She’s the oldest of the Kardashian sisters. She has starred in Keeping Up with the Kardashians, as well as the spin-offs Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami, and Kourtney and Kim Take New York. Apart from that, she’s also a model and a successful businesswoman. But is Kourtney Kardashian vegan?
No, Kourtney Kardashian is not vegan. She is known for trying out different diets, and she frequently eats dairy-free, but she still eats meat and other animal products. She also wears fur and other animal materials. And she has used captive monkeys for entertainment once.
Kourtney’s companion animals
The Kardashians have a history of buying companion animals from breeders instead of adopting animals from shelters. And they’re not known for committing to their companion animals either.
It’s estimated that the family has had around 40 companion animals in only a decade. That number includes almost two dozen dogs, a couple of cats, chickens, rabbits, hamsters, a peacock, and possibly a pig. Many of those animals have been given away when they were no longer wanted. An example specific to Kourtney is the kitten Charli, who was welcomed into Kourtney’s home on Christmas 2013, only to be put up for adoption in 2015.
Often, animals simply disappear without any mention of what happened to them. Kourtney’s rabbit, Snowflake, is an example of that. Snowflake hasn’t appeared on the show or on social media since 2015.
In June 2017, Kourtney got a Pomeranian puppy called Honey. And on Christmas 2019 she got a golden retriever puppy. Because of the family’s history and because Kourtney didn’t post any pictures of the two dogs together, many fans assumed she had replaced Honey, but Kourtney said that wasn’t the case.
Kourtney and the captive monkeys
In 2018, Kourtney and Kim visited their grandmother Mary Jo Campbell, also known as M.J., and filmed themselves with captive marmoset monkeys. Kourtney even posted a video in which one of the monkeys kissed her on the lips.
Although these videos seemed cute to people unfamiliar with exotic animals in captivity, various experts pointed out that private ownership of monkeys is illegal in California, and that Kourtney and Kim were contributing to animal abuse by promoting the exotic animal trade.
The experts explained that these monkeys are often caught when they’re young, and that catching them usually involves killing their mothers. They also said that for every exotic animal who makes it to a pet store or auction, there are others who die along the way. And even the ones who make it “can easily suffer from malnutrition, loneliness, and the overwhelming stress of confinement.”
According to the experts, Kourtney and Kim’s actions were “appalling” and “the height of irresponsibility.” But neither Kourtney nor Kim responded to what they said.
Fur and other materials
Kourtney wears fur. Protesters and fans alike have criticized her for this for years, both in person and on social media, but she keeps wearing it. So, unfortunately, there’s no escaping the conclusion that she’s indifferent to the suffering animals go through in order to be turned into coats.
That suffering is significant. Young animals on fur farms live in small cages that don’t allow them to engage in natural behavior. And when they reach adult size, they get killed. Usually they’re gassed or electrocuted. Wild animals caught for fur often suffer for days in painful leghold traps without food or water until they get found and killed.
So, buying and wearing fur is rightly criticized, but what people often forget is that other animal materials aren’t cruelty-free either. Animals are killed for leather too. And the production of down, wool, and silk involves suffering and death as well. We can avoid all of that suffering and death by simply buying other materials.
Diet changes unrelated to veganism
Kourtney has tried a variety of diets over the years. Some of the changes she has made are often associated with veganism, even though they’re actually completely unrelated, like eating gluten-free and organic.
Veganism is about boycotting animal exploitation. That’s why a vegan diet doesn’t include animal products. So, as long as a product is plant-based and isn’t tested on animals, it’s vegan, regardless of whether it’s organic or contains gluten.
Kourtney often eats dairy-free
An aspect of Kourtney’s diet that does overlap with veganism is her choice to often eat dairy-free. She has said the following about that:
“I keep hearing that [giving up dairy] is great for your skin … And this new doctor who my kids and I have been seeing just said we all have allergies to it … So many people keep saying you’re not really supposed to have dairy after you’re a year old.” She also said that compared to other changes she has made to her diet, she thinks “dairy is the easiest to replace.”
Of course, the reason dairy isn’t vegan is that it comes from animals. It’s breast milk from cows that’s meant for their offspring. In the dairy industry cows are forcibly impregnated, once they give birth their calves are taken away from them, some are selected to replace them but most are sold to the meat industry, and the breast milk that was meant for them is sold to adult humans instead.
This actually ties in to what Kourtney said. Because we’re mammals, we’re born with the ability to digest breast milk, which contains lactose, but since breast milk is not ordinarily part of an adult diet, an estimated 65-70 percent of the population loses that ability over time. So, for most people, becoming lactose intolerant is just a normal part of growing up, and that’s why so many adults have trouble digesting dairy.
Weight loss and health
Kourtney subscribes to the keto diet for weight loss. When she’s on this diet she still eats animal products, but she avoids “processed foods, sugary foods, grains or starches, fruit, beans and legumes, root vegetables, some condiments and sauces, unhealthy fats, [and] alcohol.”
It should be noted that this diet goes against multiple dietary guidelines. Grains and starches, fruit, beans and legumes, and root vegetables are all healthy and shouldn’t be cut out.
The Harvard School of Public Health has reviewed the keto diet and stated:
“A ketogenic diet has been shown to provide short-term benefits in some people including weight loss and improvements in total cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. However, these effects after one year when compared with the effects of conventional weight loss diets are not significantly different.
“Eliminating several food groups and the potential for unpleasant symptoms may make compliance difficult. An emphasis on foods high in saturated fat also counters recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association and may have adverse effects on blood LDL cholesterol.”
So, although it’s possible to lose weight on a keto diet, it’s not any more effective than other diets, and it comes with unpleasant symptoms and health risks. Losing weight can be done just as effectively, but in a healthier way, on a plant-based diet. The healthiest form of a plant-based diet, which also makes it easiest to lose weight, is a whole-food, plant-based diet, commonly abbreviated as WFPB diet.
Hopefully, Kourtney will adopt a plant-based diet in the future and adopt a vegan lifestyle in general, both for herself and the animals.
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