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What is your opinion of vegans/vegetarians?

Answered on March 24, 2018
Created February 25, 2013 at 3:00 AM

Before starting paleo a few months ago I was a strict vegetarian for about 5 years. However I developed severe anemia (which was partly genetic) and other health problems most likely caused by eating such a high carbohydrate diet with lots of grains and soy products such as tofu (yuck!) Long story short it didn't work for me at all.

Anyway I'm curious as to what everyone's opinion here is of the vegan and vegetarian diet. How many of you were vegans/vegetarians before being paleo?

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 26, 2013
at 03:59 AM

It is now beyond me how I managed for those years to go without juicy steaks, so I get you :-)

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 26, 2013
at 03:57 AM

It is beyond me how I managed for those years to go without juicy steaks, so I get you :-)

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 26, 2013
at 03:54 AM

After doing a lot of research I now know we NEED meat in our diets. Vitamin B12 is only found in animal products, especially meat and that vitamin is essential to human health. But the logic of being vegetarian is hard to explain, after you see those propaganda videos about meat it can be easy for gullible people to just go vegetarian, if that makes sense. But there are many vegetarians that survive on junk (the SAD in other words) and their health is impacted greatly. So a vegetarian diet doesn't always mean it's healthier than the average crappy American diet.

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 26, 2013
at 03:51 AM

After doing a lot of research I now know we NEED meat in our diets. Vitamin B12 is only found in animal products, especially meat and that vitamin is essential to human health. But the logic of being vegetarian is hard to explain, after you see those propaganda videos about meat it can be easy for gullible people to just go vegetarian, if that makes sense.

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on February 25, 2013
at 08:44 PM

i agree, VB. i miss all my tofu meals. they were really awesome.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on February 25, 2013
at 04:03 PM

@Alex...my 8-year-old was reading your comment over my shoulder and snickered. "He's talking like Yoda!"

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 25, 2013
at 02:30 PM

I love tofu! Tastes so good!

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on February 25, 2013
at 01:56 PM

Strong in him, the upvote is.

254ea62982c287995e11bc3cfd629407

(822)

on February 25, 2013
at 01:22 PM

Yes, this (although never tried to be a vegetarian). I do try to draw from vegetarianism, especially the raw food crowd, to ascertain if some of their arguments have merit (like the Linus Pauling assertions of mega-doses of vitamins and minerals). And, let's face it: If we're committed to eating better food, vegetarians often have a leg up on the culinary aspects of making vegetables more palatable.

96d492bc621cf194ec53acd8084dadb0

on February 25, 2013
at 01:14 PM

I feel the opposite in a lot of ways. I respect vegetarians over SAD eaters, because at least vegetarians are onto the fact that something just ain't right with the SAD diet. I could do without all the self-righteousness, and it's potential to harm children is certainly worth investigating, but I tend to think of vegetarians as my allies in the fight against the craptastic American diet.

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 25, 2013
at 05:11 AM

Haha excellent :)

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 25, 2013
at 04:53 AM

When I was vegetarian I noticed there was definitely a 'holier than thou' attitude towards anyone who wasn't one of them. So I know what you are saying.

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 25, 2013
at 04:51 AM

When I was vegetarian (bordering on vegan) I noticed there was definitely a 'holier than thou' feeling towards anyone who didn't adopt their diet. So I know what you are saying.

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 25, 2013
at 04:50 AM

When I was vegetarian (bordering on vegan) I noticed there was definitely a 'holier than thou'(superiority) feeling towards anyone who ate meat. So I know what you are saying.

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 25, 2013
at 03:14 AM

Btw this question was not meant to sound judgmental, I was simply curious for everyone's opinion. The fact I said that tofu is "yuck" is just one of my own opinions :)

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 25, 2013
at 03:13 AM

BTW this question was not meant to sound judgmental, I was simply curious for everyones opinion. The fact that tofu is "yuck" is one of my opinions :)

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 25, 2013
at 03:11 AM

Btw this question was not mean to sound judgemental I'm simply curious as what peoples opinions are :)

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 25, 2013
at 03:10 AM

I know what you mean. To me there is no food nicer than a perfectly cooked steak :) I felt so alive afterwards.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on February 25, 2013
at 03:08 AM

And yeah: me. Couple years vegan, couple years "vegetarian" with the occasional guilty poultry. I felt like absolute shit by the end. I still remember that first buttery, bloody steak I ate... and how amazing I felt after.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on February 25, 2013
at 03:05 AM

Check the ex-vegan tag: http://paleohacks.com/questions/tagged/ex-vegan for a few good summaries, namely question #119140. Also, your title implicates a judgment of the actual people, not the diets (as asked in the question).

