I was vegan for a while, and vegetarian even longer before that. I say was, because now I eat whatever the hell I can so I don’t die of undernutrition.
When you become passionate about a certain way of life, an unintended side effect can be scrutinizing the habits of those around you. Sadly, this happens all too often with vegetarians. Enter the judgmental, preachy vegan. The very reason those curious about going meat-free decide not to. Preachy vegans are terrifying. I don’t know what the percentage is of ethical vegetarians, versus those eating that way for the health benefits, but I wager a guess that the majority of vegetarian devotees stick with it because they have compassion for all living creatures (except earwigs). I happen to be in that group, so this whole IBD ruckus is a big blow. My motto now is ‘do the least amount of harm I possibly can’. Organic dairy, eggs from free-roaming chickens, and the occasional piece of meat from the in-laws’ farm (those are some happy, spoiled rotten cows). And the rest of the time, junk food. Calorie density over quality.
It’s about balance. Most developed countries eat too many highly processed foods, and consume entirely too much meat. Some people are used to eating meat with each meal, and as the biggest part of the meal. Is it any wonder your turds are as big as torpedoes and encased in lead? Your poor hole. Once a day is more than sufficient, considering the average serving size is 8 ounces (twice the recommended serving size). That in itself is nearly enough protein for an entire day for one average sized, lightly active adult, not to mention there’s protein present in ALL foods. “But where do you get your protein if you don’t eat meat?” That peanut butter toast you had? 11 grams of protein, if you really went wild with the peanut butter. 15 grams if you decided to eat that giant glob of PB on two slices instead on one. That cup of broccoli you just ate? 4 grams of protein, thank you very much. Peas, beans, milk, cheese, yogurt, trail mix, chips, rice, cereal, poptarts, chocolate, and all fruits and veggies. Everything. Protein does not equal meat, you heathens.
A vegetarian/vegan diet can be viewed as health promoting because the emphasis is on minimally processed, plant-based foods. All of nature’s beautiful and delicious multivitamins delivered directly to your belly in a form that your body can actually fuel you with. It is definitely possible to be a junk food vegan (oreos are vegan!), but when you spend so much time looking at labels to make sure there’s no egg, milk, or animal butt in your food, it’s difficult to ignore the hard to pronounce chemicals on the same label. It’s a little off-putting.
So, you’re a vegan. You’re doing your part in protecting Bessie, the planet, and your health. You eat right, you feel fanfuckingtastic, and you believe you’re invincible to the maladies of modern man. Not only because you’re not actually a man, but because you’re powered by plants. Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, fibrous bundles of love.
Well, my happy little greens-nosher, shit happens. You still turned out to be a train wreck. No one is immune to disease. Your pious diet doesn’t shield you from genetics, or catching some weird viral infection that starts the autoimmune disease Rube Goldberg machine. Your diet will not prevent or cure Crohn’s disease (can’t blame a girl for trying). No, you are most certainly not immune to cancer, as several of your carrot munching counterparts have discovered.
“Why did this happen to me, of all people?!” you might ask. You eat right, you exercise, you have a healthy weight, yet you still got sick. Don’t listen to the other vegan fuckers who tell you that you weren’t doing it right. Disease doesn’t discriminate. If there’s any justice in the universe, they’ll come down with a terrible case of porridge plague.
Look on the bright side, eating right and treating your body right has probably drastically improved your prognosis. Your risk of heart disease and diabetes is still substantially lower than it would be had you been eating like a savage for the past 14 years. You’re 33 years old and you still look 12. Consider yourself humbled when you realize you’re a vulnerable human like everyone else. Quit giving your boy-toy shit for eating fast food, and maybe enjoy a little deep-fried food yourself every once in a while. Especially pickles.
There’s no such thing as a perfect diet.
There is such a thing as destiny. (Just go with it)