News Former Vegan Stories

Lou

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It seems like there are more and more news about people who quit being vegan.
Recently there was that whole Alec Connor story. Before that there was some YouTube influencer whose name I already forgot. So I thought I would start a thread that is just about this topic.

This next person wasn't even famous. Maybe she is famous now. But Newsweek choose to run a story on her. Even though I read the story I'm still not sure how this is "newsworthy". I never felt Newsweek was anti vegan. but then again they did run a lot of those Reddit Am I an ******* stories about vegans.

When this happens on YouTube, YouTubers usually jump in and criticizes the **** out of them. I thought that was a bit unfair but then while reading this one, with each paragraph I felt like she should have come here and we would have given her better advice than eat more meat.

Anyway, feel free to read this article and then come back and vent. Or add some other stories. Not sure I want this to be a popular thread but it ends up as something helpful.

 
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My reactions to some quotes

"As my lifestyle became increasingly active, my body needed more protein to keep up, but I wasn't getting enough from the plant sources that I was eating."

Why the **** not?! You are active, you need more calories. If you up your calorie intake and lay off the Twinkies, you automatically get more protein. Or how about some protein shakes?

"Once again I began experiencing extremely low energy, even though this time I was taking iron supplements regularly"

Another good indication that you need more calories.

"I never went to a doctor,"

You're an idiot!

She said it sounded as though I was craving meat because I needed it, and that maybe I should try giving my body what it wanted.

It's very unusual for cravings to be the result of deficiencies. My guess is that you just needed more food and the only thing your body was trying to tell you was to eat some.

making sure only to buy free range, ethically sourced food.

Free range is a meaningless term. Same with ethically sourced, Looks like for a vegan you were ignorant on many levels,

It was very surprising to me that something as simple as eating meat changed my life so drastically, because I was doing everything I thought I was supposed to, but it just wasn't working for me.

Except for seeing a doctor, and incorporating plant based proteins.
 
A partial quote from the article, which I've posted in italics:

Initially, I would start my day with something like cereal for breakfast and then make a peanut butter and jelly or cheese sandwich to take to school. At dinner time I would eat whatever my mom was serving but without the meat, which typically meant just noodles or a salad.

It took a while for the lack of nutrition to catch up with me; I was fine at first, but after several months I started feeling very tired and low on energy. Eventually, my mom took me to the hospital to see why I was becoming so lethargic......

The doctor told me I was extremely iron deficient and would have to start taking supplements. However, initially, because my iron levels were so low, the tablets he prescribed wouldn't absorb into my bloodstream fast enough to help me.


It's entirely possible that her diet was lacking something- or even several somethings- including calories. But it's hard to tell exactly what was wrong with her diet because she's vague about what she WAS eating. That said, low iron can be a problem for vegetarians and vegans. Quite some time ago, "Vegetarian Times" magazine had an article about this. It noted that the iron in some iron-rich vegan foods is sometimes poorly absorbed, compared to the "heme" iron present in red meat. It had hints about how to get enough iron in your diet, and included humorous illustrations (such as someone snacking on a bowl of bolts or lugnuts while watching the TV).

I still have those magazines, but there's probably more recent information other places.

One other thing: while it is true that foods of animal origin are rich sources of some nutrients, they're often also rich sources of other things (such as saturated fats) which many folks in developed countries would do well to eat less of.
 
Well Lou, you covered a lot of my thoughts! :)
It's quite obvious her diet was lacking, and very obvious she was getting information from fad sites
Not a thing about B12, and little of what she was eating
The only thing I could find relating diet to loose teeth was lack of calories, or very low fat diet--which sounds about right if she was lacking protein

What really stands out to me, was a common thread in people going back to eating meat after being vegan-eating the tastiest of animal protein! Not oysters, not insects, but steak, salmon, chicken. If someone was truly convinced their health required them to go against their ethics I cannot see them chosing such foods.

