Grimes Ben & Jerry's

Just after midnight, eco- and animal-friendly lightning rod Grimes aka Claire Boucher excitedly posted to Tumblr about the existence of the new Ben & Jerry’s flavor Scotchy Scotch Scotch (which is affiliated with Anchorman 2) and quipped, “1 day hiatus from veganism is being had starting NOw.” Apparently some vegan Grimes follower took offense to that, posting this outraged comment:

Are you actually fucked? What the fuck is a ’one day hiatus from veganism’ mate? A one day hiatus on compassion? Just one day where you’re like ’whoops gonna consume something that was stolen from you and your young because HIATUS MAN’…… FUCK YOU.

So Boucher whipped up a response to her antagonist. Tumbl into it:

this is something i was anticipating and have been meaning to address for a long time:

Part of the reason I posted the ben and jerry’s thing is because I like to encourage people towards a type of veganism that is inviting and accepting. For the longest time I was vegan but I just wouldn’t say I was because of the bad reputation of veganism. most of the vegans i know are dogmatic assholes, and it completely turns people off.

I believe more people would be drawn to having more ethical diets if they didn’t feel bullied to do so, or if they felt they were entering a welcoming community.

My brand of veganism is one wherein if your grandparents have no idea what you are talking about then you eat their beef stew rather than upset or confuse them. or if you really want to have cake with an egg in it on the holidays then you have that rather than just not being a vegan because you don’t want to give up occasionally having something that you love.

Ben and Jerrys is the only brand of ice cream i ever eat. their cows are treated ethically and beyond that they put a ton of money into researching green hydrocarbon freezers that would use alternative refrigerants which (unlike current freezer gases) do not contribute to global warming. they’re also working on a bunch of other initiatives like using completely renewable materials in packaging.

this comment is why no one wants to be vegan. unlike this dude, i would like to fully encourage everyone to be vegan rather than scare them away. I love being vegan. my skin is better, i have more energy, i feel really healthy and i get sick way less than i used too and I’m not contributing to factory farming. that said, I also occasionally enjoy things i used to eat because it makes me feel good and i am less discouraged about not eating those things the rest of the time.


What do you think? Is Grimes having her Ben & Jerry’s and eating it too? Or is her easygoing approach to veganism more likely to advance vegan causes?

UPDATE: DIIV weigh in…

UPDATE 2: And Grimes responds

hm, i see a controversy has arisen despite my best efforts to prevent one

all i want to say is all respect to Diiv. There is nothing I admire more than someone who stands behind their beliefs. Good for him.

what i don’t respect is people making a news story about nonexistent ‘beef’

the whole purpose of my original tumblr post was to suggest that we all stop beefing over veganism (hehe o i just realized the pun).

if u don’t want to call me a vegan thats totally cool. i have no interest in fighting over the meaning of a word. my goal from all this was to propose a more relatable and achievable diet that is good for animals and the environment since many people can’t easily sustain a fully vegan diet.

<3 again — no beef with Diiv. i truly admire his dedication

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Comments (192)
  1. Bravo, young lady.

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      • I relate to Grimes a lot here. I’ve been a vegetarian, and even a vegan at times. At the end of the day, I like eating meat. I like the taste and texture. That fatty protein that you can’t replace. But for environmental, and ethical reasons I like to cut back as much as I can. I realize the word for that is flexatarian. But I think that word sounds stupid, so I just don’t call it anything.

        I think you can still identify as a vegan and give in to those urges every once and a while. It’s much easier than saying “I’m a vegan, but every so often I’ll eat ethically produced dairy products, or meat at my grandparents because they only ever cook with meat, and maybe an egg because it’s really fucking hard to find cakes that don’t have egg in it”.

      • Going around saying you’re better than anyone you see eating a cheeseburger doesn’t get places shutdown, it just makes you an asshole.

      • That’s also a spectacular misuse of the word “genocidal.” No one is sitting around thinking “VEE MUST EXTERMINATE ZEE COWS!”

        Cruelty to animals is vile, but it comes in different degrees. Factory farming is cruelty by way of cold economics, not inflicting pain for pleasure’s sake. OBVIOUSLY changes need to be made, but for more reasons than just a cow’s existential crisis.

        • When you consider how much our delicious bovine friends have been domesticated, if humans stopped consuming them altogether that would be the one way we would induce genocide: there would be no cows left.

          Thousands of years of anthropogenic gene manipulation puts farm animals in a situation where they can never survive on this earth without us.

      • While I agree with you on a technical level (if you eat animal products at all you aren’t vegan) I think taking such a hard line approach is a little too harsh. Like seanpen15 said, it’s just too much of a pain in the ass to say “I’m a vegan but…” Just let her call herself vegan! I’m mostly vegetarian but every once in a while, at a fancy restaurant or if I’m a guest in someone’s home, I’ll eat seafood. TECHNICALLY, I’m a pescatarian. But that makes me sound like a douche, so I don’t go around saying it. It also makes it seem like I eat seafood all the time instead of meat and that’s not the case either. If someone asks followup questions when they find out about my dietary choices, I’ll bring up seafood, but that’s it.

        Also, I take some issue with your use of the term genocide to describe factory farming. While factory farming is certainly abhorrent (I’d say factory farmed poultry probably have the most hellish existence of any being on the planet) comparing it to something like the holocaust reduces real, human, genocides just a little bit. Animals aren’t people. They are certainly deserving of our compassion and shouldn’t be treated poorly, but using the term genocide compares them to people in a way that makes me uncomfortable.

        My personal reasons for vegetarianism have a lot more to do with compassion for people than for animals, although concerns over the conditions of factory farms certainly play into it. I could actually eat organically raised, free range, hormone free, etc… meat and not feel like I’ve stepped outside my morals. But that kind of diet is both expensive and difficult to do, so I choose to just opt out of the system instead.

      • Your first paragraph is only important to someone who is just super concerned with the label “vegan” as opposed to aligning with vegan ideals. I am not vegan, but I can’t imagine if I took a little break and had some freaking ice cream I would be too concerned with who might throw a fit and shriek that I had forever disqualified myself from the club.

        The analogy is imperfect, but I’m reminded of militant Christians who get bent out of shape when people of certain faiths (primarily Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses) refer to themselves as Christian. Man, the Born Agains do not like that one bit! You can’t call yourselves what we call ourselves, because of X, Y and Z! That’s OUR word and we get to decide who Sharpies it on their forehead!

        I have a great distaste for zealots of any stripe but get particularly irritated when they try to claim certain words as their own and draw black and white lines defining who gets to call themselves what.

  2. Hahaha. A “Where’s the Beef?” article related to Veganism.

  3. This reminds me of my favorite vegan joke:

    Q: How do you know if there’s a vegan at your party?

    A: Don’t worry, they’ll let you know.

  4. A vegan asked me once, while I was drinking something with milk in it, “Don’t you think it’s fucked up that you’re drinking something made for the baby of another species?” and I said “Not when I eat the entire family of that species.”

    Eat whatever you want, because approaching food ethically is a privilege of western modern society. Put an aggressive vegan in a position of starvation and then they can see how ready they are to pontificate to everyone else.

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      • ZING!!!!!!! You just changed my life.

      • But just to hammer something home: Cow’s milk is a legitimate complete protein source. That’s a fact. Is it the ultimate food? No, there are drawbacks, and I’ll let the internet rage back and forth about them.

        My main problem with the argument “no other animal eats a fluid for the young of another species” is not actually an argument against drinking milk. It proves nothing. At all. Horse blood is not “intended” for consumption, but there are animals “intended” to eat horse blood. Impalas are not “intended” to be food, but lions thrive on them.

        Am I saying humans are evolutionarily tuned to consume cow milk? Not exactly. There are obvious issues with that concept. But. That doesn’t change the fact that dairy products are delicious to a lot of people, and they do provide vital nutrition in cultures/parts of the world that would not otherwise have access to a complete amino acid source in any kind of sustainable way, which is an age old problem. Why do you think people started drinking milk in the first place? It helped keep people alive. So from that perspective, the evolution of husbandry was vital to human evolution, and to try and paint it as poison, or totally “unnatural” is just preposterous.

        It would also be particularly survival-threatening to a given individual who got in the way of me and a pint of Phish Food.

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          • I do understand your question… but that’s like asking “are vegans allowed to bite their fingernails?”

            So… are they?

          • I don’t know actually. That is another good question. I am seriously asking the question, but all I see are downvotes because people must think I am joking.

