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Why are vegans so angry? A half-baked theory about Omega 3

Could A Dietary Deficiency Be Driving the Anger of Vegans?

angry vegans

Why are vegans so angry?

So in spite of what I wrote some weeks ago, quoting Gary Yourofsky, that there is “no counter-argument to veganism” … well, I may have found a counter-argument to veganism. And it may be the secret reason why there are so many angry, aggressive vegans.

When I was a kid, my dad would say that he had a “half-baked” idea lol … letting us know that he had not yet thought the idea all the way through … so here dedicated to my dad, is my half-baked theory :D

Vegans and Absolutism

For those of us who became vegan for ethical reasons, I think it is difficult at times to acknowledge – especially in public – the downsides of being vegan. The fear, I suspect, is that if we leave non-vegans any wiggle room at all … they will use any excuse in the book not to make lifestyle changes. After all, people are creatures of habit. And many of us are addicted to our foods and lifestyle choices. It’s easier to say “protein” and “B-12″ than it is to do the real work of coming to terms with our conscience and making changes. And this feels heartbreaking to many of us, because we woke up to the heavy costs to the animals and the planet of our carnivorous ways.

Which leads many vegans, I think, to take an absolutist stance about veganism that – unfortunately – may be doing more harm than good.

Why Are There So Many ANGRY Vegans?

But … this past week, I think I may have uncovered another reason why vegans as a group are so angry. And here we run into a real counter-argument to veganism that cannot simply be shoved under the rug. It must be addressed forthrightly if vegans expect veganism to gain widespread acceptance.

In the vegan communities of which I am a part, many felt OUTRAGE (notice again the ANGER) when an article came out claiming that:

88% of Vegans/Vegetarians Go Back to Eating Meat

WOW. I mean, just wow. What hope does the vegan movement really have with statistics like that?

And while social pressures certainly are a factor for some people to return to eating meat and fish and other animal products … it turns out that the main reason is HEALTH.

SHAPE Magazine reported the reason vegans and vegetarians go back to eating meat and fish this way:

“The main reasons vegetarians agree to start incorporating more animal products in their diet are declining energy levels, change in skin or hair, and even weight gain,” says Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., CEO and founder of NY Nutrition Group.

Let’s repeat that again for emphasis: declining energy levels, change in skin or hair, and weight gain.

Moskovitz mentioned the following as potential deficiencies: iron, zinc, B-vitamins, calcium, vitamin D, and protein. And indeed, those nutrients may be part of the issue that causes vegans and vegetarians to go back to eating meat and fish and dairy and eggs. It is entirely possible to get all those nutrients in abundance from non-animal product sources. However, there are some questions about the bio-availability of some of those nutrients from plant sources. And getting the proper balance of nutrients requires education, incorporation of new and unfamiliar foods, and cutting out junk food. Because many vegans make the switch only to subsist on highly processed vegan “fake meat,” “fake cheese,” and other foods of highly questionable nutritional value, it is no surprise their health would suffer.

For example, if someone substitutes the new “vegan slices” for cheese … they get something that tastes good but that has almost zero real nutrition. Of course, let’s not lose sight of the fact that most processed Westernized food can be described this way … whether it contains animal products or not :)

My recent experience though suggests that the main culprit in vegans and vegetarians returning to animal products is another one entirely … And that people can suffer from this deficiency EVEN IF THEY ARE DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT AS A VEGAN.

My Vegan Experience

My first few months as a vegan, the biggest surprise was the upside surprise. As I wrote in the last article about diet and health, when I cut out dairy, my skin became less inflamed. My menstrual cycles also seem to be easier.

It was not until some months into being vegan that I started to notice some symptoms that were strange and mysterious and seemingly lacking in any explanation.

For years already, I had been taking a multi-vitamin to aid my problem-plagued skin. Off and on, I had also already been taking a B-12/iron supplement in liquid form. For that reason, I was probably less likely to develop some of the deficiencies that can be a concern for vegans.

Nonetheless, I started experiencing undesirable symptoms that told me something was wrong. These symptoms included:

- Eyes feeling weird. I have a video somewhere where I recorded trying to explain it on camera. My eyes have always been sensitive (though with perfect vision), and I have always used drops a couple times a day. Now, however, my eyes were bloodshot a lot and stayed that way no matter how many eye drops I used. It’s kind of like blurred vision or eye fatigue but not quite like either one. I’ve always been sensitive to bright light but now that sensitivity increased. This felt distracting and made it difficult to look at a computer screen.

- Extremely dry skin. My skin has generally tended toward the oilier side. By September of 2014, I noticed that my hands, face, and other skin were extremely dry.

- Itchy scalp and hairs turning white! I had a few white hairs but not very many. Suddenly they were proliferating. And my scalp was itching on a regular basis.

- Dry and “lifeless” hair. I have always as an adult had lustrous, strong, healthy, thick hair. It simply does not look as good at this time. And it looks a little bit thinned out on the right side of my head.

- Dry-feeling joints. Joints not feeling lubricated.

- Less ability to concentrate, forgetfulness. I am usually someone who is pretty laser-focused and clear-headed. I was finding myself absent minded, forgetting what I was doing in the middle of a task, and even occasionally forgetting an important appointment!

- Lack of motivation.

