Alicia Silverstone Commits to a Vegan Pregnancy

I like Alicia Silverstone. Sure, she’s really only known for Clueless, but every time I read one of her interviews or see her words in print, I am somewhat impressed by her laid back, love-all attitude. For example, her vegan cookbook, The Kind Diet, encourages vegetarianism without being preachy – she fully admits that sometimes she feels like a piece of cheese, and she has it. I align with her belief that becoming a vegetarian the act of trying to do something about the animal rights and environmental issues associated with eating meat, and any act which supports your belief is a good one. Eat free range meat? Cutting back on your meat intake? Only buy from local slaughterhouses? Going vegetarian, but not vegan? Well, good for you for recognising that you have a problem with the way things work, and then doing something about it. Nothing irritates me more than a vegetarian who spouts their holier-than-thou garbage about how if you’re not vegan, you’re the devil. Silverstone is a …

… good example of someone who can hold to their values without subjecting others to her beliefs.

Recently Silverstone announced that she is pregnant with her husband of 5 years (whom she dated for 8 years prior to their marriage). Something about the amount of time they have spent together, and their apparent waiting for the right time in their relationship to get married and have children, makes me feel really happy for them (sort of. I mean, I don’t really care much about celebrity gossip, and I sure as hell don’t know these people, so my happiness is more towards the idea as opposed to the individuals involved).

Silverstone plans to have a vegan pregnancy, which isn’t all that surprising considering she’s a vegan (one who does not eat any animal products, for those of you not in the know. This excludes all dairy, eggs, animal bi-products like gelatin, honey, etc. from the diet). However, for some, her decision is somewhat controversial.

Brooke, from dietsinreview.com explains:

It certainly seems like it would take more intention to ensure a healthy pregnancy on a vegan diet. Those who follow a vegan diet often state that it is a health way of life for them. It will be interesting to see if Alicia Silverstone decides to maintain her vegan diet throughout this pregnancy.

Though Brooke isn’t directly criticising Silverstone for her choice, the accusation certainly comes across in her article, which goes through the various awful things that can happen to your baby when subjected to a poorly maintained vegan diet, without really giving suggestions as to how to counter these potential dangers. I surmise that Brooke’s criticism is similar to what other mothers-to-be undergo; everyone and their uncle feels they have the right to weigh in on YOUR pregnancy, and tell you what you are doing right and wrong. Such behaviour is often unwanted and unwarranted, and I think that certainly applies here.

Sure, idiots who have no nutritional knowledge should not attempt to undergo a vegan pregnancy. But as she has written a book on the vegan diet, I’m pretty sure she knows what she’s doing. Aside from that, anyone who may have concerns about their nutritional intake during their pregnancy is probably going to get regular blood tests to ensure their fetus is getting the required nutrients. If the concern is based on the idea that she will go through her pregnancy uninformed and unchecked, well the argument really has nothing to do with her being a vegan, and everything to do with her being an irresponsible mother. And one does not equate to the other.

I hope that Silverstone’s baby pops out of there just fine, as an example to critics and supporters alike of how a vegan pregnancy can be perfectly safe when correctly handled. It would certainly be great to be able to have a retort to those who suggest such a pregnancy is unsafe, and reply “Well, Alicia Silverstone did it…”. The calibre of her acting in Clueless is sure to convince everyone that she is capable of anything. Right?



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25 thoughts on “Alicia Silverstone Commits to a Vegan Pregnancy

  1. Writing a book on a subject does NOT make one an expert. Jenny McCarthy has written a book on how vaccines cause autism: last I checked her qualifications didn’t involve med school or really anything other than looking good in a bikini.

    Now, I would assume that Alicia would follow a well planned vegan diet because she can afford to pay a nutritionist who is experienced in this area. She can also afford the extra doctor’s visits to ensure the pregnancy is going swimmingly.

    • “Jenny McCarthy has written a book on how vaccines cause autism”
      .
      No, she didn’t. She wrote a book about how a GF/CF diet reversed her son’s symptoms. She didn’t need any medical training to record her own experiences.
      .
      Likewise, Alicia Silverstone doesn’t need to be a nutritionist to tell you how to take vegan ingredients and make them yummy.

