Vegan Doctors Try To Fat-Shame People Out Of Eating Cheese

Would you stop eating cheese if a billboard linked it to disgusting fatness? An organization of vegan doctors and nutritionists thinks so, as they’ve ordered up several billboards in the Albany area that do just that. As you can see, one billboard features a picture of an obese man’s stomach alongside the caption “your abs on cheese,” while another shows an overweight woman’s thigh “on cheese.” The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine: fat-shaming you to better health!

While it’s true that over-consumption of saturated fat has been linked to certain maladies like heart disease and diabetes, that’s not what these billboards are saying. They are saying “ew, fat people are gross! Don’t eat cheese or you’ll be fat, too!” How many times do I have to state that you cannot shame someone for the good of their health, because mental health is a component of health, too?

Vegan organizations seriously need to quit it with this shit. How long will it take for them to realize this is completely counterproductive to our goals? They may think the ends justify the means (the ends being saving animals’ lives), but I’m not convinced these means further our ends at all. All these types of ads ever seem to do is alienate people from the cause, especially those people most likely to be receptive to an animal rights message. Progressives, hippies, and other sensitive individuals are the most likely groups of people to care about animals, but the least likely to appreciate the message that fat people are big, gross monsters. If you can’t pretend you don’t hate fat people because it’s the decent thing to do, pretend you don’t hate fat people for the animals.

Not to mention, veganism is hardly a magic bullet where weight is concerned. There are plenty of vegans who struggle with their weight, and conversely, many skinny people who eat cheese. I had a jiggly little tummy pouch before I went vegan, and you can bet I still have one now. If it were up to me, animal rights campaigns would focus on the very real suffering caused by meat and dairy production as well as the proven health benefits of the diet, without getting nasty about the way people look. Not to mention, “because I want to make my naturally large body small” is a much shakier reason to go vegan than “because I think it’s the right thing to do,” and probably results in a decent portion of the drop-off rate. (See also: Skinny Bitch.)

(Via Jezebel)

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    • vomiting

      Jamie, you’re so right, particularly with this: ‘They may think the ends justify the means (the ends being saving animals’ lives)…’
      I was vegan for six years and felt this way. I didn’t realise that I was alienating people. I did convert a few (guys I dated)… temporarily. Not everyone is going to ‘see the light’ but they can’t accept that so they get desperate.

      • continue vomiting

        No one is desperate about anything. The reality is you went right back to eating meat and dairy products and are angry at yourself about it. You missed the safety that following the crowd and being surrounded by idiots like yourself provided. That’s it.

    • Rachel

      There’s also a growing body of evidence that only are our bodies not meant to live off a vegan diet, but that we’re not adaptable to it either. (unlike milk and breads which there is already some evidence of adaptation.)

      • Jamie Peck

        There’s a competing body of evidence that meat and dairy are terrible for you. But I’m not a nutritionist so who the fuck really knows? I do know, however, that my doctor says I’m healthy and I feel good. And I had high cholesterol (the bad kind) before going vegan, but I don’t anymore. So that’s nice. Plus I’m happier when I know I’m not contributing to an industry I morally object to, and happiness is part of health.

    • Abigail

      In response to this shocking and controversial topic, I’m going to eat a slice of cheese! :) Seriously, I have vegan friends, vegetarian friends, and meat eating friends, and we all get along as long as one isn’t trying to stuff their beliefs down another one’s throat. There is nothing wrong with eating meat or cheese or any other non-vegan food. As with ANY food item, the key is moderation. As my mother used to say: “Moderation in all things, including moderation!”

      • Jen

        In moderation, yes, but do you know what a serving size is for cheese or a steak? I doubt most Americans. Maybe this isn’t going about it in the right way, but it’s better to try something, right?

    • MR

      Yeah cool thought. Though not a vegan, my girlfriend doesn’t eat any red meat and very rarely eats chicken, though she does eat fish and dairy. She staying with me this weekend at my brownstone, and I’m more concerned about my kitchen, which is smaller than hers, not being to her liking, than if we have diet compatibility. I helped her make a tofu based curry two weekends ago at her place, and without the chicken I really didn’t notice any difference.

