Bodybuilder Jon Venus has been branded an 'airhead' following his announcement that he is no longer vegan.
He shared the news in a video released on YouTube earlier this week, titled I am no longer vegan.
Since then, a number of vegan advocated - including his brother Dr. Leo Venus - have made their own videos discussing the news. Popular vegan advocate Joey Carbstrong also made a video - in which he talked about Venus and called him an 'airhead'.
'I am no longer vegan'
In his video, Jon Venus says he started changing his general philosophical perspective two years ago when he and his partner were expecting their child. He said that looking at nutritional papers was confusing, and that people could draw different conclusions from looking at the same research.
He added: "A lot of times when you're vegan, especially for me, you are in this bubble. You are in the mindset of 'we are doing something that is ethical, we're doing this because it feels right in every single way...and because this is my perspective, I'm only going to listen to other people with the same perspective that have the same mission'."
He said that people with this perspective cannot approach evidence with a neutral mindset. He says that he now 'as a father' feels a duty to 'get the full picture' instead of looking at evidence through a pro-vegan lens. He said it is 'easy not to question' whether a vegan diet is optimum for human health as that is the ideology that is pushed, and that there is very little science to suggest plant-based diets are optimal for adults and children.
He alluded to 'nutritional deficiencies' in people close to him, but said he would not discuss that any further, then added that if his child was not on a vegan diet, he would not follow one either, but would continue to do his best for animals and the planet.
Carbstrong has responded in a YouTube video titled Jon Venus Ex-Vegan, why you shouldn't trust him. In it, Carbstrong discusses how Venus ditched his vegan diet once before in the past, and says that this announcement was no surprise. He added that Venus appeared more concerned with his physique than with animal rights.
"A lot of these plant-based dieters and athletes think of veganism as a diet," Carbstrong said. "Veganism is an ethical philosophy. How many times do I have to say this? It's not about your health, it's not about the environment, it's about the animals. It's very clear, veganism is about the animals...anyone who understands the true principles of veganism knows this. Jon Venus keeps forgetting."
Carbstrong then references a video Venus made where he said he didn't want to be associated with the word 'vegan' anymore, and says this indicates he was more concerned with his public image than animal rights. According to Carbstrong, Venus then back-peddled after receiving a backlash, though it later emerged he had been consuming eggs, despite promoting a plant-based diet.
Ethical animal products?
Carbstrong ended his video by sharing a clip of Venus speaking about the importance of the vegan movement. He said: "I hope you can appreciate why I had to make this video, Jon. You support activists, right? You're now an animal abuser so I'm going to do some activism here and teach people why they shouldn't abuse animals."
Referring to Venus' assertion that he would 'continue to do [his] best for the animals and the planet', Carbstrond said: "I've got an idea that you might go for the organic, free-range eggs, and wild-caught fish, and grass-fed beef where a cow is shot in the skull. I just don't know what animal product he's going to choose to be ethical.
"The reason I'm making this is because I have a responsibility to defend the animals that Jon Venus wants to now abuse to feed his family."
He concluded by warning his viewers against taking advice from 'airheads' like Jon Venus, and to follow doctors and experts for health information.