Pretty disappointed a newspaper would print this as it really is rubbish
 
There was a really in depth video of a physician that deciphered a couple that had many problems with their plant based diet. They made a video describing their journey, and he picked apart all their problems with possible causes, and solutions

When you've spent your life eating animals, and animal products, (or whatever) that is what grows specific gut bacteria, I'm really glad that the gut biome is becoming such a topic, because it does have everything to do with diet, and why we often feel so bad when our diet is changed

NPR just had a show about lactose intolerance, the expert talked about how one way to overcome lactose intolerance is to go on an excessive diet of milk. For about two weeks (I think) people would be in pain, and diarrhea, afterwards would be able to digest all milk products without any bad effects
Arg...I can't find it! It was on Science Fridays a couple weeks back
Anyway, the idea is how stubborn a gut biome can be for some to change, how resistent it can be to new foods
 
There was a really in depth video of a physician that deciphered a couple that had many problems with their plant based diet. They made a video describing their journey, and he picked apart all their problems with possible causes, and solutions
Earthling Ed, and Unnatural vegan have similar stuff. Oh, maybe not Earthling Ed but that other guy. The one who I think sounds like he is always scolding me. the ginger -haired one. not face to face but with posted videos.
I never used to like those kind of videos but now I'm curious and may watch one.

When you've spent your life eating animals, and animal products, (or whatever) that is what grows specific gut bacteria, I'm really glad that the gut biome is becoming such a topic, because it does have everything to do with diet, and why we often feel so bad when our diet is changed

I went vegan so gradually it was never an issue with me. but we have plenty of people come here complain about bloating and farting. And I believe it's usually because they transitioned too fast.


NPR just had a show about lactose intolerance, the expert talked about how one way to overcome lactose intolerance is to go on an excessive diet of milk.

I started listening to that but didn't finish it. Not something that interested me personally. Although I do find the evolution and genetics of lactose intolerance fascinating.

Anyway if its we are talking about the same one it was the April 14th episode of Science Friday.

Like I said I didn't finish listening to it but not only do I think it's an awful idea for lactose intolerant. people to drink an a lot of milk - I don't think it would work. And also what's the point?
Lactose intolerance is caused by the human body not producing an enzyme - Lactase. And you just can't teach your body to make it -- it's genetic. And it's not like a disease. Lactose intolerance is the default setting of the human. producing lactase as an adult was a genetic mutation that got selected for.

but I may need to back that up. Mammals produce lactase till they are weaned- if you are never weaned you may keep producing lactase as an adult. Like some cats I know who like milk.


Anyway, the idea is how stubborn a gut biome can be for some to change, how resistent it can be to new foods

Well I don't think Lactose intolerance has much to do with the but biome - but like I said I didn't hear the whole podcast. But from people tell me with transitioning to veganism - it's all about the fiber. And having gut bacteria that can digest it. What I've figured out by talking to other vegans is that it only takes between 3 days to 3 weeks. Depending on how low fiber a diet you had originally.

Another interesting factoid I heard was that some of the gut bacteria really like simple sugars. When people go on a diet and restrict their sugar intake those bacteria actually have the ability to create a neuro- chemical that tells your brain you need some sugar.

 
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Earthling Ed, and Unnatural vegan have similar stuff. Oh, maybe not Earthling Ed but that other guy. The one who I think sounds like he is always scolding me. the ginger -haired one. not face to face but with posted videos.
I never used to like those kind of videos but now I'm curious and may watch one.

I started listening to that but didn't finish it. Not something that interested me personally. Although I do find the evolution and genetics of lactose intolerance fascinating.

Anyway if its we are talking about the same one it was the April 14th episode of Science Friday.

Like I said I didn't finish listening to it but not only do I think it's an awful idea for lactose intolerant. people to drink an a lot of milk - I don't think it would work. And also what's the point?
Lactose intolerance is caused by the human body not producing an enzyme - Lactase. And you just can't teach your body to make it -- it's genetic. And it's not like a disease. Lactose intolerance is the default setting of the human. producing lactase as an adult was a genetic mutation that got selected for.

but I may need to back that up. Mammals produce lactase till they are weaned- if you are never weaned you may keep producing lactase as an adult. Like some cats I know who like milk.




Well I don't think Lactose intolerance has much to do with the but biome - but like I said I didn't hear the whole podcast. But from people tell me with transitioning to veganism - it's all about the fiber. And having gut bacteria that can digest it. What I've figured out by talking to other vegans is that it only takes between 3 days to 3 weeks. Depending on how low fiber a diet you had originally.

Another interesting factoid I heard was that some of the gut bacteria really like simple sugars. When people go on a diet and restrict their sugar intake those bacteria actually have the ability to create a neuro- chemical that tells your brain you need some sugar.

