Beyoncé Shills New Vegan Diet, Everyone Gets Mad At Her

Beyonce and Nicki Minaj chowing burgers in the video for "Feelin' Myself." Hope you asked for a veggie patty, Bey.

If a vegan does CrossFit, which do they tell you about first?

Veganism's rise from the province of weirdo radicals to the mainstream has naturally given rise to jokes like this -- ones in which the central tenet is: Vegans love to tell you about how they're vegan. Vegans, the thinking goes, are always holier-than-thou, always evangelizing, trying to convert those around them. It's a tough reputation to shake, especially when pretty much everyone has that one friend who just won't stop talking about how great they feel since cutting out steak/cheese/anything delicious. You know the friend. You generally kind of want to smack him or her.

Today, that friend is Beyoncé. And we love you, Bey, but we do kind of want to smack you. We're not alone.

After a bombastic, televised promotional spot in which Mrs. Carter promised to reveal something on Good Morning America today -- something she just had to share with everyone -- her fans kept themselves up all night wondering what it could be. A new album announcement? A pregnancy? Was she finally coming clean about her and Jay Z's involvement in a Satanic cult?!

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Alas, it was no such fun. Instead, Beyoncé appeared in a pre-taped segment to talk about her new vegan diet. Because, you see, she's not naturally the thinnest woman. And she loves her curves! But she also, like, wants them to go away? And eating vegan has helped her out with weight loss. (That's what we got from this video, at least, which manages to pack a surprising number of mixed messages into a three-minute spot.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coRUfQZgZ9A

Of course, this is hardly a PSA from Camp Bey, delivered out of the kindness of her heart. Beyoncé has penned the foreword to The 22-Day Revolution, a book that promises to help you "go vegan in just 22 days." She's also partnered with the chef who designed the diet, Marco Borges, for a new vegan meal delivery service. A well-thought-out, multi-tiered product roll-out. What could go wrong?

Well, there's the fact that she and Jay have been talking about their vegan diet for months, so this was hardly an announcement. There's the fact that Beyonce supposedly has 100 unreleased songs just sitting around somewhere and she's keeping them from us and for the love of all that is holy why are we not talking about that?

And then there's the fact that people hate vegans.

People's personal choices about food are just that -- personal. Decisions about what to eat and how and why can reflect an individual's politics, cultural background, socioeconomic status, self-image, you name it. We funnel a lot of emotion into what ends up on our plates. Food issues are fraught for a reason. The diet industry is a $60 billion business for a reason.

And despite the jokes, there are plenty of people -- vegans, gluten-free fanatics, etc. -- who eat what they want and don't try to preach or impose their beliefs onto others. There are nuanced, intelligent discussions to be had about the ways the U.S. food system is broken, and how badly we need to re-think industry standards on factory farms. Having veganism's most visible face belong to someone who sees it as a bankable fad -- someone trying to sell it like a Magic Bullet blender on late-night TV -- does a disservice to all involved. She ain't makin' anyone look good, least of all herself.

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But maybe the best part of this video? The offhand mention, in the last 10 seconds of the clip above, that Beyoncé will be sharing another announcement tomorrow about the plight of impoverished children in Haiti. Glad she got the important stuff out of the way first.

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