Vegan Before 6 – Is it Bullshit?
There has been plenty of controversy latterly surrounding Mark Bittman’s new book Vegan Before 6, especially within the vegan community.
Mark is a columnist for the New York Times and in his book, he credits his wait loss and overall health to following a simple, yet effective set of rules.
He sticks to a vegan diet every day until 6pm, where after that it’s pretty much anything goes, within reason.
Although the cover of the book states “Eat Vegan Before 6 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health…For Good” many people within the vegan community are getting up in arms over the use of his word “vegan”. Mark doesn’t claim to be a vegan, and he regularly consumes animal products after 6 pm, which obviously goes against the rules of veganism.
VB6 – Just Another Sales Pitch?
Some believe that Mark is only using the term vegan to try and draw in sales for his book. Specific comments which I’ve seen on vegan forums include people arguing that he’s using a term which he has no right to use, simply because he doesn’t practice the principles of veganism himself.
I have seen many get up in arms over his use of the word vegan. A “that’s our word” approach has been a common theme among the forums. I think it’s ridiculous to see people so offended by a non-vegan using the “sacred v-word”. I mean, it’s not as if Bittman claims to be a vegan. He makes it clear that he is not at all a vegan, yet simply practices the rules of a vegan diet until 6pm each day, and has experienced amazing health benefits as a result.
Other vegans are in full support of Bittman. seeing as the book has garnished a ton of popularity since its release and they believe that, although Mark is not vegan himself, he is certainly helping to promote a “more vegan” lifestyle as well as helping to make vegan food more mainstream.
Personally, I am siding with the latter group. I’m not fully vegan myself, and I have received flack for using the title “Vegan Sometimes” for my blog. The argument being that you can’t be vegan sometimes, you’re either vegan or you’re not. I understand this, and by no means do I claim to be a vegan. However, I do support the vegan lifestyle and am trying to raise awareness to others regarding the benefits of incorporating vegan choices into their diet more frequently.
It Doesn’t Need to Be “All Or Nothing”
I’ve seen people give up too soon on the idea of eating vegan, simply because they don’t think they will be able to completely eliminate animal products, so they don’t even bother trying.
I realize that if more people gave the vegan diet a chance, and attempted to eat this way a few days per week, or every day until 6pm it would be better for everyone. You don’t need to go all or nothing to witness the amazing benefits.
Also, those I’ve known to go from an omnivorous diet to living a vegan lifestyle have all done so gradually. I personally don’t know anyone who has dropped animal products cold turkey (I always laugh when using the term cold turkey in that sense).
So the bottom line here is, there isn’t anything wrong or deceptive with Bittman’s book, or the title. He’s not trying to be sneaky or manipulative through his choice of words. His whole concept is explained clearly right there on the cover. He’s offering a way of eating to his readers which has allowed him to improve his overall health and well being, in hopes that others will follow suit.
I think everyone could take a page out of Bittman’s book and try and incorporate more vegan choices into everyday living.