Veganism not an option any more

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Veganism not an option any more

Postby flower_hercules » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:44 pm

Hello all, its been a while

I have some questions to ask and a story to tell, this could be long.

Basically I have been vegetarian for 14 years then vegan for 1.5
My reasons: mainly because I tried to 'ethically' source dairy and eggs and failed; the reality is you just don't know what you are getting no matter what marketing a product has. You only need to see the horse burger fiasco to get an idea. Also a little bit for environmental reasons (we eat too much meat) and a bit because I don't want the lovely cow sniffing my sleeve to be dinner.

(Before anybody gets on their high horse about how dreadful we vegans are, as i can hear it coming, it always does: I have never been smug, or told other people they shouldn't eat whatever. I complement people on their meat cooking from the look and smell, cook fish for my bf and bought non-vegan foods for my family at xmas. So why would I be smug, superior or talk about animal murder? we are not all like that you know!)

I have always been aware its not an ideal diet for a human, but a compromise I wanted to make, and believed could be made to work for the above reasons. I am into nutrition and eat very well (if a little too much cake and wine!) But I'm in bed after 7 days of flu, for the 4th time in 9 months. I have had blood tests for Iron, calcium, protein and vitamin B6/12 and the doctor says they are the most perfect results she has ever seen. So why am I pale, fatigued, really poor memory and ill frequently? I guess that B12 analogue is in my blood, but apparently its not doing anything is it?

So it seems I am going to have to face facts: eat meat, or dairy. I don't need to eat much, and i haven't missed it from my diet other than in nutritional terms. Dairy is not an option because I would have to go through the usual industries that turned me vegan in the first place. I have started eating my chickens eggs, which I usually just give to others, but that is actually very little B vits. I also don't want to munch my way through every internationally sourced plant protein avaliable, and i don't think protein is my problem.

So what to eat? fish seems an obvious choice as this can be line caught from the wild. but can you buy it from a hobbyist? or does it have to be from the indescriminate large haul?

Wild meat seems most ethical: it lived life for its own sake, not for the table, and is only on the plate because it got caught; but it had a crack a living to a ripe old age. plus because its not livestock it hasn't drained resources such as soya (I consume very little anyway, just in tea, and occasionally in cereals, and livestock takes up the bulk of soya imports to the UK!) and wild animals may be being culled for their effect on environments (squirrel and deer) But what meat? and where to get it?

I couldn't raise it myself and eat it; my chickens are pets, and anything else i take on is likely to become the same rather than dinner. I'd rather learn to catch it myself than accept the easy route through the super market, but could I actually do it?

Sorry if this is a bit long. but I am determined to steer clear of the 'meat industry' that turned me vegan; if veganism is no longer an option, there has to be another way.
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Re: Veganism not an option any more

Postby gregorach » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:09 pm

I'm not sure what your options are where you are, but wild venison isn't hard to come by up here... Ask your local butcher - he might have other game as well. As for line-caught fish, again it shouldn't be too hard to find if you have a half-decent fishmonger.

But I'd be cautious about assuming that your symptoms are necessarily caused by diet. Sure, it's worth a try, but it might not be the problem.
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Re: Veganism not an option any more

Postby flower_hercules » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:22 pm

Hmmm, well I have been tested recently for other things that might lower my immune system, and all come back good. Doc says there is no problem, but things are bad enough even friends and family are noticing. These symptoms have definately only come about since being vegan about 6 months in and getting worse. I have made several adjustments to try to stay vegan, but none are working. No health or lifestyle issues...

I'll look into local sources, so thanks for that. want to be supplied with the best info before i do anything.
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Re: Veganism not an option any more

Postby Crickleymal » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:07 pm

Road kill? I'm not being facetious, it's a dead animal that's only going to rot away/get flatter. As Dunc says, a good local butcher ought to be able to supply you with pheasant or rabbit which is reasonably ethical I suppose.

