Veganism and the D word

I thought it would be important to share something with you today.  I am vegan.  I have been for 4 years now, after being vegetarian for almost 5 before that.  While this implies that I have certain food beliefs, it also raises a few eyebrows when you couple it with recovery.

Interesting fact: when I was in in-patient treatment the second time they didn’t allow me to be vegetarian or vegan. I suppose to my treatment team, it looked like another form or restriction. Maybe it was… but my thoughts about it have evolved.  Today it is about compassion.  It is about years of reading and watching documentaries that have changed my views of the meat and dairy industry.   It is also about finding a way of eating that reduces feelings of guilt for me. A purpose to my meals. A sense of comfort in eating knowing that my approach to food is one of “do no harm”

However, if I really take a long hard look at things, I can admit that there is power in the control that comes with a vegan diet. The abstaining from treats with dairy or eggs, the perfect excuse to not partake in shared meals, the limit on places you can dine.  While I think that vegetarianism/veganism has aided my recovery, at times I wonder if it holds me back.

These thoughts have been weighing on my mind a lot lately. Especially as I write blog posts to share with the world. I would love to know your thoughts on the topic.  Do you think veganism can aid recovery or should it be avoided? Do you have an experience to share?

Want more viewpoints? Here are a few posts that shed light on the topic:

Fitting it All In
Burp and Slurp
ena’s Green Recovery Series at Choosing Raw


5 thoughts on “Veganism and the D word

  1. As a lifetime vegetarian who has experimented with veganism and recovered from an ED, I can share my thoughts on this matter. I think that you have to ask yourself if you were vegan vs vegetarian vs omnivore, would you still be making those dietary sacrifices/decisions as strictly as you are now if they would have absolutely zero effect on your weight?

  2. Well, green recovery shares my thoughts pretty thoroughly 🙂 While I do think veganism can be a means of control, I think that’s true of literally any type of eating (omnivorism, with an emphasis on “lean protein,” was my particular crutch). I don’t believe that veganism is a “cure,” and I don’t believe that ceasing to be vegan will give anyone a better chance of recovering if the mindset is still fundamentally troubled. But I do believe that learning to imagine food as part of an interconnected web of ethics, wherein our choices have the power to do real good, can be a powerful lesson for someone who has spent a lifetime thinking about food only in the context of personal weight loss and gain.

    Thanks for the link 🙂 I hope you manage to resolve any lingering tendencies. It takes time, but you will arrive there.

      • That means so much to me. Keep up with being honest with yourself, with striving to untangle the web of food and guilt, and with letting go of obsession. And in the meantime, thanks for saying hi!

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