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17 Answers

12
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 25, 2013
at 03:05 AM

My opinion -- to each their own. I don't like vegans telling me how I should eat, I am not going to do the same.

I have a couple of vegan friends who are very well educated. I enjoy talking nutrition with them. The truth is, for every scientific article we find they've got one too.

I tried vegetarian (with dairy) for three months. I had terribly low energy and gained 10 lbs. It was not for me.

254ea62982c287995e11bc3cfd629407

(822)

on February 25, 2013
at 01:22 PM

Yes, this (although never tried to be a vegetarian). I do try to draw from vegetarianism, especially the raw food crowd, to ascertain if some of their arguments have merit (like the Linus Pauling assertions of mega-doses of vitamins and minerals). And, let's face it: If we're committed to eating better food, vegetarians often have a leg up on the culinary aspects of making vegetables more palatable.

9
Medium avatar

on February 25, 2013
at 04:55 AM

Love 'em. Keeps the wait at the meat counter down, although they do clog up the toilet paper aisle, so to speak.

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 25, 2013
at 05:11 AM

Haha excellent :)

5
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32566)

on February 25, 2013
at 01:55 PM

I feel a lot of compassion.

As a former whole-foods vegetarian/pescatarian for 14 years, (started back in 1981) I was all about eating what I thought was a sustainable diet that didn't contribute to animal cruelty. Back then, I was into free-range eggs and organic soy milk, but I hadn't yet researched nutrition or micronutrients. I had lots of enthusiasm, and not as much information as we have available now with the advent of the internet.

I got my bachelor's in agriculture, so I had no illusions about the way CAFO animals were treated, but I still bought the story that it was more sustainable to eat the grains ourselves, than to feed them to cattle. Grassfed hadn't entered the vocabulary at the time.

My health suffered, largely due to all the wheat, legumes and PUFAs in the "healthy" vegetable oils I was eating. I started eating local, humanely-raised grass-fed meat again in 1994. Unfortunately, I was still eating grains, etc...

In 2009, I discovered the Primal Blueprint, dropped the offending foods and it's been a fantastic journey back to health.

I'm with Intellectual Savage--I think it's more helpful to look at vegetarians as allies against SAD, while sharing the more cutting-edge info that we now have available re: sustainability and nutrition with those who are open to it.

5
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 25, 2013
at 01:28 PM

I disagree with most every excuse vegans/vegetarians have not eating meat.

If they're against factory farming... Not eating meat does nothing to pressure factory farms from changing their ways. Supporting proper animal husbandry by purchasing/consuming those products does.

If they're eating it for health reasons... it's an incomplete diet. It's no healthier than a omnivorous diet with good animal product.

If they're eating it for ethical reasons... it's an anti-human diet that rejects nature. Artifical. It's just faulty reasoning.

In the end, most vegans/vegetarians are disconnected from their food. They don't understand where it comes from, how it is produced, what we should be eating, why we should be eating it, etc... I'm not opposed to them eating a veg*n diet, if they want to eat a deficient, faulty, incomplete diet... go for it.

5
0c8f3010ebaee7d5e9338e49824753af

(150)

on February 25, 2013
at 04:41 AM

I was vegan for a year, but couldn't practically keep up with enough options. vegetarian for a decade.Started with pescetarian diet last year and now I'll eat all meat that comes before me :P

When I was vegan, I was more of a fanatic. The vegan sites that I looked up to never mentioned any deficiency or issue that could arise due to veg*n diet, except writing a bit about vitamin B12. So, I was in the assumption that I am on the healthiest diet. Never did anyone mention about ALA being far less useful form of omega-3.

All of the other 'fanatics' I came across shared a similar feeling of superiority. I think those who tout spiritual aspect of vegetarianism and its benefits based on 'intuition' with little to no idea on nutrition and balanced diet are all fanatic or stubborn or both. No shame in admitting, I was one of them...

