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Unnatural Vegan

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Swayze Foster, also known as Unnatural Vegan, is an American vegan YouTuber, utilitarian, and skeptic. Her channel has, as of August 2020, around 266,000 subscribers and 47.6 million views.[1]

Foster was originally a raw foodist when she started her channel, which is why her handle is "FitOnRaw"; she now describes herself as a "former crazy raw foodist turned pro-vaccine, pro-normal diet vegan".[1] The name "Unnatural Vegan" is apparently intended to mock the appeals to nature that crop up in some vegan circles.

Skepticism[edit]

Foster favors a scientific and pragmatic approach to vegan practice and activism, and thus, frequently calls out anti-vaccine,[2][3] anti-GMO[4] and anti-fluoridation[5] stances, as well as overly restrictive dieting,[6][7][8] appeals to nature,[9] cherry picking of studies,[10][11] shill gambits[12] and bad science in general,[13] regardless of whether it comes from the pro-vegan or anti-vegan camp.

She generally provides citations for her statements, and freely admits and corrects her mistakes, however she has not made one of her so-called "I Was Wrong" videos since 2016.[14][15][16] In 2019 she denounced and heavily criticized the book she had authored seven years earlier, The Science of Eating Raw.[17]

Ethics[edit]

Foster follows a utilitarian ethic and bases her veganism on the idea of reducing suffering for animals, following the lead of Peter Singer and John Stuart Mill. She is, as such, critical of the deontological approach of Gary Francione, whom she criticizes for making veganism seem unnecessarily difficult and exclusive, even as he proclaims "Go vegan, it's easy!"[18]

She is also quick to denounce and deconstruct misanthropyWikipedia and asshole behavior from other vegans,[19][20] particularly the more virulent specimens such as Vegan Gains,[21][22] and stands out as showing a compassionate approach toward people who have fallen off the vegan bandwagon. She responded far better to Blaire White quitting veganism than most of her vegan YouTube colleagues did,[23][note 1] but she has also called out numerous people for making illogical and nonsensical anti-vegan arguments, such as Lauren Chen[24] and Jaclyn Glenn.[25]

Her tolerant approach toward non-vegans,[26] her favorable attitude toward reducetarianismWikipedia[27] and her rejection of pseudoscience in the vegan community have prompted other vegans to accuse her of being an infiltrator or of not really being vegan.[28][29]

Social justice[edit]

