I’ve been watching one of my favourite youtubers – Nikocado Avocado, who has recently gone from being a passionate vegan, to renouncing veganism and gorging on epic meat and cheese feasts, or “mukbangs” on camera. Quite the transformation, and one that has shocked a lot of his vegan followers, and created quite a stir in the YouTube vegan crowd.
Indeed the vegan YouTube ‘community’ reaction was of intense hatred and vitrole. Instantly he was attacked by thousands of hate comments on his YouTube which ranged from mildly insulting to disgusting, threatening and even homophobic.
Let’s backtrack a little bit.. his first videos regarding his transition from vegan to meat eater were of him justifying his actions. He claimed that he was feeling weak on a vegan diet and that his health was a big factor in him choosing to eat meat.
Joking aside, if health concerns truly were the reason for him renouncing veganism then you might expect him to introduce maybe a little locally caught fish once a week, or a few free range organic eggs from a local farm, perhaps a little grass fed steak.
But in actual fact he’s been eating like he will never be allowed to eat again…
Call me cynical, but it seems very unlikely to me that overnight a long term vegan, and even longer a vegetarian, who hadn’t ate meat for something like twenty years would shun aside all principles and happily stuff his face with all manner of animal products..
This is why I have suspicions that Nikocado actually shunned his veganism long before he made it public. If not physically, then certainly mentally. Detaching from his former vegan ethos over weeks, months, years? Maybe there was always a niggling doubt that was pushed aside? I don’t know.
Let’s say my assumption is correct. Then why on earth didn’t he let his YouTube ‘family’ know earlier? Why didn’t he share his doubts? His questions? Surely a loving, caring group such as vegans would help him through it..
Haha, not the ones on YouTube, aka the crazies. He knew the vicious backlash he would get. After all his entire YouTube character is built around the avocado! A symbol of his plant eating principles.
The YouTube keyboard warriors in the vegan scene, aka the ‘crazy vegans’ have absolutely no qualms in rushing to attack Nikocado or anybody who dares to eat differently from them! And that is why a lot of real life, vegetarians and vegans avoid this so called ‘community’ like the plague. How can a group of people who are fighting for such a loving peaceful message – the message of loving animals, be so spiteful and hate filled? Does Nikocado really deserve this abuse just because he now eats meat and cheese like the other 99.9% of the world’s population? Is insulting him going to change the way he eats? Is it going to benefit anyone?
This reaction is so dangerous and it seems to be spreading like wildfire. Why are YouTube vegans all so ready to attack at any given opportunity?! This is why when vegans tell people about their beliefs they back away! They aren’t helping their own cause- quite the opposite. This is why vegans have a reputation for being militant and uncompromising. And yes some vegans are like this, but certainly not all or even most. Most are tolerant, caring people, who care about people as well as animals.
Peaceful, caring vegetarians who avoid dairy, meat, fish and do their best to live by a plant based diet don’t want to label themselves vegan in case they accidentally eat a product that isn’t 100% vegan. They know that hundreds of thousands of ‘caring’ vegans will be there waiting with bared teeth, ready to pounce and tear them apart like zombies sensing fresh human flesh. They would instantly be labelled as ‘evil’, as ‘cruel’ as ‘stupid’… just for making a mistake.
Now don’t get me wrong… of course I understand that vegans are passionate about the cause of animal ethics. But it isn’t the only cause to be passionate about. What about child labour? What about human torture? What about dictatorships? What about poverty? Homelessness? Child neglect? Racism? Sexism? Homophobia? The list goes on… all of these causes are important, but we can’t act so hostile to everybody who thinks in a different way to us. Surely this makes us just as bad if not worse?! Hypocrisy and a very narrow, intolerant way of looking at the world.
Nikocado has uploaded a more recent video and really opened up. He now seems to realise he can’t and won’t please everybody, and even better he doesn’t care! He knows the vegan crazies don’t want to hear his justifications or excuses. They just want to hate. And he’s seeing the vegan ‘community’ for the nasty, narrow minded outlook it has revealed.
This video is pretty powerful.
In hindsight he didn’t like the person he became when he was vegan. Of course at first everything seemed fantastic, there was all the support from the vegan crazies… but he changed how he acted towards people in real life. Changed how he treated his family and friends who loved and supported him. Who helped him, who hugged him when he was down. He explains how he cut some of them out of his life, simply because they weren’t vegan. How sad. How many other vegans are doing this?
So many YouTube vegan crazies adopt this cult like mentality- “if you are different from us you are wrong, you are evil, you are the devil”. This black and white mentality is so damaging, and worryingly a lot of teenage and vulnerable people are falling victim to this trend.
I have noticed that a lot of vegans have come from an eating disorder background- many with some food obsession- anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia. They already have issues with food. And eating disorders are a symptom of a mental health issue. They are already vulnerable. Many might not have strong family or friend networks. And just as vulnerable, young people are more likely to be targeted by extremist religions or cults, it appears they are more likely to be sucked into this vegan YouTube community. They will read the hyperbole, watch a few documentaries, get the ‘support’ from the YouTube vegan ‘community’ who are of course full of advice and diet tips… but remember, these youtubers aren’t nutritionists or doctors. Not long ago everyone was eating raw fruit and veg all day.. one by one they started adding more cooked food to their diets. But at the time it was the best thing since sliced bread. It’s all so extreme and drastic. Like a fad diet. A lot of these new vegans aren’t doing it for animal ethics, they are doing it for weight loss or for the ‘cool factor’ or to be a part of this new community.
Now veganism does have many benefits. Health, personal, ethical.. the list goes on. My message to people considering going vegetarian or vegan is if you are interested in that lifestyle then take your time and do it the right way. And if you cut down on animals products or reduce them slowly you are still making a change. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It doesn’t have to be so obsessive. It doesn’t have to take over your life. At that point you have an eating disorder and an unhealthy relationship with food.
Do it for your beliefs, not for anybody on YouTube. Don’t move from one eating disorder to another. Don’t see it as a way of cutting calories. And most importantly please don’t push away your family and friends over food. Veganisn should promote love not hate, and the best method for educating others is to lead by example.
So are vegans crazy? The YouTube militants certainly seem to be, but part of me also thinks it’s an a big act for entertainment. Are they hoping to be the next Trisha Paytas of YouTube? How many of the YouTube vegans are actually vegan in real life? We don’t know them. They might have simply created a character as an excuse to attack others, to create some excitement in their mundane lives, to become ‘YouTube famous’. It might all be a big joke to them. Who knows? Who cares?!
I will leave you with this article from the Guardian.
Hi, I live and work in Dubai. I enjoy getting out and about and seeing what Dubai has to offer, travelling in my holidays and spare time – prepare for blog posts about this, and cooking vegetarian recipes. I am passionate about travel and animals.