            Another question I had is about vegans’ pet-owning habits and those pets’ diets. Do their pets adhere to a vegan diet as well? If you can’t eat a bird, then I take it the kitty cat can’t either, right? If not, why is it that humans can’t eat meat but your doggy and kitty can scarf down on all of the undefinable meat it wants (which quite honestly was probably made from much worse by-products than those carnivores put on the dinner table and killed under the same circumstances. I believe the proper term for meat quality used in pet food is “cannery.”)


          • Sorry for the downvotes. Seemed like it was meant to be a snarky question, not a legit one. But yeah, veganism is all about preventing cruelty and giving a BJ is quite the opposite of cruel.

          • Michael, thanks for asking the questions! Here’s my response:

            Veganism at the moment focuses on consent and the fact that animals can’t be proven to knowingly consent to being eaten, or having their eggs harvested.

            Breastmilk is a necessity. There (hopefully) isn’t a vegan on the planet who would refuse their baby breast milk. It’d be frowned on by the vast majority of vegans.

            Semen is completely vegan (*consent is key), along with fingernails w/e else. (not many vegans go out of their way to ingest semen, but plenty enjoy it)

            Eggs/milk can be considered to be in a grey area in terms of consent based on their conditions, but are definitively not vegan. Regardless of the living condition of the laying hens, they are bred to produce more eggs than they would be comfortable doing naturally and the roosters are not treated as well.

            With regard to pets, arguably it’s not vegan to have pets in the first place. Feeding pets animal products is effectively slaughtering hundreds of animals during the lifetime of one pet, but food made from by-products could arguably bring the guilt factor down. Another option would be sardine, anchovy, or insect based foods if they existed. (not vegan, but at least it’d be more sustainable) Vegan dog food exists, but it’s not universally liked. Vegan cat food is frowned upon heavily by mainstream science. I personally think it’s wrong to feed a cat other animals, and it’s more vegan to humanely put down the cat. I have a dog, and I’ve been working on getting him to a vegan diet supplemented by our backyard chickens’ eggs.

            I hope that’s helps! and that it’s not too much…

          • Thanks for the lowdown, John! But doesn’t it for the most part contradict a lot what dreamgalaxies says below? Sounds like you vegans need to hold a symposium and make some sort of 10 Commandments thing to clarify everything — Maybe invite Ms. Boucher!

        • In regards to your question re: vegans and pets–
          Cats and some other animals kept as pets are obligate carnivores…which means that they don’t have a choice. Their bodies cannot digest food except for meat on a regular basis. They HAVE to eat meat to survive. (Dogs can, I think, be omnivores but they still require meat in their diet to be healthy IIRC.)
          Vegans, on the other hand, would argue that as omnivores we have a choice and they choose the so-called “moral high ground” by not eating other living beings.
          So there is no real moral problem with a vegan having a pet that eats meat. This kind of voids any argument about eating fingernails or swallowing cum too, because it doesn’t harm any living creature except for maybe yourself if you munch a little too hard on that nail.

      • boop boop

        boop boop

        My vegan alarm just went off.

      • There’s a good chance he did at one point…

    • Not understanding any of the logic in the second paragraph.

      So if a vegan were to have to choose between eating meat and starving they would probably eat meat and this proves what exactly? That they would be hypocritical if their lives depended on it in a fictional scenario that will never happen?

      • “If their lives depended on it in a fictional scenario that will never happen”

        Except the billions of scenarios every day where food insecurity is a real thing. This is what pisses me off.

        I’m saying that certain militant vegans already ARE hypocritical by morally elevating themselves in an objective sense above a huge percentage of the world where considering the existential worth of an animal is simply not comparable to the survival imperative. If someone like Morrissey will not stay in the same room as someone eating meat, he is simply setting himself up for a huge moral crisis when it comes to people who would otherwise starve to death: He, as a wealthy white westerner, is in a position of ethical privilege, the moral objectivity of which is undermined by the very fact that if he did not ever have access to the foods and choices that he does, he would have most likely never bothered with the question. His moral superiority is by virtue of economic superiority. Maybe vegans could theoretically make some kind of case that humans should not consume animals when they have a legitimate alternative that I could find compelling. I also, would of course, never tell a vegan to eat an animal. But veganism is absolutely the product of a society of choice, and choice in many, many cases throughout human history, is a luxury. So when it comes to how a vegan relates their dietary/ethical choices to other people, they would do well to show a little humility and thankfulness that they even have the choice to be a vegan instead of starving in the first place.

        • Food insecurity is only exacerbated by the meat- and dairy-heavy diets of developed countries. All of the farmland that is used to feed animals who are then fed to humans could instead be used to grow food for direct human consumption… Instead of endless miles of corn and soy destined for feedlot cattle, caged pigs and poultry, we could grow hundreds of different fruits, nuts, seeds, root vegetables, leafy greens, etc.
          I would never condemn someone who must kill an animal in order to survive, but that simply is not the situation faced by any of us with an internet connection. If you really care about hungry people around the world, you’ll stop eating meat. Every hamburger, chicken leg, and slice of bacon is a meal you are stealing from the mouth of a hungry child.

        • This is a bizarre argument, I don’t think there are many vegans who would deny cultures who depend on meat to survive of the right to eat meat. That’s ridiculous.

          I’m getting pretty tired of people taking the idea of white privilege too far in order to sound holier than thou.

          White privilege is part of an undeniably relevant cultural theory. But I’ve never met a vegan who wants to apply his or her veganism to cultures for which it would be a completely alien and fatal idea; how ridiculous.

  5. “Dogmatic assholes.” Man, that’s just goddamn beautiful. I hereby nominate Grimes for this year’s Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. (It’s at least as good as anything Sharon Olds has spewed forth.)

  6. In general, I have a lot of respect for people with conviction, but yeah, any line of thinking that prevents one from enjoying a pint of Ben & Jerry’s must be flawed.

  7. With her on this. No one should be told how to live their lives, basically, and to each their own and their own definition of it within their discretion. I actually had a much less dramatic experience with something similar this past weekend in regards to Straight Edge after I posted my Death Grips review. In it, I made a lot of references to how the music sounded druggy or like the experience of what taking drugs must be like. The funny thing is, I’ve never done a drug in my life, so for me to tell you how the new Death Grips sounds druggy is kind of funny. I tweeted out:

    ” ‘Let me tell you about how druggy the new Death Grips album is even though I’m basically straight edge.’ – Me writing a Death Grips review”

    A few hours later, I see this tweet directed at me saying “Searched Death Grips, saw your tweet. What does ‘basically straight edge mean’? Pretty sure it’s all or nothing by definition.”

    This is why I don’t claim “straight edge” even though I’ve never even touched a cig in my life and my alcohol consumption is something of a once-every-few-years type thing, because the severity of black and white with these dogmatic asshole Straight Edgers is exhausting.

    • “…and their own definition of it within their discretion.”

      So, words only mean what I want them to mean? The way language works is that there are shared understandings of words so that when I say I’m a dog, it means I walk on four legs, have a tail, and sweat through my paws. Calling myself a dog doesn’t make me a dog, no matter how much I’d like to believe it. She is not a vegan. Veganism means something specific. She’s vegetarian.

      • If you want to be our dog, I fully respect your wishes to do so.

      • But to answer your question, it isn’t just words we are talking about here, but rather “labels.” And choice-based lifestyle labels such as “vegan” and “straight edge” come off more like titles that people take on and assign to themselves in order to position themselves atop a judgemental pedestal that allows them to condemn and belittle anyone who does not share the same position as them. I could easily go the rest of my life without taking another sip of alcohol, I already obstain from drugs with no interest in them whatsoever and my love life is dead, so there goes any chance of promiscuous actions. It really isn’t a great task of martyrdom to put a substance-free lifestyle over your shoulders as far as I am concerned, but I don’t feel the need to put my lifestyle into a proverbial box. I sympathize with Ms. Boucher to lead a lifestyle where her proverbial box is a little bigger than others who lead a similar lifestyle.

  8. I agree with Grimes :)

  9. i’m a new vegetarian with no current aspirations to go vegan. i enjoy cheese way too much. my decision was mostly based on seeing factory farming, pink slime, etc. rather than how it hurts animals. i mean, i don’t like animals being hurt either, but i just don’t want that shit in my mouth anymore.

    that being said, she’s not vegan. she needs to stop calling herself vegan. she does have a real asshole on her hands there, but adhering to such a diet and calling yourself vegan requires a large amount of self-discipline that she clearly doesn’t have. there’s no shame in calling yourself vegetarian.

    speaking of which, if someone eats meat, i have no problem with their personal decision to do so. but that being said, it’s been my limited experience that it’s a lot harder to deal with ignorant and indignant meat eaters than it is militant vegans.