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 25, 2013
at 04:51 AM

When I was vegetarian (bordering on vegan) I noticed there was definitely a 'holier than thou' feeling towards anyone who didn't adopt their diet. So I know what you are saying.

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 25, 2013
at 04:53 AM

When I was vegetarian I noticed there was definitely a 'holier than thou' attitude towards anyone who wasn't one of them. So I know what you are saying.

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 25, 2013
at 04:50 AM

When I was vegetarian (bordering on vegan) I noticed there was definitely a 'holier than thou'(superiority) feeling towards anyone who ate meat. So I know what you are saying.

5
028e70a250f38bd61fa81b0e0789bb6e

on February 25, 2013
at 04:19 AM

Well educated vegans are fine. What kinda gets me on my nerves are the sense of superiority some feel.

On a Chinese vegan forum some disturbing sayings are:

1) If you are a meat eater and you don't get fat, that is because your spleen has poor absorption.

2) Acne from eating vegan (even after one year) is because of detox.

3) Look at (someone on the forum)! She's fine eating a fruitarian diet. So there must be nothing wrong with it for you.

4) Steve Jobs ate a vegan diet too little too late. (When it was revealed he ate fish for his last few months) Fish killed him.

5) If your parents are butchers, read (insert whatever religious text here) in secret to help the animals ascend to heaven. They also guarantee that the butchers will give up their jobs if you do that.

6) Earthquake in (where a lot of (organic)animal farms are located) is karma, they deserve it lol.

Just ... wow. But hey, if they keep their sense of superiority to their own forum, I'm not gonna invade it. I've got more important stuff to do.

4
Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on February 25, 2013
at 07:34 AM

As I once wrote before and was downvoted for :)

How do you know someone's a vegan? Don't worry, they'll tell you.

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on February 25, 2013
at 01:56 PM

Strong in him, the upvote is.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on February 25, 2013
at 04:03 PM

@Alex...my 8-year-old was reading your comment over my shoulder and snickered. "He's talking like Yoda!"

4
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on February 25, 2013
at 03:56 AM

same thing happened to me. vegetarian for 5 years but most of it as a raw vegan. totally ruined my health. at the time, the 30bad community kept saying it was my body detoxing... right. i developed ulcerative colitis and it's the worst disease ever (in my opinion).

i did it at first to heal my constipation issues and then developed strong feelings about animals and the abuse. i only buy humanely raised animal products now and will not touch regular meat. that part will always stick with me.

obviously, if i could've been healthy as a vegan, i would've stuck with the diet. it just wasn't for me.

3
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 25, 2013
at 01:09 PM

How honest can I be?

I never could understand vegans or vegetarians. It is almost like talking to a person whose body is covered in tattoos and piercings. Like - why would anybody in the right mind do it to himself/herself?

I understand people who eat SAD. I even understand people who devour/abuse cakes/doughnuts/chocolate/ice-cream/potato chips. Everybody is eating this junk. It is considered comfort food. Everybody knows it is not good for you, but they still eat it - it is considered bad but not dangerous.

But to understand a vegetarian? How can one deny himself a real pleasure of meat? It is quite hard to understand.

I once had a colleague who proudly proclaimed at one meeting that both of her kids are vegetarians now. To me it was completely insane.

Also, another colleague of mine persuaded 18 kids give up meat for lent. (In case you are wondering, they were not religious and they gave up meat not for religious reasons). When I asked her why she did it, she told me that when people eat less meat, it is better for our environment.

What can I say...

I feel bad for vegetarians. Not because they have to deny themselves of meat but because they are doing something not very smart for no reason at all.

96d492bc621cf194ec53acd8084dadb0

on February 25, 2013
at 01:14 PM

I feel the opposite in a lot of ways. I respect vegetarians over SAD eaters, because at least vegetarians are onto the fact that something just ain't right with the SAD diet. I could do without all the self-righteousness, and it's potential to harm children is certainly worth investigating, but I tend to think of vegetarians as my allies in the fight against the craptastic American diet.

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 26, 2013
at 03:54 AM

After doing a lot of research I now know we NEED meat in our diets. Vitamin B12 is only found in animal products, especially meat and that vitamin is essential to human health. But the logic of being vegetarian is hard to explain, after you see those propaganda videos about meat it can be easy for gullible people to just go vegetarian, if that makes sense. But there are many vegetarians that survive on junk (the SAD in other words) and their health is impacted greatly. So a vegetarian diet doesn't always mean it's healthier than the average crappy American diet.

