by Michael dEstries
Categories: Eats
Tags: .

In the Fall and Winter of 2007/2008, Ted Danson proudly wore the badge of being a vegan — even though he really wasn’t. He went on Conan O’Brien and proclaimed he was one (though he admitted to eating fish occasionally), and then hit Good Morning America and talked a similar script. “(First) I went after my cholesterol. I didn’t want to take the meds, so I lowered it,” he said on the show. “I went from 259 to 129 (pounds) with herbs and exercise; I’ve become vegan with some fish from time to time, and it works. I feel great.”

For all the vegans out there reading this, I understand completely if you’ve already rolled your eyes and silently thought, “Still eating fish? Then he isn’t a f**king vegan!”

Exactly — but feel better that Danson is no longer associating himself with the vegan lifestyle. In a new interview with GQ, Danson clears up any reasons we had to believe he would actually still be a vegan, er, pescetarian.

I’d read somewhere that he was a vegan. “Oh yeah, no, I’m an actor. Which means one week I’m vegan, the next I don’t know.”

Just to prove the point, he ordered a plate of Nantucket Bay Scallops. So, now we know. This week.

GQ via Vegetarian Star

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 →
  • Adri

    He’s doing better than most, though, so I wouldn’t be too hard on him.

    • The Vegan Good Life

      I agree with Adri. Why does a positive – Danson praising the health benefits of eating mostly vegan – have to be turned into a negative, just because he’s not a strict vegan? Is vegan some exclusive club? This seems like a childish game of “gotcha!”

      I’m not rolling my eyes at Danson’s statement. I’m rolling my eyes at this one: “Still eating fish? Then he isn’t a f**king vegan!” That’s a bit harsh.

      I think the obsession with absolutism is unrealistic and a waste of energy. I’m more concerned about people eating bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches (for which three animals suffer), not his occassional scallop dinners.

      One Lucky Duck founder Sarma addressed the absolutism obessision in this blog post:

      • Adri

        Yes, I agree with you entirely.

      • M G

        Actually, it isn’t so much a case of whether or not Ted Danson’s a Vegan. Frankly, its the deception! Veganism is a “hot” label right now. We are living in a time where it’s cool to be Vegan. Founder Donald Watson, who created Veganism, passed away a few years back. He would be thoroughly dissatisfied to learn that Ted Danson had been calling himself a vegan but is not one. His approach to Veganism was an abolitionist approach and I believe ours must be as well. It is an all or nothing attitude that we need to have. Ours is an exclusive group with open membership but you must “play by the rules”. That’s the only requirement.

        A vegan abstains from all meat, fish or fowl, eggs, dairy, leather silk, wool, honey or any other product that knowingly inflicts pain on another being.

        When you adopt a vegan lifestyle it’s all or nothing. If you want to call yourself something else then don’t become a vegan. Frankly, this hurts because Ted is an actor that many look up to but I feel he’s a bit of a hypocrite. He started an organization a few years back to help save many of the Ocean’s residents yet he continues to each them. That hypocrisy smacks you in the face.

        And that’s why vegans are ticked off. Sure, many of us knew he wasn’t really a vegan but he never should have used the label!!! Mr. Danson has lost significant cool points by coming out as a non-vegan. Will this hurt his career? No. Will this hurt his organization called Oceana? Yes, probably because many of the donations he was getting were from vegans who thought they were contributing to a “vegan” organization.

  • The Vegan Good Life

    Rights movements have powers in numbers. If they have to play by your rules, you’ll have almost no one on your side if you tell people to sign up for ‘all or nothing.’ Aren’t millions of people embracing a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle as much as possible more formidable a force to legislators and marketers than thousands of strict vegans?

    I’ve seen many attempt veganism or vegetarianism, and then abandon it because they think they have to live by rules – which is ultimately bad for animals. That was exactly the point of Sarma’s post. You should be able to live by your own (which is very accessible and doesn’t frighten people away). This label obsession needs to end, or you’ll be a very lonely club. The label police does more harm than good, in my opinion.

    I wouldn’t speak for a deceased rights leader, by the way. I, for one, am celebrating that Danson mentioned on two national media outlets (Conan and GMA) the word ‘vegan.’

    • Rob

      But if he said it contected with fish eating, then anyone who heard it won’t actually know what it means. This contributes to a dilution of the term, and a misunderstanding of the motivations.

  • Dana

    I agree with TVGL’s comments. I am 47 and have been what I believed to be vegan for a year and a half. How does one such as Ted or anyone else begin a vegan lifestyle? Perfectly? Vegans want to make the lifestyle look easy. It is not. I get as close to perfect as I can, but it is not good enough to call vegan. Even though I won’t buy leather, wool, silk or eat meat, dairy or factory farmed eggs, I do not call myself vegan anymore because I occasionally like to have a piece of cheese and eat oysters or scallops (not to mention drink non-vegan wine). I guess I, like Ted, don’t get the “cool points” because we aren’t f*cking vegan. Gag me with a spoon.