      • MR

        PS. Just came back to this posting and just clicked on you PCRM article for the first time less than 5 minutes ago. For the 37% of residents who are normal weight. Yeah we ice skate on the park lake all winter. It’s even got a Moses statute: see ‘monuments’ section. But you have to click on ‘Washington Park Historic District (Albany, NY)’ again to get there. Also I have this theory that the park’s tulips would be right up Amanda’s alley. :)

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Park_Historic_District_(Albany,_New_York)

    • Gina

      Oh stop being in denial, animal products DO make you FAT! What it does sound like to me is that, you CAN’T handle the truth! Vegan doctors are right, so stop being a whiny little baby & ACCEPT THE TRUTH! Grow up! :)

      • yessss

        EXACTLY! Your post most likely got the fatties even angrier. Now they are gonna eat more cheese to numb the pain LOL

    • Alexandra

      The only vegan girl I ever knew (or at least, the only one that was VERY vocal about it) was a chub, and not only that, but probably one of the biggest people in my high school. And I know at the time she had been a vegan for a number of years. So yeah, although a vegan diet definitely has less fat that an omnivorous one, not all vegans are skinny, and not all cheese lovers are fat.
      That being said I freaking hate cheese (and other milk products) for how bad it makes me feel.

    • kaz

      I am interested to hear about this “very real suffering caused by the meat and dairy industry”. I would like to ask the author where information about this suffering was gleaned? Is it through firsthand knowledge and witnessing this mistreatment? Or is it through something you’ve been told by various organizations? Because I can assure you that presently the United States’ various animal agriculture industries, ESPECIALLY the beef and dairy industry, have very strict guidelines ensuring the health and safety of their animals. Not to mention most producers are in the industry because they love the industry and they love being able to go ut every day and interact with these animals that they have a great respect for.
      Remember: a poorly treated cow is a poorly producing cow, and no one wants a poorly producing cow.

      • Kaz is delusional

        ARE YOU INSANE??????????????????????? WHAT STRICT GUIDELINES ON BEEF INDUSTRY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??????????????????

      • Kaz

        @kaz is delusional
        The guidelines I am talking about are outlined in my comment above. This is one of the reasons people find it so hard to take someone like you seriously. I can outline in the plainest of english the USDA requirements, place them in a link which only takes one click for you to see and instead of looking at that, and like a rational adult, saying “oh, I was unaware that was the case” (because it is, the case, there is no arguing that. You can pretend there are no regulations, but there are. I know this because every day on my way to clock in I stop and say hello to the USDA on-site veterinarian that oversees the operations and you can bet your bottom dollar he takes his job very seriously) you instead take this straight to the playground and start screaming insults at me. So maybe “Kaz is delusional” it is actually you that needs to “calm your tits down” (nice, btw. Way to have a constructive discussion). Maybe if you did real research instead of relying on propaganda by fringe groups that are only interested in shock value, you would know what is actually going on in the world around you and become a more intelligent consumer. Or you can just yell, because yelling and being angry is much easier than research. Also, if you’ve never in your life actually seen a farm, be it beef or dairy, with your own eyes, your argument is invalid BECAUSE YOU DON’T KNOW. You have not seen it, you do not know.

    • wesave

      @ Kaz. I ask, where are you getting this information? Because my friend, I think you have been highly, highly misinformed. I honestly feel sorry that you think this way because that is completely unfair to you as a consumer. There are not laws truly protecting the rights or these animals, the meat, dairy, and egg industry only care about making a profit. “Producers are in the industry because they love the industry and they love being able to go out every day and interact with these animals that they have a great respect for” Seriously I am having a hard time believing anyone truly thinks this. If you think multiple hens being crammed into small battery cages unable to move, cows being artificially impregnated so they are able to produce abundant amounts of milk for us all so powerful humans only to have their young taken away from them at birth. It doesn’t end there, if the calf is a male, this animal is useless to the dairy industry so the male calves get turned into veal, while the female lives out her life the same as the mother, hooked-up to pumps that are draining their hormone infested milk so that you the consumer can enjoy. After the cows are “spent” and cannot produce as much milk as demanded they go off to slaughter, where they are slit at the jugular until they bleed to death. After all no one wants “bloody meat”, that would just be gross right? If you do not believe me please just check out the following video, you deserve to know the truth.
      http://meatvideo.com/

      • kaz

        Wesave-
        First of all, I will agree with you that the raising of veal is, in my opinion, inhumane. I have never, will never purchase it, it isn’t consumed in my home and I won’t lament the day it is outlawed.

        However, I asked in my previous comment if the author was getting this information from first-hand knowledge. I will ask the same question of you although I am fairly sure the answer is “no”. I will tell you this Information about myself: I have grown up around the cattle industry and presently I am employed in a harvesting/processing facility so I can assure you that I do indeed know exactly what goes on in these industries from conception to harvest of an animal. The caveat being that all the farms and facilities I have worked in have been under USDA inspection (as are ALL harvesting and processing facilities that sell to 3rd party consumers). Small facilities that that process only for the owners of the animal that are not under USDA inspection do not have to meet those guidelines, and as such I can’t speak to their practices.

