by lindastcyr
Categories: Eats
Tags: .

Portia de Rossi is gracing the cover of July/Aug issue of VegNews magazine with a big smile and a healthy glow. Inside the mag, Portia dishes on cooking for her wife (Ellen DeGeneres), her passion for animals and what restaurants to go to for the best veg food. She also opened up about how much tougher it is to be vegan than it is to be gay.

“Listen,  I think it’s more difficult to be vegan than gay,” Portia says in the interview. “I think people have a harder time accepting it; people feel more uncomfortable with a vegan at their dinner table than they do a lesbian. It’s confronting.  It’s kind of suggesting that what someone else is doing is bad or wrong, and it hits them on a more personal level.”

She gives an example why she feels this way, “…If somebody is sitting there eating a steak watching you eat polenta, they’re thinking that you’re trying to preach to them or you’re trying to convert them in some way. Whereas with being gay, I don’t think anyone’s concerned that that’s the agenda.”

de Rossi has often found food to be challenging which is documented in her 2010 autobiography “Unbearable Lightness”. For years the actress struggled with an eating disorder (anorexia nervosa), but when she became a vegan her life changed drastically. She said of the changes in her diet, “While I have never felt more healthy and energized, the most important thing that happened to me when I stopped eating animals was a sense of connectedness. When I was suffering with an eating disorder, my life was solely about me. I was living through my ego and didn’t care about life around me. I was selfish and angry, and because I didn’t care about myself, I also didn’t care about littering in the street or polluting the environment.”

It might be tougher to be a vegan than to be gay in the world today, but if Portia can learn to love herself, beat an eating disorder and marry the woman she loves then she is sure to overcome any vegan discrimination she faces.


VegNews/ Vegetarian Star

About lindastcyr

Linda St.Cyr is a writer, blogger, activist, and short story author. When she isn’t writing or raising her kids with her life partner, she is busy being vocal about feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and bringing attention to human rights violations all over the world.

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  • Ali

    I now think her offically the dumbest, most self centred person on earth. Maybe it’s easier to be vegan than gay if you are a RICH and famous femme white chick, Portia, with Ellen for your girlfriend! Jaysus.

    • Michael Raymer

      Way to go, you just reversed what she said. Maybe YOU are the dumbest, most self centered person on Earth. Or maybe you should just chill out.

  • Jack

    She was the daughter of a receptionist and grew up middle class, I doubt she suddenly decided to become a lesbian when the money started rolling in.

  • Pat

    Portia is right.

  • krissy

    I might agree with that. It can be too much for people to find out your gay and a vegetarian… way worse when I was in Texas with that- New Yorkers are a little more tolerant. There should be a veg pride day!!!!

  • herwin

    hmmm, hate to admit it, but she right. when you say you r vegan (or vegetarian) people feel uncomfortable because there you are, healthy as a horse and veg, in their face, suddenly all their excuses in their own mind why to eat meat, become painlesly shallow. Without the fake excuses, they are confronted with theirselves ; shallow people who run away from being compassionate just because they are addicted to meat. I pity them..

  • Rat King

    Sorry for stepping in here but it’s important news for all animal friends: there is a great online petition against cat and dog slaughter in china: please go to PTROA website and sign the petition and tell your friends, in order that the chinese government shall finally take measures! thanks for consideration!

    • herwin

      you also got a petition against the slaughter of cows and pigs here in the west … ? just saying..

  • Karen

    I love to eat meat and like veg’s out there make no apologies about it. It doesn’t bother me at all to sit and eat with a vegan or vegetarian…I’ve done it a few times. As long as I’m not subjected to a sermon of some kind, it doesn’t matter. People will eat as they want and we should, just like with beliefs and other things, respect what another person chooses to do without interference.

    • herwin

      The problem however is that choiches should be respected indeed, but with “eating meat”, the choich of the animal is greatly disrespected.
      So eating meat is a one sided choiche, and so in fact isnt a choiche at all, its just forcing your beliefs of eating meat on another living being who pays for it dearly.
      Only oif both parties agree, it’s a real choiche.

  • don_miguelo

    While I agree it can be hard sitting at the table with meat-eaters (or Omnivores, more correctly) as a vegan, I think it was a poor choice of words to characterize it as more difficult than being gay. I mean I understand it could threaten the fundamental and traditional diet paradigm of others, but it’s not something that you might possibly be killed for. Harassed, sure, but veganism is a choice, not something you are born as, and then harassed for. That hurts more, I think, when people hate or disown you as family for who you are, not what you chose to be.

    Certainly in some circles being gay is totally accepted and then of course it would seem harder to be vegan. But in other circles it is not nearly as accepted –it’s usually rejected or actively opposed– and that to me seems it would be easier to be vegan. They might think you’re an idiot who is missing out on good food, but they’re not going to sick their evangelical mob on you and drag you out of town half dead.

    I guess I cannot imagine how hard it is for people who are afraid to come out, or for ones who have and live with a constant fear. That isn’t as bad as the occasional T-day grandparent grumblings we usually hear as vegans. I’m straight, but my vote says being gay has got to be more difficult in this society. Thanks to Portia (and Ellen) for putting their 2 cents in though…

  • Tara

    As a Vegan Lesbian, I would have to agree with Portia, I have been disowned by friends because I choose not to consume animal products, I don’t get invited out for meals and my dietary needs are not catered for at work meetings. My sexuality is never an issue and I certainly wouldn’t be excluded because of that, it appears to be acceptable to be excluded because of my dietary choices and this is ok but it would be deemed homophobic to be excluded due to my sexuality.
    I am not denying the fact that some gay people suffer horrendous atrocities because of their sexuality and of course this is a lot worse than feeling unfortable at dinner parties or being excluded, however in the society I live which is similar to one Portia lives being vegan can be more uncomfortable than being gay. I totally see where she is coming from and recognize that she is only speaking from her own experience and reflecting on that.

    • don_miguelo

      I hear that, Tara! As a vegan myself I know 1st hand how hard it is to navigate all the exclusion that happens due diet choices too. It’s true, work and friends are at a bit of a loss when it comes to food for us. It’s sad but I usually cannot partake or have to bring my own, and the vibe changes.
      And I have encountered hostility and anger projected on to myself from my own diet choices, even when not announcing to the room I am vegan. And I am a tolerant and non-confrontational person, but still, commandeering the weekend BBQ isn’t easy! (nevermind talking about cruelty free make-up, vegan desserts, pleather, or enduring people playing Gotcha, people thinking you hate them and you have never met them, etc…)

      I agree also that Portia’s and your experience is valid, I just didn’t want those other points to go unmentioned, seemed a little unfair. This is a important point that she brought up, and thanks as well for your insightful post!