Recently the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) pulled a PETA-like stunt spewing forth the ethical pollution byproduct I’ve come to expect of the vegan industrial complex. This time though I was surprised to actually see vegans finally take up some ire against the perpetrators! There were a few blog posts written and Facebook flamewars over it but this time something even bigger than that happened. Drink deep my friends, for this is what integrity looks like:

The Vegan RD >> Body Shaming Fails Vegans and Vegan Advocacy

Due to PCRM’s recent obesity campaigns where they shame people’s bodies, Virginia (Ginny) Messina, The Vegan RD, resigns from their advisory board for which she was a member. PCRM is particularly on the hook for this stunt as Ginny explains:

…this doesn’t come from PETA, it comes from a group of doctors and dietitians. I think that was the thing that truly knocked the wind out of me when I saw it. Because in my 30 years as a dietitian, it would never have occurred to me—absolutely not ever—that it was okay to make someone feel ashamed of their body.

She even gave PCRM President, Neil Barnard a chance to defend his organization by adding his reply to the end of her post. A reply that was totally disappointing and failed to address her real concerns. He even tried to spin it by saying:

They depicted obesity exactly as it is and nothing more. However, some people called them “disgusting,” “ugly,” or even “pornographic,” reading all manner of values into these everyday images.

How disingenuous can you get? You fucking #fail Barnard, suckah. PCRM has severely damaged their reputation as a credible supposed science-based institution. I’m so glad Ginny left their advisory board because I was never particularly impressed by the company she kept there. Too bad for them, they lost a valuable resource and a boost to their reputation that having her on board supplied.

If veganism is a movement based upon ethics, for which I’ve already conceded it is not… but if it is, shouldn’t it be a particular high priority to maintain a level of ethical behavior? Read: police your own shit vegans, especially when it falls within your jurisdiction.

For somebody who does science-based nutrition, especially within the realm of veganism, this must have been a very hard choice for Ginny which could affect the very (vegan) food on her table. It was a matter of losing integrity or selling out and she made the honorable and ethical choice. Please be sure to go on over and add your support to the growing list of comments for her decision. This type of behavior needs to be recognized and encouraged in a movement that’s lost its way.

Ginny, you rock that shit.


12 comments to IntegRD

  • Adam Merberg

    I’m of the view that PCRM’s advocacy is unethical, even without the fat-shaming. They stand on their medical credentials giving out medical advice aimed at animal advocacy. Even Ginny’s post talks about PCRM’s advocacy for animals and the animal rights culture at PCRM. When doctors give medical or dietary advice, it should reflect good science, not animal rights ideology. I can only hope that this fat-shaming controversy is the beginning of the end for this quackish organization.

    • Adam, You just freakin hit the nail on the head! I wondered how a science organization can have such an agenda. Like, if they came across evidence that vegans diets are bad or that animal-containing diets are good would they file-drawer that? How can they start from a bias and be scientific?Thanks for astutely putting that into words for me, I thought I was going crazy. You’re right, PCRM’s inherent issue goes well-beyond their stupid stunts. They were flawed to begin with. I’m glad Ginny’s out so I don’t have to wrestle with that cognitive dissonance. 😉

  • Daisy

    PCRM has always been an animal rights group. Their “advice” has never been tied to science, but animal rights. They’re simply another arm of PETA. I’m surprised to see you are just realizing that. They’re not doctors. Last I read only about 1% of their membership were doctors. They’re just another cog in Monsanto’s push to turn the world vegetarian. Then, of course, drug companies got involved with supplements and the push for veganism.

    As for Ginny Messina,I enjoy her website, but with her 7th Day Adventist ties and financial ties to the soy bean industry (Monsanto), don’t pretend that she doesn’t have her own agenda. IMO, telling people to take a handfull of pills every day instead of eating a normal, nutritious diet is not being a responsible medical advisor… matter her education and letters after her name.

    I enjoy your site. Hope you can stay with it. I saw Tasha, the former “Voracious Vegan”, VEGAN NO MORE author has let her website lapse. I miss her posts, but am so glad to see her get on with her life after veganism made her so sick.

    • Anna

      Wow, this is the first conspiracy theory I’ve heard about Monsanto that claims they’re trying to turn the world vegetarian. That doesn’t even make sense within the already-nonsensical conspiratorial framework. If the vast majority of corn and soy is used as animal feed, wouldn’t Monsanto lose a ton of money if people ate lower on the food chain?

      And the few supplements Messina recommends hardly constitute a “handful.”

    • Gosh Daisy, that’s a new conspiracy theory to me! I almost hate to ask because it’s off-topic, far-fetched and I’d hate to encourage it…but I can’t resist. Do tell me more about Monsanto’s plan to turn everyone vegetarian! I’ve been trying to make this case to vegans about something similar but so far it hasn’t been very well-received. What am I doing wrong?

  • Wow, Daisy–you do seem to enjoy making things up about me! I’m not a Seventh-day Adventist and never have been. And nobody in my family works for Monsanto. (Although, if they’re trying to make the world vegetarian, maybe we should!)

  • “They’re just another cog in Monsanto’s push to turn the world vegetarian.”

    WTF!? that’s a new one

  • Aside from being counter-productive, I’m surprised no one has mentioned the fact that there are plenty of fat vegans out there. “I’ll pass on the burger, but give me them French fries! Yeah, that’s what I’ll do, that won’t make me fat.”

    Seriously, I don’t think vegans as a whole are any less prone to being overweight. Anyone have any actual stats on this?

  • Alice

    I just discovered your site and wanted to say thank you! I’ve never been completely comfortable describing my family as vegan, although I avoid the majority of animal products. But I still eat the BK Veggie w/out mayo, because I feel like it does more good to encourage BK to sell veggie options than to keep myself “pure.” I let my kids have cake and ice cream at unexpected parties because I don’t want them to feel left out. I don’t call companies to ask what their “natural flavors” are and I don’t ask waiters about the ingredients in pasta. I like to purchase local honey because I am concerned about the declining honey bee population. To me, being vegan has to be doable and it has to be appealing to others. I’m tired of people realizing I won’t eat eggs or dairy and thinking that I’m going to throw red paint at them or something.

    I found this PCRM video offensive. I previously supported them. In my family of “vegans” four out of five of us are overweight. Would people still pay $10 to sit next to us?

  • […] if you think I’m being unfair I do recognize public forms of dissent when they do appear as in the case of (also) Ginny Messina when she left PCRM over the fat shaming […]

  • […] to derail the movement and even hurt the people in it. Ginny Messina, The Vegan RD has been holding down the front line in the fight against the heath argument in particular. 2 She is well-armed to do so with her […]

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