She seems to have had a blind spot when it came to her 2017 video rejecting intersectionality, which she saw as incompatible with utilitarianism; she misrepresented it as a "belief system" in which victims of oppression are "beyond reproach", rather than simply a means of studying and understanding how different axes of oppression intersect with each other. This stance was criticized by YouTubers such as Marine (A Privileged Vegan)[30] and Reg Flowers.[31] Foster has, as of 2019, removed the video in question, and shown a couple of surface-level instances of understanding privilege[32][33] , before reverting back in 2020 to attempt to discredit Black Lives Matter activism/protests & intersectionality again[34] as well as a follow up in which she doubled down on her anti-internationalist stance[35]. This stance was criticized by many including YouTubers such as Niles Gilmore[36] [37], Jean Maté,[38] Lo Aleen,[39] [40] and happyblacklegends[41] among others.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. And for her part, White commented to express her appreciation at how "civil and educational" this response was.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Unnatural Vegan - YouTube
  2. Unnatural Vegan. Why I'm a Pro-Vaccine Vegan (and 12 vaccine myths dispelled). YouTube.
  3. Unnatural Vegan. Kat Von D Is Anti-Vax. And We Aren't Helping. YouTube.
  4. Unnatural Vegan. Why I'm a Pro-GMO Vegan (and 9 gmo myths dispelled). YouTube.
  5. Unnatural Vegan. Fluoridated water is dangerous? Mercola & Fluoride Action Network are wrong. YouTube.
  6. Unnatural Vegan. Kristina, your advice is dangerous. Please stop. YouTube.
  7. Unnatural Vegan. No, I Don't Eat Raw Till 4. Here are 8 Reasons Why.
  8. Unnatural Vegan. Shine With Plants Shows You How To Eat An Extremely Restrictive Vegan Diet. YouTube.
  9. Unnatural Vegan. Raw Vegan & Vegan Diets are Not Natural. YouTube.
  10. Unnatural Vegan. Cherry Picking is Wrong, Even When Vegans Do It. YouTube.
  11. Unnatural Vegan. A Vegan Debunks 'What the Health' Documentary. YouTube.
  12. Unnatural Vegan. That Vegan Couple needs to stop (Re: Baby Dies from Vegan Diet! Parents Jailed). YouTube.
  13. Unnatural Vegan. Seaweed makes cows good for the environment? CHECKMATE VEGANS! YouTube.
  14. Unnatural Vegan. I was wrong (2015 edition). YouTube.
  15. Unnatural Vegan. I was wrong (2016 edition). YouTube.
  16. Unnatural Vegan. I Was Wrong About GMO Labeling. YouTube.
  17. Unnatural Vegan. I Wrote A Diet Book & It’s The Worst Thing I’ve Ever Done. YouTube.
  18. Unnatural Vegan. Gary Francione doesn’t understand veganism or activism (dumpster diving & what it means to be vegan). YouTube.
  19. Unnatural Vegan. A Terrible Vegan Insults This 32-Year-Old Lady. YouTube.
  20. Unnatural Vegan. Misanthropy is Not Okay (a response to Gary Yourofsky). YouTube.
  21. Unnatural Vegan. Furious Pete's Cancer Won't Quit, But Vegan Gains Should. YouTube.
  22. Unnatural Vegan. Vegan Gains Should Get a Vasectomy (and stop promoting veganism?) YouTube.
  23. Unnatural Vegan. Blaire White: Quitting vegan is your choice, but please stop spreading lies. YouTube.
  24. Unnatural Vegan. Roaming Millennial needs a safe space from vegans. YouTube.
  25. Unnatural Vegan. Re: CRAZY VEGAN IDIOTS (straw man arguments from nihilistic atheists). YouTube.
  26. Unnatural Vegan. To Onision, Vegans, Mostly Vegans, "At-Home Only" Vegans, etc. YouTube.
  27. Unnatural Vegan. Vegan Gains Doesn't Understand Reducetarianism. YouTube.
  28. Unnatural Vegan. Why vegans think I'm not vegan (low fat & low carb biases). YouTube.
  29. Unnatural Vegan. Why Am I Vegan When I'm So Negative About Veganism?. YouTube.
  30. A Privileged Vegan. Re: "Why I'm not an intersectional vegan" by Unnatural Vegan. YouTube.
  31. Reg Flowers. Unnatural Vegan Gets an "F" for Social Justice. YouTube.
  32. Unnatural Vegan. This Is What Vegan Privilege Looks Like. YouTube.
  33. Unnatural Vegan. Re: Do All Vegans Think The Same?. YouTube.
  34. Unnatural Vegan. Do Vegans Need To Talk About Black Lives Matter?. YouTube.
  35. Unnatural Vegan. Responding To Comments (This Is Not An Apology, And I Still Support Black Lives Matter). YouTube.
  36. Niles Gilmore . A Angry Vegans Rant About "Do Vegans Need To Talk About Black Lives Matter?"(Re: Unnatural Vegan). YouTube.
  37. Niles Gilmore . My Final Critique of Unnatural Vegan (Re: Responding To Comments). YouTube.
  38. Jean Maté. unnatural vegan thinks vegans shouldn't have to support black lives matter. YouTube.
  39. Lo Aleen. vegans NEED to talk about Black Lives Matter (response to unnatural vegan). YouTube.
  40. Lo Aleen. is unnatural vegan CANCELLED??. YouTube.
  41. happyblacklegends. UNNATURAL VEGAN.... AS A BLACK SUBSCRIBER I'M DISSAPOINTED. YouTube.