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Why I’m An Omnivore: My Experience Eating Vegan + Pros/Cons of Different Diets

  • Published on: 03 November, 2014
  • Last update: 25 March, 2018

I have been wanting to write this for a while, but haven’t in fear of being judged… but today I realized that’s a very silly fear. I got a random phone call from a blog reader who I had been in contact with about a month ago. She was so sweet, and we began talking about small steps she can take to improve her health. 

She told me that she tried to cut out meat, but was nervous about omitting it from her son’s diet completely because he craves it and feels much better when eating it. 

“Is there a particular reason you cut it from your diet?” I asked. “Well,” she said, “because everyone posts about how bad it is, so if you eat meat you feel like you’re this horrible person betraying a whole community.” Woah. That didn’t sit right with me. No one should feel like that… especially not because of the Internet. I began to tell her my story about how I too used to eat a vegan diet in hopes of regaining my health. The beginning was wonderful, but soon the problems I had (cold hands, feet; low sex drive; poor digestion; bad moods; bags under my eyes; etc) just got worse. 

Now that I’m so immersed in Traditional Chinese Medicine, I see why. Plant foods are yin, and animal foods are yang. My particular illness (kidney yang deficiency and spleen Qi deficiency) required me to eat very yang foods and little to no yin foods. I was doing the opposite of what *my* particular body needed. After everything I’ve learned and years of research, I have come to the opinion that a vegan diet is not the best for everyone. We are all different. The woman on the phone was so relieved. She said the other day she was SO cold and craving animal protein; after giving in to one organic free range egg she instantly felt better. “Listen to your body,” is the advice I left her with. 

I started my blog to give people unbiased, objective research about how to heal and nourish themselves. I believe that we all nourish differently, and I don’t ever want people to feel like there is one diet they have to follow to be perfect. This post is about my research on different diets and schools of thought, why a vegan diet didn’t work for my body, and why I eat an omnivorous diet. I also talk about the pros and cons of vegan/omnivore, because both can be incredibly beneficial. I didn’t write this for people who are looking to argue or debate, or for people who have their minds made up. I wrote this for the beautiful woman I spoke to today who felt lost, because I was once in her shoes.

My experience eating a vegan diet goes like this…

I was in the midst of the most amazing growth period of my life. I was teaching myself nutrition by reading/studying on my own – and I managed to lose 40 pounds between my junior and senior year of high school!

After a lifetime of being overweight, I was finally making leeway and realized my body wasn’t something I should hate and punish. Although I was smaller, fitter, and overall healthier, the nagging symptoms I faced from a very young age didn’t want to vanish. Then, during my freshman year of college, my liver started failing due to a mix of stress, unnecessary pharmaceuticals prescribed by doctors who get paid to dish them out, and an overload of heavy metals from the toxic Gardasil vaccine (read my full story here). I discovered the wonderful world of herbs and used FlorEssence tea to detox my liver and get back on track. I was able to go back to classes and had an even deeper passion for finding the truth about Western medicine’s lies, natural cures, and real healing. My liver was getting better but once again, the symptoms that were there all my life remained. Acne, fatigue, gluten/dairy/sugar intolerance, bloating, and the feeling that something wasn’t right.

Did I need to dig deeper? I knew I could heal myself on my own, but figuring out how to do it was the issue. What is the “perfect” human diet – am I not doing it right? I researched for weeks, which turned into months, which dragged on forever as I battled between my instincts and a flood of new information. Half of the people on the Internet told me to go Paleo, while the other half told me that meat was murder and I was a terrible person if I craved a steak. I am a very sensitive being with a ton of compassion for both people and animals. Even though I knew that my body thrived on meat (it was one of the very few things I could eat without having an allergic reaction via bloating, inflammation and lethargy), the things I was reading online told me it couldn’t possibly be good for me. Everyone I followed on Instagram and looked up to that was “awake” advocated a vegan diet. “This is it,” I thought. This is the one. I’m going to go vegan and my life is going to change forever.

Except it didn’t really happen like that. 

In the beginning, it was great. I was juicing, eating fresh fruits/greens in the morning and cooked foods at night like sweet potato, sprouted beans, soups, and rice. I was watching my protein intake, taking B12, and covering all my bases. However, soon fall came around – a time where my symptoms usually begin to get worse than ever. I waded through what felt like the coldest autumn and winter of my life. My joints ached, my menstrual cramps were unimaginable, and I was always cold, even if the heater was on blast (my dad even bought me a personal space heater). My moods started to fall into old patterns (even though I had already healed from depression) and I was irritable. Low sex drive, poor digestion (just like before my new diet), pimples; and I started to hate fruit that I used to love. You couldn’t have paid me to eat another damn banana. Anything but bananas.  

