Dr. Leo Venus has spoken out about his brother’s decision to ditch veganism.
Bodybuilder Jon Venus revealed in a recent video that he has transitioned back to an omnivore diet. This follows an admission last year that he had eaten fish and eggs before going back to being plant-based.
Now Dr. Venus, a medical doctor, has described his brother’s announcement as ‘not great’ for the movement – but says the science backs up plant-based diets.
‘I am not longer vegan’
Jon announced he was no longer vegan in a YouTube video titled I am not longer vegan, in which he says he started changing his general philosophical perspective two years ago when he and his partner were expecting their child. He said that looking at nutritional papers was confusing, and that people could draw different conclusions from looking at the same research.
He added: “A lot of times when you’re vegan, especially for me, you are in this bubble. You are in the mindset of ‘we are doing something that is ethical, we’re doing this because it feels right in every single way…and because this is my perspective, I’m only going to listen to other people with the same perspective that have the same mission’.”
He said that people with this perspective cannot approach evidence with a neutral mindset. He says that he now ‘as a father’ feels a duty to ‘get the full picture’ instead of looking at evidence through a pro-vegan lens. He said it is ‘easy not to question’ whether a vegan diet is optimum for human health as that is the ideology that is pushed, and that there is very little science to suggest plant-based diets are optimal for adults and children.
He alluded to ‘nutritional deficiencies’ in people close to him, but said he would not discuss that any further, then added that if his child was not on a vegan diet, he would not follow one either, but would continue to do his best for animals and the planet.
In a video about his brother’s decision to ditch veganism, Dr. Venus said that he had been bombarded with requests to speak about it. He said that Jon has asked him not to speak about his health, which he will respect, but that he has no concerns about it.
He added that there will be a lot of response videos and drama but he is not interested in that, he ‘loves [his brother] to bits’, and this decision will not stop them from being a happy family.
“Obviously Jon has had his doubts for a while about this lifestyle,” Dr. Venus said in the video. “And I’ve had to say this before: just because we are brothers does not mean we have to be on the same page about absolutely everything.
“Jon is his own man, and he makes his own decisions. Of course, this isn’t going to look the best for the vegan movement for a while, but it’s not that big of a deal, we still have the science, we still have a ton of people.”
He added that many people in the anti-vegan movement will be celebrating that Jon is no longer vegan, and that these people often brand vegans too emotional and illogical, but that for him and others, ‘it is precisely science that got us involved in veganism’.
“This is what I do,” he said. “I am a medical doctor, I have a long background in science and this is what I’m good at…understanding the science…and actually looking at the research and coming to the most rational conclusions.
“In my almost eight years of being a vegan…I still to this day have not seen a single logical argument for why everybody could not follow a vegan diet.”