Beyoncé’s Latest Vegan Announcement Sparks Backlash From Burger-Loving Fans

The Beyhive wants the star to be a star, not a diet guru.
Jun 8, 2015·
Culture and education editor Liz Dwyer has written about race, parenting, and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at Good.

A new tour? A new album? A sibling for her daughter, Blue Ivy Carter?

When Good Morning America began promoting a Monday announcement from Beyoncé as something major, members of the Beyhive, as the singer’s hard-core fans are known, began speculating. But after the three-minute segment turned out to be about adopting a vegan diet, Bey’s carnivorous admirers began raking her over the coals on social media.

And that was one of the nicer reactions. Indeed, for most Beyoncé devotees, the announcement of her vegan lifestyle wasn’t news, and many are tired of hearing about it.

Beyoncé has been advocating healthy eating and exercise since 2011, when she teamed up with First Lady Michelle Obama for the White House’s Let’s Move! campaign. However, in late 2013, Bey, along with her husband, Jay Z, made headlines when she announced that she’d adopted celebrity trainer Marco Borges’ 22 Days Nutrition Challenge, which revolves around a vegan lifestyle. Her advocacy continued last winter, when she appeared in the video for the song “7/11” dancing around in a sweatshirt with the word “Kale” emblazoned across the front.

The GMA segment kicked off with footage from various Beyoncé performances and a voiceover asking how the singer got such a “bootylicious bod.” Viewers were then treated to a prerecorded video of Bey explaining how being a vegan has changed her health and body.

I am not naturally the thinnest woman, she says in the video. I have curves. Im proud of my curves. And I have struggled since a young age with diets. And finding something that actually works—actually keeps the weight off—has been difficult for me.

The segment then promoted Borges’ new plant-based diet book, The 22-Day Revolution, for which Beyoncé wrote the forward. GMA also plugged the vegan meal delivery service on which Bey teamed up with Borges in February. Those willing to fork over about $215 a week can get premade items such as chia pudding and chickpea burgers.

The video led some angry fans to remind Bey that not so long ago she appeared to express an affinity for meat. Most recently, in her video with Nicki Minaj for the song Feelin Myself, which was released in May, the singer appears to eat a burger.

Fans also began bombarding the photos in Beyoncés Instagram feed with emojis of burgers, chicken drumsticks, and pizza.

Beys fruit- and veggie-loving fans struck back with their own emojis: apples, eggplants, and bananas. You go girl! We support you. Youre doing the right thing! We need to educate people about veganism! Vegan for life! commented Instagram user lerapandapower.

(Photo: Beyonce/Instagram)

So, Why Should You Care? Nearly one-third of Americans are obese, which means plenty of Beys fans are likely at risk of obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans—and among the leading costs to the U.S. health care system—and is almost exclusively caused by a diet heavy in meat and dairy. Switching to a plant-based diet has been shown to reverse heart disease. Going vegan is good for the planet too: A 2014 Oxford University study found that the carbon footprint of a vegan is less than half that of someone who regularly downs burgers and fried chicken.

Meanwhile, as the backlash against Bey simmers online, a few quick-thinking fans are coming up with ideas that blend their desire for a new album and tour with the singers affinity for fruit, veggies, and quinoa.