Yeah, but this guy was really getting into the science more than any other I've heard

I did find the transcript from that show--I can't say how knowledgable the guest was on physiology, as she was a professor of antropology, but heres what I found interesting:
One thing that is really interesting– there have been scientific studies trying to understand if, for example, prolonged milk consumption will change your response. And it does. So for people who have– even people who have fairly severe lactose intolerance, if they continuously consume high amounts of dairy– that sounds very unpleasant, and I’m sure it is to undergo.

But after about a week, those symptoms will subside, and they’ll no longer experience diarrhea. What’s interesting is in Mongolia they actually have a type of cure that people go onto or a kind of treatment if they’re having gastrointestinal upset, where they’ll consume high amounts of dairy for about a week. And they find that they use this as a kind of purification means. And after that, they have improved dairy digestion.

IRA FLATOW: Do we know why that is?

CHRISTINA WARINNER: We believe it has to do with changing the gut microbiome. By feeding the gut microbiome high amounts of lactose, you actually shift the ecology or the proportions of the bacteria that are present. But narrowing down which specific bacteria are responsible is really tricky because there are more than 1,000 different bacterial species within the human gut.
 
From @silva 's post just above: CHRISTINA WARINNER: We believe it has to do with changing the gut microbiome. By feeding the gut microbiome high amounts of lactose, you actually shift the ecology or the proportions of the bacteria that are present. But narrowing down which specific bacteria are responsible is really tricky because there are more than 1,000 different bacterial species within the human gut.

WOW! I knew we have bacteria in our intestines and that they are generally beneficial to us, but I thought there were only 1 or 2 (maybe 6, tops?) different kinds- at least in one individual. Google time...
 
From @silva 's post just above: CHRISTINA WARINNER: We believe it has to do with changing the gut microbiome. By feeding the gut microbiome high amounts of lactose, you actually shift the ecology or the proportions of the bacteria that are present.
I'm still not convinced that changing the gut biome can reduce lactose intolerance. Warinner is an anthropologist. An expert. but not in that. Again I think it's mostly about the individuals ability to produce lactase.

But narrowing down which specific bacteria are responsible is really tricky because there are more than 1,000 different bacterial species within the human gut.

This I sort of knew already. But I thought it was less. More like 300 to 500. but maybe they are still counting.

An interesting side note is that it appears that the bacteria inter-react with each other. Some actually eat some of the others. Some compete for one kind of food. While others compete for another kind of food.

I think one of the issues transitioning vegans have is that they knock the equilibrium off. I'm reminded of that game where you have wolves, deers and plants. You let the game go on long enough and the ecosystem will reach equilibrium. But if you add or subract things you can mess it all up. But leave it alone and things reach balance.

WOW! I knew we have bacteria in our intestines and that they are generally beneficial to us, but I thought there were only 1 or 2 (maybe 6, tops?) different kinds- at least in one individual. Google time...

This is the why I doubt the benefits of probiotics. Some of them have just one species. Even the best ones have less than 30. However if you have just come off a regimen of antibiotics, I could see probiotics being useful. Like after a forest fire and you spread a combination of grass, flower, and tree seed. those three things won't make a healthy ecosystem but make for a good start.
 
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I'm still not convinced that changing the gut biome can reduce lactose intolerance. Warinner is an anthropologist. An expert. but not in that. Again I think it's mostly about the individuals ability to produce lactase.



This I sort of knew already. But I thought it was less. More like 300 to 500. but maybe they are still counting.

An interesting side note is that it appears that the bacteria inter-react with each other. Some actually eat some of the others. Some compete for one kind of food. While others compete for another kind of food.

I think one of the issues transitioning vegans have is that they knock the equilibrium off. I'm reminded of that game where you have wolves, deers and plants. You let the game go on long enough and the ecosystem will reach equilibrium. But if you add or subract things you can mess it all up. But leave it alone and things reach balance.



This is the why I doubt the benefits of probiotics. Some of them have just one species. Even the best ones have less than 30. However if you have just come off a regimen of antibiotics, I could see probiotics being useful. Like after a forest fire and you spread a combination of grass, flower, and tree seed. those three things won't make a healthy ecosystem but make for a good start.
While I questioned the validity of an antropololist, there is the reality that they worked with the Mongolian people who do this type of lactose conversions, so .....

