Vegans being "sick" - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-17-2009, 04:24 PM
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I eat a mostly vegan diet. I avoid eggs at all costs and I never have dairy unless it's just in a product, such as these vegetarian pop tarts I had the other day.



I've known a few vegans here and there and they've either reverted back to vegetariansm or meat eating altogether. Both of their excuses were that they got too sick and couldn't handle it. I sit with one of these girls at lunch and she now eats a ham, turkey, and cheese sandwich with mayonnaise and drinks milk. She was a vegan for two years.



I don't understand this. Dairy is very insignificant to my diet. I'm never sick. Actually, I've never felt better. Even if I did get sick, I couldn't just give up and eat all of that junk.



How do you feel about this? Have you ever gotten "sick" like they've said?
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#2 Old 01-17-2009, 04:38 PM
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When I was a vegetarian and then a vegan during my teens I got sick...really sick.



But now that I'm older I know that my diet of almost ONLY oreos (since they're vegan here) and cucumbers wasn't the most balanced way to eat. Many people who go veg don't do enough research and end up with nutrient deficiencies.



I've heard the sick excuse a lot, and wheni stopped being veg last time I used the same reason. But people who only use the excuse and never try to evaluate what they did wrong...well, they probably weren't ready to make this change in their life in the first place.
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#3 Old 01-17-2009, 04:39 PM
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Easy answer? Veganism was just a phase for them that made them feel special, they wanted a good reason to revert without people thinking they were just being fickle.



Or they just didn't know how to feed themselves and lived off of potato chips.
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#4 Old 01-17-2009, 04:40 PM
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I was doing my own thing quietly and YOU are the one who created this post trying to make a big deal out of it. Keep flaming the fire. That must be what you want.

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#5 Old 01-17-2009, 05:43 PM
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I've heard so many stories of people going vegetarian and ending up "having to eat meat" because they got sick. They simply weren't eating healthily or taking responsibility for their diet. They did no research into other ways to get protein and made no effort to eat a balanced diet. They were just living off crisps and salads, and pastry-based veggie snacks from Holland & Barrett!



I very rarely get sick and I credit veganism for my wonderful immune system.
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#6 Old 01-17-2009, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by cerise View Post

I sit with one of these girls at lunch and she now eats a ham, turkey, and cheese sandwich with mayonnaise and drinks milk. She was a vegan for two years.



Good lord I can't imagine ever eating that after being vegan, and it's only been 7 months for me. I'm going to go along with everyone else here: it was an excuse for her because she wanted to eat meat again. Too bad. It gives the rest of us a bad name.
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#7 Old 01-17-2009, 07:16 PM
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Good lord I can't imagine ever eating that after being vegan, and it's only been 7 months for me. I'm going to go along with everyone else here: it was an excuse for her because she wanted to eat meat again. Too bad. It gives the rest of us a bad name.



I know. It makes me really uncomfortable to sit next to her. Meat, cheese, and mayonnaise are so disgusting to me. But I've dealt with many people like this actually. I hate when I tell someone I'm a vegetarian and they go, "Ohhh. I was a vegetarian once," while taking a bite out of some animal.



It pisses me off. I work very hard to maintain my lifestyle and to remain as "pure" as possible. When I run into people like that it just makes me angry.
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#8 Old 01-18-2009, 08:10 AM
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I know a few vegetarians who have reverted and will admit to just not liking vegetarianism.



The other week, however, I hung out with a friend I hadn't seen in years. She was vegan for somewhere between two and four years. She asked me, "How long have you been vegan?" I told her two years, and her advice was, "Stop while you're ahead." She claimed that she planned it out as well as she could, regularly seeing a doctor and such. In the end, supposedly, her diet led her to become anemic. *shrugs*
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#9 Old 01-18-2009, 08:36 AM
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People who got sick and had to stop being vegan were probably just not doing it right. I tried to go vegan when I was 16, but I was working at an amusement park at the time, and my lunch every day was a plain white hamburger bun with tomato, pickle, and mustard. Naturally I complained of always being hungry. Now I've been vegan for over two years, and I actually do it in a reasonable fashion. Of course, I do still get strep throat once or twice a year, like I have all my life. Maybe I should start eating meat again! /kidding
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#10 Old 01-18-2009, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by eistxist View Post

I know a few vegetarians who have reverted and will admit to just not liking vegetarianism.



The other week, however, I hung out with a friend I hadn't seen in years. She was vegan for somewhere between two and four years. She asked me, "How long have you been vegan?" I told her two years, and her advice was, "Stop while you're ahead." She claimed that she planned it out as well as she could, regularly seeing a doctor and such. In the end, supposedly, her diet led her to become anemic. *shrugs*



My sister, an omnivore, has always been borderline anemic. The culprit was not enough meat. Her doctor told her to eat more green leafy vegetables, such as spinach. Many Americans just don't eat enough vegetables.