    • but I think that’s just the issue, why does claiming a certain lifestyle require 100% adherence to that lifestyle? Can a Democrat still claim to be a Democrat even if they voted once for a Republican? She is obviously very conscious about her eating habits etc, and I think would require a lot of discipline, sure she’s maybe not the MOST disciplined vegan out there, but why does that mean she’s not a vegan? after all it’s still a useful term to describe the vas majority of her dietary choices, doesn’t mean there aren’t ever exceptions.

      • that analogy is way off. instead of democrat vs. republican, it’s more like republican vs. neocon. and even that is not a great example, since there are way too many ideologies involved in being with the two biggest political parties in this country. vegetarianism to me only has one ideology. and veganism has two, by my count. you make an exception and break either of those ideologies, and you belong to another category of eaters. if you were a democrat and started talking shit about roughly half the things democrats adhere to, you’d probably get tossed out of that body too.

        • fine, if you don’t like the political party analogy, that’s fine. but what about the rest of my argument?

          • really, i thought my response basically took care of your argument. give it another read.

            i mean, i’m not blaming her or saying she’s fake or something she’s not. i honestly have a degree respect for people who say they are “sometimes vegetarian” because at least they’re informed on some level. really, i can’t think of many other dietary choices with slimmer choices besides veganism – it’s a tough go. but she’s choosing to break a fundamental ideology of veganism and she’s still calling herself “vegan.” why not a “sometimes vegan”?

          • I guess I simply wouldn’t require such a strict adherence to apply the label. I think it’s still useful to label herself as vegan, because that practice still informs her decisions. But I see what you’re saying, she may not be a ‘strict’ vegan.

          • and even then by calling herself a “sometimes vegan,” i’m still on the side of the offended vegans out there. it not only calls for 1.) not eating animals but 2.) the products they produce. those are really the only two rules. not only is grimes making an exception to ice cream, she goes on to put beef stew and cake on the list. i mean, ugh. at first i was on her side, but i’ve now read it a couple times, and with each read i groan a little more. that’s nice she refuses to offend people over it, but she’s not exactly being true to herself as a vegan. maybe she should rename her new diet and stop using that word.

            another way to put it: i’m an ex-smoker. i smoked for ten years, tried roughly half that span to quit, and finally quit five years ago. it was very difficult for me and kind of a tough time in my life, and i know it’s tough for some people too. you can’t smoke a cigarette and continue calling yourself an ex-smoker or a non-smoker. if someone bummed a cigarette from the girl next to me and told her that he was a “sometimes smoker,” i wouldn’t care. but if he bummed a smoke and said, “i’m a non-smoker,” i dunno. i’d be kind of offended over what i’ve gone through to finally call myself a non-smoker.

      • There’s no room in this world for grey any more. You’re either for us or against us. A friend or an enemy. Black or white, because extremes are easier. The grey middle ground takes thought and compassion and intelligence and difficult discussions; hard work that no one wants to do any more. It’s much easier to label someone as the opposition, throw logic and compassion out the window, and go on the attack.

    • If this were true, the only true vegans would be those raised as such from birth. It’s not like virginity, where once you lose it it’s gone forever. Being not vegan for a day does not forever make you not vegan.

      The only people making it an absolute are those setting rules in their own minds. And that’s basically the definition of religion.

      • i didn’t say she can’t be vegan ever again. but i mean, if you’re adding ice cream to your “vegan diet,” that doesn’t make you vegan anymore. vegans are asshole militants, but part of having a militant diet is that your choices are limited. she’s choosing to make that exception and continue calling herself vegan.

        i don’t choose to submit myself to a steak once in awhile and continue to call myself vegetarian. but if i slip up and have a steak and choose to never do it again, then i guess i can continue calling myself vegetarian. she’s not doing that.

        • Aaron Cunningham  |   Posted on Nov 21st, 2013 -1

          I think you’re missing a central part of her point, though: She agrees with you that lots of vegans are asshole militants. She doesn’t want to be either militant or an asshole. She just wants to severely curtail her consumption of animal products.

          If there is a purpose served by being a vegan beyond the benefits to one’s own health and well-being, that purpose is served every single day that she or anyone adheres to this “militant diet” and is only moderately impacted by her having a pint of ice cream periodically. I think the flaw in your argument is viewing the merits of veganism as residing in the militant part of it, which leads to you contrasting “militant veganism” with someone who occasionally strays. That’s a really narrow scope. I write this as a militant carnivore: Grimes is 98.75% more vegan than I am and probably 60% closer to adhering than the rest of the world’s population (and I’m guessing that number is low). If you’re so militant about something that you’re willing to get bent out of shape with the people who agree with you on principle but aren’t perfect, you’re not going to get within shouting distance of convincing someone like me to try vegan food for a whole day. It’s missing the forest for a fallen leaf.

          • i understand she’s a nice person, she’s not judgemental, and that kind of thinking has informed being a vegetarian for me, too. i’ve spent too much time fielding protein arguments and rolled eyes over the past year that i’ve spent a lot of time thinking, you know, what the fuck.

            also, i’m all for the idea of roping in people to think about their health and consumer choices by talking about it, arguing, and putting it out there. otherwise, nobody can listen to what’s not said. she put it out there, and now it’s got people’s attention. great.

            that being said, i think your post could use a little bit of clarification. my central argument (and first post on this thread) was that she’s continuing to call herself vegan. and i can see why that would rub vegans the wrong way. it does not illicit an asshole response like the person who baited her, but nobody can deny she’s breaking some of the central tenements of veganism. naturally, in return she’s going to get shit from the people who strive to attain that diet every day. it’s a tough diet, but it’s rewarding to those who can play by the rules. i’m just saying, i get that there’s a nice way to admonish her and the person she addressed is clearly not nice, but i get where the backlash is coming from. she’s not “vegan” anymore.

          • I think the issue of the definition of the word vegan is a bit more complex than these responses are making it. If I abstain from animal products for 10 years and then one day decide to eat one pint of ice cream, am I not vegan any more? Was I not vegan before? When, in the time span leading up to me eating the ice cream, did I stop being vegan? Lastly, am I vegan again if I don’t eat any more ice cream?

            What I am trying to highlight are the problems associated with the hard line definitions. It makes more sense to define veganism as a set of honestly held values and intentions than to base the definition on whether or not you have managed to abstain from meat for different arbitrary lengths of time.

          • @ Matt McCandless

            >If I abstain from animal products for 10 years and then one day decide to eat one pint of ice cream, am I not vegan any more?Was I not vegan before?<

            yes you were, and nobody's making the argument that she was never a vegan. my central question is whether she can continue calling herself vegan. i don't think she can.

            that's fine if you feel like the borders within a lifestyle are meant to be broken every so often. i can agree and identify with that. and yes, grimes can do whatever she wants, eat whatever she wants, think however she wants. my main concern with this is that by breaking the rules of veganism whenever she feels like it, it really dimishes the credibility advocating such a lifestyle by openly talking about it while still claiming to be a vegan. what she should have done is say "1 day hiatus from abstaining from consuming any animals or animal products is being had starting NOw.” because vegans don't cheat. they may be mostly assholes, but they don't cheat.

            my problem with some vegans is the aspect of looking down on anyone else who isn't vegan, even vegetarians. the comments they make, the preaching, the constant self-righteousness they have while maintaining a diet that consists of mostly earth balance. it really has to do with the person, not the vegan/vegetarian/carnivore, and how they conduct themselves. but i do think that's the only true definition of an "asshole vegan." if a fellow vegan starts cheating on what they're consuming, they don't deserve to be ostracized or condemned publicly. but they do deserve to be admonished and told they aren't vegan anymore.

        • I think people have read her comments and assume she takes these hiatuses often, but we have no idea at what frequency she breaks the rules. I think Claire fully knows she’s not vegan when she eats the ice cream which is why she says she’s taking a break from veganism for the day. I think the frequency at which she does this matters. If she does it once a week, I’d say that she’s definitely not a vegan. Once a month is even pushing it. But what about once a year? One every few years? Where do you draw the line?

          I’m 27 years old and I’ve smoked 3 cigarettes in my life. Am I a non-smoker? Can I call myself a non-smoker? If I smoked a cigarette tomorrow (and intend to smoke one occasionally at a very infrequent interval for the remainder of my life) could I still all myself a non-smoker? I’d say so.