- Lots of anger. Like many vegans, I was feeling angry pretty much all the time. This was not necessarily a bad thing so long as it was temporary. I went deep into the anger to heal it and recorded a really powerful 30-Day Shadow Self Challenge. However, I had no desire to continue to live with this much anger all the time.

- A general sense that aging was “accelerating.” Of course, my body was looking as good as it has ever looked. But when I looked at my face especially, something didn’t feel right.

The onset of these symptoms was so sudden and just a few months after becoming vegan. So I never thought this was any kind of “normal aging.” It was clear to me that some nutrient was lacking. I just didn’t know which one. Or maybe multiple deficiencies. I did not know. I was determined to “get to the bottom of it” because I did not want to go back to eating animal products. So I started trying various supplements but nothing was working.

Further complicating things is that during this time, I was “doing everything right.” So I was consuming flaxseed oil, chia seeds, and later flax seeds on a regular basis in order to “meet my omega 3 requirements.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where we run into the counter-argument to veganism.

Vegans and Omega 3

If you have not educated yourself about Omega 3 essential fatty acids, it may be worth doing so. Basically, as I understand it, omega 3 fatty acids come in at least three forms. Plant and land animal sources that contain only alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (unless the animal producing them is fed seafood or algae) and ocean sources that contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are what the body actually needs to maintain its systems. The only direct sources of EPA and DHA are seafood and algae.

Adding to this is that the human need for omega 3 rises relative to the consumption of omega 6 fatty acids. Although the science is too complex to explain here, omega 6 fatty acids are considered inflammatory and omega 3 are considered anti-inflammatory. If, for example, a vegan is obtaining important nutrients like zinc, magnesium, protein, and so forth from nuts and seeds (as I have been doing), the high omega 6 content of those foods creates an even greater need for omega 3 IN THE FORM OF EPA AND DHA.

The human body has a limited ability to convert ALA to EPA and DHA. And it is that word “limited” where we have a problem. Theoretically, vegans can get their EPA and DHA by converting ALA. However, even in best case scenario, the human ability to convert ALA is very low. And in some humans, this conversion is impaired or NON-EXISTENT.

“Conversion enzymes [of ALA to EPA and DHA] may not function as well in people with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, or certain metabolic disorders and in those who inherit a limited ability to produce these enzymes (a possibility in populations where fish has been a major component of the diet for many generations).”

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/020810p22.shtml

Which means a vegan can be eating plenty of omega 3 from plant sources in the form of ALA … but not having any or anywhere close to sufficient EPA and DHA. When exacerbated by a diet that is high in omega 6 … we have a problem, ladies and gentlemen.

And guess what that spells? INFLAMMATION. Full-body inflammation. Inflammation and anger go hand in hand.

So my half-baked theory is that many if not most vegans are chronically deprived of omega 3. And not only are their bodies inflamed, everything is inflamed. Including their emotional response to the world.

Okay, So I May Be An “Inflamed” Omega-3-Deficient Vegan. Now What?

After trying a number of supplements with no seeming success, and doing a ton of research about my symptoms … I finally ran into the information about inadequate conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA.

I actually did have a bottle of something called Algae Omega but I was taking it, at best, at the recommended dosages. Which only gives about 570 milligrams a day of combined DHA and EPA. But see, I figured I was covered. After all, countless vegans had told me that vegans can get their Omega 3s from flax seed and chia seed … And I was eating those and taking flaxseed oil on a regular basis.

Suddenly, I had the intuition to increase the dosage of the Algae Omega. Within hours, I noticed something shocking. My eyes felt “normal” for the first time in months. And as I continued doing research, I noticed what had changed. My eyes were actually lubricated. I could feel tears when I blinked. For months, I had been suffering from dry eye syndrome. A classic symptom of omega 3 deficiency. Along with all of the other symptoms that I listed above …

Within a few days of increasing my dosage of direct EPA and DHA, my skin and hair started producing more oil again. My eyes still feel bloodshot but I’m going to give all this a little time for my body to make use of the EPA and DHA. I am also exploring whether I have additional deficiencies such as vitamin D, magnesium, calcium, and riboflavin. It will probably be a few weeks before I can report the full results of all this. And by no means am I recommending anything at this time. It is too early to tell.

The Counter-Argument to Veganism

So I am going to guess that omega 3 deficiency is one of the number one causes why people start seeing declining health after going vegan or vegetarian. It’s all fine and good to recommend that people use supplements but it’s a first world remedy for the most part. How are you going to prescribe that the whole planet go vegan when you’ve got a huge elephant in the room like this? Long-term omega 3 deficiency is a leading cause of numerous diseases, including aging, and is not to be trifled with. Recommending that people take the algae supplements at the levels they probably need to take them to balance out omega 6 is going to be very, very expensive. And to add further complication, the algae supplement may be making my skin break out. I am going to give it a little more of a chance before jumping to conclusions.

Even a leading vegan doctor advocate acknowledges this major health issue:

“[V]vegetarian, and especially vegan, diets provide little EPA and DHA directly. A recent study reviewed the varying dietary fat intake across vegetarians, vegans, omnivores, and semi-omnivores and its impact on essential omega-3 fatty acid availability in tissues. It concluded that vegetarians were left with reduced levels of omega-3 and recommended that they consume additional direct sources of EPA and DHA, regardless of age or gender, for physical, mental and neurological health benefits.

https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/what_vegans_may_be_missing-DHA.aspx

And then he goes on to sell his very expensive (for most people) algae-based supplement. That supplement provides a very low and probably inadequate dosage of DHA and EPA. And so would probably have to be increased to be effective, adding further to the cost. How are we supposed to recommend this as a widespread dietary practice at this time?