I chalked it up to winter (my least favorite season) and hoped things would get better by spring. I asked people on forums what I could do to ease this ‘difficult transition period’ and was told I was a) detoxing or b) not eating enough carbs/calories. Seriously… I was eating 3000+ calories a day. I would almost throw up trying to eat enough apples to meet those requirements. My body just didn’t want it. And it wasn’t detox. My body was pissed, and something wasn’t going right. Spring rolled around and I still wasn’t myself. Plus, why was I craving raw eggs all the time?! I haven’t even craved cooked eggs my entire life! I can think of 3597883 things I’d rather eat than eggs.

The research continues…

I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to question myself. I was in love with living a compassionate lifestyle and frankly I didn’t want to start back at square one.

As attached as I was to the label and lifestyle, I was more attached to finding the truth no matter what it took. So I grabbed a notebook. Here were my symptoms (these occurred both before and during my vegan diet):

  • Low B12 due to MTHFR, a hereditary genetic defect that makes it impossible for my brain to methylate and use Vitamin B12. I had been taking Methyl-Folate and Methylated-B12 to combat this, but it seemed my body just wouldn’t absorb it. Could I be one of those people that absolutely need bioavailable B12 from animal products?
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Low sex drive
  • Irritability
  • Acne
  • Fatigue, lethargy
  • Cavities
  • Exhaustion from the slightest exercise
  • Poor circulation
  • Pale face
  • Intolerance to cold
  • Oversleeping
  • Easy weight gain

From my research, I read that although vegans and vegetarians supplement with B12, 52% of vegans and 7% of vegetarians are B12 deficient (Gilsing et al.). A study using the more sensitive techniques found much higher rates of deficiency: 68% for vegetarians and 83% of vegans, compared to just 5% of omnivores (Herrmann et al.). Being that I was already so dangerously low due to my MTHFR (genetic mutation), could I afford to completely leave this nutrient out of my diet? Probably not. A lot of the symptoms I was having sounded just like the lack of this crucial vitamin. By the way – an estimated 60% of the population also has this condition!

Common ground

I poked around on the Internet and found several (1,2,3,4) accounts of people (even big bloggers/authors) who had thrived on a vegan diet for quite some time but eventually experienced the opposite. I found a post on Kristen’s Raw about the health problems she and her family faced after eating a vegan diet for over 13 years. Although she lasted a lot longer than I did, the things she said really resonated with me. Once I read her thoughts on supplements and essential co-factors that allow us to absorb said supplements, a lightbulb went off. Meat, especially organ meat like liver, is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world. What if I was eating all of these fruits and vegetables, but was not able to absorb their nutrients because I was missing crucial animal fats and the co-factors within them? She also mentioned that two of her teeth broke (my back molar was in serious trouble). Lastly, she brought up the concept of the same vitamin existing in different forms within animal or plant foods. Retinol, the complete form of Vitamin A is only found in significant amounts in organ meats. Beta-carotene, the precursor to Vitamin A is found in a plethora of plant foods. The problem is that your body has to work to convert beta-carotene to usable Vitamin A. My body clearly wasn’t working correctly, and my energy was so low all the time that who knows if it was capable of fully converting anything.

Another note on Vitamin A: In 1949, Hume and Krebs induced vitamin A deficiency in three human subjects; they treated one with retinol and treated the other two with a concentrated dose of beta-carotene dissolved in oil. They concluded that 3.8 units of carotene are required to produce one unit of retinol. With a body as weak as mine, I needed the most efficient form of vitamins I could get. That does not mean that someone else who is very strong and has an efficient immune system cannot thrive on beta-carotene. It means that my particular body could not.

After much research and deliberation, here are the top 6 reasons I’m an omnivore:

1. Yin and Yang: BALANCE!
This is the most important thing I have discovered so far. Plant foods are yin, and animal foods are yang. I was wondering why I had heard accounts of people losing their period on a vegan (or raw vegan) diet. I was also wondering why my menstrual cramps got worse on a vegan diet. Kidney yang deficiency! Your “kidney” meridian in Chinese medicine governs your reproductive system. You must have lots of yang (heat) in your kidneys in order to move blood and toxins out of your uterus (movement=heat). If your kidneys are too cold, your menstrual flow will cease or become very light. This is not good because it means the blood is staying stagnant in your system. Menstrual cramps are also a sign of severe yang deficiency and a body that is too cold. The cramps can also be caused by parasites in the uterus (when it is cold and damp!)

Almost every single one of the symptoms I listed earlier are symptoms of yang deficiency. Cold hands and feet, joint pain, fatigue, oversleeping, low sex drive, poor digestion, poor circulation, etc. I live in a climate that is cold half of the year AND I tend toward yin because that’s just the way I am. We are all different. I could not afford to leave out yang, animal foods when I was already so cold. If you don’t have any yang in your body, you don’t have “digestive fire” or “metabolic fire.” This is why I didn’t digest food during that difficult winter, and why I got worse almost immediately. My body was at its wit’s end and eating only plant foods pushed me over the yin edge! I started to realize that maybe people who lived in tropical, yang areas of the world and tend toward “heat” in the body would be better suited to a vegan diet.

2. Bioindividuality
Boy, are we all different. Some of my very best friends absolutely thrive on a vegan diet. For me, I obviously knew within a few months that I was going down the wrong path. What does this tell us? We are biologically individual! There is NO “perfect” human diet because we all need something different.

Dr. William Kelley held that a root cause of cancer is the body’s inability to metabolize (digest and utilize) protein. “The person gets cancer because he’s not properly metabolizing the protein in his diet,” said Dr. Kelley. “Then, to make matters worse, the tumor has such a high metabolism that it uses up much of the food which is eaten.” (Lily and I believe and have seen firsthand that many tumors/cysts are in fact pockets of parasites – which would explain the ability of tumors to eat our food. But that’s a different story for a different day.) If a person’s disordered protein metabolism is not corrected, Kelley continued, “it will give rise to more tumors in the future, even if the first one is successfully removed. This, by the way, is the unfortunate reason why so many seemingly successful cancer operations end up in recurrences a year or two later. The tumor was removed, but the cause-improper protein metabolism-remained.”

Dr. Kelley developed an anti-cancer program that combines: 
1. therapeutic CUSTOMIZED nutrition, 
2. supplements intended to destroy cancer cells, and 
3. vigorous detoxification of the body. 

Kelley divided people into what he called ten metabolic types, with slow-oxidizing vegetarians at one extreme and fast-oxidizing carnivores at the other. Each person is different, he asserted, not only in nutritional needs but also in food utilization. For each of the ten different metabolic types, a different nutritional program was recommended. An individualized diet was tailored to match the metabolic character of each patient, taking into account his or her physiology, neurological make-up, physical make-up, basic metabolic rate, and personality.

In addition to following a diet, Kelley’s patients also took up to 150 supplement pills per day. These included pancreatic enzymes, vitamins and minerals, and concentrates of raw beef organs and glands, believed by Kelley to contain tissue-specific growth factors, hormones, natural stimulants, and “protective” molecules. Earlier this year I met Carol Alt, who used Kelley’s program to cure her cancer. Read more about Kelley’s protocol here, which of course was “blacklisted” by the American Cancer Society. Can’t have anything that works get out to the public, now can we?!

3. Glandular Therapy
In the last section I mentioned that Dr. Kelley gave people concentrates of organs and glands. In a cancer patient, what is compromised? All of the organs and glands. So why would eating an animal’s organs and glands help to heal you?

One of the basic concepts of glandular therapy is that the oral ingestion of glandular material of a certain animal gland will strengthen the corresponding human gland. The result is a broad general effect that suggests improved glandular function, increasing the tone, function, and/or activity of the corresponding gland. This principle is a staple of Traditional Chinese Medicine (and the reason Lily is dying to make us Lung soup for the fall!)

In case of infection of immune system deficiencies, thymus extracts and spleen extracts have been found to be quite useful. Glandular therapy is used extensively in the treatment of cancer, and AIDS. (Source: J. Bland, “Glandular-Based Food supplements: Helping to Separate Fact from Fiction”)

From holisticonline.com:

“It is believed that glands and organs in animals and humans contain similar biochemical substances as their functions are very similar. This is especially true with the sheep from which most of these extracts are prepared. For example, sheep digestive system produces enzymes very similar to humans. Sheep tissue contains 2 enzymes found in only one other living organism-the human body. These enzymes are:

(1) Aldose reductase, an enzyme for sugar breakdown  
(2) Steroid 17 -20 lyase, an enzyme for both producing steroidal hormones and for the subsequent detoxification of those hormones from the body.  

Thus, the effect of using the biochemical compounds extracted from animals is often one of “substituting” an exogenous (externally generated) source to make up for the endogenous (internally generated) deficiency.”

For a tissue cell to repair or replace itself, it must have the raw materials necessary. Glandular therapy provides the raw materials to the failing organs, glands, and tissues so that they can start the process of regeneration. 

I mentioned above that my liver was failing when I first started this blog and developed an interest in natural healing. Eating organic, grass-fed liver has improved my overall health dramatically and has become a staple in my diet.

