings? Once bullying starts, I have to wonder why the bully has such a need to be right, that he or she would hit out and abuse others to prove it.
Charles Eisenstein, a writer I admire very much has this to say in his book “The Yoga of Eating” – “There are people, most notably extreme adherents of various dietary philosophies or exercise regimens, who worship bodily health, seeing it as an indication of virtue, and disease as a sign of, or punishment for, some impurity of diet or practice.
According to this calculus, the healthy zealot of our scenario is superior to the sick people of the world. He is better than they are. He has found the True Gospel, and will not hesitate to proselytize. Very often (as with anyone who clings to pride) the result is humiliation – and what could be more humiliating to the health zealot than a serious illness?
But even if the health-worshipper never gets sick, what good does his health do? The body is our vehicle for living and acting in the world’ it is meant to be used. There is more to health, to wholeness, than mere physical integrity. You have been incarnated as this body for a purpose, and to achieve it your body possesses tremendous strength, resilience, and resources.”
I agree. There is enough argument and ugliness in this world without throwing raw food into the ring.
On the other end though, Jennie from Raw Pleasure has done a monumental job of keeping her forum a friendly and non-judgemental place to exchange ideas on raw vegan food and lifestyle. Check it out! Raw Pleasure Forum