Vegans live longer than meat eaters… But vegans have to deal with an uncomfortable fact. Fish eaters live longer than vegans. And fish of course, is the easiest way to get plenty of DHA and EPA without having to convert it from ALA.

Why Are Vegans So Angry?

I am hoping that vegans will read this article with an open mind. I am not yet ready to abandon veganism. And I am also not willing for this serious health issue to be shoved under the rug. Part of me expects that I will receive an angry response, either being shunned or dismissed or criticized. And, well, I have compassion for that …

Because another change since I way upped the DHA and EPA is that I feel way less ANGRY.

So I did research on this issue too. And I was not surprised to learn that omega 3 deficiency is in fact a cause of aggression.

“In human adults and children, clinical studies suggest that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids may reduce aggressive, impulsive and depressive behaviors.”

http://www.atkins.com/how-it-works/library/articles/lack-of-omega-3s-may-play-a-role-in-aggressive-behavior

“Even in healthy people, supplementing with fish oil decreases anger and anxiety and increases vigor while also improving various types of attention, cognitive and physiological functions – including overall mood.”

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/complementary-medicine/201102/the-importance-fish-oil-your-health

This, then, is my half-baked theory:

I think vegans are so angry because most of them are deficient in omega 3 fatty acids.

And while at some level the anger is “understandable,” it is also causing a whole lot of problems. It’s going to require a calm-headed creativity to get this planet’s problems solved. Not to mention, that this process would go a whole lot faster if people learned holistic healing skills. Many vegans are too busy being angry to step back and consider more constructive options.

So from my perspective, this counter-argument to veganism needs to be carefully considered and addressed. How, exactly, are people supposed to get high enough levels of omega 3 without consuming animal products, at the very least fish?

(Now, yes, let us also acknowledge here, this problem is not ONLY a vegan problem. Grain-fed meat and the nasty oils used in fast food and junk food and much of Western cooking are also extremely high in omega 6. Our population regardless of being vegan or vegetarian has a major imbalance in omega 3 and omega 6. And indeed we live in an angry culture. Studies of prison population found that violence went down when a vegan diet was fed – but those studies may have been too short-term to account for omega-3 reserves being depleted over a longer time period and may not have been compared to a diet high in fish. Same goes for the studies of diabetics. We are in no way suggesting that a conventional Western diet is superior to a vegan diet. Indeed, we’ve got a chronically sick population and we are going to have to address our diet regardless. We are merely suggesting that unless a vegan diet can ensure proper nutrition on all fronts – including omega 3 in the form of DHA and EPA for those who cannot convert ALA effectively – we have a problem that must be addressed.)

I will be experimenting over the next few weeks … yes, I volunteer to be our guinea pig … and will report back soon. :D

Love,

erika awakening

About the Author:

Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening

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Comments

  1. Paul says:

    Thanks for the article. My gf recently has adopted a vegan lifestyle and has created much friction… Not because I dispute any of her ideas but because all she directs outwards is hate and disgust and I can’t handle being constantly attacked just because there’s a pizza commercial on TV.

    • My impression of myself and others while they are on a vegan diet is that the “hate” toward animals simply gets transferred to other areas of life. So the problem is not solved. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Justine says:

    how long did it take you to start feeling better?
    I am having so many of the same symptoms on a mostly vegan diet. I have been contemplating about eating meat for a few weeks now and feel a strong urge to do so. I am curious how soon your symptoms faded. HELP! Thanks :)

    • Hi Justine, unfortunately some symptoms never have resolved entirely. I did though start feeling better and experienced much more clarity of thinking within a few weeks. I would imagine it varies by person. Only you know what’s right for you. I would encourage you to follow your gut and intuition about eating other foods and see how you feel.

  3. xox says:

    Just curious if these chia seeds, etc. you were eating were ground or if you were just mixing them in whole with whatever you were eating.

  4. Alice says:

    Hello Erika,
    I just wanted to say thank you for writing this article, and to encourage you in your path, and say you have my utmost respect for managing a vegan diet for 15 months; I think that’s truly admirable, but of course your other dietary choices based on health concerns are also respectable.

    Though I have never managed veganism, I respect it as an ideology, but, I tend to agree with your health concerns. At one point I thought we would do this thing called the Hallelujah vegan diet – which has the premise that God created the world with humans living in harmony with animals, and that therefore people of this religious belief should try their best to be morally pure by adhering to this value system, as reflected in their nutritional choices – but….I was concerned to find this extensive website documenting the decreased fertility of women following the diet, and also incidents of brain-damaged and dentally damaged babies. I believe they now advocate B12 supplementation, but, I agree with your analysis about DHA and Omega 3s, as well as something here unmentioned – the extreme difficulty of getting a baby to eat the amounts of spinach and lentils necessary for adequate protein and iron intake. What seems to be doable for adults becomes extremely, extremely difficult with children (I feel). Also, I read a recent study saying that iron supplements can cause cellular damage and that further made me nervous about trying to do this diet with small children (and especially as I still would like more children).

    I wanted to add more about the DHA supplementation through algeal sources. As with everything, in an ideal world this would probably be ideal but, as I’m sure you know, the algeal sources are highly susceptible to contamination. After much searching, since at this point I am *mostly*? vegetarian (a statement that will no doubt enrage vegans) – I finally found a producer of Spirulina from India but, I still worry sometimes about what contamination may be in it. Of course, most seafood is also contaminated, and I guess farmed fish is even worse with it being fed chicken feed, soy, and the conditions under which it is raised.

    It really feels like a “rock and a hard place”. At the moment, we are pescatarian, and we get our eggs from local organic farmers. I was surprised to find out that they have separate “egg-laying” chicken versus “meat chicken” and none of their beaks are clipped and they run around eating grass and stuff so – I don’t feel guilty for eating un-inseminated eggs. We do get organic dairy, which I feel worse about, because I doubt that they keep the calves with the mother as our local raw milk producer used to (they shut down to the public as they have 12 kids and are too busy to manage the milk share). So we’re not sitting on any high horse here.

    Ultimately, we eat sardines and sometimes wild caught salmon. I have read the study you are talking about about pescatarians living longer.

    However, I understand the vegan perspective on this. In their black and white thinking (perhaps the moral high road?) shortening any animals’ life – even a fish who has been shown to have feelings – is still murder. Therefore, I have to wrestle with the fact every day, or every 3 days – whenever we eat fish – that I am a murderer. Of course, to some extent we all are; we all murder plants – though it’s a spectrum there, as with everything of “how much” murder. And, I am ashamed to say, I would murder things for the welfare of my children. I often wonder if it is possible to live “healthily” and not murder. If the nature of this world is not intrinsically skewed such that moral choices can be made while still “winning” health wise.

    But, I do want to conclude that, at some point, after I’m done breastfeeding, and especially as I age, especially if my kids get more independent…and I know this is wrong to say…I hope to die on a vegan diet. I know that statement will probably seem ridiculous to vegans, but, I actually mean it with great praise. I think it’s admirable to place one’s longevity and even long term health as a sacrifice for the greater good of other sentient things.

    But I took on a responsibility when I had my already existent children to give them the best health starting out, to then make whatever choices they wish to with. It’s not my right to take this away from them. It’s really hard to cook fish for them and not eat it myself. It’s really hard to take the “bet” that supplements will work perfectly for them, and risk their mental and physical development. I don’t think a person who is not a mother can truly understand.

    I don’t know…we still pay top dollar for ethically obtained dairy. But we do murder fish. We are murderers. As such, we cannot judge omnivores. Perhaps, at least, that keeps us humble.

  5. KaD says:

    Vegans are angry because normal, decent people pay them no mind and know most are nuts; since every other thing out of their mouth is “I hope your are murdered and raped”. For the animals, of course.

  6. Meli says:

    This is one of the most poorly written article I’ve read in a while. Half baked? Definitely . Where was this study conducted about fish eaters living longer than vegans? How long was it? How many participants? I can’t seem to find anything online about it. I’m genuinely eager to educate myself further but I highly doubt such study has been conducted yet considering how young the vegan movement is (medically speaking). I’m not even vegan OR vegetarian but I’m angry at this because I’m at least honest with myself. I’m not vegan because I’m still too weak mentally to give up on a few seconds of taste buds pleasure at meal time. It’d be so refreshing if people could simply admit this fact. (Let’s not even get into health and ENVIRONMENTAL impacts). The reason some vegans/vegetarians are angry is because they feel responsible for the well being of all animals, not just the ones they themselves chose not to eat. Just how environmentalists can be angry because we, you know, share the environment. Just how women were angry when they weren’t allowed to vote. Just how slaves were angry when they didn’t have rights. When people stand up to an injustice that is embedded in the status quo and tradition, they tend to be angry. It’s all very well to live and let live, but when someone is not letting another being live, it’s our responsibility to step in and say something, if we do truly want to be keeping with the premise of ‘live and let live’. “I’ll be the guinea pig”? Come on. You need to be honest with yourself girl. And this crap about omega 3 and so on is laughable. Is this the 1920′s? Have you heard of Nate Diaz? The Williams sisters? Jim McCarthy? Laura Kline, Madi Serpico, Mac Danzig, or Ricky Williams? Boxers, body builders, multi gold winning athletes I doubt lack anything physically. This is the 21st century and while Veganism might not be possible all over the world for many privileged douche bags like us it’s oh so easy to get anything, ANYTHING, we need. It’s pathetic to observe the lengths to which people will go to justify their wrong doing.

    • I was not too weak mentally. I did it for 15 months. It almost destroyed my health. My hair is still much whiter than it was pre-vegan. I really think someone who hasn’t done it should not be preaching to those of us who have done it. But hey, carry on judging if you like. Water off a duck’s back at this point.

      • Meli says:

        This comment isn’t about doing it or not doing it. It’s about being honest and not spreading misinformation that allows people to continue to justify an unsustainable and f-cked up industry. I just named a few 100% vegan athletes and there are many more out there, not to mention the non famous thousands of plant based people out there that are doing just fantastic. Don’t blame your inability to properly balance your diet which in turn worsened a condition YOU JUST STATED YOU HAD PRIOR TO VEGANISM (so not even sure why that’s a rebuttal but okay) on Veganism itself. It’s pathetic. I think my aforementioned reasons why vegans are angry (understandably! And that’s not even mentioning the stupid fucking trolls they deal with) is far, far more plausible than this whole article. On that note, Aurevoir.

      • It’s very, very strange that you are sitting on a high horse when you say you are not vegan. Try it for yourself. When you’ve lost your muscle tone and vitality and health, when you are close to having a heart attack and can no longer walk to the grocery store due to muscle cramping and weakness … then you can come here and share your experience. Until then, you’re an unbelievable hypocrite with no credibility whatsoever.

  7. Al Del says:

    thank you for acknowledging the obvious fact that these first world solutions, as you state them, are not universally appropriate or acceptable/ It is amazing to me how this incredibly obvious fact misses most ppl steeped in some sort of health/holistic/spiritual lifestyle. It really makes me respect this post and in general this blog

    every time i go vegan which i do periodically, just a day or 2 into it, I become very short-fuse. It’s happening again! I have in the past supplemented with fish oil even if it meant giving up the official vegan label, and i may do so again even though i was trying to ‘do it properly’ this time, esp. after reading this. I am also committed to one day being on a plant-based diet though i’m giving myself all the time i need to adjust/do it properly/experiment etc

  8. Ale says:

    To every militant vegan out there: you’re repelling more people than you think. And THAT’S coming from an actual vegan.

    Thanks for writing!

  9. Heather says:

    Hi Erika, I’m a returning-to-vegan and I have a question. I experienced the symptoms you describe (decrease in hair quality, dry skin, anger, etc) while eating dairy and meat. I finally quit these because eating either tore my stomach to bits and two hours after every meal I found myself retching and worse in the restroom. Once I became vegan again, the symptoms stopped.

    I’m wondering if some people just naturally do better on a vegan diet, and others, on a meat and milk diet? And maybe proselytizing for either side is unhelpful? We each need to find out through trial and error what is personally best for us, and at times what is best can change? For instance, you were vegan but experienced eventually bad symptoms and returned to eating dairy and meat. I was omnivore but experienced eventually bad symptoms and returned to being vegan? Maybe one woman’s meat is another woman’s purge, and vice versa? What if moderation is the key… and neither side is right, and neither wrong?

    I enjoy how much lighter my energy is overall as a vegan. I’m also enjoying much improved surface health: no more stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting after every meal I can’t tell you what a relief this is. But I sleep with one eye open wondering if eventually I will have to return to meat again when the low b12 symptoms you’re describing come back…

    The body is an ever changing machine… we may never get it completely right!

    • Hi Heather,

      Yes the intention of these articles is not to suggest that a vegan diet isn’t right for anyone. It may be you are one of the (in my perception, very few) people who really does better on a vegan diet. And in that case, why on earth would I object to it?

      What I object to is the fact that most vegans look ridiculously unhealthy while claiming to be healthy. I mean, many look emaciated and malnourished.

      The programming of human genetics in the subconscious mind is quite diverse so it really is not surprising that people experience different reactions. My food sensitivities, which became extreme and totally unmanageable on a vegan diet, have basically disappeared now. Some symptoms have not fully subsided but at least they stopped getting worse. Many white hairs turned back to brown but I really regret that I didn’t quit the diet immediately when my hair rapidly started turning white. I clearly have not yet reversed all the damage I did to myself.

      Until we all do the real work of reprogramming the subconscious mind, I agree … everyone needs to listen to their body.

      • Heather says:

        I agree with you and think the vegans arguing with you are silly. We should keep our minds open. That’s science, after all: keep your mind open to new data so we can all benefit from new knowledge previously undiscovered. I welcome and honor your journey back to being an omnivore, and after awhile purging from meat and uric acids, I might join you. After all, I was a raw vegan a decade ago and had to return to meat at my doctor’s orders. And these were Chinese American, pro acupucture pro vegan doctors, too…

        It’s funny how we all argue over what we eat! As if there isn’t enough arguing in the world… peace and white light to you, and thank you for allowing my comment <3

  10. T_T says:

    Yes, I am very angry, If you get in my way I will kill you with just one look. SO DON’T GET IN MY WAY!!! @.@ @.@ @.@ @.@ @.@ @.@ @.@ @.@ @.@ @.@

  11. Wait … hold the presses … it turns out I’m still vegan under the definition:

    http://erikaawakening.com/vegan-philosophy-collapses-contradictions-hypocrisy/

  12. Stephen sturdivant says:

    I’m vegan and I take a vegan dha/epa supplements. Still vegan 3 years now. I have not yelled at anyone. My blood results this year came back fine.

  13. Lily says:

    I find your hypothesis very interesting, and I think you might be right. Last time I got off the phone with my brother, who is vegan, I was floored by the increase in anger he had displayed during our conversation…some of it was so misplaced, I even said to him that I thought meat eaters were supposed to be the aggressive, angry ones….Are you familiar with the Cathars, by chance, Erika? They were a very interesting French religious group in the 13th century. Their priests and priestesses ate a vegan diet with the addition of fish. Perhaps they were on to something…Interesting how wisdom often goes underground, but comes back through individual intuition…Very interesting, indeed.

