When Adventist Vegetarian Diabetics™ began as a Facebook group in 2013, it consisted of 30 or so of my Adventist friends who I knew were diabetic. I chose to call the group vegetarian, although I knew that some were non-vegetarians who ate only “clean” meat/fish.
I wanted a group that shared recipes that were lacto-ovo vegetarian and non-vegetarian that excluded “unclean” food per the definitions in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.
So I based the group on this Mission Statement:
It never occurred to me that someone who is not an Adventist would join this group until a young woman from Australia joined. She was in the group several months until one day she said, “Oh, I thought the group name was Adventurous Vegetarian Diabetics!”
I didn’t see any reason why a non-Adventist couldn’t join the group as long as they understand that Adventists typically do not eat Biblically “unclean” food.
I also discovered there were others in the group who were just trying to prevent diabetes through an appropriate dietary protocol or who had a family member or close friend with diabetes. Some had another metabolic syndrome, such as PCOS. And some were, by their own admission, just here for the recipes!
Admittedly, my focus was almost exclusively on the low-carb dietary approach because that was what was working for me. Until a few less-than-pleasant interactions with several group members taught me that I really needed to expand my horizons and accept:
- High-carb low-fat dietary vegans
- ADA-compliant diabetics
- And even diabetics who seemed to be unable to stop eating the SAD (Standard American Diet), and it was all they could do to remember to take their diabetes medications and/or insulin.
By this time, though, Adventist Vegetarian Diabetics™ had become our branding and I didn’t want that name to change.
The most recent lack of communication instances have been members who join expecting the group to be exclusively vegetarian or vegan. This is the reason I decided we should change the wording of the Mission Statement as follows:
To provide support, encouragement, affirmation, and information for diabetics who understand that Seventh-day Adventists may be vegan, vegetarian, or non-vegetarians who eat only “clean” meat/fish.
People who request to join the private Facebook group must answer 3 questions:
- Are you a diabetic, pre-diabetic, at risk for diabetes, or have a diabetic family member or friend? If none of the above, please tell us why you are interested in joining this group.
- Do you understand that Seventh-day Adventists may be dietary vegans, lacto-ovo vegetarians, or non-vegetarians who eat only “clean” meat/fish as described in Leviticus and Deuteronomy?
- Will you read the Group Description (in “About”) and are you willing to comply with the Group Rules?
Once a member is added to the group, they will undoubtedly see firsthand what an Adventist lifestyle looks like. They will see an inclusive group that accepts all who feel a need to be in our group for the purpose of preventing, controlling, or reversing diabetes through lifestyle interventions. They will see—and become a part of—a safe, welcoming family.
If you are not a member of the Facebook group, Adventist Vegetarian Diabetics™, and would like to be, you can start here.
Hope to see you again soon!