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 26, 2013
at 03:51 AM

After doing a lot of research I now know we NEED meat in our diets. Vitamin B12 is only found in animal products, especially meat and that vitamin is essential to human health. But the logic of being vegetarian is hard to explain, after you see those propaganda videos about meat it can be easy for gullible people to just go vegetarian, if that makes sense.

2
0b7c3e7fd96005f0b2dfd781e512fc2e

(1237)

on February 25, 2013
at 02:04 PM

There can be any number of reasons for being a vegetarian. It would be presumptuous to hold a blanket opinion of such a diverse group. Even if you hone in on the ones who do it for health reasons, there is such an abundance of misleading "science" on the issue that you can't really blame them. Uncovering the right information is largely down to chance.

2
652e1a5508c9870920ae780b293979ad

on February 25, 2013
at 09:16 AM

I was veggie for about 6 years and I certainly had my heart in the right place. I was sick with colds and coughs all the time, fatigued and very slihtly overweight, despite a very active lifestyle. It turns out I have many, major food intolerances including dairy, eggs, soy, beans,nuts, beef - the list goes on a bit - I even have to modify paleo because eggs are out for me. Anyway, after years of struggle I finally relented and took on paleo, my health has never been better, which goes deep - I won't go into too much detail though. Many people have the same intolerances, and doggedly stick to a veggie diet. I understand why, but I know I have to look after me, too!

1
753e1b824fbe0b11c797a244b1a4c7e3

on February 25, 2013
at 07:33 PM

To each their own- Someone who is choosing not to eat meat for any reason they might have is doing nothing to harm me. Just like by choosing not to fill my stomach with Wonder Bread, Oreo cookies, and Pringles is not harming anyone else. I hate when people are overly critical about the way I eat, unsolicited-- if someone is curious about my lifestyle I am totally willing and happy to share with them how I eat and why. I don't mind a little bit of debate, but I do hate when anyone tries to sway me to change my world view/lifestyle, etc.

Now, as for me understanding why anyone would want to give up big, juicy steaks-- that one is just beyond me :-)

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 26, 2013
at 03:59 AM

It is now beyond me how I managed for those years to go without juicy steaks, so I get you :-)

3ec1b1b21c5b8ca332262822ae82be22

(482)

on February 26, 2013
at 03:57 AM

It is beyond me how I managed for those years to go without juicy steaks, so I get you :-)

1
96d492bc621cf194ec53acd8084dadb0

on February 25, 2013
at 01:10 PM

I had been a vegetarian off and on for a number of years. It was certainly a worthwhile experiment, and it's certainly a step above the SAD as long as it's done right. I didn't feel better or worse on the vegetarian diet, so I thought it was time to move on. I'm in the middle of my paleo experiment, and I like what's it's done for my body, but I'm really hoping for that miracle energy boost that so many people talk about.

0
6d20260dca51c9c6f7ed68f0f47b9a7c

on March 24, 2018
at 03:24 AM

I think a vegan diet is a great thing and shows how compassionate and kind you really are as you are putting others in front of your own selfish tastebuds. All your nonsense makes absolutely no sense so if you are going to give a negative opinion on this type of diet please educate yourself first, so you aren't making a fool of yourself. With saying that your comments did provide me with some good entertainment as I had a wee giggle.

0
Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

on February 25, 2013
at 07:26 PM

I was a vegetarian for a while. My heart was in the right place -- I thought it was healthful and compassionate. I get it, I understand it, I certainly don't have any scorn as some (IMHO misguided) Paleos do. I try to educate them, they try to educate me, and so it goes ...

0
E751dbb140aecc9479b9248891edf584

(101)

on February 25, 2013
at 03:12 PM

More meat for the rest of us!

0
5dd50f78f47b8848d93724d6eb38d4c1

on February 25, 2013
at 08:45 AM

It can be done right but it's best to learn some basics about nutrition before you choose to just avoid animal products and that's it. Or at least use fitday once a week to see you're getting the essentials. The occasional egg wouldn't hurt either. There's a lot of glowing testimonies on the Mcdougall forums so it definitely has it's place.

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