    • Hi Lily,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with your brother. Yea I noticed it in myself too. The vegan groups were a great mirror. I was also waking up angry every single day. And at some point, objectivity arose, and I had to acknowledge – this is not normal. Yes, there are problems in the world. And no, anger is not going to solve any of them …

      Very interesting that the Cathars added fish …

  14. Anita says:

    In my opinion this anger make them sound louder. If feminist weren’t angry and loud in the early 20ths we wouldn’t have this freedom for woman today.

  15. I have a friend who’s become a complete vegan for almost two years now. No wonder he seemed to be full of angst the last time we met. ;)

  16. How interesting? I am not a vegan, but I have noticed they do seem angrier. I thought it was probably because they felt so strongly about their choices and wanted everyone to have that, too. But, it could be a deficiency. That is one thing I worry about when considering switching.

    • Yea Stephanie, I feel just as strongly that we have to get these problems solved. It was tapping on my anger that led me to figure out the deficiency. And then when the deficiency was addressed, I don’t feel nearly as angry. I am also starting to think that if humans truly do have a NEED for animal products, then we are going to have to take new approaches to solving these problems for the animals and our environment. Our current animal agriculture practices and consumption are not sustainable. We have to make changes. Yet we cannot make those changes at the expense of human health.

    • Nora says:

      Yeah.. Why would people get angry at animal suffering? Anger is a pretty good emotion, please do get angry at wars, injustice, intolerance. It’s a part of caring process.
      [Personal attack deleted]

      • Although I do believe anger can play a transitional role in empowerment … chronic anger means the person has just become stuck. 70 billion animals awaiting slaughter. You going to be angry indefinitely? Because nothing vegans are doing is going to solve this problem. Now I actually have something that could potentially solve this problem, but vegans are so busy being angry that they don’t learn the skills that would actually help.

        Self-defeating? Yes, in my book, chronic anger over something you don’t have the skills to do anything about is not a healthy place to be.

  17. Rebecca Swenor says:

    This is interesting indeed. I have always said listen to your body because your body will tell you when something is wrong. I crave things that have what I need in them when I am lacking something. Thanks for sharing.

  18. This brings up so very interesting points. I wonder how many people don’t get enough omega 3s on a daily basis. I eat a variety of foods and don’t always pay attention. Of this is the case, no wonder we have record high health problems.

    • Thanks Christy. Yea I don’t think this problem is limited to vegans by any means. From everything I have read, our population is way out of balance whether vegan or not. It makes you wonder what would happen if this problem were addressed. I am feeling sad right now as I don’t see how I am going to stick to the vegan diet. It’s not just this issue for me. Because I had to cut out grains and soy due to autoimmune reactions to them, my diet at this point is very limited and I think just not meeting basic nutritional needs. I guess the upside is that it’s getting me to think very deeply about all these issues. Even the Dalai Lama could not stay vegetarian. He got health issues too. I felt upset about that, but now I am starting to understand.

      • Hans says:

        I’ve just read that you’re not going to stick to a vegan diet for the time being, due to not being able to find ways to replenish the DHA & EPA nutritional needs. That got me to recall the coaching policies update that you’ve posted a few months ago: http://tapsmarter.com/dap/a/?a=4088&p=tapsmarter.com/coaching-policies-update/
        1) Plant based diet
        2) Question your most cherished beliefs

        I know this is a challenging ‘double bind’ moment for you. At the same time…would like to know how u’re going to address this particular ‘double bind’ issue to your future coaching clients. Thanks.

      • Yes Hans, I have thought about that … thanks for the reminder. I haven’t revised the article because I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do. It is exactly as you describe a double bind because both options are unacceptable to me. And without my mind functioning clearly, I’m not much use to anyone in making things better. So I appreciate your patience while I sort through this … hugs to you <3

      • Also, Hans, remember that nothing I ever say takes the place of your own intuition. If you are noticing yourself having a lot of anger or other symptoms as I described … then it’s probably a good idea to address them until we can come up with some answer here. You know I still feed my cats fish and meat every day because I am not convinced they can thrive on a vegan diet. Until I can thrive on a vegan diet, I am helping nobody by jeopardizing my health. B-12 supplements and me eating some fish until I get this sorted out is the interim choice I am making. My body does not tolerate the algae supplements, and this is surely happening for a reason. We probably need to figure out how to reprogram the DNA here. But in the meantime, if you’re suffering a deficiency it’s probably not helping anyone to keep suffering it. Please be guided by your own intuition.

        If my theory is right about why vegans tend to be angry and unable to address complex issues … then the vegan movement is debilitated by this problem. And pretending it’s not a problem is not going to help anyone.

      • Hans says:

        Hey Erika, which brand of algae supplements have you bought, that doesn’t work for your body’s nutrition absorption?

        I’d like to experiment on algae softgel supplements from iherb.com first (and maybe other sources in future). I’ve yet to experience any negative physical symptoms since I’ve only adopted 6 months of veganism since last year. Hopefully, miracles will work for me with those algae softgel supplements.

