With a number of vegans being concerned about the ‘damage’ that former vegan foodies are doing to the cause, very little attention is paid to those current ‘personalities’ who are possibly doing it even more harm.
A number of these vegans come to mind (and I do use the term vegan loosely as I think they are more focused on a plant based diet) unfortunately the worst by far happen to be Australian.
That’s right folks, I am talking about Leanne
Bell(?) Ratcliffe and Harley Johnstone otherwise known as Freelee and Durian Rider.
Are they really vegan?
While it is easy for someone to throw on a t-shirt with a catchy slogan and talk about plant based foods, does that really make them a vegan?
I once saw a short YouTube clip of Mr Johnstone when he rode past a protest at the Oakville races. He was asked for a comment about it, and all he did was go on about the horses being pumped full of drugs, and that if they break a leg they get a shot gun to the head and are sent to the knackery.
First of all, does he actually know what sort of mess a shotgun makes when fired at something? And knackeries can’t actually take already dead animals for processing, they have to be killed on site.
Now I am sure that all his loyal subjects will claim semantics here, though that really doesn’t excuse the huge errors and misinformation?
Or how about what they fed their dogs when they first got them?
They did one of their famous youtube clips where Freeleee explained to the world what they feed the two dogs, and in that she says that she has only had dogs for a few months and at first thought it was cruel to feed them a plant based diet.
Now if she was the wonderful vegan and animal lover that she claims to be, wouldn’t she have researched that BEFORE she got the dogs?
It is also worthwhile mentioning that people usually buy pets for their own selfish reasons or to prove how much of a real animal lover they are.
A Danger to Everyone
Whilst I think it is a great idea that they both have an opinion on things, and I am not saying that they shouldn’t share it with others, what concerns me a great deal is that they claim it is gospel and others should follow it. Which sadly a lot of people do.
I understand that whilst I may not have the substantial self-taught knowledge that these two do, I am pretty sure that it is universally accepted that the only way to lose weigh is to have a calorie deficient lifestyle.
That means that the calories consumed has to be LESS than the calories used.
Despite what they may claim, and lead others to believe eating unlimited calories and sitting on your backside all day will not help you lose weight. That being said, they are very very cagey about the level of exercise that they actually do.
One minute she is bragging about buying a door frame chin up bar, then the next she is saying that she doesn’t lift weights. The same goes for running too. One minute she claims that she runs 6-15kms 5 times a week, then the next it is never over 30kms a week, to running 2.5kms max
We can only guess that their actual level is substantially more than what they have lead their followers to believe.
Whilst I wont get started on her views on menstruation, what I will say is that they are a danger to females everywhere, and especially to those who want to have a family.
Speaking of having a family, it is very elitist and ignorant of them to claim that having children and raising a family ISN’T making a positive contribution to the world or actually achieving something. They don’t think they would be able to look after a child, yet they appear to be perfectly comfortable owning dogs.
Then again, it will be far easier to get rid of or palm off the dogs when they don’t want them or fly off overseas than it would be a child.
Excuse To Binge Eat
With Leanne admitting that she suffered from eating disorders in the past, alarm bells should be going off with her current ‘binge’ diet. Regardless of how ‘successful’ she claims it is.
When you have a look their diet plan objectively, this is all that it really is. An excuse to binge eat at every meal.
Mono meals, and eating to get the ‘fruit belly’ can not be a good thing by anyone’s standards, unless you are an infant and still breast feeding, though they stop when they are full, not when they have a belly.
Another example that I am sure we all remember is the youtube clip where Harley sat down to eat three 1,000cal pizzas, because he hadn’t consumed enough calories by 8:30pm.
Their diet ‘plan’ has had a number of incarnations over the years, from 100% raw and nothing but bananas, through to the latest version which is raw til 4.
Now because she is able to make a buck out of it, cooked food seems to be ‘good’ again, despite there being a time where it wasn’t.
Does this mean they will start eating animal flesh when the next fad comes out and their popularity is waning?
I am sure that the devoted fans of these two will be quick to point out how many ‘followers’ they have on facebook, twitter, etc, as if popularity on social media is some indication of their legitimacy.
If it was, porn stars would be some of the most influential people on the planet.
Which leads me to believe that it is highly possible that Leanne has a large number of followers because she parades around in very little and uses sensationalist topics to gain attention/popularity.
All of which are only good for promoting her and the latest ebook she is selling.
If we are serious about increasing the profile of veganism and having it viewed in a positive light, and not as the realm of nut jobs, we need positive role models, not the likes of those who rant to sell books.
Updated: 23 July. Correct spelling mistakes, and formatting errors
This article was written by the founder of VeganPolice.com.au, Cameron Blewett.
Cameron is a long term vegan (30+yrs), and is passionate about veganism, and helping people to understand more about it and giving other animals equal consideration.
You can find Cameron’s other rants on his website, CameronBlewett.blog