Articles/journals Disabled vegans

The duality of being a chronically ill vegan/AR activist

🌿Chronically ill vegan 🌿

When doing vegan activism, or revealing myself as a vegan, I still find it hard to also reveal (as I’m mostly invisibly ill) the fact that I am chronically ill. I would love to be able to say I’m a shining example of good health (helas). Because I know certain people will automatically relate my health issues with my veganism/ a plantbased diet and use it as a way to discredit veganism, or will be deterred from trying a plantbased diet. So I’m always quick to add that I was diagnosed long before I went vegan! And that a plantbased diet overall has many health benefits. And that veganism is about more than diet, but a justice issue.

Similiarly, revealing myself as a chronically ill vegan can also lead to backlash from within the vegan community itself. Attributing my health issues to not following the ‘correct’ or ‘healthy’ vegan diet. And can also lead to exclusion from mainstream vegan platforms, as they want to stress the ‘health’ benefits of plantbased eating. Some see chronically ill vegans not fit as ambassadors of veganism (well, maybe they are if they can tell stories of how their diet cured them …).

➡️➡️Fellow chronically ill vegans. How do you cope with this?

Black background. 
Text Chronically ill vegan repeated several times. From smaller font to larger font and smaller again. 
Largest font in middle is in orange, others in white.
ID incl

There was a time when I hid my health issues, and did not reveal I am chronically ill. I don’t anymore. I realise this partially also stemmed from internalised ableism and health shaming, and it eats energy.
But it’s still an aspect I’m struggling with.

PS: and yes, veganism is way more than about ‘eating’ and dietary aspects and health. It is about justice and respect for animal rights and following a lifestyle in which one avoids – as far as is possible and practicable’ the use of other animals and animal ‘products’.
But as a chronically ill vegan, these are aspects that play an important role in my existence.

— Originally published on the FB page and IG page of Crip Humanimal – August 2022.

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