      • Hi Hans, I tried Algae Omega. Unfortunately, it’s not just algae oil. All the algae supplements I’ve seen have weird stuff in them like sunflower lecithin. Since I stopped those supplements, my skin is healing nicely. They may work for you though. Just be sure you don’t get just any algae. Some algae has no DHA or EPA. Also … you may be one of the people who is able to get enough DHA and EPA from ALA sources. So you might not need them. However, given that most of the vegans I know are angry and focused on negative energy a good deal of the time … I think they might be pleasantly surprised how much better they would feel if they upped their DHA and EPA. This is only a half-baked theory of course. I’m just going on intuition here.

  19. Debbie Denny says:

    I am not vegan. I will say I have mostly free range meat, fish, and lots of fresh veggies and fruit. I am interested in how Omega3 works for you.

    • Thanks Debbie. All meat is definitely not created equally from a nutritional standpoint. Even free range beef that is “finished” in a feed lot will lose much of its omega 3 content. That’s why they now came up with the term “grass finished beef.” Kind of a weird euphemism for “how we treated you before we killed you.” I certainly would rather see cows out in the grass until the very end if people are continuing to eat meat. Even in grass-fed beef, omega 6 is higher than omega 3. But in grain-fed beef, the ratios change dramatically and are very high in omega 6. Thus, as I mentioned at the end of the article, we can expect that people eating grain-fed or even grain-finished beef are going to be suffering some of the same omega 3 imbalance unless they do something to balance out the ratio.

      • Debbie Denny says:

        Ours is grass finished. We have them butchered locally.An appt is made and he is taken there. There is no lot for them to even keep him overnight. As for chickens, we had our own free range( which is probably why I did not have much grass in the yard, LOL) until I became ill.. We get ours from our neighbor.Our old rooster still comes for a visit now and then.

      • Yea again I’d rather see chickens out there enjoying the sunlight and fresh air if people are continuing to eat chicken products. We just don’t have enough land for all these animals to be free range though at the rate humans are eating meat and other animal products. We just don’t. Nor do we have an unlimited supply of deep sea fish.

        Curious how you fell ill? It seems our whole society is ill so I have become very interested in exploring more deeply the root causes of chronic illness.

      • Debbie Denny says:

        I became ill not from what I ate but what I breathed in at a job where I worked. Plus add to it I smoked years ago. But then I am a stubbbbborn woman. lol! I was diagnosed terminal 7 years ago. According to Dr I should have his stage 4 a couple of years ago..The way I see it I have no expiration date. lol

      • Good for you not believing the dogma :)

  20. brad says:

    I have the opposite experience. When I cut meat out of my diet, i became less angry and more energy. I noticed when some people I knew had steak or burgers or pork chops, they got very worked up and tired at the same time. This made them act out in outrage at the idea I was going vegetarian. I told some people at work and a few got very angry at me for spreading a vegetarian agenda, i was just telling people what I was going through. Since I cut out meat, my health improved, my brain cleared, my anger subsided and I had more energy. I have taken supplements for iron, b-vitamins, omegas and vitamin D. Those help keep my levels normal as my doctor has also confirmed with my blood work. I hope others share a similar experience.

    • Hi Brad,

      Yes, I didn’t cover all the research in this article and will probably be writing more in future. GRAIN-FED meat which is the vast majority of what people are eating nowadays is ALSO very high in omega 6 and low in omega 3. I definitely do not mean to suggest in this article that only vegans are angry. However, as a keen observer of humans, it is very clear to me that vegans as a group (not all vegans) are very very angry. Those who are exceptions to the rule may indeed be getting enough omega-3s either because they are taking a sufficient dose of algae oil … or because they happen to be among the more effective converters of ALA.

      I also want to note that because I am dealing with a bunch of gut inflammation (as noted in the previous article – http://erikaawakening.com/how-your-diet-is-slowly-killing-you-heal-your-body/) and am still working on getting that healed by cutting out GMO, grains, etc. … it is possible that my absorption of nutrients like calcium is impaired right now. So I don’t want to draw too broad of conclusions. Although this gut inflammation is an epidemic and even those who don’t realize they have it probably do have it and it’s just a ticking time bomb. Our food supply is … to put it mildly … fucked.

      Thanks for sharing your experience. You may be one of those lucky people who has more effective ALA conversion. Vegans still are going to have to address these issues for the people who have poor or non-existent conversion.

  21. James says:

    I agree what’s being said but only to a point. I have taken the stance in my vegetative journey to include salmon taken at the end of their life cycle in the deep valleys of the Northern Rockies, there are risk in this effort like tipping the balance against the Bears in depleting their normal supply of salmon runs and thereby pressuring them to consume other less seasonal diets. I had a brain tumor which destroyed my pituitary and pineal gland along with the hypothalamus region of my brain. I therefore had to replace all the hormones that would normally be produced by these glands..Hgh, tetesterone, cortisol, thyroid…..etc. I chose a diet of a vegetarian except for the fish protein secured by methods listed above because of ethical reasons not for health. I feel that a activist vegan is bombarded by images of horrors to the innocent and that this endless scenes of cruelty brings about the phycological change in nature and demeanor and therefore produces an aggressive outrage persona. I’ll leave the science for others to surmise.

    • Hi James, thanks for sharing your experience. Yes, another issue I didn’t get into in this article is how we might resolve all this with holistic healing of the subconscious mind. Your situation really highlights this because we all have the belief that we are “lacking” in something. And in your case lacking these needed glands. And so we have to go out there and “take” it from someone else. I appreciate your compassion in attempting to take it in the least harmful way possible. And I don’t know what the answers are for most of us. I think if we don’t resolve our core beliefs at the level of the subconscious mind, that we are in quite the pickle here to put it mildly.