          • i suppose your smoking analogy holds a little water. but let’s put it in context. say there’s a coalition of people out there that are vehemently against tobacco. they don’t even like e-cigarettes. you nod your head in agreement in conversation with those people, and proclaim that since you’ve only smoked a couple cigarettes in your life and you condemn that lifestyle, you’re with them. and they’re willing to welcome you into the fold.

            and then say, one day, you find a cigarette in your car. it’s a great brand, looks delicious, and although it’s basically been produced by the manufacturer to promote an upcoming movie (“tobaccoman 2″), you go back to your house, fire up your computer, light up your cigarette, and proudly display that cigarette to the entire world via webcam/tumblr with the caption “JUST THIS ONCE, GUYS.” in return, you’re condemned by the rest of the non-tobacco community.

            then you cry out to the rest of the world that those people are mean, that you’re both a non-smoker and a smoker, but you’re still in league with the tobacco-hating world anyway. i simply cannot sympathize with you, “smoker” or “non-smoker.”

  10. I’m reading Morrissey’s autobiography and I respect veganism, but he will just get up and walk out on people who are eating meat in front of him. I suppose he’s got that right, but it’s not as black and white as all that really. She’s got it right I think.

  11. ‘Vegan’ is a word with a concrete definition. That makes it dogma. Labeling yourself as a vegan or any other hard-line label with completely inflexible ideals is just setting youself up for this exact type of criticism and being deemed a hypocrite when you go against it. She was obviously expecting it and baiting it for the attention the buzz blogs would give it and for all the slobs with no morals or ideals to get on their high horses and agree with her.

    And sorry, but eating beef stew just to not offend gramgram and poppop is extremely un-vegan. Seriously. She should just call herself ‘health-conscious with a concern for the flesh-bearing and their byproducts, but still subject to human desires/politeness’ if she feels the need to label herself.

    Oh, and I’m neither vegan or vegetarian, aside from the fact that 95% of my diet ain’t got shit to do with animals.

    #1 worst comment of the week second time running. Give it to me status quo.

    • if i could upvote again, i would

    • Respectfully disagree, refer to response to Rob Casper above.

      • Veganism /ˈviːɡənɪzəm/ is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, as well as following an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals. A follower of veganism is known as a vegan.

        She is not, by definition, a vegan. That doesn’t make her a bad person, it just makes her a vegetarian. Why won’t she just cop to it?

        • Why would she have to “cop” to anything? It’s not like she’s smoking crack and drunk-driving while pretending to be the mayor of an elected city. If you think she’s trying to fool someone, it would only be herself.

    • ‘health-conscious with a concern for the flesh-bearing and their byproducts, but still subject to human desires/politeness’ is a little bit of a mouthful

    • Aaron Cunningham  |   Posted on Nov 21st, 2013 -4

      So, wait… are you “baiting it for the attention the [commenters on a] buzz blog [will] give [you]” because that’s how this post reads?

  12. Who gives a fuck what a musician eats? I thought it was more about music than lifestyle.

  13. Countdown to Morrissey’s rebuttal begins……NOW!

  14. It’d be better if she just ate consciously and didn’t label herself. I agree with her ideals about food, but it’s definitely not veganism.

  15. I’ve got more than enough to eat at home

  16. Maybe it’s not 100% bona fide veganism, but it’s dumb to wanna crucify her for this. Who cares soooo much about her Ben & Jerry’s that they feel personally betrayed by her, besides douchey commenter of course. He/she really proved Grimes’ point. I don’t see her shoving her veganism down everyone’s throats, so I think this is ok, it’s her choice. This is a personal tumblr post, not an ad campaign.

  17. People are saying she’s not vegan anymore because she occasionally eats meat or dairy products, but I don’t think this is true. Just because she can’t live up to a dogma all the time (and even if she accept beforehand that she is going to fail at said dogma) doesn’t mean that isn’t her goal and she isn’t striving for veganism. In fact, I think by approaching veganism the way she is, she’s doing more for the cause than the ‘dogmatic asshole’ criticizing her.

    The best corollary to this is religion, particularly Christianity (the one I’m most familiar with but presumably others would be the same). If you call yourself a Christian, you accept that you will make mistakes and not follow every single rule of Christianity all the time. You lose the label when you say that you are no longer a believer, not when you break a rule.

    • To continue with the religion analogy, she’s more like a liberal Christian who follows the ‘spirit’ or Christianity rather than the ‘law’. Sounds to me like her heart is in the right place even when she’s breaking the dogma of veganism and I think that matters.

  18. I can’t believe people are agreeing with her flawed logic. Most people who choose the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle not only do it for a healthier diet, but for moral/ethical reasons. If Grimes was really a champion for the ethical treatment of animals, she wouldn’t go around eating Ne-ma and PawPaw’s tasty beef stew — and this is coming from someone who eats meat. It’s like saying you’re an atheist, except for the days you pray to god. I’m sorry, but this is an either/or proposition. Eating meat/dairy products every once in a while doesn’t make her a bad person – far from it – but it doesn’t make her a vegan either. She’s just a conscious eater — nothing more, nothing less. I wish animals were treated ethically as well, but I nullify that every time I chow down on a fatburger.

    I also find the people who make fun of vegans and flaunt their meat eating lifestyle to be just as bad as the people who are belligerent about not consuming meat. At the very least, vegans are somewhat justified in their self-righteousness. I eat meat, but I don’t go around pretending like it’s the right way to go about things. I probably shouldn’t eat meat. I don’t have to live off the land. I can go to the store and buy whatever. I also don’t need meat to be healthy. Many of these people are super passionate about stopping the consumption of animals. Sometimes that passion boils over into anger and disrespect. It’s understandable.

    • Except that there are many reasons to be Vegan, moral/ethical reasons being one of them, not the only one. What I don’t understand is this idea that “Vegan” is a badge of honor or a membership card that must be forfeited if you act in any way contradictory to it’s laws. It’s a label and a lifestyle that can bend to the will of the labeled.
      I still think the best example is this: I’ve smoked a cigarette once, I may or may not smoke one again someday, but I don’t intend to make it part of my lifestyle. So, am I a smoker, or not? clearly I’m not. I don’t smoke.

      • Couple random points to add:

        “Most people who choose the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle not only do it for a healthier diet, but for moral/ethical reasons.”

        Uhhhh eating vegan is not inherently more ethical than not. Sorry, everybody. Let’s be absolutely crystal clear on this.

        1) If you’re vegan because you believe killing animals for food is wrong, you probably hold animal and human life as equal, in which case, this is your subjective moral belief. It doesn’t make you more moral or ethical than anyone else. This may come as a surprise to you nobody is in favor of torturing animals.

        2) Human beings are evolved to consume animal protein. This is not up for debate. Don’t believe me? Vitamin B12 is a dietary essential fat soluble vitamin found ONLY in animal products, and it’s essential for a couple of the biochemical reactions in human metabolism. See here:

        If the biochem is lost on you, you need B12 to make DNA. Without vitamin B12 stores you can get megaloblastic anemia and neurological symptoms, as occurs with long-term strict veganism. The fact that human beings do not MAKE this vitamin, but instead must CONSUME it (hence “dietary essential”) is evidence we evolved to consume animals.

        3) If you farm, animals are going to die. They’re going to be displaced out of their habitats, they’re going to need to be dealt with when they eat crops, they’re going to be run over by farm machines, etc. Would you not eat a salad if you knew three rabbits were accidentally run over to get it to your table? If yes, how do you reconcile that? If no, what’s your solution?

        +1 to Grimes. Veganism is a dietary choice. End of story. Do what makes you happy, everybody. If you wanna be a militant asshole, be a militant asshole. Stir up resentment among those with whom you supposedly share solidarity. It doesn’t affect me.

        • agentcooper dropping science bombs. Loved this line:

          “Would you not eat a salad if you knew three rabbits were accidentally run over to get it to your table? If yes, how do you reconcile that? If no, what’s your solution?”

          • **sorry not fat soluble. Going on not a lot of hours of sleep here.

          • for some reason I always associate the agentcooper and Dick Litman aka Don Draper profiles here. makes me think, how cool would it be if Agent Cooper and Draper met? I feel like Draper would be all doe eyed at Cooper’s methodologies but then Coop might learn a thing from Draper’s flash if they talked for a bit too. For some reason in my mind the meeting ends with Cooper getting fed up with Draper and beating his ass.

