On “Fat” and Veganism
A handful of people have commented about their weight, saying they are vegans–and not junk food vegans–and they are not thin.
I have mentioned my "skinny fat" friends who are thin, regardless of what they eat, and don't exercise and wouldn't be considered "fit." In clothing they simply look like trim, healthy people, which likely belies what's going on on the inside. And for those who do eat well, and do exercise, yet are overweight (and for the rest of us), there's "Fat: What No One is Telling You," a documentary referenced by Alternet's Maggie Mahar.
You can be an omnivore and be obese, and you can be a vegan and be obese. And you can exercise for hours a day, as one woman who is featured in the film does, and still be obese.
Conventional wisdom says that if you put too much food in your mouth and don't exercise enough, you'll wind up fat. Period. As is so often the case, the conventional wisdom is wrong. Experts report that some people eat rich, fatty foods, never exercise and remain thin. Others exercise daily, diet religiously and are seriously overweight. Of course many overweight people who need to lose 20 or 25 pounds take it off and keep it off. But they are not obese — they are not fighting a chronic condition.
Medical science has not yet sliced through the tangle of genetic, metabolic, social, psychological and environmental factors that cause obesity."
Some people are somehow wired to remain heavy, and though veganism can certainly boost health in many ways, it's not a guaranteed weight loss plan. And people who remain overweight after going vegan, or who gain weight, aren't necessarily "doing something wrong." Marketing veganism as a weight-loss plan is dicey because if we don't know why someone is obese to begin with, we cannot assume that removing animal products will be the factor that creates sudden and sustained weight loss.
If you don't want to kill anyone unless you have to, go vegan. If you want to lose weight, you most certainly can try veganism, but it doesn't come with a guarantee.