I agree that the person was just looking to justify reverting back.
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#11 Old 01-18-2009, 09:58 AM
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With all the vegan cookbooks out there, vegan cooking websites, vegan foods in the store, I have a really hard time understanding how anyone could not be healthy eating a vegan diet, unless, as others have said, they're doing it wrong. Milk and milk products are not essential to health. And there are so many delicious and healthy alternatives to meat. I cut eggs, dairy, and meat out of my life and have never felt better, mostly because I eat more veggies.
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#12 Old 01-18-2009, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by sleepydvdr View Post

If I ever revert back to vegetarianism or an omnivore diet, I'll admit it and apologize to everyone here. I don't think that will ever happen, but if it ever does, I won't be afraid to admit the truth.





I don't think any vegan reverting to vegetarianism owes anyone here an apology.



.
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#13 Old 01-18-2009, 11:01 AM
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I have heard the "sickness" thing too, but more often, it was not a sickness, it was someone losing weight (or not putting weight on when working out) on a vegan diet. Yeah, people may manage to keep on, or gain, weight w/ dairy and meat, but at what cost? They may not be sick now, but the heart damage, cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc, will likely rear its head soon.

SO, when they are poppin their cholesterol and BP meds, you can be suckin down your green smoothie!



Bottom line: an unbalanced diet, veg'n or omni, isnt healthy.
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#14 Old 01-18-2009, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerise View Post

I eat a mostly vegan diet. I avoid eggs at all costs and I never have dairy unless it's just in a product, such as these vegetarian pop tarts I had the other day.



I've known a few vegans here and there and they've either reverted back to vegetariansm or meat eating altogether. Both of their excuses were that they got too sick and couldn't handle it. I sit with one of these girls at lunch and she now eats a ham, turkey, and cheese sandwich with mayonnaise and drinks milk. She was a vegan for two years.



I don't understand this. Dairy is very insignificant to my diet. I'm never sick. Actually, I've never felt better. Even if I did get sick, I couldn't just give up and eat all of that junk.



How do you feel about this? Have you ever gotten "sick" like they've said?



I think these excuses are ridiculous. Chances are these people were seriously misinformed about nutrition and consequently, were not eating a balanced vegan diet. I've been vegan for over 2 months and it just seems so effortless now! Like you, I've never felt better. I used to have lots of IBS-related digestive problems, bloating, rapid weight gain, etc. Now, I think I've reached my "natural" weight and don't gain weight. I eat a healthy diet and am having fun discovering new things. Yesterday, a friend of mine who is an avid meat eater (and apparently thinks I'm crazy for not eating the way she does) accompanied me to the grocery store yesterday. I was taking my time in the produce section, picking up a few FRUITS, and her comment was: "My God, you eat healthy." The only things in my cart as of yet were apples and oranges!!! I was like... um.. you don't eat fruit? lol... She would have been blown away if she'd stuck around to see the rest of my purchases, lol. People at work also tell me how healthy my meals look... but to me, they are just normal!! So I think that it's totally unfair to call vegans "sickly" - look at all these meatatarians who barely touch anything other than meat and potatoes... that has got to be far unhealthier than filling up on beans, veggies, fruits, grains and soy milk, people!!!
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#15 Old 01-18-2009, 12:58 PM
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I wish that veganism alone would make me lose weight.
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#16 Old 01-18-2009, 01:35 PM
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I wish that veganism alone would make me lose weight.



Thanks to Isa Chandra Moskowitz and her damn cookbooks, it's not looking good for me either. I seriously have a love/hate relationship with her cookbooks. If all omnis knew vegan food could be THAT good, there would be mass conversions.
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#17 Old 01-18-2009, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by aminahc1 View Post

Thanks to Isa Chandra Moskowitz and her damn cookbooks, it's not looking good for me either. I seriously have a love/hate relationship with her cookbooks. If all omnis knew vegan food could be THAT good, there would be mass conversions.



hahah. i have that cookbook but i've only used it once. i don't like all her tofu creations.
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#18 Old 01-18-2009, 01:52 PM
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I agree with all those here who are saying it's most likely an excuse, either for not having the ethical commitment (and not wanting to admit it), or they really did get sick but not because they were eating vegan: because they were simply not eating enough or not taking the time to eat well (eating junk food that happens to be vegan is not healthy, even if it is ethical). Hardly seems fair to blame lack of nutritional knowledge or committment on veganism.



Turns out that after becoming vegan I've discovered I had a milk allergy (slow onset, respiratory issues but not anaphylactic). So all those milk products I was always eating were making me a constant low-grade sick, lowered immunity, etc. So yes, an OMNI diet was truly making me sick.
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#19 Old 01-18-2009, 02:09 PM
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I have a friend who went vegan and got really sick. I think he ate so many processed soya products, soy milk and fake cheeses that he got himself a soy allergy, he seriously never did any cooking. At the same time as this allergy he discovered he was allergic to caffeine too. He gave up and now regularly eats at KFC I think I may be able to convince him to go back to a vegan diet one day, I'm always telling him how little soya I have in my diet and how healthy I am and he always seems interested.