        • Agentcooper, Kyle never said that veganism was morally/ethically SUPERIOR. He only said that people choose that lifestyle for moral/ethical reasons.

        • “Uhhhh eating vegan is not inherently more ethical than not”

          Inherently no, but when one is privileged in the sense if having a choice, an argument could be made for one of those lifestyles being more ethical. Again, I eat meat.

          ” If you’re vegan because you believe killing animals for food is wrong, you probably hold animal and human life as equal, in which case, this is your subjective moral belief. It doesn’t make you more moral or ethical than anyone else. This may come as a surprise to you nobody is in favor of torturing animals.”

          Does the idea of equality even matter? Is killing something okay just because its inferior? Your first line is misleading anyway, because I’m not sure even the most fervent of vegans would object to the killing of animals for necessity. I don’t think Caleb and his beat juice smoothie would be angry over someone who had to do it to feed his/her family. If so, then fuck them anyway. What I’m really getting at is that moral ambiguity for the people who have options. There are serious moral/ethical questions to be wrestled with here, and though “nobody is in favor of torturing animals,” (not necessarily true) our meat eating lifestyles pacify the fact that they are tortured and killed just because we like the way it taste.

          “Human beings are evolved to consume animal protein. This is not up for debate. Don’t believe me? Vitamin B12 is a dietary essential fat soluble vitamin found ONLY in animal products, and it’s essential for a couple of the biochemical reactions in human metabolism. ”

          It’s disingenuous to suggest that eating animals is the only way to get there. Eating an assortment of protein-containing foods can lead to the same results. Most of the Western world doesn’t consist of hunters and gatherers at this point. There are numerous ways to fuel your body properly — hence why vegans aren’t dropping dead every 3 seconds.

          “If you farm, animals are going to die. They’re going to be displaced out of their habitats, they’re going to need to be dealt with when they eat crops, they’re going to be run over by farm machines, etc. Would you not eat a salad if you knew three rabbits were accidentally run over to get it to your table? If yes, how do you reconcile that? If no, what’s your solution?

          Dude, I’m not advocating for Disney’s version of Pocahontas where are the cute little squirrels and deer play hide and go seek with each other. There’s a difference between a giant industry profiting off of the mass consumption of animals – because we just have to have our roasted duck with orange sauce – and collateral damage.

          For the 86th time, I eat meat. I just don’t pretend like I’m immune to criticism for it.

        • You do know that it is a myth that natural selection acts for the good of the species, right? Natural selection does not care about what is needed or what is good for your health.

        • The poorest people on earth eat vegan diets. I haven’t chosen to be a vegan, our culture(s) are rich enough to allow you the choice to eat meat.

        • 1. nobody said people were torturing animals. but factory farms do end up torturing animals. that’s undeniable fact. and the sole basis of vegetarianism/veganism isn’t “because of torture.” it’s because the act of either killing something living and putting it into your mouth, or seeing how those living things are killed, handled, and given to consumers, is disgusting to some people. it’s a personal choice, and if you’ve met people who don’t think that choice is personal enough to keep it to themselves and not blab on about how morally superior they are, i understand. but don’t transpose vegans being “moral” and vegans being “annoying” and saying they are one in the same.

          2. awesome chart, but it does nothing to explain why i should eat meat. nobody’s arguing that humans have evolved for centuries relying on b12, but that’s because they have a history of eating meat through evolution, becoming a species having to rely on b12. meat-eaters saying “because we’ve been doing this all along means we should continue doing it,” to me at least, is more eye-rolling than talking to annoying vegans.

          3. wow. you seriously made the argument “since we kill animals by mistake we should just eat ‘em anyway.” and then justified it with tales of rabbits being run over by farm machines. i don’t need to say much else.

          i already made my case against continuing to do things just for the fact we’ve always done them. but that’s just one reason. another is because factory farming destroys the earth. i know since you took a shit earlier in the day and flushed the toilet, you might think poopies disappear like magic. imagine that times a million, several seconds a day, on farms around the world. how do you deal with that waste? does it disappear? or do you send it to a waste treatment plant? and do you believe your 3rd grade science textbook and buy into the idea farming is a self-sustaining system, where animal waste is spread onto crops, presto, taken care of? no worries about run-off into our country’s plentiful fresh water system, dwindling by the day? zero cares about 2.8 billion metric tons of CO2 emission let into our atmosphere per year?

          • *Sigh.* I just posted a couple salient points that struck me while skimming the comments. Take ‘em or leave ‘em. I do appreciate these discussions but unfortunately I don’t have the time to respond properly to every thread.

            For #1 – “Torture” is a really malleable term based on how you personally want to define it. I’d say some farms “torture” animals and some don’t, and that’s based on my personal feelings about what torture is.

            For #2 – Thinking I care whether or not you eat meat, let alone thinking I’d try to convince you specifically what to do with your life, is presumptuous. I would never try to convert anyone from their beliefs because as long as what you do doesn’t affect me, I’m happy. Demonstrating the evolutionary importance of B12 shows that biologically, animal consumption is natural and healthy (I feel as though if I don’t state “WITHIN REASON,” obvious as this is, someone’s going to try and jump on it.) That was the point.

            As far as the “we’ve been doing this all along” argument – this applies more to say, slavery than it does animal consumption. Again I just showed you that animal consumption is a biological necessity. That’s my perspective. Animals kill animals; that’s what happens in ecosystems. Killing an animal for the need, and for food, will never be moral dilemma to me. That’s my own personal feeling, you’re free to have your own. Of course I don’t want my food to be tortured in the process. You’d be a fool to argue this as anyone’s preference.

            For #3 – It seems my meaning escaped you here. “Since we kill animals by mistake we should eat them anyway” was NOT my argument, so let me spell it out. Am I correct in my understanding from what’s been said on this board: to be “vegan,” you must consume nothing containing any animal products whatsoever, and you must avoid any product whose means of production met with animal harm of any kind, 100% of the time.

            That about right?

            The hypocrisy is that, when you eat “vegan,” animals are still dying. I see no way around that shy of planting, harvesting and cooking everything yourself. I’m not trying to belittle a way of life that doesn’t affect me, I’m just pointing this out. It seems to me this is something a vegan would have to reconcile.

            And then the patronizing bullshit rant about 3rd grade science, waste disposal, self-sustaining systems, CO2 emissions, etc… Here’s a tip to avoid sounding sanctimonious when stating your ideas: treat your audience as if they are as educated, if not MORE educated, than you. In many cases they are very likely at least one of the two.

          • What part of the word ‘essential’ did you not get?

            For the record I’m an apiring fruitarian.


          • not only did you miss my point entirely on b12, but you continue to insert your own common beliefs into the argument. so this is tough. and also, by criticizing people for their diet choices, you’re basically patronizing them as well. so i think i’m justified how i addressed your argument.

            1. though you’re right some do and some don’t, that’s not based on “personal feelings about what torture is.” it either is or it isn’t. while i can’t provide any proof that chickens hate the closed-in conditions, that pigs hate getting pumped full of antibiotics, or that cows hate their udders semi-permanently connected to vaccum milking machines, i at least identify with those who choose to avoid products associated with raising animals that way. i’m sorry you do not, and i’m sorry you have your very own definition. i’m also sorry you enjoy drinking milk for $2 a gallon guaranteed to contain at least a few milligrams of cow pus.

            2. again, i said b12 is essential, but there is research that shows during the course of human evolution, it may not have been in your words “a biological necessity.” take a look:


            as for the slavery argument, i read that twice and uh, no listen: i’m still talking about science here. i’m not understanding why you’re veering into recent human history rather than pay attention to, you know, a few million years back. that comparison makes no sense.

            3. i got what you were saying, and i know you’re willing to stretch that argument into telling me, like, that carton of rice milk someone buys is probably linked to a couple hundred fish deaths in a pond where chilean farmers dumped harvest machine refuse into the water instead of properly composting it. i get it. and yes, 100% conservation and awareness is impossible. but part of making that dietary choice of being vegan/vegetarian is to continually improve yourself by doing the research and enlightening yourself and your own consumerism. you know, the opposite of thinking that 100% or nothing, no in between. shitting on others who choose to do so and continuing to defensively justify your current eating habits just because you don’t know/don’t care what was in that big mac you had for lunch.

            it all goes back to that stupid picture she posted so proudly. no kidding eating ice cream isn’t going full-blast 100% vegan, just like you can’t always be 100% aware of what you eat. but the point is that ignorance just flies in the face of striving to be a better vegan altogether, something vegans and even vegetarians hold as kind of a value. i’m just saying, i get why they’re mad.

