When Jordan Younger of popular vegan blog The Blonde Vegan announced she was quitting veganism, she was certainly wary of backlash—she even wrote in a post that she’d been “afraid” to share the news—but she probably wasn’t expecting actual death threats.
In a recent interview with Well + Good (hat tip to Racked), Younger reveals that, shortly after announcing her decision to transition away from being strictly vegan, she started receiving anonymous death threats from folks saying she’d be killed if she didn’t change the name of her blog:
“Certain leaders in the raw vegan community turned their back on me so violently,” Younger says. “People I know personally, who I have collaborated with. One blogger began lashing out and leading an army, commenting hateful things in the middle of the night. Some vegans have this cult-like mentality—it turned me off of the lifestyle.”
According to Younger, she made the decision to change her diet after realizing that her healthy habits were actually orthorexia, an obsession with healthy eating that’s technically an eating disorder. She admitted in her recent blog post that she often panicked in trying to decide what to eat, and even became addicted to juice cleanses. Once she made the move to eating eggs and even a bit of salmon, she apparently felt a lot better, which sparked her decision to ditch the “vegan” label and embrace a more expansive approach to healthy eating.
In a lengthy interview with Women’s Health, she also revealed the some of her harshest critics accused her of “cashing in” on the vegan movement as a way to get attention. “I have definitely gotten my fair share of ‘animal killer’ comments,” she told the magazine. “The craziest thing to me is how some people value the life of an animal above human health. I was having health problems, and serious psychological issues. Eating some organic farm fresh eggs for breakfast isn’t the equivalent of supporting factory farming.”
Now, Younger has changed her Instagram account to @TheBlondeVeggie (currently at 72,000-plus followers) and is on the hunt for a new name for her blog.