Some of you may remember the 2004 documentary Super Size Me which depicts filmmaker Morgan Spurlock eating three meals from McDonalds every single day for 30 days and always supersizing the meal whenever suggested by a McDonald’s employee.
By the end of the 30 day fast food spree, Spurlock had gained 25 pounds and was suffering from liver dysfunction and depression according to his doctor.
Spurlock’s girlfriend (now ex-wife) during the documentary was Alex Jamieson, author of The Great American Detox Diet and a well known and longtime celebrity vegan.
When ideology trumps scientific facts, however, dietary obsessions die hard. On her blog Delicious Vitality, Jamieson shocked her fans by announcing that she had quit veganism.
A vegan for 13 years, Jamieson said that a whole foods, plant based diet helped her initially resolve some health problems. She also said it felt “clean and right” given what she had learned about the industrial food system and how horribly animals are treated in confinement.
Then, she said things began to change a few years ago. The burger that used to disgust her made her salivate. She had overwhelming urges to order salmon instead of her usual salad with tofu.
She said at first she denied her cravings and figured she was just mineral deficient.
More nuts, more juicing, more sea vegetables. For over a year, she tried everything in the vegan playbook to get the cravings to stop.
To her dismay, the cravings for meat and eggs continued and did not abate.
Jamieson writes that about that time she started to notice that most of her clients and readers were not vegan. Some of those who were vegan were not thriving and were even sicker and heavier than before they started an all plant based diet.
She noticed that shame was a common emotion experienced by vegans who began to eat meat again. This caused her to hide the secret of her cravings for meat and eggs even more tightly.
Finally, Alex decided that she had to experiment and see how her body responded to animal foods again. With the support of a few trusted friends, she began eating eggs.
Her body welcomed the change and wanted more!
But still she guarded her secret, stealthily buying animal foods and sneaking home to eat them in solitude.
It shocked her to realize that she had developed an eating disorder after 12 years as a vegan! The thought then occurred to her that she could help a lot of people by coming out of the closet and admitting her struggle and need for animal foods.
Doing so terrified her, however. She recalled the vicious backlash from the vegan community when celebrity vegan Ellen Degeneres admitted that she was eating eggs from her neighbor’s happy chickens.
Not so compassionate after all, are we? She thought.
Alex Jamieson describes her new truth with regards to animal foods as follows:
“People can still love animals and care about protecting the environment AND honor their own animal bodies and consume the foods that they need.
I believe you can love and care about animal welfare and still consume them.
I believe humans are animals. And some animals need to eat other animals to be healthy. Some do not.
I believe we should restructure the way animals are raised so that they live in more natural, comfortable, humane surroundings and stop force-feeding them 80% of all antibiotics used in the US.”
I applaud Alex Jamieson for her courage in writing a letter to her fans that will no doubt bring much ridicule and criticism from the vegan community.
Unfortunately, I don’t agree with all of Alex’s new truth. She also states that:
“I believe that a vegan, whole-foods diet saved my life and is a delicious, valid, healthy style of eating for many people.
I believe that a vegan diet should be promoted as one of many possible ways to get the body and life that people crave.”
While a vegan diet may prove helpful as a very short term, detoxifying solution for some people, it can never and will never prove to be a valid way to long-term health else there would be at least one traditional culture that practiced it successfully with multiple generations of fertility, healthy children, and degenerative and chronic disease free people demonstrating it’s positive effect.
Such a culture did not and does not exist according to the anthropological studies of Dr. Weston A. Price.
Not a single successful vegan population group could be cited by the science ignoring 2017 vegan documentary What the Health either!
Consider yourself warned, would-be vegans!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist