I Quit Veganism

I Quit Veganism

Hi friends,

Today, I’m writing a personal letter to share about a big change I’ve made in my personal life in the last month.

I quit veganism.

Before all my vegan readers swear me off for good, let me explain…

When it comes to what I eat, I’ve been on quite a journey, which began over ten years ago when I decided to get healthy and led me all the way to the past year of being vegan. I’ve read books, watched documentaries, studied nutrition in formal classes and on my own. All of this has lead me to improve my eating habits by eliminating processed foods, making food from scratch, buying fresh, whole foods, choosing organic whenever possible, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables every day, reducing meat and dairy, increasing plant-based foods, and so on.

Then last year I became convinced of the ethical and sustainable imperative to stop eating animal products, and so I did. I read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, which shared horrifying details about the conditions in which American food animals are raised and slaughtered. I watched David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet, which described how our choices as humans are impacting the planet and in which he states that the simplest thing we can do to combat climate change is stop eating meat. Other sources of information are How Not to Die, by Dr. Michael Greger, the short film Meet Your Meat, and the documentary The Game Changers. These [and other] sources of information led me to a year of veganism.

[I’ve detailed my reasons for becoming vegan in two posts: Why I’m Going Vegan and Another Reason to be Vegan]

All of that is still true, but I’ve realized that meat and eggs in small quantities from ethical, sustainable, and local sources are an important part of a well-balanced diet and so I became determined to find a source of meat that wouldn’t violate any of my ethical and sustainable standards.

[There are several sources of information that led me to this change including: Real Food by Nina Planck and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver – the latter of which has a very compelling argument for eating local, sustainable meat.]

After much searching, I found a farm about an hour away that raises 100% grass-fed beef and pasture-raised chickens, turkeys, and lambs. Early one morning, we drove up to the farm for a tour. We met the animals, stood in the chicken coop, held the freshly laid eggs, and I immediately knew that this was a farm I could support. So we started purchasing meat from them.

Homemade chicken noodle soup featuring pasture-raised chicken from a local farm

As you may guess, buying meat from a local farm is expensive, so we buy limited quantities, only have meat once or twice a week, and make sure to fill up on plant-based foods at meals.

Egg from local, pasture-raised chicken.

Though I am not vegan anymore, the past year of veganism has been totally transformative for me and my family. Because of the past year, we no longer think of meals as requiring a meat, and we now know how to prepare various delicious plant-based meals. I have become a pretty decent vegan baker and most of my baking will remain vegan forever. Even my [previously] “meat and potatoes” partner has embraced almond milk, tofu, tempeh, and cashew cheese.

For some people, finding and affording ethical, sustainable, and local meat products will be impossible. If it were impossible for me, I would remain vegan. It is not worth the cost to my health or the health of the planet to eat meat from factory farms. So if the only meat available to you is full of antibiotics, raised in inhumane and unsanitary conditions, and fed a diet of grains and dead animals, veganism is still the best and healthiest option. BUT the more we use our dollars to vote for a healthier and more ethical food supply, the more ethical and sustainable meat will be come available to everyone.

We all have to make the best choice we can with what is available to us.

Thanks for reading, and good luck!

🥚 🍳 🥚

Karis

6 thoughts on “I Quit Veganism

    1. Yes, that’s exactly how I feel. We’ve finally found a balance that works for us. “Ideal” is the perfect word. 😊

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  1. “All of that is still true, but I’ve realized that meat and eggs in small quantities from ethical, sustainable, and local sources are an important part of a well-balanced diet ” ~ curious how you realized this and why you think this is so?(Im not vegan just curious about the reason) The post didn’t really explain the actual why. I mean I could read the books mentioned but not sure I will have time for that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Tereza! Yes, I didn’t go into much detail because I could go on and on about it, but I’ll try to be brief 😁 Animal products provide a complete protein that is not necessarily impossible to find in plant products, but is definitely more difficult to find. And protein really is important, especially for growing kids. Eggs are a really healthful food because the provide healthy fat and complete protein. Animal products also provide other essential nutrients like b12 which can’t be found in plants. I have been taking a supplement for b12 and a multivitamin to replace nutrients not found in a vegan diet but eating meat and eggs is the easiest [and arguably most effective] way to get these nutrients. Fish provide omega-3 which the typical western diet is lacking because we consume a lot of omega-6, but not much omega-3. Of course, it’s not necessary to eat animal products to get these things, but they are better sources – so long as they can be found without all the hormones and antibiotics and GMOs and pesticides and damage to the planet, etc that comes with factory farmed meat. Which is why I eat meat, but only from a farm where I can meet the farmer, see the animals, and know for sure the farming practices being used are ethical, sustainable, and most healthful possible. Does that answer your question? What is your position on meat consumption?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t have much of a position as my family and I eat meat . I have tried being almost fully plant based and while it did help with my health issues at the time it didn’t cure the issues course . I think we would all do well with eating more vegetables and fruit but I don’t think meat needs to be fully cut out. I was just curious of your reasons since it wasn’t explained in the post. So thanks for replying. Vegans insist that you can get everything you need from plants and I was curious what made you change your stance? We’re you experiencing health issues on a fully vegan diet?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wasn’t experiencing any negative health effects on a vegan diet, I just think that cutting out all meat was not necessary once I found a farm to buy meat from. I think you can get everything you need from plants and supplements, but just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s the best choice.

      Liked by 1 person

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