This whole gut biome thing is what that super video I can't find dealt with with the couple who had such problems being plant based. They suffered a long time with many different futile efforts. The physician had I think an Austrilian accent and kept playing parts of their video where they discussed their symptoms and what they tried

Dr Gregers book How Not to Diet is loaded with research on internal biomes

Years back I bought probiotics for my son who had digestive issues. He wouldn't take them, so I figured I'd try as they were all the rage. I had zero problems but after a few days I had terrible cramps, diarrhea, gas... :yuck:. I quit and was fine again.
I don't understand why nothing more is said about types of diet that would go with strains of probiotics

Anyway, it's all about the food we eat that regulates what eats the food we eat. Far more than fiber
 
I used to believe people who had no problems with dairy would become intolerant if they quit consuming it for a lenght of time. Since going vegan myself I have put this to the test after over a year of not having any dairy. I had pizza, and thought I'd make myself really regret it by consuming far more cheese. I was absolutely fine. I did this again after about another year with cheese. I have since learned I should not do that, and have at most tried eating some cheddar in comparison to Daiya cheddar blocks. Luckily I found I no longer even like dairy cheddar, but like Daiya block,
My mother was lactose intolerant, I never was
 
I don't understand why nothing more is said about types of diet that would go with strains of probiotics
There was a Science Friday that had a famous gastroenterologist on. My sister made me listen to it cause she called in with a question. Anyway according to this guy there has been almost no research done on the efficacy of probiotics.
 
I used to believe people who had no problems with dairy would become intolerant if they quit consuming it for a lenght of time.
Mostly I think that is a myth. However Lactose intolerant people - when they are born - they do have the ability to produce lactase. but as they get older they lose that ability. Then there is cats who are given saucers of milk all their lives. it's like they were never weaned. so maybe something like that could happen.

A similar myth is that vegetarians lose the ability to digest meat. Like you hear a person say they had their first hamburger in a year and it made them sick. I'm pretty convinced you don't lose the ability to digest meat. and if meat made them sick it was probably just an emotional reaction.

Although maybe it might be the gut biome reacting.

then there is the true story of the Alpha -Gal syndrome.
 
I dunno, it seems to me that these sorts of stories suggest veganism isn't very well understood by most people. They think it's a diet. If they actually were ethical vegans, they'd not say things like this (ie "I am no longer vegan"). They might say, if they were at all genuine, that they remain committed to veganism but they have had to reintroduce some meat into their diet. I think Cosmic Skeptic said something like this in his video. Put another way, as best I can tell they were simply plant-based diet followers but their claims then put the whole idea of veganism into disrepute. This seems to be a downside to the fanatical obsession with diet that veganism portrays.
 
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I dunno, it seems to me that these sorts of stories suggest veganism isn't very well understood by most people. They think it's a diet. If they actually were ethical vegans, they'd not say things like this (ie "I am no longer vegan"). They might say, if they were at all genuine, that they remain committed to veganism but they have had to reintroduce some meat into their diet. I think Cosmic Skeptic said something like this in his video. Put another way, as best I can tell they were simply plant-based diet followers but their claims then put the whole idea of veganism into disrepute. This seems to be a downside to the fanatical obsession with diet that veganism portrays.
I understand what you're saying, but, there are two things I find that don't seem to support this, and seems to be pretty consistent with those 'failed vegans'.
First-the ones I've read gravitate towards meats like cow, chicken, and fish rather than the lower life forms that some question even have sentience, like oysters or insects,
Secondly--I've yet to read any actual 'need', and rarely do they detail what their diets were like or steps they've taken to resolve the problems.

And third--there are loads of omnivores who feel eating plant based is an all around better way to live, but simply aren't willing to do it themselves. How are they different?
 
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Maybe I misunderstand what you mean, @silva. I think we are saying the same thing. Too many people think they are vegan because they take up a strict diet. But they aren't really. Then when they give up the diet they say they are giving up veganism, which brings disrepute on the philosophy.

If they'd really taken on veganism as an ethical philosophy they'd have gone about things very differently. Possibly they wouldn't even have said they were vegan.

So it is a shame they end up dissing veganism when they don't need to. That just reinforces negative stereotypes about it.