I think a lot of people do use sickness as an excuse but I think most are just haven't looked up how to eat healthily as a vegan.
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#20 Old 01-18-2009, 03:54 PM
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I ate too much soy when I first became vegan and "credit" soy's overuse to the fact that now I cannot tolerate more than a tiny bit of soy without having severe digestive distress. Didn't stop my veganism, though, just stopped me from eating soy. You can be healthy and vegan. Fruits, veggies, brown rice, and beans will pretty much do it.
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#21 Old 01-18-2009, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by cerise View Post

I eat a mostly vegan diet. I avoid eggs at all costs and I never have dairy unless it's just in a product, such as these vegetarian pop tarts I had the other day.



I've known a few vegans here and there and they've either reverted back to vegetariansm or meat eating altogether. Both of their excuses were that they got too sick and couldn't handle it. I sit with one of these girls at lunch and she now eats a ham, turkey, and cheese sandwich with mayonnaise and drinks milk. She was a vegan for two years.



I don't understand this. Dairy is very insignificant to my diet. I'm never sick. Actually, I've never felt better. Even if I did get sick, I couldn't just give up and eat all of that junk.



How do you feel about this? Have you ever gotten "sick" like they've said?

How long have you been vegetarian?



They probably got sick cause they don't know much about nutrition.

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#22 Old 01-18-2009, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by aminahc1 View Post

Thanks to Isa Chandra Moskowitz and her damn cookbooks, it's not looking good for me either. I seriously have a love/hate relationship with her cookbooks. If all omnis knew vegan food could be THAT good, there would be mass conversions.



I know!! Damn those books! Argh. It all tastes so goooooooood... oh the cupcakes. And the spanakopita. And the muffins. And the... and the... and the...

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#23 Old 01-19-2009, 07:56 AM
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Well planned vegan diets are extremely healthy. When my husband switched to eating veg, he went from having dangerously high cholesterol to normal cholesterol. (Unfortunately, he's recently regressed )



The key is learning about proper nutrition and planning.
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#24 Old 01-19-2009, 08:30 AM
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The key is learning about proper nutrition and planning.

Exactly.



This applies to omnivores as well, who can be extremely healthy with a well-planned diet that includes lean meat. Chances are though that if the OP's friends were eating unhealthy as vegans, then they're probably eating unhealthy as meat-eaters too so they gained nothing by reverting back but a false sense of well-being.



One of the wonderful things that becoming vegetarian has done for me is that it forced me to learn how to cook properly, rely less on convenience foods, and eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that I'd never even tried before. If I'd only forced myself to do this years ago as a meat-eater I'd be a much healthier man today.



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#25 Old 01-21-2009, 10:11 AM
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From what I've read in cerise's other posts, it seems that the person she's referring to is a teenager, and so is probably still living at home. If that's true, then she probably doesn't feel comfortable going to her parents and telling them what to purchase/prepare for her, especially if they aren't supportive. I've heard too many stories about teenagers going veg, and their parents saying, "Well, don't expect me to cook for you, then!"



In other words, if a vegan still lives at home, has unsupportive or indifferent parents, and, say, has no good consistent way of getting the proper foods for her nutrition, then I could see her getting sick, for sure.



To be honest, I think it's probably more likely that she got tired of veganism and used some unrelated illness as an excuse, as many here have mentioned. But making a life-changing decision as a teenager can be a pretty intimidating proposal.
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#26 Old 01-21-2009, 02:49 PM
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nope, i've never been sick from veganism. actually, whenever i'm traveling or at a friend's house my body gets a bit out of whack but i guess that's not totally my fault or choice.

the only other girl in my school i know of that is/was vegan was a vegan for several months and suddenly stopped. now she always says things like, "i used to be so good at not eating..." which is clearly referring to when she was a vegan. that's disappoints me a lot, it sends such a bad message about veganism.
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#27 Old 01-21-2009, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerise View Post

I eat a mostly vegan diet. I avoid eggs at all costs and I never have dairy unless it's just in a product, such as these vegetarian pop tarts I had the other day.



I've known a few vegans here and there and they've either reverted back to vegetariansm or meat eating altogether. Both of their excuses were that they got too sick and couldn't handle it. I sit with one of these girls at lunch and she now eats a ham, turkey, and cheese sandwich with mayonnaise and drinks milk. She was a vegan for two years.



I don't understand this. Dairy is very insignificant to my diet. I'm never sick. Actually, I've never felt better. Even if I did get sick, I couldn't just give up and eat all of that junk.