          • I don’t feel like engaging in the back and forth here but I would just like to say that agentcooper has put together a nice objective-oriented argument that I think most rational Biologists and Foodies alike would agree with. And Rob Caspers meandering is just oozing with subjective value judgement’s and is quite painful to read.

            My favorite part is when Casper says “but you continue to insert your own common beliefs into the argument. so this is tough.” LOL


        • 1) Humans are animals. I do not view humans and non-human animals as equal, but I believe that all life is precious, and the fewer creatures that I rob of their existence, the better.

          2) It is extraordinarily rare for a strict vegan to suffer negative health consequences from their food choices. It is much more common to see the adverse affects of meat eating; heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. There is more evidence supporting the notion that humans are not well equipped to handle meat eating than vice versa. I don’t find either argument particularly strong, however, because either can be done in a healthy way.

          3) Some good is better than no good. There actually is a difference between a handful of animals dying over the course of one’s life to support one’s existence, and a handful of animals dying each week to support one’s existence.

          Killing as few animals as possible to maintain one’s healthy existence is indeed more ethical than the alternative. There’s no way around it, no matter how much one wants to try to rationalize their current, personally enjoyable food choices.

          • I’d like to just reiterate the goal of my original post was not to denigrate a belief system or way of life, but rather to present some moral, ethical and biological points in favor of reason and moderateness (both of which have been decidedly declared as hostile by an overzealous minority.)

            1) “…the fewer creatures that I rob of their existence, the better.” Not much for any reasonable person to disagree with in that statement. As an aside, do you also feel this way about, say, mosquitoes and spiders? What about algae? I’m genuinely asking. Strict veganism seems to deal in absolutes, so it would seem again hypocritical to recognize the precious life of a dolphin but not an ixodes tick.

            2) “Extraordinarily rare?” Veganism SHOULD be suspected in any case of macroovalocytosis or where the mean corpuscular volume of the red blood cell on peripheral smear exceeds 100. That’s just simple due diligence.

            The following are abstracts, as I’ll assume you may not have access to subscription-based databases like medline, EBSCO host or other online physician references:

            -A study stating vegan/vegetarian children are at increased risk for iron deficiency anemia, psychomotor impairment and B12 deficiency:

            -Three studies indicating vegans/vegetarians are at risk for B12 deficiency:

            -A study in which 10 of 25 vegans had B12 deficiency as indicated by macroovalocytosis and low cobalamin levels:

            I’m not sure what enables you to say B12 deficiency, especially in vegans, is “extraordinarily rare?” Is it something you’re qualified to establish or something you just felt from personal experience?

            I originally posted the stuff about B12 to illustrate that the consumption of B12, which is traditionally found exclusively in animals and animal products, is necessary, normal, and natural. This is not to rag on vegans, but it is to undermine anyone preaching otherwise (that aforementioned staunch minority.)

            A militant vegan will always have an uphill fight because they’re pushing a radical position, while I’m merely suggesting a moderate one.

            That’s all I have time for right now.

          • I cannot post a reply to the the post I am trying to reply to for some reason. Hopefully this will end up in the right spot.

            “…(both of which have been decidedly declared as hostile by an overzealous minority.)”

            I did not view your post as hostile and I hope that my response did not come of as overzealous. I merely wish to debate a few points.

            “…the fewer creatures that I rob of their existence, the better.” Not much for any reasonable person to disagree with in that statement. As an aside, do you also feel this way about, say, mosquitoes and spiders? What about algae?”

            Thank you for finding this to be a reasonable statement. I avoid killing insects whenever possible, so yes, “the fewer creatures I rob of their existence, the better” applies to insects as well. It is possible that this question is intended to lay the groundwork for offering up the point that large scale farming and pesticides kills a lot of insects. To respond to that potential argument, I again do not view all life as equal. The more intelligent a creature is, the more precious its life is to me, personally, but I still view all life as precious. While avoiding insect deaths is important to me, it is slightly less important to me than avoiding animal deaths. That being said, I do want to avoid insect deaths, and growing a portions of ones food, avoiding food farmed with pesticides, and purchasing from smaller, local sources can be done to lessen the costs as far as insect lives go. So while I do intend to rob as few creatures of their existence to support my own, this does not end up being a simple adding up of numbers where all lives are given equal weight. I hope this clarifies the meaning of the original statement.

            If mosquitos were brought up specifically to introduce a scenario in which human lives in Africa were being pitted against the lives of malaria carrying mosquitos, I hope the above paragraph clarifies where I would stand on that. I don’t actually believe that this silly scenario was going to be introduced in a rebuttal, but I want to attempt to cover my bases.

            “-A study stating vegan/vegetarian children are at increased risk for iron deficiency anemia, psychomotor impairment and B12 deficiency:

            The last line from the abstract reads, “however, these pitfalls can be avoided easily, and children can be successfully reared on vegetarian diets.” This is in reference to potential B12 deficiencies. As for the risk of iron deficiency, it is fairly easy to find iron in plant sources. This study only tells me that if people do veganism and vegetarianism wrong, they can put themselves at risk.

            You do have a point, however. I need to revise my original statement to say that it is rare for strict vegans to suffer negative health consequences from their food choices if they plan their diets well.

            This study that was linked;
            does make me feel a bit better about the megaloblastic anemia that was listed as a risk of veganism in the first post. The study shows that vegans have higher levels of folate, and folic acid supplementation in the absence of B12 prevents that type of anemia.

            There are non animal sources for B12. There are B12 fortified cereals, certain seaweeds, and store bought suppliments. I think the real question is, how much of this B12 is processed by humans properly above the lower colon since we seem to need animals to process it for us? A good study of vegans who are very conscious about their food choices and work to get a good amount of B12 each day is something that I would find insightful.

            Here’s a study (albeit with a small sample size) that shows vegan children with normal B12 levels, possibly due to the daily intake of nori.

            “(both of which have been decidedly declared as hostile by an overzealous minority.)”
            “(that aforementioned staunch minority.)”

            I hope that the opinions of the minority are not being trivialized simply because they come from those in the minority. Just in case this is the implication of these statements, argumentum ad populum is a fallacious argument. That is in reference to the general population and the population in this particular forum. If we are speaking of a scientific majority, however, that is a different thing. Again, I would be interested in seeing studies involving vegans that specifically supplement their B12 intake.

            “I originally posted the stuff about B12 to illustrate that the consumption of B12, which is traditionally found exclusively in animals and animal products, is necessary, normal, and natural.”

            Consumption of B12 is indeed necessary. Fortunately, we can get it from more than just animal sources. Whether the other sources are reliable and whether or not we process it well enough to be healthy will be the topic of the debate that follows.

            “A militant vegan will always have an uphill fight because they’re pushing a radical position, while I’m merely suggesting a moderate one.”

            While I respect that people are passionate enough about the lives of animals to voice their opinions, and while I understand the anger that stems from the empathy that one feels for living creatures being tortured or killed, I think that militant vegans can actually turn people off from those sorts of food choices with their sometimes abrasive words and tactics. If someone like Grimes is doing good things by consuming considerably less animal products, she should be congratulated for it, not berated by those who find the label “vegan” more important than the actions associated with it.

            I respect vegans and do not find their food choices to be radical. I cannot call myself one, however. Rather than labeling myself, I simply tell people how I eat. I mostly eat vegan, but I occasionally have dairy. I would like to have the will power to be eat vegan all the time and respect those that can pull it off.

        • Sorry, Coop, but B12 is not exclusive to animal products, nor are animals the source. B12 is made by bacteria. Animals only have B12 because they eat bacteria-laden dirt. Don’t worry, you don’t have to eat dirt (although my grandma used to say something about eating a bushel of dirt before you die.. something like that). You can feed your human self some B12 by eating fermented foods, or produce that has absorbed B12 from the soil (mushrooms or leafy greens, among others), or you can work a sprinkle of nutritional yeast into your day somehow. I’d recommend on pasta or popcorn, in sauces… lotsa options :-)

      • Veganism in its very nature is dogmatic. It’s a very strict diet that people subject themselves to. If she insists on calling herself something she’s not, it’s not a big deal for someone to call her on it. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t usually here people going around calling themselves non smokers — they just say they don’t smoke. There are no actual rules to adhere to in that example, unlike a vegan who has to follow certain rules. Grimes could just avoid all of this by not worrying about the label to begin with.

