The other day I got forwarded an article about an ex-vegan who decided to start eating fish again. This woman had some pretty gnarly health problems – hair falling out, skin issues, digestive issues, nerve pain, tooth pain, sleeping all the time, mentally unfocused, depressed, heart palpitations… I’m sure there were more but those were the most concerning. She had worked with a million different supplements, seen doctors, tried eating all the “superfoods”, tried higher fat and calorie foods and nothing had helped. So she ate some fish. In a week her symptoms had improved, and in a month she was completely healed.
First and foremost, my heart went out to this poor woman. She had been an avid vegan lifestyle blogger for nearly a decade, was well known in the vegan world and truly walked the talk. It was a huge struggle for her to put aside her values and to put her health first for once. And she got absolutely crucified for it.
After finishing the article I thought that this woman did completely the right thing. She was not thriving, and her body needed something that she just could not give it. Everyone is different, and every body absorbs nutrients differently. After a decade her body couldn’t keep up anymore, so she needed to change. This all made sense to me as I finished reading, and I scrolled to the comments. There I read thousands of comments from irate vegans, saying that she just hadn’t tried hard enough, and that she was a failure and a liar. I read death threats to her and her family, people engaging in epic arguments espousing their values, and the worst parts of human nature coming out of strangers, telling her she had failed.
This woman did not fail. Every single person who tries to eat plant-based and has to stop for his or her health did NOT fail.
I am sick of the strange, angry vegan world online. There is so much drama and fighting between camps. People start wars and lawsuits on other vegans instead of using their platform to spread goodwill and help for those interested in the lifestyle. And if one of their friends and colleague has to change their way of eating to literally save their life, all bets are off.
I ask those vegans out there, who feel justified in attacking other humans to look inside. To ask themselves what is being threatened when they read another human is sick, and animal products are the cure. It doesn’t seem healthy or balanced to me to have such a visceral reaction to another humans eating habits – and I wonder what they would find when they look inside and sit with that question. Life is too short to be unwell, both mentally and physically! We should be embracing health and happiness, not fighting amongst ourselves and attacking others.
Ex-vegans, thank you for trying plant-based eating out. At the end of the day, we should be eating more plants, and being mindful about the footprint we leave in the world. For some people that means eating meat. I would hope that the meat consumed is mindfully sourced, nourishes and provides health to the eater.
Beyond this, we should embrace acceptance and love for all beings. No exceptions.
Peace and love,