      • I’ve known many healthy vegetarians,but never a vegan. Wouldn’t the fact that without B12 you become anemic,tell you that we were meant to eat at least dairy and seafood. I like vegetarian foods,but meat also. We should probably be eating about 20 percent flesh,rather than it being the main ingredient of our diet.

      • The point stands that while I’m sure her book is excellent, and I suspect she does just fine with her diet, the fact that she wrote a book is no evidence that she’s an expert on the matter.

        • Yeah, but who said she was an expert?
          .
          If you mean Alicia Silverstone, she just wrote a cookbook about her own experience. She doesn’t even encourage anybody to go vegan, she just explains what she did and gave yummy recipes.
          .
          If you mean Jenny McCarthy, she also never claimed to be an expert. She wrote about feeling hopeless when her son got a diagnosis and then about the diet she discovered that reversed her son’s symptoms.

  2. To get enough of everything needed as a vegan is possible, but does require a lot more attention and work at it than it does if one is eating animal products and/or meat (as our bodies are designed to do).
    That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, and if she wants to do it, I see no reason she wouldn’t be able to, or that anyone should blast her for it.

  3. I think the hardest part would be getting enough protein. She’s got the money to pay for a nutritionist. I’m sure she’ll be fine. It is the idiots that don’t research the nutrition aspects of the diet that would have issues with a vegan pregnancy.

  4. I’m an almost vegetarian. I don’t eat mammals (ok, in the past three years of this eating style I HAVE had filet mignon 3 times), but I do eat poultry and do my best to only eat free-range poultry because I don’t want the nasty hormone/antibiotic pumped birds who never left a cage to be what I’m eating. It’s not really about animal rights so much as the fact that I don’t want something like that being put in my body. I mean I like the idea of eating a bird that lived a nice life roaming around a farm being happy before it got to my plate. I also do eat some kinds of fish and seafood, as long as it’s not bluefin tuna or another overfished species. I also am not eating anything that came from the southern coast right now (until we find out where all that oil went and the dispersant finally stops making the water brownish orange).
    .
    It’s way less complicated to just tell people I’m a vegetarian :P
    .
    The reason that I do eat poultry is it would be really hard for me to get enough protein in my diet (not a fan of tofu). This problem is compounded for vegans because the diet removes additional sources of protein (dairy) from the table. Vegans have to become experts on a vegan diet just to make sure they’re getting adequate nutrition, so they all know which nuts and veggies are high protein. Alicia Silverstone has been doing this for a long time, so I’m sure she won’t have problems getting enough of a certain nutrient during her pregnancy. If she was a rookie, I might be concerned. But I’ve heard her talking about it for years, so I’m sure she is great at cooking vegan.

    • Try tofu in a strongly flavored dish – you would be surprised.
      I initially had a hard time with it because texture is important to me (I’d rather be beaten than eat egg yolks or liver), but it is actually quite tasty if prepared well.
      I’d suggest hitting up a Chinese restaurant (good quality) and ordering the Hot & Sour soup. Most places make it without animal products, but with tofu. I love it!

      • I love tofu. I buy the packaged, flavored kind at Trader Joe’s just snack on it with a plate of veggies and hummus.
        There were some people who actually thought I was a vegetarian.
        Until I posted a pic of my favorite breakfast in the world; a rare steak topped with a poached egg and hollandaise…
        Cows iz yummy.

  5. If 2 incomplete proteins are combined in the same meal, it equals a complete protein.
    .
    Steak – complete protein
    Beans & rice – complete protein
    Peanut butter on whole wheat bread – complete protein
    .
    It is difficult to the non vegan/vegetarian, but I would think that if you spend your life eating this way, it isn’t such a big deal.

  6. i’ve had two vegetarian (and very active) pregnancies, and while not vegan (i’ll have some dairy and bake with eggs) the end result was two healthy babies. if she was mindful of her health and ensuring she got the proper nutrition (vitamins, protein etc) while she wasn’t pregnant i’m sure she’ll only continue to do so throughout her pregnancy.

    diet alone does not a pregnancy make.