        • that’s true. she’s the one who took hold of the label, she’s the one who should deal with the consequences.

        • Please explain to me where taking honey from unconscious honey bees is detrimental to them? Vegetarianism I understand, pescatarian I understand even more (mollusks, shrimp, and many fish have the cognitive abilities of a housefly – “suffer” is textbook anthropormophizing with these creatures) I also understand why many would not support farms that mistreat animals.

          I have visited several farms which do an excellent job at providing comfortable environments for their cows and chickens. I myself have owned chickens. When a chicken is living in good conditions lays an unfertilized egg, how does it hurt the chicken for me to eat it? After a cow starts lactating, how is it detrimental for me milk it? Don’t throw at me crazy scary situations of industrial farming, but don’t tell me milking a lactating cow is “torture,” in fact lactating cows experience discomfort if they don’t get milked.

          As someone with a degree in biology and a history of working at local farmers markets for years, I know there are plenty of opportunities in this country to find animal-based foods in ways that will indisputably cause minimal harm to these creatures. Knowing this, it leads me to believe that there are few things more dogmatic than the label “vegan,” and it disturbs me how the reputation of the name has little to do with the motivations behind it, and much more to do with a pretentious identity many people want to be associated with.

          Rob, the whole point of Grimes’s rant was that the label “vegan” itself is the problem. The way people who identify with it have created the mess of ideas associated with it. She shouldn’t have “to deal with the consequences” because there shouldn’t be any consequences. The only consequences she’s dealing with are by brainwashed self-righteous people like you. I respect her motivations now just as much as I did before she ate the ice cream. In fact, her knowledge of Ben & Jerry’s manufacturing processes suggests that she is informed on farming techniques, and that she’s capable of making the rational decision to allow herself to eat an ice cream that she wants.

          She’s absolutely right in suggesting we focus on a proper return to the ideals that vegan-ism were based on instead of the fascist and obnoxious lifestyle that it’s known for. In a way, her rational-driven “hiatus” from veganism is inspiring to people who don’t fall into diet labels. She’s more likely to convince me to become vegetarian by showing us we shouldn’t have to feel persecuted for having cheat days, and it goes much further to support the cause than say, pouring a bucket of blood on my leather jacket or showing me pictures of dead chicken fetuses from some back-alley butcher shop.

          • I don’t think the issue has anything to do with providing relief to a lactating cow. It’s how/why the cow is lactating in the first place (artificial insemination, as I imagine someone this familiar with farms must be aware of? More so than myself, especially?).

          • What?

            Okay then, explain to me what’s wrong with artificial insemination. The man who pioneered the technique won the Nobel Prize for medicine a few years ago. The process is painless and yields the same results as conventional sex but with a lower margin of error for still births. If anything there’s a reduced likelihood of injury to the cow if shes artificially inseminated than if shes mounted by a bull. Maybe the catheter could cause some short term cramping for the cow, but its not going to be anything like a 1200 lb bull mounting her.

            Some animals, like bulldogs, are bred almost exclusively through artificial reproduction because its too exhausting for them to reproduce conventionally. Any argument that artificial insemination = bad is likely based in naturalistic fallacy and makes no sense.

          • Why does the cow have an overabundance of milk? Well, my half lobster, half dog friend, I’ll tell you: it’s because her calf has been taken to dairy cow school if it’s a female, and sent to the Veal Home for Wayward (Cow) Youth if it’s a male. Is it detrimental to have one’s children stolen away? Let’s find out :-) –

          • Wow, newbury point news has just made a scientific breakthrough about postpartum depression bovines?

            Thank you garland briggs, this excellent scientifically peer reviewed journal is something the world needs to see. I am so happy you cited something so authentic and so bold in its convictions, the world of animal studies is going to turn upside-down once they see this undeniable evidence. Newbury police Sergeant Patty Fisher has put her excellent scienitific analysis skills to work and wasn’t anthropomorphizing at all.

            These cows certainly were moaning because they missed their babies, not because of any other multitude of reasons which must have been tested (including postpartum lactation pain). Also I mean its assumed that their babies MUST be taken away in order for efficient milking which is the only way this would affect my argument. All babies must be taken away to milk right? Therefore all milking was bad and my argument was poor?

            I’m sick of arguing this shit, you guys are butthurt losers. I’m gonna go get a milkshake.

  19. i don’t think eat that

  20. There seems to be a kind of label stickiness spectrum that seems to depend on how forgivable the act is to a certain person.

    A guy who takes a 1 day hiatus from not molesting children is probably never going to shed the “child molester” label.

    A guy who takes a 1 day hiatus from not cheating on his wife can sometimes gain back the “faithful husband” label.

    Someone who takes a 1 day hiatus from not smoking cigarettes can easily take hold of the “non-smoker” label.

    So I would guess that vegans would be less forgiving of Grimes taking temporary hiatuses than meat eaters would be. I still call myself vegan even though I end up eating something with an animal product in it about 5x per year. It’s not a dietary restriction, it’s a dietary choice. It’s clear that Grimes just sometimes values other things (indulging a craving, not upsetting her grandparents) more than her adherance to being vegan.

  21. 70 comments and nobody’s made a vegan police joke yet. What’s going to happen to Grimes’ psychic powers?

  22. Holy shit what a reasonable fucking person. Grimes is seriously everything good about the whole tumblr crowd.

  23. It bugs me how people identify as “a vegan”. Why not just say “I am a human being named _____ and I adhere to a strict vegan diet” ?

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  26. Vegangelicals are about as effective with their proselytizing as crispy fundamentalists. You go girl, ain’t no one livin’ your life but you!

  27. True vegans, unlike Grimes, are self righteous asses. I think Grimes is just being respectful when she eats her grandma’s stew. Being respectful of other people’s way of living when you are at their homes is more important than carrying out your own propaganda all the time.
    When she’s indulging on a cake during the holidays, she’s just taking a short break of the unhealthy diet she normally has, there’s a good reason why she’s craving for some proteins and animal fat, it’s natural! Last but not least, she’s eating Ben & Jerry’s and as she explains that company actually treats their animals well and does research to make this world actually a better place. How in the world could you be against eating a product that has been produced in a humane and a good way?? That’s just being the definition of a true hypocrite!
    Furthermore, I am a “flexitarian” myself as they call it, I eat fish and meat once a week because I know that makes for a healthy diet. I also eat eggs, dairy and other animal products that have been produced in a humane fashion because there’s nothing wrong with that. Vegans need to get of their shitty high horses already.

    • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • “When she’s indulging on a cake during the holidays, she’s just taking a short break of the unhealthy diet she normally has”

      Yeah, I remember all the times nutritionists came out and were like ‘woah guys, toooooo many vegetables, better go eat some cake’!

  28. I don’t get why it’s always such a big deal to people.

    If she occasionally has some ice cream (and I don’t think occasionally eating ice cream counts as “adding ice cream to your diet as much as a hurricane in New England doesn’t make our climate ‘tropical’), or once in a while has a meat product with family or something (I relate to that), it doesn’t mean she no longer follows a vegan diet. Things aren’t actually black and white.
    So she’s 98% vegan and not 100%. If I put a tablespoon of cream and sugar in my coffee, it’s still coffee. I’m not going to tell people, “Actually it’s not really coffee, but it’s coffee with some cream and sugar in it.”

    I of course know why vegans would have a problem with it, but I don’t think any reasonable person should find this anything other than reasonable.
    Being vegan means doing your best to not contribute to animal cruelty and such to the best of your ability though there little we can do that isn’t completely disconnected from that. The fact that she follows a vegan diet “most of the time” means she’s at least doing her part, and that she follows it enough that she’d still identify as a vegan.

    Also: who gives a fuck what she wants to eat and why.

    • Another example. I don’t smoke. But sometimes around friends I might take a cigarette. We’re talking once in a blue moon. Does that make me “a smoker”? Not by a long shot.

      In the end we’re just talking about labels. If she had said “I follow a vegan diet but sometimes I eat this,” maybe it wouldn’t have ruffled vegan feathers as much as her identifying as a capital V Vegan.

      • Yeah huh. Also, I’m a virgin, I just fuck dudes every now and then. Which is my somewhat dickish way of saying that I interpret the definition of ‘vegan’ to mean a continual commitment to a way of behaviour, rather than something that is casually adopted or cast aside. If someone doesn’t eat meat or dairy for a day, maybe your description says that on that day the person was a strict vegan. I disagree.

