I Am A Fat Vegan
I feel like fat vegan voices are definitely marginalised within the vegan community. So much of the rhetoric revolves around clean eating or the health benefits of veganism. Fat vegans are so often seen as Bad Vegans, and unapologetic fat people are so often seen as Bad Fat People! Body shaming and health policing are still very common in the vegan community.
I’ve been vegan for around 8 years. I’ve been fat since I was a teenager. I struggled for nearly 3 decades with negative self-image, and was sucked wholly into diet culture for at least 15 years. Veganism eventually introduced me to some totally amazing concepts: eco-feminism, intersectional politics, body positivity and fat positivity. I read about the Health At Every Size movement, and immersed myself in fat-positive images and messages on social media.
For the first time in my life, in my early 30s, I began to let go of the exhausting burden of hating my body and constantly trying to change it. I am still on this difficult journey, but I like to think I have experienced my moment of realisation!
My experience of being an unapologetic fat vegan has been a relatively lonely one. I’m currently working on a zine project to seek out and amplify positive fat vegan voices (bigfatveganzine.tumblr.com). While I’ve embraced the Health At Every Size community, I find that as a vegan, I am usually rejected, because veganism is seen as a diet, or as restrictive eating. I’m working on a BIG piece of writing about this issue for the zine.
There are some amazingly inspirational fat role models out there today, but hardly any fat VEGAN role models. I am determined to sniff them out and make their voices heard both to inspire other fat vegan folks and to spread the message that we are not Bad Vegans!
Jenny Marie is the founder of Big Fat Vegan Zine, a Tumblr that is a space to explore fat veganism, body positivity, thin privilege and other intersecting issues. It is a zine made by fat vegans for fat vegans; created to be a safe space, a place of comraderie and a source of support and education.
Jenny dreams of also producing a zine to explore these ideas and is currently accepting submissions from fat vegans who want to tell their stories. If you are interested in contributing, please contact her via any method below or see the graphic below for more information, or go to the Submit! page on her Tumblr.
She also has a food and lifestyle blog called Spice Box of Earth; and currently lives in the UK with a her rescue pup and handsome bearded vegan chap.
If you have a story you’d like to tell, we’d love to hear it!
Send submissions (including at least one photo or image you’d like us to use and an optional bio with social media links) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anonymous submissions are totally ok, and images do not have to be of you (they could be of your cat, or a picture you drew, a flower you like, anything!) We want you to feel safe telling your story and are happy to accommodate requests for privacy.