An open letter (that none of them will read) to celebrities who think they want to go vegan: Please, please tell no one.
Please don’t do the “Vegan Challenge”
Dear Beyoncé, Jay Z, J Lo, Oprah and the rest:
If you are truly interested in the life changing benefits of going vegan, please do it quietly.
I understand — you want to be part of our cool group. Vegans are generally socially aware, healthy, happy, creative people who care deeply about both their own well-being, about animals and the world around them.
But when you publicly announce you’re embarking on a “vegan challenge” you’re doing yourself and everyone else a disservice.
First, a vegan lifestyle is not a challenge. It’s really so simple: rethink your meals, make some different choices, and that’s it.
Is there a learning curve? Sure. Are there times when you may be inconvenienced — let’s say in a fancy restaurant that has no vegan options? Certainly. But those aren’t challenges. They’re small negotiations, and we make hundreds of those every day.
Publicly announcing your “vegan challenge” makes a private lifestyle change very public. And what happens when you give up? Or decide you just can’t live without ice cream? Other people who are moving to a vegan lifestyle think “wow, that famous person has personal chefs and trainers, and even they couldn’t do it.” Suddenly, what should be an a conscious but easy choice becomes an insurmountable feat, attainable and sustainable only by a few.
I long for the day when “I’m vegan” won’t be met with raised eyebrows, when there won’t be “vegan restaurants” — but just “restaurants” who serve cruelty-free plant-based menus that need no special designation. In other words, vegan will be normal.
But until that time, dear Hollywood, please stop making veganism seem as hard as scaling Everest or finishing the Marathon des Sables.
If you’re sincere about shifting to a vegan lifestyle, then hurray for you — but keep it to yourself. Give it a few months. Many, if not most, vegans worked their way there gradually, and with trials and errors along the way. And once you’ve settled in and have discovered the joy and energy you receive from a plant-based lifestyle? THEN share it with the world, by all means.
Want to try going vegan? That’s a decision for you and you alone. I hope you try it — just don’t tell me about it.