“Conviction is not obsession, but denial is!”
What’s In Today’s Show?
I provide a detailed reaction to a post on reddit I found this morning, claiming, “Vegans are obsessed food addicts living dangerously on the edge.” Out of respect, I chose not to call out the author of the erroneous posting. Instead I formulate a well thought out “rant,” setting the record straight on the nature of addiction and the incredible power of the vegan choice.
The Nature of Substance Abuse, and Food Addicts
What does addiction look like? Is it behaviour taking place only on the street corner, back alley, or flop house? Not all addictions are that transparent. For example, whether you believe in food addiction or not, food addicts will tell you that they were able to keep their problem secret a lot longer because of the biological necessity to eat. There is no moral judgment when eating a primary meal like dinner, unless of course you have it every night with a bottle of gin!
An evaluation for addiction must satisfy strict criteria for an authentic and reliable diagnosis. Today, we review the DSM-V Diagnostic criteria for addiction, and the cluster of elements used to justify the label. We further discuss the incongruent nature of these elements with vegan living.
There are many reasons people choose the vegan path. Addiction is not one of them! Many folks encounter a sudden health scare, and see the vegan diet as a path to longevity. Others seek weight loss. However, over time, ethical considerations become the glue that holds it all together; we realize the overwhelming harm caused by our dietary choices, not just for ourselves, but the creatures around us. This does not mean that vegans are obsessed, just considerate.
I argue that, in the end, our intentions do not matter – The vegan choice is simply the, “right thing to do.” The vegan community is currently fixated on health outcomes and theory to justify veganism, when no data is need.
Decoupling Vegan from Addiction
It is clear that vegan living does not fall under any rational definition of addiction. Living a vegan lifestyle is a choice made, that regardless of intention, requires commitment and sacrifice. Addiction is a medical classification for someone who’s repeated behaviours put them at biopsychosoical risk of collapse.
Veganism and clinical addiction are antithetical pairs. We should spend more time conducting research on plant-based living as an augmenting treatment for addiction, not as exacerbating it, or an addiction itself.
Important Organizations, People, and Products Mentioned
- Unnatural Vegan
- Mic The Vegan
- Happy Healthy Vegans
- American Psychiatric Association
- National Institute on Drug Abuse
- Steven Bratman
- Body Love Wellness
- Vegan Fitness Vancouver Reddit
- Canadian Running Series
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