Woah boy is this a big topic…one that I have wanted to write about for a long time.

WHY I QUIT VEGANISM.

If you’re vegan or if you’re not vegan, I hope that this post helps you in one way or another. I’ve compiled facts and resources for you if you’re inclined to dig deeper and do more research on this topic. More on that as we go.

2000 was the year that I stopped eating all red meat after my family and I drove by Harris Ranch on I-5 as we traveled to LA from Northern California. Seeing those cows packed into confinement made me so angry. I declared right then and there that I was done with red meat. Looking back, I totally get that this was Speciesism. 

But I stuck to my word and never touched red meat again…after one last In ‘n Out burger because they were my FAVORITE. Spoiler: I wish I knew better and did not stop because NOW I am grossed out by it and don’t have the desire to eat red meat. 

I continued with everything else though: poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. Just no beef.

In 2014 I decided to go vegan for ethical reasons. I hate the idea of exploiting animals. By the beginning of 2016, my body was screaming at me to stop. I spent several months prior to quitting veganism trying to ignore my body’s cues. I experienced extremely dry skin, indigestion almost all of the time even after eating the ‘right’ combinations of foods and eating little to no ‘junk’, fatigue, and the list goes on. Side note: one of the junky foods I would eat a lot were Beast Burgers from Beyond Meat. Finally an option packed with protein! Until I came to learn that Beyond Meat products are packed with bad-for-you ingredients. Occasionally I’d cheat and eat fish. To my dismay, I would feel SO. MUCH. BETTER. My digestive issues resolved, and I felt satiated. The way that I felt started to really nag at me and I constantly weighed my options: feel good in my body but feel guilty AF about the impact of my choices. 

I lumped animal products into one evil category of factory farming. You know those horrifying videos of animals being abused. I have not watched one purposely and I never want to. But I do know what goes on at many factory farms. I saw it with my own eyes at the California State Fair with a dairy cow. What I was not aware of was a whole other world of meat, eggs, and dairy, grown by independent farmers who practice regenerative agriculture. “In short, regenerative agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that seeks to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem of the farm by placing a heavy premium on soil health with attention also paid to water management, fertilizer use, and more. It is a method of farming that improves the resources it uses, rather than destroying or depleting them”. {via}

These farmers use techniques that enhance their environments and treat their animals humanely, allowing them to engage in their natural behaviors and eat the food they’re meant to eat. The additional benefit is that the meat, dairy, and eggs produced by these farmers are more nutritious than your run of the mill shitty factory farm. 

I chose my health and my body as my priority and having the education behind independent farmers and the benefits, I do not place any guilt on myself for consuming animal products now. I am very selective about where my meat and eggs come from – I still don’t consume dairy because it grosses me out and I am lactose intolerant. Tip: If you’re looking to forego grocery store meat, I highly recommend visiting your local Famer’s Market to support your local farmer(s).

Let’s get into the specifics of why and how eating meat is not something that you should feel guilty about – because this information helped me a lot. All of this information is via The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Paleo Leap. You can visit their site to read more about the biological benefits as well as environmental benefits, but here is a brief list:

♡ Meat contributes greatly to our overall health and contains many nutrients that cannot be obtained in any amount from plants:

  • Carnosine, a molecule found in meat sources, is an antioxidant that protects against degeneration.
  • Vitamin B12, found in meat, helps make DNA, prevents certain types of anemia, and contributes to the health of nerve cells.
  • Meat is a complete protein source with a higher biological value.
  • Meat is a good source of the difficult to get vitamin D, contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, and the minerals zinc, selenium, and iron.

Book recommendations:

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

How to Heal Your Metabolism

The Vegetarian Myth

Nourishing Fats: Why We Need Animal Fats for Health and Happiness

There you have it. I hope this helped you if you’re vegan and feeling guilty about the thought of adding animal protein in to your diet, or if you’re just looking to make healthier choices in general. Because I wish I would’ve read something like this when I was struggling.

xo,

Lynn