        As far as the artificial insemination of dairy cows, there are many reasons this is safer for not only the cow and the offspring but also the people handling the animals. A holstein bull is an incredibly large and dangerous animal and AI allows for the safety of the cow due to her not being actually exposed to the bull. Not only that, but it is a much more sanitary proceedure that reduced various pelvic infections that the cow is exposed to during live cover. Also, AI allows for shipping semen without the danger and stress of loading and transporting the animal and the increased genetic variation keeps hereditary maladies to a minimum, which are much more likely to happen if bloodlines are kept to a single region.

        Furthermore, while it was true years ago that male dairy calves were destroyed, this is no longer the case. If you were to drive by any feelot in a dairy state (such as Arizona) you will see that the herds are nearly half holsteins because dairy steers are now being fed up to market weight.
        And yes, cows are hooked to milking machines. If you have ever seen a dairy in action you will know that the cows are more than happy to walk to their milking stalls, as they will line up along the fenceline when it is their turn to milk and become restless if their routine is disrupted. They stand camly in the milking stalls, typically chewing cud. If you are aware of ruminant behavior you will know that this is something the animal only does when relaxed.

        As I’ve said, I do work in a harvesting facility and I can assure you that everything is done in the most humane way possible. Please see the following link that outlines transfer, handling and harvest of livestock as dictated by the USDA. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Humane_Handling_of_Livestock.pdf
        If a facility is found to not be adhereing to these standards the facility can be fined or shut down.

        Not only do facilitied follow these guidelines because it is required to maintain their USDA certifications and therefore they cannot operate as a business otherwise, but there are several other reasons. Most of these speak to the rancher/packer’s business sense.
        1) If a cow is sick or inured and cannot walk to the harvest floor on its own, the carcass is condemned by the USDA veterinarian that is required to be on site on harvesting days to do an antimortem exam of all animals. Once a carcass is condemned it cannot be used for human consumption. The harvester loses all profit, they may be able to not lose money by selling for pet food, but there will be no profit.
        2)If an animal is bruised during handling up to the point of completed exsanguination, that area of meat is trimmed and cannot be sold as retail cuts (steaks, roasts, etc) and must go into ground meat. This loses money.
        3) if an animal is stresed 24 hours prior to harvest the glucose levels in the muscles are altered. This causes the meat to take on a darker color. Consumers will not buy this meat and therefore the whole animal must be turned into ground meat. This loses money.
        4) If an animal is stressed during harvest the capillaries in the muscles will burst causing a situation known as “blood splashing” or spots of blood in the meat. The consumers will not purchase this meat, all meat must go into ground. This loses money.
        5) If there are lacerations on the animal the area must be trimmed. Again, loses money.

        As for the video you linked to: You may notice that in the shots where people’s faces are shown, the people typically aren’t caucasian. I’m not implying all harvest facility workers are however they often arent Thai or Vietnamese. This is because much of the footage shown in these types of videos is shot in foreign countries. And as such illustrate their practices in animal harvest which is vastly different from in the US.

        Finally, in that tyoe of video they will often show clips of animals that will kick after they are shackled (hung). This is a nerve response and does not mean that the animal is consious or in pain. after an animal is stunned the person carrying out the slaughter is required to check for consciousness via reflex reactions. Typically this is doen by putting their toe near the animal’s eye. If the eye does not twich or blink then the animal is fully unconscious. If a worker fails to do this, many facilities will give one warning, and the next time fire on the spot as it is an unacceptable behavior to forgo according to the USDA. Granted, the animal’s legs will move when they are unconscious. This is simply muscle spasms. In fact they will continue up to 25 minutes after exsanguination, when the animla has had the head remove, been skinned, eviscerated and divided into sides, the muscles will still twitch. I assure you it’s not because they can feel (as they no longer have a spinal cord, let alone a brain to transmit the pain signals to).

        These are facts. Witnessed, scientifically proven facts. Please do not insult my intelligence

        I don’t care that you’re vegan, that’s your decision. But please, don’t slander a whole industry by regurgitating information which is incorrect and inflamatory.

    • Gareth

      The apathetic mass has been conditioned for a century by corporations to consume nonhuman animals. Propoganda or Public Relations – call it what you will – that fact that the vast majority of people truly believe that the gestation-related and carcass industries care one iota for a single individual, nonhuman or human is evidence enough that the conditioning has been successful. Corporations are driven by profit and profit alone just as true vegans are driven by compassion and compassion alone.

      The article does not consider the lowest common denominators: that nonhuman individuals are the client that is being served by these billboards and that they are simply RE-conditioning the conditioned obese populace of America. Human individuals that allow themselves to get that large are very susceptible to conditioning and persuasion. It is not uncompassionate to shock a person into saving their life through means other than purely logic persuasion when it is clear that logic did not persuade them to become so large in the first place.

      The nonhuman individual is the client; the human individual is the perpetrator of the crime.

