Following The ‘Fruit Bat’ Sh*T Crazy

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

9 thoughts on “Following The ‘Fruit Bat’ Sh*T Crazy”

  1. Very judgemental criticism that actually reflects the very thing that this writer laments: – vegans being represented by ‘nut jobs’. This article does nothing but continue to promote the divide amongst the vegan movement, when we are all in fact on the same mission, instead of uniting us. If we cannot have compassion for our fellow vegans, whether they eat raw or cooked foods, what hope is there for society to ever take veganism seriously. I’m disgraced at the nonsensical childish nature of this article, and if this is the face of animal activism, then I’m ashamed to call myself vegan.

    • With all due respect Harmony, I really don’t care if someone is a junk food vegan, raw food, fruitarian or whatever.
      What I think we should all be concerned about are those who are only in it to promote themselves, an unsustainable and unrealistic diet, and give out extremely bad advice.

      What will it do for the movement when people move back to consuming animal products because they haven’t been able to lose the weight they were lead to believe they would?

      Also, let’s remember that not that long ago these two were 100% devoted to raw food, etc, even to the point of bagging out those who eat cooked food. Now because there is a buck to be made from it, they are promoting their raw til 4 diet.

    • following on from my previous comment, it concerns me greatly when people who do not have a healthy relationship with food, promote their way of living as gospel that others must follow.

      Don’t you think it is more than a tad hypocritical for Leanne to have a pain list of what would happen if she went back to eating cooked food when her latest book is promoting just that?

      • If you are stupid enough to follow what someone you don’t know says to a T, that is your problem. Freelee has inspired me, but I do what works for me as long as it is cruelty free. I’m so annoyed at people attacking a person who never claims to be a dietician for their health problems-I am my own person, and it sucks the majority of the population doesn’t think that way, but there is a lot worse then what Freelee puts out there that people follow. See your doctor if you are concerned, I’m more appalled by the licensed weight loss groups down the street that tell people to only eat animal protein and cauliflower (no fruit, beans, nuts). And these people pay $100/week to do this and get supplements. Smh.

  2. Just came across this.

    You are spot on about those two. I’ve lost interest in watching and criticizing their scam videos, but recently, I took a peek to see if they were still just as egregious as ever. Yup. Only now they eat deep fried foods that contains wheat and buttloads of all kinds of fats, including those that can’t be healthy on any diet. I’m not against any food, really, as long as it’s whole, so wheat isn’t a demon (although, I avoid it). But when you fry wheat? That’s a whole new level of unhealthy (and Harley had the audacity to state that they are eating like this only “once in awhile” to help keep their weight from going too low, even though they claim to be “smashing in the carbs” and exercising so little, which according to them, should keep a person perfectly lean and in tip top athletic shape, yes?). Bullshit – those two gobble this crap down very often and brag about these meals on camera, even in the middle of the day (i.e. before 4pm). They are not “Raw till anything” anymore. They are just fake vegans who are now trying to keep a fan base and clicks for money. I certainly agree with you that they very well could go back to eating animals if they find themselves no longer able to make money off their youtube channel (when people finally tire of them). Only don’t expect to know about it off the bat. I can see a re-branding effort on both of their parts and new YT channels when that happens in an effort to conceal it from their current die-hard, dimwitted followers.

    In fact, you can almost see it coming. Something that has always disturbed me about the both of them. They claim to want to change the world and stop animal cruelty, yet they ride $$$$ bikes with saddles, shoes and tires for which animals were used to create. I’d also be curious to know what kind of running shoes Harley dons. Can’t convince me that his narcissistic ego would allow him to buy man-made running shoes when he’s trying to break his Strava PR of the month. No way. I’m willing to bet his shoes are leather, just like his high-end cycling shoes and aerodynamic saddles and racing tires. He’s the ultimate hypocrite.

    Freelee is no better, of course, but many people give her a pass, because she flaunts her fake breasts on camera. Let’s face it. If she didn’t have those, her fan base would be way way less. The boy fans don’t want to see what a real women who weighs 110 pounds with little muscle definition looks like. Those women don’t have hardly any breasts at all or periods – something Freelee has celebrated on video before in the past.

    And yes, she binges, every day. What we don’t see is her purging, either through exercise or otherwise (I suspect this, but don’t have any evidence to back it – but, it would be very easy to puke up dateorade). In fact, she and Harley both do nothing but obsess over food and exercise. And you can already see the damage on Harley. He isn’t aging well, and that is not me being catty. Just look at his latest video. The signs of aggressive aging are there, etched in his face and neck. Excessive sugar combined with over exposure to the sun is as bad on the skin as excessive drinking or smoking. It will and is catching up to him. Freelee too, but she is still young enough that it isn’t as obvious. The most tell-tale signs on her are her arms (in the right light, they are dimpling from lose of muscle) and her hair (it has thinned substantially over the last four years). Looks are certainly not everything, and I’m not trying to imply that they are. But the health of one’s skin and hair speaks volumes. “Smashing in” huge containers of sugar and carbs is no better than eating nothing but eggs and bacon with respect to health. Their fan base is too ignorant/fooled/young to understand this and simply can’t see past the shock value and cheap antics for video views that the Banana Duo have mastered.

    Sadly, they are the current face of the vegan lifestyle for many young, impressionable girls. Those girls will try the diet, not have the hours free to exercise all day like Leanne does, and then gain weight and feel awful (and possibly could develop an eating disorder as well). Give them a year and they will turn away from vegan/vegetarian forever.

    So, I agree with you, Cameron, these two are hurting the movement tremendously, not helping it, supporting it or representing it honestly in the least.

  3. Here here Teresa and Cameron …..

    A bit harsh in spots but essentially true. The two of them are the loose cannons of the Vegan movement.

    Quite scary watching their minor rise to fame …. the gorging videos are particularly disturbing. The Vegan movement struggles to escape the ‘nutty’ profile that it is often branded with at the best of times.

    I am concerned for both Freelee and Durian Rider. The internet rollercoaster has them caught in an endless loop of conflict, fads, money making, and attention seeking behaviour to the detrement of many of their devotees and to all of the vegan community.


    • It also concerns me the number of people who follow what they say without question or common sense

      • Absolutely …. in my opinion dissent is good.

        If your argument is sound it will hold up to critisism and robust debate, if it doesn’t then then it is time to rethink your ethos.

        I just don’t see tbat happening with Freelee and DR.

  4. I agree with your post. I’ve been watching Freelee and Harley for the past several years and I’ve noticed a trend towards ever more hysterical vitriol directed at anyone who doesn’t follow lockstep behind them. Freelee frequently attacks those who don’t agree with her as “jealous, quasi-vegan haters” simply for questioning any of her claims.

    I agree, there is no way that woman is taking 20-minute bike rides every other day and spending the remainder of her time either sitting on the internet or scarfing down unlimited plates of vegan Thai food to the tune of 3500+ calories per day and maintaining her svelte body. The laws of thermodynamics are not suspended in Freelee’s kitchen.


What are your thoughts?