How do you feel about this? Have you ever gotten "sick" like they've said?



I have heard this too and it is because they don't know how to eat properly while they eat meat let alone when they eliminate it. This is utter B.S.



Congrats to you though for making the transition.



Quote:
Originally Posted by eistxist View Post

I know a few vegetarians who have reverted and will admit to just not liking vegetarianism.



The other week, however, I hung out with a friend I hadn't seen in years. She was vegan for somewhere between two and four years. She asked me, "How long have you been vegan?" I told her two years, and her advice was, "Stop while you're ahead." She claimed that she planned it out as well as she could, regularly seeing a doctor and such. In the end, supposedly, her diet led her to become anemic. *shrugs*



I make sure to take supplement for things that are harder to get as a vegan. B vitamins and an iron supplement once a week works for me.
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#28 Old 01-22-2009, 04:13 PM
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Yes I got sick....I have been a veggie for 18 years Vegan the first year and it was awful...I was grey..sick and tired...and passed out everywhere...once in public so I went back to veggie and was okay....but recently I tried it again and tomorrow it will be 30 days as a Vegan...Yipppiiieeee....and I feel great....I cleaned up my eating too....so its all good



Peace love and happiness



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#29 Old 01-23-2009, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by LongLashedVeg View Post

I think these excuses are ridiculous. Chances are these people were seriously misinformed about nutrition and consequently, were not eating a balanced vegan diet. I've been vegan for over 2 months and it just seems so effortless now! Like you, I've never felt better. I used to have lots of IBS-related digestive problems, bloating, rapid weight gain, etc. Now, I think I've reached my "natural" weight and don't gain weight. I eat a healthy diet and am having fun discovering new things. Yesterday, a friend of mine who is an avid meat eater (and apparently thinks I'm crazy for not eating the way she does) accompanied me to the grocery store yesterday. I was taking my time in the produce section, picking up a few FRUITS, and her comment was: "My God, you eat healthy." The only things in my cart as of yet were apples and oranges!!! I was like... um.. you don't eat fruit? lol... She would have been blown away if she'd stuck around to see the rest of my purchases, lol. People at work also tell me how healthy my meals look... but to me, they are just normal!! So I think that it's totally unfair to call vegans "sickly" - look at all these meatatarians who barely touch anything other than meat and potatoes... that has got to be far unhealthier than filling up on beans, veggies, fruits, grains and soy milk, people!!!



Yeah..I brought an orange as a snack to work...and I was cutting it, and my coworker looked at it and was like, "Hmm...eating healthy?" And I was just dumbfounded...because I really like oranges...I was just eating a snack of something that I liked. *shrug*



I'm not vegan yet...but they also tell me that my food looks so colorful and lively...but then they tell me that I should put chicken or something on it to "liven it up" more...or to make it "complete". *sigh*
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#30 Old 01-23-2009, 09:25 AM
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At my first semester at uni, I didn't know how to cook at all as I'm a guy who had until then been living all my life at home with my parents. Now I was suddenly living far away, and I only had very limited access to a kitchen. And yet despite all of this, despite living in Meat Land, having finally escaped the warm clutches of La Familia, I had decided that this was a good time to start experimenting with vegetarianism.



Needless to say, my diet was total crap. My most complicated dish was white spaghetti with fried mushrooms and ketchup on top. I also ate a lot of crackers. (Which I later found out contained fish fats.) Fortunately, I could buy a cheep vegetarian meal at the uni canteen on weekdays, although it usually was neither very good nor especially nutritious.



However, I must have been born under a lucky star: I was blessed with a pair of alternative-minded aunts who had recently enrolled into university themselves, and they took me every Tuesday to a royal feast at a Hare Krishna restaurant.



But overall my diet wasn't good for me, and as a result there were times when I didn't feel too good. I have no idea how I got through that first semester. Still, I passed my exams. The next semester I was granted a room at the student village where I shared a big kitchen with 6 other students, and I learned slowly to cook for myself.



My learning points are these:

1. New vegans and vegetarians need support networks (veg*n friends, uni veg*n associations, Internet forums etc.), especially the younglings.

2. Contrary to what many veg advocates say, becoming vegan or vegatarian is not generally easy. It's hard.



With my own experiences in mind, I'm sympathetic to people who have tried and failed. I don't think it's necessarily fair to label them "lazy", or assume they were consuming nothing but potato chips and soda. But of course they are wrong if they blame their failure on veg*ism itself.



I've now been vegetarian for 13 years, and vegan for the last four of those. It has become a lot easier over the years, because I now can cook and because veggie foods are more plentiful and available. I also have a vegan fiancé who does 98% of the cooking in our household. But there are still challenges, simply because we live in a meat-centered society.



So respect to those who try, admiration to those who succeed.

I no longer post here after VB was sold in 2012. (See my profile page for details.)
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