by Michael dEstries
Categories: Eats
Tags: .
Photo: PR Photos

heather mills, veganWhile VegNews gave us a small taste of some of the award winners late last week for the 2009 Veggie Awards, we still were left in the dark for their pick of “Person of the Year”. Now that we have our copy in hand, we’re not the bit surprised to find Heather Mills as the top choice. From her new VBites restaurant to her acquisition of vegan meat and cheese brand Redwood Foods to a newly launched recycled clothing line — Mills has been at the forefront of the vegan movement this year.

No doubt, as evidenced by comments last week in our Veggie Awards sneak peek, there are some that are fuming at this pick. Mills’ baggage from earlier years is simply too much for some to believe that her activism is in the right place. “I don’t care if Heather Mills is vegan, either, she is, hands-down, one of the most nauseating and despicable beings on the planet, and not because of McCartney, either — because of her, herself,” wrote one commenter named Terri. “Heather Mills will and does adopt any cause she believes will gain her publicity,” wrote another named Phoenix. “When a worthy cause finds her out and stops giving her publicity, she’s off to anything else…”

It’s Mills consistency in the vegan scene, however, that is earning her more respect than ever. As VegNews writes, ‘Behind the scenes’ may not be the phrase that comes to mind when one things of Heather Mills, but maybe it should be.” In terms of her personality, Mills admits that a toned-down version may be better. “I can come off as lecturing,” she says in the interview. “Now I’m hitting 42, and I’m realizing there are other ways to show people that there’s a vegan, ethical, environmentally-friendly alternative.”

What do you think of the pick? Should Mills be honored for the work she’s done this year for the vegan movement? Or is it damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t?

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Pingback: Heather Mills VegNews “Person Of The Year”

  • http://www.veganjapan.net herwin

    thats a great choiche ! i’m glad its her, congratulations ! she is a hell of a vegan activist and when i read interviews with her she seems a very sincere and passionate inteligent vegan. she def deserves the title “person of the year”.

  • Jenn

    I think you should award Paul McCartney too, as it was his money, proven in court that she didn’t have any of her own to speak of, that purchased this “award” for her. You know, if she really did believe and act like it was the causes, and not the publicity, she was interested in people might applaud her, but the reasons for her “generosity” are very apparent; her number one “cause” is herself and charities are only deemed worthy if they give her a plaque. If she really is sincere, she would be wise to stop putting her face out there, as for the most part it harms not helps the cause. She should take the path of most philanthropists and be anonymous, although I doubt she could force herself to forego the publicity.

    • Harry Ewen

      But Paul McCartney has way more money and hasn’t done 10% of what Heather Mills has done. If he had the same passion that Heather had imagine what he would have achieved. She’s shown way more passion for Animals than Paul for me.

      • Jenn

        Hate to disagree with you, but I do. Paul McCartney, like most, does not shout it from the rooftops, but he has done more for vegetarianism and other charities (Liverpool Institute for one), than she will ever do. I’m sorry, but I believe she does more harm than good because she is so transparent. She lies and lies, and it seems that some people feel that isn’t important as long as she supports their cause. I find it interesting too that for the most part she gives product and not money–she needs that for her staff, I mean friends.

  • Carrie

    A fashion line that was ridiculed. A cafe that she admits has to be subsidized. The purchase of a (presumably) ailing company. Good in theory, not in practice. Has she changed people’s mind about veganism? Has she made ANY impact? Probably not, but she is visible, she does talk a lot and she brings publicity to the cause. Whether she’s made any difference is debatable.

  • joanna

    well she got you snowed. Well good for her she finally found her niche to make her famous. She will do or say anything, that makes her perfect for a front person. She gets people talking, but does she change anyone one to a vegan?

  • Rosie

    No I don’t think she should be honored. There are so many others that have worked longer and harder. She is just louder and more brazen. Btw, she is not the only designer that is eco friendly. Ecorazzi needs to do some homework.

    • http://www.ecorazzi.com Michael d'Estries

      Rosie,

      What are you suggesting we research more? We’re well aware that Mills is not the only person active in the “green” fashion scene — simply hit the Fashion tab above for our coverage.

      Perhaps the larger question is — can you think of another person this year that has expanded the vegan scene as much as Mills? I’m sincere in the question and would love to hear other suggestions for “Person of the Year”.

      Thanks for the comments.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=566480478 Erin

        I guess I should have put my reply here ;-)

      • Rosie

        Alicia Silverstone. The entire McCartney family, (they promoted meatless mondays) Ed Beagly. There are so many out there doing great things, and for many years.

        Let’s talk about Ms. Mills, she raises money for feeding children in the Bronx. Excellent, how does she do it, but jumping out of an airplane. Not so enviornmently friendly, but pr friendly. She goes on the radio saying a vegan diet can cure diabetes. Maybe it can, but she has no creditals to say this. And without specifics that advice can be deadly. If you want someone outspoken, then she is your ideal choice. If you want someone effective, then look harder.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=566480478 Erin

    Alicia Silverstone has worked relentlessly for years and every time I’m at the store I see her beautiful cute face on another magazine (this time First) promoting her Vegan diet and lifestyle.. She’s amazing and people actually listen.