      I’m exposed to the same horrors as all the other vegans. My anger level dropped dramatically when my omega 3 levels went up. And … I can now calmly step back and see that all the vegan outrage and anger is not going to solve these problems. We need cool-headed creativity and new approaches. It is my sincere hope that vegans will begin to learn about Holistic Belief Reprogramming because that is the only way I am seeing we can get these double binds resolved.

      Thanks for stopping by :)

  22. viktor says:

    Okayyyy, so listen up “vegan-folks”, having NOT eaten meat for 21 years and fish off an on between the late 90′s to early 2000′s, I have not , I repeat HAVE NOT felt any decline whatsoever in my health, my vision, my energy, NOTHING! I can even SKIP a day maybe two days of sleep, with perhaps a short 3 hour nap in between. Let me tell you I have never felt better since I have became FULL vegan! The clarity in my thinking. I NEVER GOT SICK ONCE SINCE BECOMING VEGAN. And how the hell would I gain by lying about something like this?? I can’t! It’s not as if I am selling Tee-shirts for Gary Yourofsky, or Vegan EMPIRE. (HAA HAAA -”Empire” always cracks me up> the name). The anger of many vegans comes from visiting the most ignorant facecrook groups such as meateaters vs. vegans! These imbeciles really drive you up a wall because you simply cannot understand how an alleged “humane” human can continue to murder animals, and then turn around and love their pets. And LIE and say, “ohh I just love animals!” Facebook is teeming with these trolls in these groups. Paid fucking morons whose sole purpose is to create confusion, distract, spread disinformation etc. etc. Ok, off track. My health, top-notch. I have more “breath” than ever. I have more stamina than ever. (Since I quit dairy, even more!) Let’s say hypothetically, If I was to get into a fight with this angry vegan I WAS friends with (this alleged, NEWLY turned “vegan”, who admittedly claimed to knock out shills/trolls, on FACEBOOK -true story!) *cough! Cough! ahem> (VE/VL), judging by his endomorphic body type, and toxic lungs, pit us two together in a ring, MMA, whatever fighting style, I got him ALL DAY LONG! I have the best vision. Loads of energy. I don’t even think I need to eat those damn D3 vitamins I grabbed from the health food store… If you want to do a study, you need to use at least 1,000 test subjects over a ten year time span. Once you do this, come back and fill us all in with your results. Until you have done that, one person’s opinions is NOT nearly enough to form any sort of thesis for or against the benefits or detriment of a vegan diet. Case officially CLOSED. See you all in ten years. NEXT!

    • Viktor, I too have noticed health benefits of vegan as I wrote about in the previous article: http://erikaawakening.com/how-your-diet-is-slowly-killing-you-heal-your-body/ … I too have not been acutely sick since I became vegan.

      You do, no offense, sound angry all the time. Your FB posts are rants, pretty much all the time. I was feeling the same way. My humble suggestion is that it would be worth trying a much higher dosage of direct DHA and EPA from algae for a couple weeks and see what happens. Remember that inflammation symptoms may not show up immediately. They often brew for years before you see the health consequences …

      Thanks for stopping by :)

    • JAmes says:

      Viktor: I guarantee you rely on fortified foods, and or supplements as a crutch. Live the vegan “lifestyle” to a T, and see if you can make it another twenty years. The fact that you’re able to live a vegan lifestyle due to fortified vegan foods does not matter. We must decide what we should eat by saying what if fortified foods or supplements didn’t exist. Beyond that; veganism doesn’t make sense in an of itself. You have a love for animals but overlook the fact that humans are animals too. You show such love for animals; yet most animals eat other animals, but its completely fine in your book. However, if a human eats an animal it’s not okay. Also, if eating animals is bad for the environment then we should get rid of all animals because they eat animals as well; so aren’t they ruining the planet also? I must ad as well, you might be able to convert ALA to it’s derivatives, but you may be one of the lucky ones. Everyones different, and just because you think you’re not deficient in omega 3 from your vegan diet doesn’t mean everyone is going be just as lucky. Some people don’t convert beta carotene, and some do. Some people convert ALA, and some don’t; everyones different. Factory farming is the devil here; not pasture raised animals in their natural environment that are treated well. Eating natural; meat, and plant foods in my opinion is key. Going to extremes of no meat, or not plant foods is insane to me. We need both to be healthy.

      • Right, why is it okay for a lion to eat meat … and not okay for a human who has evolved for millions of years eating meat?

        My fundamental falling out with veganism is ultimately a difference in strategy not a difference in values. I don’t believe in death, I believe we are here to abolish death. But death must be abolished at the level of the subconscious mind. It cannot be abolished by addressing the mere symptoms of a corrupt belief system.

  23. Fred ree says:

    Thank you for sharing your observations, Erika!
    No wonder why the ALA based Omega 3 supplement I’ve been taking for the last couple of months seems to have no effect on my body!

    • Hi Fred, yes it could be you need a direct source of DHA and EPA. It’s certainly not an answer to suggest that people continue to increase their ALA because those oils are highly caloric and will start crowding out other nutrients out of the diet.

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