A very interesting dynamic occurred when I created this blog. Something I didn’t expect and something that took me by surprise: I became the voice of veganism.
Not the voice. Not like T. Colin Campbell or Bill Clinton (who, by the way, is not vegan but I am really pleased he is “on our side”), but a voice in the vegan community nonetheless. An authority.
Back on June 25, I posted a quote about the fact that there is no 50% vegan or no “Vegan Before 6,” as Mark Bittman tries to make us believe. By me posting this concept. By me making this statement. On the Internet. It became truth. By the way, I still hold this belief to be true. You’re either vegan or you’re not.
Me, the reluctant vegan, was suddenly thrust into controversy and attacked by half-vegans asking me who made me the person who can choose who can and cannot be called “vegan.” How did I become the voice of veganism?
It’s because I started a blog. That’s how.
It was the greatest number of visits and comments and set the bar very high for just how powerful this media can be. Until yesterday.
Yesterday I posted a satire about vegans dropping dead from a lack of protein. It was the single highest trafficked day yet on MeatyVegan.com and the clicks have continued overnight and into this morning. Many people commented and messaged me that they thought that the article was real news. Really? How is it possible people believe me? How could they think that vegans were actually dying from protein deficiency?
It’s because it was published on a blog. That’s how.
I could pretty much write anything about anything and people would take it for fact. Which brings me to my point (you knew I’d get there eventually).
As a vegan we are inundated with what is right or wrong. Questions about our lifestyle and diet. What we can and cannot eat and what is good for us and what is not. The Internet has provided such a simple and quick way to get “answers.” The soy controversy. Raw milk debate. Benefits of eating eggs. Honey. Beaver sac excretions. Sources of protein and where do we get vitamin B12?
I have one piece of advice for vegans and omnivores alike: Please check your sources and never, ever believe any information online that has “dot blog,” “dot blogspot,” or “wordpress” in the URL. These are not, nor will they ever be, considered reliable sources of information.
Anyone can blog about anything and they can actually make it appear official. If you do have questions about your diet, there is just one website you need to bookmark: NutritionFacts.org. Dr. Greger and his team have built a massive, searchable, unbiased database of articles, links, and videos that provide reliable answers.
It’s important to remember that your sources of information should be accurate, unbiased, well-researched and well-respected. Perhaps one day that will be MeatyVegan.com.
Check this blog tomorrow when I report on the exciting, new vegan menu McDonalds plans to roll out early next year!