Going vegan seems to be all the rage right now, and I totally get why. I 100% believe that going vegan is a great way to help the world, the animals and yourself so I am no way in this post trying to bash veganism or anything of that sort, I just want to share why I’m ultimately not going vegan despite the vegan recipes you will be seeing in the coming weeks because I do try to have at least one vegan meal every day.
Before I get into this post, I want to put a trigger warning and say that I will be talking about eating disorder related things in this post and if that may affect you in any negative way, please don’t read it! I know a lot of people hate trigger warnings but I feel they can be important when involving topics such as this one.
Okay, so now lets get into the post. I’m nervous to write this so I can imagine how nervous I’m going to be to actually post this! I want to start by talking about eleven year old me. Eleven year old Dana had just moved to Denmark with her family and started a new school. I felt very isolated from everyone in school since I didn’t seem to have anything in common with anyone, we didn’t even speak the same language! As I got more and more depressed from the isolation I was feeling, I started to really hate my body as though me being fat was the reason people didn’t talk to me, so I decided to do something about it.
I tried to stop eating completely but couldn’t manage it so when I did eat, I would purge immediately afterwards. I was very involved in ‘pro-ana’ websites and forums so I began to form a diet based on what older girls said I should and shouldn’t eat. I stayed away from bread and meat, anything with sugar in it. This continued up until I was 15 when I was eating only one meal a day, which was a single egg scrambled with mixed herbs or a single packet of noodles.
I lost a lot of weight but I was still definitely considered over-weight and was therefore never diagnosed with any kind of eating disorder, meaning that I don’t really feel comfortable with classing what I experienced as ‘having an eating disorder’, though I think its fairly clear that that is exactly what I had.
Even after moving back to the UK and beginning to have friends again I constantly monitored what I was eating, counting calories and having certain foods that were strictly out of bounds. It didn’t really stop until I moved into my first flat with my boyfriend at seventeen and began to eat normally, and then unhealthily again.
Because of what I went through in the past, I find it very difficult to cope with cutting out foods, such as animal products to go vegan, without becoming really obsessed with it. I have attempted going vegan several times and each time I revert to obsessively counting calories and refusing to eat anything that isn’t a fresh fruit or vegetable, which wouldn’t be such a bad thing if not for the fact that I seem to consider an apple and a raw carrot to be sufficient food for a day while I’m like this.
That means that for me, veganism, is a really unhealthy way to live. I hope in the future I am able to come past this block to really become vegan due to the hundreds of reasons out there to go vegan (that means you should go vegan if you can!). I know that veganism has ‘cured’ peoples eating disorders, or at the very least helped them, but for me it seems to do the exact opposite and though I hate that I’m contributing to the deaths of animal and everything that comes with it, I just can’t allow myself to slip back into that calorie-counting, food-obsessed and very, very depressed teenager.
If any vegans are reading this, I hope you understand why I do what I do and don’t attack me in the comments, I’m sure it must be annoying to see so many ‘excuses’ against becoming vegan but I feel that its up to me to keep my mind and body as healthy as I can. To any non-vegans reading this, I would say that you should look into veganism, it’s really a great way to live and helps the planet in so many ways!