I suppose you've tried stuff like vegemite or Marmite. You can make your own, by the way, as a by product of home brewing.
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Re: Veganism not an option any more

Postby Green Aura » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:59 pm

If your blood profiles are OK, then I'd look first at what you're currently eating and how you're preparing your food.

As a vegan I'm guessing you eat a lot of carbs and pulses, yes? Try making your own sourdough, eating lacto-fermented veg (these don't involve milk!) and pre-soaking any flour, other grains, rice and pulses for several hours in water with a little vinegar in the water to break down the phytic acid, before you cook with them. There are plenty of places to find how to do this if you're not sure about quantities etc.

I'd also dump any butter replacements and just use coconut or olive oils. And don't eat any of those meat substitutes, they're all so highly processed. Add a little coconut oil to any greens, before serving, to aid their digestion.
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Re: Veganism not an option any more

Postby The Riff-Raff Element » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:11 pm

I'm going along with the game idea. Proper game (not the farmed stuff) is very high in all kinds of useful stuff, including some hard-to-get fatty acids.
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Re: Veganism not an option any more

Postby Zech » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:50 pm

This is not the first story I've read about someone's health suffering from a vegan diet. You might be interested to read this:
http://ecocatlady.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/why-im-seriously-considering-eating.html and the follow-up a month later:
http://ecocatlady.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/month-of-meat.html

As for where to buy meat, it depends how you feel about farmed animals in principle. We buy meat from a neighbouring smallholder whose animals aren't free, but I'm confident they're treated well. They slaughter once a year, so we buy a large quantity in the autumn and put it in the freezer. It might be worth your while investigating meat box schemes if you'd be happy with this sort of thing.
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Re: Veganism not an option any more

Postby diggernotdreamer » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:24 pm

Have a look at the Sheepdrove Farm website, they have a shop in Bristol too and they do online orders. I had dealings with them in the past and I really liked what they were doing there. As for rabbits and deer, lots of butchers stock farmed rabbits and farmed deer, I used to know someone who shot rabbits on a vegetable and fruit farm, he used to sell me rabbits that he had skinned and prepared and they were wild and shot very well.

I think it is very interesting the way you are thinking. I am not very convinced by taking taking synthesised vitamins and I don't think anyone really fully understands the roles of vitamins and minerals and how much each individual person requires, this one size fits all theory doesn't really convince me. Listen to your body and what it is telling you. Sleep when you are tired if you can. Stay away from people who are energy takers (ie people who drain what little energy you have). Stop worrying!!! and stop worrying about what people think of you and don't keep agonising over every little decision you have to make, all this drains your body and brain of energy.
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Re: Veganism not an option any more

Postby oldjerry » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:28 pm

This may not suit you,but it's a thought.I know I've mentioned it before,but if you have a garage,10x8 shed,plus say an area of hardstanding say 12'x12',,then acouple of goats are worth considering,just like having a couple of big dogs in a way.Milk,,c heese,yoghurt,etc etc all uberhealthy,and easier to keep than you think.
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Re: Veganism not an option any more

Postby Susie » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:51 pm

flower_hercules wrote:(Before anybody gets on their high horse about how dreadful we vegans are, as i can hear it coming, it always does: I have never been smug, or told other people they shouldn't eat whatever. I complement people on their meat cooking from the look and smell, cook fish for my bf and bought non-vegan foods for my family at xmas. So why would I be smug, superior or talk about animal murder? we are not all like that you know!)


I don't think you're dreadful, don't worry ;-).

In terms of ethics, I think I agree with the others who said game. In terms of health, though, if your bloodwork is normal (synthetic vitamin debate aside), are you absolutely sure it's your diet? I once had a winter very like you describe - I don't think I had more than 4 consecutive days without a cold or flu from October to April and I was absolutely fed up - but for me it was caused by stress (the stress also caused lack of concentration, looking knackered, poor hair condition etc) - are your stress levels any different than normal? If that doesn't apply, ignore.
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Re: Veganism not an option any more

Postby Ellendra » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:17 pm

Thriving on a vegan diet requires the right mix of enzymes, and unfortunately, not everyone is able to produce all the right enzymes in the right amounts. I know one enzyme that's commonly missing is the one that makes long-chain omega acids out of short-chain ones. Long-chain omegas are found in meat, eggs, and dairy products.

