Summary: Formerly vegan woman explains her decision to leave the vegan lifestyle behind, based on the undeniable fact that despite being supposedly healthy actually made her health worsen. Goes into some detail on discrepancies of vegan philosophy in the real world, and some of the backlash she recieved when she started considering returning to living as an omnivore.
A Vegan No More
Part 1 – Health Shock
When the doctor first told me that I had numerous vitamin and mineral deficiencies, that I was almost anemic, and my B12 was so low she wanted to give me an injection immediately, I refused to believe her. I actually asked her to show me the blood test results because I thought there had to be some sort of mistake. But there was no mistake, it was right there in black and white; deficiencies and abnormalities across the board.
The results explained perfectly why I had been feeling weak and exhausted for more than 6 months. Whereas I had previously lived for working out and even an hour on the elliptical wasn’t enough for me, lately doing more than 20 minutes at a leisurely pace caused me to yearn to spend the rest of the day in bed recuperating. When I could I slept till noon, I felt lightheaded when I stood up, I couldn’t remember simple words or the names of my friends, and I was freezing cold even in the midst of a sweltering Saudi summer. Of the myriad symptoms I’ve listed here and the ones I will not be describing publicly, the absolute worst of all was my depression. This awful, lifelong foe I’ve been battling on and off was sneaking back into my life, painting the edges of my world a sickening black and stealing the joy that I had fought so desperately to regain.
The doctor, who was kind and very understanding, was surprisingly knowledgeable about vegan diets and had a career long specialization in nutrition. After ruling out any other possible medical condition, she patiently spoke over my tears and my hitching sobs and explained that yes, humans are healthiest when eating a large amount of varied plant foods, but that we would be wrong to ignore the small amounts of animal products that many of us so essentially need. “Most human bodies run optimally on the occasional animal product. Eggs and bits of meat every so often are small but very important parts of a healthy diet.” she said, a look of sorrow on her face. She could see how hard this was for me.
She told me that while there are people who can be quite healthy on a vegan, or predominantly vegan, diet, there were many people who simply could not. After all, every human is biologically and physiologically different, she explained. I listened patiently, refuting her claims with the knowledge I’ve gleaned over the years. After all, I wasn’t just a regular vegan, I was a hardcore, self-righteous and oh so judgmental vegangelical. I never passed up an opportunity for some preaching. She was prepared. Just as patiently she explained how many of the ‘facts’ I was quoting were just plain wrong, or had been presented in a way that distorted the truth. It was horrifying and I almost passed out in her office because I was so worked up.
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The reaction to this blog post was enormous (her blog server crashed from the overload) - lots of support and criticism, people who didn't believe her and insisted she was just doing something wrong, and then the outright nasty, which includes threats of violence, so she eventually was forced to shut down commenting. It's also quite revealing of how vegans, self-proclaimed lovers of peace and life, can be unrelentingly vicious, particularly when their lifestyles are questioned. Read her response to the comments in this second post here
That said, I'm kind of interested in trying out some of her vegan recipes on the blog...which includes a link to how to make vegan nutella aklsjdajsd
ETA: Remember she lives in Saudi Arabia.