I have a number of problems with Dylan Hackett’s piece “Veganism: the new food trend” I felt it was incredibly misinformed factually, and much of the tone was very judgemental. I’m surprised this paragraph made it to print “The decision began when Roach gave up gluten… a year ago. The proper term for those people is not lunatics, but vegans.”
Likening vegans to lunatics is exactly the kind of judgement and ill-will that the author quotes Sarah Roach about feeling, yet she is participating in that judgement with his language in this article. The decision to write about veganism, which is often mocked and belittled, could have created an opportunity to dispel some of these myths rather than perpetuate them.
Even more upsetting is the fact that the author doesn’t even know the definition of vegan! That’s what she’s writing about and she got it wrong! Gluten is not an animal byproduct. The proper term for those people is gluten-free or Celiac (the medical condition that prevents people from digesting gluten). Gluten is found in wheat, not in animals. Vegans do not eat meat, dairy, eggs, honey, or any other animal byproducts. There are a number of vegans who also do not eat gluten because it is not terribly healthy, but it would be more correct to call those people gluten-free vegans. I suspect from the way the article was written that she did not actually speak to the vegans she quotes, which would explain why she has such an incorrect impression of what it means.
It’s hard enough facing the judgement of most of the world without actual legitimate publications printing inaccurate definitions because their writers are misinformed.
Being a vegan is not a “new food trend” but a centuries-old practice that is currently trending in the public eye. There are a number of vegans I know here at George Brown College and when I showed them how poorly represented we were in this article they were appalled. All students deserve to be accurately represented in The Dialog, and having a vegan writer write about veganism would insure that the paper does not print unfair judgements and inaccurate definitions about some of us.
I feel very strongly about my vegan beliefs and equally strongly about the responsibility to print and distribute truth.