It started with a photo.
Or, perhaps, a few photos.
Tash Oakley, of A Bikini A Day fame, stands below the Arc De Triomphe on the streets of Paris, her hands in those of long-term partner Gilles Souteyrand, her head donned in a beret, a black, leather Chanel bag falling from her shoulder.
The eyeballs of vegans far and wide fell from their green-eyed sockets.
You see, Tash Oakley is vegan. Or, according to to vegans who aren’t willing to bestow the vegan tag on the model, a follower of a plant-based diet.
And so, upon seeing a black, LEATHER – do I need to keep yelling for you to understand the murderous nature of this crime? – handbag, mayhem broke loose in her Instagram comments like Instagram comments often do.
“I know that you have switched your diet to vegan and I think that’s great and it’s a start but please refrain from preaching you are truly vegan in any of your future posts,” one fan (?) wrote on her photo.
“We vegans,” she added, and I would encourage you to note the exclusive nature of the “we”!!!, “don’t wear any animal products wool, fur, silk, mohair, leather; etc. I wish I had your powerful platform to show all the wonderful luxury alternatives such as LaBante bags and even Stella McCartney.
“I have been a fan of yours for a while and still am but I just wanted to voice my concern. At the end of the day we are all here to help each other grow.”
To her credit, Oakley was remarkably graceful in her response.
“I have decided to keep my leather goods that I already own so I guess in that sense I cannot be called a vegan, ” she wrote in response. “However I have a vegan diet and no longer buy leather goods or fur. I feel any influence against the killing of animals, including myself having a vegan diet is a huge step towards a positive future but I have noticed quite a few people in the vegan community asking me not to call myself vegan because of my leather goods. I will clarify from now that I have a vegan diet but and not ‘vegan’ by some people’s standards.”
So she’s a vegan, but shouldn’t call herself a vegan. Right!
Oh dear. It went on. More fans (??) jumped in. She must only refer to herself as a PLANT-BASED DIET PERSON from here on out. Again, remarkably, Oakley was understanding.
“Will be sure to do that as well from now on. I do feel as though people are not as educated or emotionally effected [sic] by the title of being plant based. Having a vegan diet is something that really makes people think. I know I have already inspired so many people to try and live a vegan lifestyle and I would hate to not make a change through my efforts but as many vegans are questioning those who do wear any leather at all (even if you already own it) and others always seem to pose the question ‘well what about your leather boots’ perhaps saying I have a plant based diet is the only way?”
So, there we have it.
Tash Oakley is banned from calling herself a vegan on behalf of the concern of other vegans.
From here on, we shall refer to her as Tash Oakley as Tash Oakley of A Bikini A Day fame and plant-based diet person.
Listen: We tackle a vegan dilemma, on our podcast for imperfect parents.