    I’m afraid the people above are correct about their facts on Heather Mills.

    Only a “celebrity” Who F*cked Sir Paul McCartney to get famous (literally and figuratively I”m afraid) could get away with leaving a legless girl hanging who she’d promised to help, pour a pitcher of water of a Sir Paul’s attorney’s HEAD while court was in session!, get ridiculed by the judge what a disgusting disturbing human being she was (is) do German porn and no one cares and God knows what else…

    The only trophy She should receive is playing the role of a fake vegan TROPHY wife and ripping off the best Beatle..

    (you KNOW I love you ER… but we’ll never agree on this ;-)

    Also I’m curious why none of us can have our photos appear on the page but Sir Michael can!? :)

    XOE

    • Harry Ewen

      Erin, you are so wrong. Heather Mills was well known from the point she lost her leg in the UK. Obviously she became a lot more famous after marrying a Beatle but that’s hardly her fault. The stick she takes because she married a Beatle and divorced him (well, even when she was married to him actually) is totally unjustified and appears to be based on peoples taste in music and nothing to do with reality. She has done NOTHING other than get a divorce settlement that people didn’t agree with. The relentless slating of her for is quite frankly boring and tiring. Give her the credit she deserves for believing in helping Animals (Dog & Car fur ban alone was a HUGE achievement) and stop bashing her because she’s got a TINY amount of her husbands money. Do you really think that the money he gave her he’s even noticed has gone?

  • http://vegan-la.com lex

    BRAVO! I have been to Vbites see here http://vegan-europe.com/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=136 and have to say just on the wonderment of that place alone it changed my entire view of Heather Mills and my previous view was just based on toxic media garbage I was fed. I think she’s an outstanding person and def my #1 favorite vegan right now!

  • jane

    Toxic media garbage? I’m afraid you just don’t know Ms.Mills history:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article3575112.ece#

  • http://www.veganjapan.net herwin

    jane, i did read the link. I think i could agree with you she is an exwife out of hell, a real bitch so to say. But what has that to do whith her vegan achievements and her sincerity as a vegan ?? In a very sly way her rather bitchy ways regarding her divorce are unfairly mixed with her supposedly being a fake vegan, just out there for the fame. Harry Ewen is so right. Although she has a fraction of the money that Paul Mcartney has, she does ten times as much in a vegan way with it. (and thats not saying something bad about Paul McCartney)
    I did read both sides of the storie, her helluva divorce (throwing a glass of water over the attorneys head seems un-for-givable for some people here..) and her own words in interviews (thans Ecorazzi!). To me she seems a great vegan activist and vegan entrepeneur inspiring many people, and if i ever could meet with her one day i am sure i would be very inspired by her.

    • jane

      If all that link shows you is that she is an ex-wife from hell then I truly don’t know what to say. And what the judge had to say only dealt with what Mills said and did in court. It didn’t describe how she did everything possible to make life a living hell for her ex and his family. Do you really think a person can be dishonest and cruel in one area of her life and admirable in others? I gave Heather the benefit of the doubt for years and even defended her to people a number of times. But after reading story after story from people who had known her personally and and seeing her despicable behavior during her divorce I finally realized that her reputation as a dishonest, sometimes cruel, fame/publicity hungry woman was well-deserved.

      And I would bet that any objective evaluation of who had done more for animal rights and vegetarianism would favor Paul and his family. As far as financial contributions, Paul has always made a point of giving anonymously, feeling it is in poor taste for wealthy people to make a big show of giving.

      If you choose to admire Heather and believe that she is or will be a positive force for ‘the cause’ I would prepare to be disillusioned somewhere down the road.

      • http://www.veganjapan.net herwin

        dont become dissilusioned, please. i just said that i did read your link and based on that information and other stuff i read, i gave you my opinion. ;-)
        yes, i strongly believe one person can be perceived as a bitch in one aspect of her life, but in another area of life that same person can blossom and make a positive contribution.
        And again, its just mixing her private family life, which is private and should stay private, with her public vegan life. I dont go for the “paul mccartney and his family are poor victims” stuff. he is an adult, inteligent, rich and got laywers and heaps of friends.
        I prefer donations that are made not anonymous, but given in the persons name so we all can see and other people might take a good example set by these famous persons. Also i believe that if mr McCartney would be on the same track and opened a chain of veggie restaurants, that would be awsome and make a great impact, wouldnt you say ? Let those millions $$ work for veggie business i would say to mr McCartney, something that Heather Mills is doing, hence she is rightfully chosen to be person of the year. Its great that VegnNews didnt take the easy way out and choose a safe option and some cute girl, but instead did choose Heather Mills. And its great Eccorazzi did interview her because of that me and others indeed did form a more balanced opinion of her.
        i will stop supporting her if she is caught redhanded with a burger in the McDonalds , until then, she has my vegan blessing.