Personally, I'm missing a lot of enzymes needed to get protein from vegetable sources. I'm biologically a carnivore, and I've got the lab tests to prove it :)
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Re: Veganism not an option any more

Postby Lochside Yogi » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:00 pm

Being a vegetarian for the last 25yrs myself, I would like to see you able to manage to remain true to your priciples if you can. I might be looking at your problem in a simplistic way but I would suggest going back to the diet you were on before you went vegan, for a while to eliminate/confirm your diet as the cause of your health problems. If the vegan diet proves to be the cause, then look at your options. Hopefully you will not need to start eating meat again and find a solution to you health probs. Good luck.
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Re: Veganism not an option any more

Postby Helsbells » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:11 am

diggernotdreamer wrote:Have a look at the Sheepdrove Farm website, they have a shop in Bristol too and they do online orders. I had dealings with them in the past and I really liked what they were doing there. As for rabbits and deer, lots of butchers stock farmed rabbits and farmed deer, I used to know someone who shot rabbits on a vegetable and fruit farm, he used to sell me rabbits that he had skinned and prepared and they were wild and shot very well.


I agree with this, I actually had my wedding reception at sheepdrove. Their steak is lovely!!
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Re: Veganism not an option any more

Postby demi » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:37 am

oldjerry wrote:This may not suit you,but it's a thought.I know I've mentioned it before,but if you have a garage,10x8 shed,plus say an area of hardstanding say 12'x12',,then acouple of goats are worth considering,just like having a couple of big dogs in a way.Milk,,c heese,yoghurt,etc etc all uberhealthy,and easier to keep than you think.


I was going to suggest the same thing. Why not keep your own dairy goats then you can make sure they are raised organically and ethically. You have to breed them every 2 years so you can milk them and you can either eat or sell the meat from the offspring.

You can keep chickens for meet too.

And if you dont want to eat meat you can still produce all your own eggs and dairy.
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Re: Veganism not an option any more

Postby sulis » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:02 am

I Am FLOWER HERCULES

Sorry to shout and change name, but I can't log in! I've got myself shut out from too many password attempts!

Thank you for all your replies, I would have answered sooner except for the login problem.

Crickleymal; yes I eat marmite, but would have to consume something like 4 tbsp per day to get my RDA, which apart from potentially making me hate it is not good for the salt content. I would be up for road kill, but there isn't much aroud my way, even tho we are a street away from countryside. You have to get it pretty quick too, for it to be ok to eat.

Green aura: I'm eating loads of those, yes, plus lots of dark greens. Interestign what you say about the coconut oil on veg, tho. Would be worth anyone doing, not just vegans.

Zech and diggernotdreamer: I wouldn't be happy with any framed meat unless I was close enough to really know the farmers practices. I've been stung by the sustainable and ethical marketing machine enough to know better. Thanks for the advice about worrying digger!

Oldjerry and Demi: Hmm, i think i'd like livestock to be a lot more free roaming than that. but we are moving this year, so adequate space may be possible yet!

Susie: my stress levels are pretty low atm. Its also fatigue, really poor memory and clumsiness, and not healing properly from my clumsiness. I was very healthy and robust before i went vegan.

Lochside Yogi: I see where you are coming from, but wouldn't want to go back to dairy. For me that is a worse choice than eating wild meat because dairy is still part of the farmed meat industry.

Thank you for all your recommendations folks, I appreciate it. I'll check out the sheepdrover farm and see what I think. I went to the butchers wednesday to see if they had wild rabbit....they haven't had any for months because so many have drowned in the floods!

(sorry if i'm not allowed to change profile, I couldn't even contact admin and felt rude not replying).
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