When Is a Vegan Not a Vegan? (Answer: When she has to eat crow.)

My tendency in reading health-related literature is to stay with authors and ideas that support my natural preferences. That’s why I was an early advocate of the Mediterranean diet and then jumped on the Paleo bandwagon. It’s also the reason that prompted me to read The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith. (See my review, above.)

One of the claims Keith makes in her books is that many vegans and vegetarians make a regular habit of “cheating” because their bodies cannot tolerate the nutritional damage that comes from eschewing eggs and flesh completely. She tells an amusing story of being a true believer at a hard-core vegan camp only to discover that they had periodic egg-feasting days that were enjoyed but never discussed.

I was thus amused again to see this bit from Whitney Tilsson:

Yovana Mendoza Ayres, 29, a professional social media influencer known as Rawvana, had made a name for herself on YouTube and Instagram by extolling the virtues of a raw and vegan lifestyle, now often referred to as “plant-based.” Her YouTube channels – she has about 2 million subscribers on her Spanish language channel and another 500,000 in English –  are filled with videos of her sharing vegan recipes and skin care routines. On her personal website, she sells meal plans, including a 21-day “Raw Vegan Detox & Yoga Challenge,” to help people lose weight for $49.

 … The camera found her seated in front of a salad. Her arms dropping to cover the plate did not stop commenters from identifying a distinctly not plant-based item on her plate: fish.

 … In an emotional apology Ayres released on YouTube last week, she explained why she misled her fans. She changed her diet after years of significant health problems that culminated with doctors urging her to eat more food, including protein and eggs, she said.

 The lifestyle of fitness, weight loss, and wellness she had sold to her followers had apparently been making her ill.

Here’s Ayres’s emotional apology.