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?