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The Difficult Thing About Going Vegan

A while back, Dan commented that the most difficult thing about going vegan is the most difficult thing about life in general–other people.

Well, other people don’t appear to be making life any easier for the Milwaukee Brewers’ Prince Fielder, who has become a vegetarian.

Let’s deconstruct:

Fielder and his diet have become as delicious for critics as the rib eyes he used to love.

“Fans last year were yelling at me, ‘Hey Prince, eat a salad!’ ” Fielder said during dinner at a Milwaukee restaurant last Tuesday. “This year they’re saying, ‘Eat a steak!’ I feel like going: ‘Keep yelling, buddy. You’re still in the stands.’ ”

Great comeback.

Fielder, 23, decided to make the switch over the winter after reading how cattle and chickens were treated and “was totally grossed out,” he said. His wife, Chanel, preferred a no-meat diet as it was, so he embraced a new approach.

Two things jump out:

  1. He did it because of the treatment of the animals, yet didn’t include milk products and eggs, which just might contain more suffering than a hamburger. Someone ought to tell him that.
  2. His wife eschews meat, which is great because he has support at home.

I have a question about something on the following page that I don’t understand:

Names of any other baseball-playing vegetarians remain a mystery; the tight end Tony Gonzalez of the Kansas City Chiefs last year became a vegan [but not really], meaning he also eschews eggs and dairy.

Not quite so draconian, Fielder still has received advice on his new diet from Leslie Bonci of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Not quite so draconian?  Is the article’s author, Alan Schwarz, referring to veganism as draconian? I don’t understand.

Brewers fans do not seem quite so comfortable with their brawny slugger becoming so refined.

Refined? That was an interesting choice, don’t you think?

Dan Ricksetter of Milwaukee added: “It was a bit disheartening when he decided to become a vegetarian. Brats are intrinsic to our culture. They’re the breakfast of champions. I’m not sure which sport.”

Perhaps Mr. Fielder realized that culture is no excuse for torture.

You can write to the New York Times about Fielder and the article referenced above at Maybe congratulations are in order, maybe you want to point out that milk products and eggs are not without hideous cruelty. Here’s Fielder’s page on the official Brewers site, and here’s the fan feedback e-mail page.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. While following the debates about how easy or not it is to go vegan, I came across this which pretty much shocked me:

    This person seems to think going ~vegetarian~ may take several years. She advised one parent of a 13 year old to think in terms of a 5-year transition to vegetarianism (to give bodies time to adjust apparently).

    And if one gets wind – then try an egg or eat some chickens!! As for vegan – well, that can be the route to malnutrition…


    April 27, 2008
  2. I agree–there's some shocking advice on that site. I kept thinking maybe it was from 1979. It seems so retro.

    April 27, 2008
  3. Roger #

    The blog is current – and the links to it:

    April 27, 2008
  4. "Other people" indeed. I believe that our identities are constitutive of our interactions and experiences; therefore, the constant mockery and ridicule that often accompanies one's decision to go vegan may be difficult. I understand this very well – it take's a strong individual to remove themselves from the dominant ethic. To be ridiculed by those closest to you can affect how you view yourself, and what form your identity takes.

    April 27, 2008

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