      95% of Americans feel it’s wrong to unnecessarily hurt or kill helpless animals.
      95% of Americans continue to unnecessarily hurt and kill animals.

      • kaz

        Let me please say this once and hope it sinks in to your head, unfourtunately this is a common mistake to make: if a farm is selling to a 3rd party they MUST be USDA and/or FDA inspected. The exception, although less an exception and more just operating under the radar of legality, is farmer’s markets. They rarely have auditors check up on them. I know it’s easy to try to cop out and say that not all farms work this way, but commercial agriculture DOES. ALL commercial agriculture in the US.

        Also, please don’t attempt to hide your own ignorance or false assumptions (“you have been highly, highly misinformed. I honestly feel sorry that you think this way”"you deserve to know the truth”) by attacking my character. As I said, it doesn’t make the slightest difference to me how you choose to live your life, but check your facts before you pass on your “information”. The people that you’re listening to have an agenda as well.

        Finally, I ask you this: do you know where all the fertilizer for your organic farms comes from? Cow manure from feed lots and “fish emulsion” (yes, they just whirl up a bunch of fish in a blender and pour in the irrigation water). And before it comes up, again, yes, I know this to be fact as my family grows several hundred acres of organic produce every year. So bear in mind that without those feedlots, the required nutrients couldn’t be put back into the soil to grow those vegetables you so enjoy (plant-based compost lacks the proper microbes to break down organic materials at a rate that is neccessary to maintain high-intensity farming. High-intensity farming is neccessary because the limited land available is required to feed our entire country and fair populations of several others)

        So don’t hate too much on the cattle producers, because without them you would have no veggies!

    • wesave

      @ Kaz

      I should have know you were in the industry. I am not going to argue with you on what you think is humane and inhumane, because that is something we will never agree upon, since in my opinion there is nothing humane about killing an animal for food, just as there is nothing humane about killing a dog, cat, or human.

      On your farm you just may be 100% following USDA regulations, but that does not mean that other farms are doing the same. (though I do not agree with USDA regulations, but that is a different debate)

      The video I posted meatvideo.com/ is actually not footage from a foreign country, rather all footage taken from factory farms here in the United States, and that is a fact. I am sure the video was not too shocking for you as it is for most, since you see things like this everyday. I cannot imagine the life you live, the blood you see. I can only imagine how numb you must be to it all, as you state “when the animal has had the head remove, been skinned, eviscerated and divided into sides, the muscles will still twitch. I assure you it’s not because they can feel (as they no longer have a spinal cord, let alone a brain to transmit the pain signals to).”
      How you speak of this is so graphic and disturbing that you must have locked the guilt away a long time ago, and I assure you, these animals want to live just as much as you or I. However, I am not going to sit here and tell you how disturbed I think you are because it is what you are accustomed to and are never going to see things how I see them.

      Nonetheless, it makes me more proud to say that I am a vegan and in the very least, saving some animals from that unnecessary misery. I know I do not need them to survive, I know I am living a more healthy, compassionate lifestyle and I know, these animals were not put on this earth for me to feast.

    • wesave

      Kaz-

      I am not going to argue with you on this any longer. Obviously, we are never going to agree as I strive for animal advocacy and you work on a dairy farm, it is plain and simple. I am not trying to attack your character or your beliefs, and I apologize if it came off that way.

      But I will end with this, I am not ignorant, nor mis-informed. I fight for what I believe in, and that is saving as many of these beautiful animals as physically possible. USDA regulated or not, “humane slaughter”, “respected” cows, however you look at it- with all of my passion I believe animals have the right to live out their lives in their own natural setting, not for our consumption. I am not asking or expecting you to understand. All the best.

    • I see the fatties are angry

      You fatties try so hard to normalize the images depicted in the ads. You all pretty much changed the dictionary definition of the adjective “curvy” to feel better about your hanging guts and cottage cheese tights. The moment you were reminded of harsh reality (that is looking permanently pregnant is neither okay nor normal), you fatties get angry. Instead of getting angry at others for stating the facts, get angry at yourself and eat less, fatso.

    • Kaz is delusional

      Kaz, you’re so scared that more and more people will become vegans as that means the demand for dairy and meat products will lessen; as a result, your source of income will be affected. That’s the only reason why you’re going batshiznit crazy over this. IT IS A FACT THAT ANIMAL PRODUCTS ARE HARMFUL FOR ONE’S BODY. YOU WON’T DIE AFTER EATING A SLICE OF CHEESE OR A POUND OF BEEF. Calm your tits down, Kaz because americans consume 1 million animals PER HOUR so you will still be able to make money by slaughtering and exploiting the crap out of innocent, sentient animals who have ever right to live on this planet like you and I.

      May you rot in hell, Kaz.