        Your other point, about giving a fuck etc., is pretty valid. I think it’s her half-baked reasoning for justifying self indulgence whilst maintaining a veneer of compassion that has rubbed some people up the wrong way. There aren’t enough flavours of vegan ice cream out there to keep you happy? Really?

        • Let’s all remember that not all Labels have the same criteria for being useful/accurate.
          Example. Rapist vs Smoker. Both examples used in this thread. But both obviously have widely different criteria for being applicable. 1 Rape = Rapist, 1 smoke ≠ Smoker. Right?

        • righto. a stunning example of how a simple choice of words to say the same thing could make a huge difference, at least in people’s perception.
          though in my opinion, there really aren’t enough flavors of vegan ice cream to keep one happy, especially compared to dairy ice cream! :-p

  29. I’m not a fan of Grimes at all, but good for her and the stance she’s taking.

  30. Grime’s makes a good point – nobody likes aggressive food elitists. But that being said if the dude had just told Grimes – You shouldn’t call yourself a vegan – he would be spot on. She is doing her own thing and she has every right to eat beef stew and ice cream. However, that isn’t vegan.

    • Incorrect. It depends on your ethics of veganism. I’m not a philosophy so my terminology will appear crude, but consider the difference in taking veganism to be a utilitarian ethics vs. an essentialist moral code.

      • The dictionary definition is a person who does NOT eat ANY food that comes from animal products. That’s pretty black and white. But regardless of what Merriam says – the term is used most commonly to describe people that completely abstain from eating meat or using products derived from animals. So based on that I don’t believe she can call herself a vegan. She even admits it by saying she is taking a ’1 day hiatus’ from veganism. So maybe she can call herself a vegan of convenience. Or a sloppy vegan. Derelict Vegan. Randy Vegan – cause sometimes we all get randy for some meat.

        • Well, if we’re using dictionaries as references, I just looked it up and the example of the word used in a sentence was, “I’m a strict vegan.” The word “strict” would not have been used if everyone believed “vegan” contained its sense in itself.

          • Exactly man. That’s why I suggested Grimes modify her ‘vegan’ claim to sloppy vegan. shitty vegan. weak vegan. Or better yet – a person who eats whatever the fuck she wants. I see your point though – shades of vegan. But I still stand by the claim that the ‘common use’ of the term is a person that abstains completely from etc etc. So when I say someone is vegan I dont mean they abstain from meat and dairy except oh occassionally they do eat meat if their grandparents make it. No, I wouldn’t call that person a vegan, and if I did people wouldn’t picture them eating ice cream and beef stew – would they? According to your argument – that person can still be referred to as a vegan. But I trust you see the stupidy of adding modifiers to terms – whats the point fo the term. Also, here’s a challenge – give me an example of a word that can’t be modified. Where is the true black and white? What word carries its complete ‘sense’ in itself as you stated. Maybe the English language is total bullocks.

          • I take your point and I don’t think it’s a bad one. My feeling remains that veganism refers to a lifestyle or practice or ethics, the particular articulation of which people have the right to argue about. I also think Grimes is pointing to how this dogmatic view of veganism is the kind of binary thinking that is generally just not good for human relations.

  31. This is obviously a calculated move. If this were simply a matter of enjoying some ice cream then she could have done it in private. Why post it for all to see? What, because she wants to “share” with her fans? Bullshit. She knew exactly the kind of response this would garner (“anticipating”, in her words), and she realized it’d give her a perfect platform to once again remind us all how progressive and forward-thinking her point of view is. The fans rush in to her defense, and goddamn if it doesn’t work every time.

    I’ll give her this: she clearly knows her fanbase and which buttons to press, but I can’t help wondering how much of her free time is dedicated to figuring out new ways to make the music blogs each week. She’s probably reading this comment right now. Hi, Claire!

  32. I demand more militant-ism, of all kinds.

  33. Hey DIIV guy, is heroin vegan?

    • this soy is the good shit

    • No, heroin is not vegan. The poppy plant from which heroin was derived was grown in soil that was fertilized by animals and animal waste. Dead animals and animal waste are absorbed into the soil and their components mix with microbes and minerals and water in the soil to become the poppy plant.

  34. people do this with religion all the time. ALL THE TIME.

  35. My final argument. Veganism is “the PRACTICE of abstaining from the use of animal products” not necessarily the “STRICT ADHERENCE of abstaining…”. Veganism is obviously something Grimes PRACTICES. That makes her a vegan. Vegan is a label that describes her values. However Grimes, by right, has other values that sometimes (rarely?) trump her values as a vegan. That’s fine, and doesn’t mean she gets her exclusive vegan badge of honor revoked. Different labels have different criteria for use. Ie. Rapist vs Smoker. Frequency makes a big difference in those two terms.
    Also, forgive me now if this is not my final argument.

  36. ugh of course Diiv had to respond

  37. Isn’t it sad that people behave that way behind the curtain of social media, such a cowardly act of ego manic behavior – it isn’t only veganism, it’s religion, political & any personal agenda. It detracts & sabotages the very cause itself. This is precisely why I only refer myself as “plant based”.

  38. When I worked at Ben & Jerry’s in college, we once received a letter from PETA suggesting the company use human breast milk instead of cow’s milk. Idiots.

  39. A Vegetarian once told me that Vegans just die. I often wonder what Vegans think about the behavior of Lions, Orcas, and Baboons.

    • we are not lions orcas or baboons. also, gorillas are vegans.
      your point?

      • Actually, gorillas are herbivores. “Vegan” or “Vegetarian” are terms applied to naturally carnivorous humans who have made a choice to be a herbivore.

        • I guess you could say it’s a choice by naturally omnivorous humans.

          • I guess you could say the descriptor “natural” doesn’t mean shit when applied to human behavior… Can’t even count how many crunchy hippies have used the “natural” rationale to justify their stoney love of cheese and ice cream or their body odor. Fact is, almost all of us have a choice whether or not we eat animals (and whether or not we shower). Doesn’t matter what cavepeople did before the advent of agriculture, doesn’t matter whether the animal lives a good life before its life is ended, doesn’t matter if you think the cloud of incense covers your stank.

  40. she’s completely right! as if every vegan has never EVER touched animal products since going vegan…
    i believe in veganism and i think it’s great, i was vegan for a year and loved it but at the mo i am just a veggie, i hate that some asshole vegans would make me feel bad about that.

  41. There’s an ice cream that tastes like scotch?

  42. I’m definitely in disagreement about putting down a cat to save other animals. Cats can’t survive on a diet that doesn’t include meat. Dogs can, but will often refuse to eat vegetarian dog food. My own dog gets lamb and rice formula. Also, most dog food that includes meat is technically “healthier” for the dog. Much like the healthiest possible human diet would include meat (although FAR less than most Western people eat).

    We wouldn’t kill a lion to save some gazelles, right? Although that has more to do with not upsetting an ecosystem. I suppose you could argue, then, that the proliferation of cats as domestic animals is inhumane both because it necessitates the production of pet food that includes factory farmed animals, and it forces cats to live indoors in an unnatural way (Although, I wouldn’t agree with the latter point. I’m pretty sure my indoor cats are happy little guys.). This is why spaying/neutering is important. We shouldn’t be breeding more domestic animals when there are already too many in existence. However, it isn’t humane to put down a cat that’s already living, unless they are too sick/old to experience any quality of life.

  43. The problem here is one that’s come up for just about every ‘ism’ under the sun, and that is “who gets to decide what a vegan is?” Some literal minded people would point to a dictionary, but a dictionary doesn’t define words, speakers do – the dictionary serves to report those findings. The question has no answer, people will always expand and alter the definitions of political, religious or philosophical movements. Can a pacifist defend himself or his family with physical force? In truth, every meal is a separate action with separate moral choices. I commend her for making a tough decision almost every time she eats. It’s not easy. And I also get that DIIV guy thinks it’s unethical to ever consumer animal products. All labels aside, I imagine Grimes and DIIV would find way more in common in their ideals than not. And DIIV can condemn the action without having to bring in the slippery issue of who is a vegan. What they both aspire to is the same end, and perhaps they should both remember that.

  44. DIIV think taking drugs is OK but God forbid a cow is exploited! stupid hippies.

    Grimes is still a Goddess though.

  45. Where’s the beef? Very funny Stereogum!

  46. I’ve heard of three strikes and your out, but you vegans are tough. “One strike. That’s all you get.” No wonder you’re such a minority.

    Seriously, though, Claire, your Grandma’s beef stew is wicked delicious.

  47. this whole thing is so ridiculous

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