rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Veganism might be for you, but it's not for me: A true story

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Photo: flickr/Katie Laird

I've been a vegetarian for almost five years now and this has never been a problem for me.

Morally, I feel as if I line up with veganism more than vegetarianism. My reasoning for going vegetarian in the first place was because I've always felt uncomfortable with the idea of eating a dead animal. I've always been an animal person, and eating my friends was just a little too icky for me.

I've been becoming increasingly uncomfortable with other animal products because of inhumane conditions at commercial farms. I've seen a few too many PETA videos that have shown me the horrors that have to occur in order for me to have an egg in the morning or to put milk in my coffee. If I want animals to live, it would be completely unfair for them to have a poor quality of life just because of my desire for eggs or dairy. I definitely don't need it. Vegan was a good idea for me morally, but in the end it didn't work well for me. Here's what happened.

About a year ago, I decided to cut back on my consumption of animal products so that I could eventually be a moderately functioning vegan. I talked to a few of my vegan friends and asked what the best way to go about it was. One friend told me that gradual was a good way to wean yourself off, as a mother cow might do with its calf. However, another friend told me that I should cut it all out right away because it would be immoral not to do it as fast as possible. "You've chosen a better path," he said. A few weeks later, that path would get me totally lost and be emptying my stomach's contents into a garbage bin.

At first, it wasn't very hard. I could skip the cheese in my daily tofu pita at the university's coffee shop. I made stir fries no different than I would have done before. I ate even more carrots and hummus. I broadened my horizons when it came to vegetables and I ate a different fruit almost every morning. I took vitamins like nobody's business, just to make sure I wasn't missing out on any nutrients. But it didn't make me feel any better. In fact, I felt worse.

I began feeling more sluggish and tired, often sleeping past my alarm making myself late for school. I felt as if I was hungrier all the time (it was probably all in my mind, but hey, the mind is a powerful thing). When I was in class, all I could think about was how hungry I was. So one day I went to grab a vegan sandwich after my science fiction class (because that was all I wanted, and really all I could think about in class). Looking back, I would have much rather paid attention to my prof teaching us about Phillip K. Dick than listening to the growling of my stomach. Androids may dream of electric sheep, but I was too busy daydreaming about sandwiches.

I got a flatbread sandwich, which consisted of mostly lettuce, tomatoes and not much else. I started to feel sick as I was heading home. When I got there I felt so sluggish that I fell asleep right away. The second I woke up, I was in a cold sweat and I was projectile vomiting all over my room. I couldn't keep any food down for days, which was probably the result of food poisoning and not my attempt at going vegan. Naturally, I assumed that either my body was punishing me for trying to adopt a vegan diet, or that the vegan gods were testing me. Either way, the only food I could manage to keep down was chocolate milkshakes.

This year's vegan challenge seemed simple enough: cut out all animal products for a week. I can do that, I thought to myself while pouring milk into my coffee. I lost before I even started. Perhaps it was subconscious self-sabotage, my body protecting itself from my mind and morals. I may be bad at being a vegan, but at least I'm honest.

What does work for me is buying locally sourced animal products. Going to a local farmer's market and getting eggs or milk makes me feel a lot better than buying these from the grocery store, where they are most likely from massive-scale farms. To me, it is a kinder, gentler way to consume animal products, although I am aware than many may disagree with eating animal products at all.

Veganism didn't work for me, and it doesn’t work for everybody. Each person's body reacts differently to different diets, and it would be wishful thinking for me to cut out all animal products for the time being. I might think differently in a few years, and maybe my body will change, but for now I feel quite comfortable with a vegetarian diet. 

Lauren Scott is the books intern for rabble.ca and is currently studying Journalism at Carleton University. She loves post-modern literature and anything with a bit of sass. Originally from a small town just outside of Toronto, Lauren now lives in Ottawa. Follow her on Twitter @laurenscawt

 

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.