  7. Why don’t vegans eat honey? I understand all of the other food avoidance listed, but why on earth honey? Because it comes from an insect?

      • It seems goofy to me. Vegans won’t eat animal by-products for moral reasons,but you don’t harm any chickens by eating free range eggs,or harm a cow by eating cheese. Go figure.

        • Having breastfed (and pumped) for three years, I have some sympathy for the cows.
          In an ideal setting the cows would be free to roam and get milked once a day by a nice farmer who was using the milk to feed his household.
          In reality, they’re usually given hormones to keep their supply plentiful, have no space to roam, and are constantly being hooked to machines that pump them dry. That’s not just uncomfortable, it’s painful.
          So I understand the moral issue about milk, because even in the most organic of settings it’s uncomfortable for cows to be milked by machines and it’s not profitable to do it by hand.
          .
          Free range chickens I don’t get. And the honey thing is totally beyond me.

          • Well, let me tell you why. Haha.
            Free range is a term which is used very generally, like organic and natural. It isn’t necessarily governed in a manner which upholds what people think free range to mean. A free range chicken isn’t necessarily a happy chicken running around in a field where it has all the space in the world. A free range chicken can be in a pen with a hundred other chickens, but if they aren’t confined to an individual cage, it can be deemed free range. Free range chickens can still be mutilated in a manner which allows farmers to keep more of them in a tight space- such as clipping off their beaks so they don’t peck each other to death in a stressful environment. As well, free range can still mean pumped full of hormones and a fatty diet to produce more meat for sale (or to be kept just healthy enough to continue to produce eggs). So free range, while friendlier than non-free range, can still not be good enough for some interested in animal rights, or the environment impact of farming (free range chickens still eat massive quantities of grain and corn, create massive amounts of waste, and use up potential farmland).
            As for honey (which I’d like to point out, is insect barf. That has always blown my mind a bit), the bees are often killed in the process of removing the honey from the hive. In large operations (which aren’t like the tv situations where cutsie bee keepers in netted suits smoke the bees into a sleepy nap while they take their honey) there isn’t time or consideration for preserving the actual colonies. As well, many would argue that the environmental impact of industrializing the honey business has lead to a huge decline in bee populations. Honey can be sweeter depending on what sort of flowers the bees are collecting pollen from, so honey farmers will restrict their bees’ food sources to whatever sort of flower creates the best honey. This has lead to the bees becoming biologically dependent on that one source of food- which has weakened their immune systems and contributed to the widespread disappearance of bee colonies.
            As well, overall, many vegans believe that animals are not to be placed at the disposal of humans, and they should not be used as products which generate money. This sort of removes all animal products from possible consumption, as even if it get it really nicely, you are still using that animal for you own gain.
            So you might not agree, or care about those reasons personally, but that is why some people don’t eat free range eggs or eat honey.

          • I realize that advertising is deceptive,and that factory farming can be cruel. On a side note,whenever I can,I’ll stop at the signs along the road for eggs and produce,mainly because it is usually so much better,especially the eggs!

  8. I don’t know if the farms that pump their cows full of hormones are necessarily the overwhelming majority anymore. At least half of the milk at walmart has a message printed on it saying they don’t use hormones on their cows. It’s definitely become better PC to say you don’t use hormones on your cows.

  9. After seeing her in The Crush, Marty Callner decided Silverstone would be perfect for a role in a music video he was directing for the band Aerosmith, called “Cryin’”; she was subsequently cast in two more videos, “Amazing” and “Crazy.” These were hugely successful for both the band and Silverstone, making her a household name (and also gaining her the nickname, “the Aerosmith chick”).[10] After seeing Silverstone in the three videos, filmmaker Amy Heckerling decided to cast her in Clueless.*

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  10. Silverstone is noted for being an animal rights and environmental activist. She became a vegan in 1998 after attending an animal rights meeting, saying “I realized that I was the problem … I was an animal lover who was eating animals.”..;.’

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