4. Animal foods can heal
There are many accounts of a plant-based diet healing disease. I firmly believe in this, and give huge props to everyone that has healed a myriad of disorders. What you don’t hear often, however, are accounts of people who have healed using animal foods.

Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Autism, Epilepsy, MS, ALS… what do they all have in common? They are all neurodegenerative disorders. Although as I said above, a plant-based diet can and does heal, for these specific diseases we must look to a “ketogenic” diet, where 80% of calories come from fat and 20% of calories from a mixture of protein and carbohydrates. Why? Patients with neurodegenerative disorders all have an inability to create ATP (which would be derived from glucose and carbohydrates). ATP is your body’s source of energy. Without ATP/energy we have memory loss, tremors, seizures, muscle dysfunction etc. 

Foods, especially animal fats, that have certain fatty acids are metabolized into ketones. Ketones are an alternative energy source for the brain. Ketones go through the “back door” and do NOT require insulin to get into the cell for ATP production!

Dr. Terry Wahls, who was diagnosed with MS and put in a wheelchair, was told she would never walk again. She decided to adopt a ketogenic diet high in B1, B9, B12, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and iodine to regenerate her brain. For her neurotransmitters, she included sulfur and B6. Where are these nutrients found in the highest concentration? Dark leafy greens, bright colored vegetables, wild fish, seaweed, and organ meats.

EVERY DAY, she ate: 
– 3 cups of dark leafy greens 
– 3 cups of sulfur-rich vegetables 
– 3 cups of bright color 
– grass-fed meats & organ meats 
– wild fish 
– and seaweed  

Within 9 months, Terry completely cured the MS doctors told her was incurable.

5. Bioavailable Nutrients
You hear a lot about vegan diets and B12. But what you don’t hear about are the lesser-known yet equally important nutrients such as K2, Retinol (mentioned earlier), Creatine, Carnosine, and DHA.

K2
Have you ever heard of Vitamin K2? If not, please look into it. Did you know that the ONLY plant source of K2 is an Asian dish called Natto, or fermented soybeans? These fermented soybeans only contain K2 because they are made with a bacteria that produces it. I do not like Natto whatsoever and could never imagine eating it every day or even every month! This was a huge missing piece of my vegan diet. Meanwhile, animal sources of K2 are abundant, including hard cheese, soft cheese, egg yolk, butter, chicken liver, chicken breast, and ground beef. 

A study recently published by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) has revealed that increased intake of vitamin K2 may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 35 percent. 

Vitamin K2’s role in the body protects us from heart disease, ensures healthy skin, forms strong bones, promotes brain function, supports growth and development, and more. Vitamin K2 is also essential for building strong bones (ESPECIALLY TEETH) due to its role in activating proteins responsible for utilizing and storing calcium. My teeth were decaying before and after a vegan diet. The vegan diet did not cause my decay, but didn’t help it either. Now I take fermented cod liver oil / high vitamin butter oil every single day (very rich in Retinol, D3 and K2), oil pull every single morning, and my cavities are literally vanishing before my eyes.

Creatine
Creatine is stored in our muscles. While we do make creatine in our bodies, largely in the liver and kidneys (which provides about 1g/day), about half of the creatine we make actually comes from the diet, also providing 1g/day. As a result of this 1:1 ratio, we need creatine in our diets to maintain muscle creatine. Dietary creatine is found in only animal products. Creatine helps form an energy reservoir in cells, and studies show that vegetarians are often deficient.

Carnosine –
Carnosine is protective against various degenerative processes in the body and may protect against aging. It is found only in animal foods. (Source 1, 2, 3)

DHA –
DHA is the most active form of Omega-3 fatty acids in the body and primarily found in animal foods. ALA, plant Omega-3, is inefficiently converted to DHA in the body (Source 1, 2, 3)

6. Blood Type Diet
Not everyone agrees on this, but personally, I’ve had fabulous results with the Blood Type Diet. I say this solely based off of my own experience. My friend Jessica is an M.D., (some of you may know her as “mdkygirl”) and is also a huge fan of the blood type diet. She recommends it to her patients all the time. Her blood type, A, is best suited for a vegetarian/pescatarian diet. She eats vegetarian and absolutely thrives that way. I’m blood type O, the only blood type that uses meat as “medicine.” As soon as I stopped eating a vegan diet and reintroduced meat I felt better. As soon as she cut it out – she did too. We are all so unique, and that’s what makes us a beautiful, diverse human race.


Pros and Cons of Different Diets:
As I said previously, bioindividuality is key. There is no one diet for all humans, and there are pros and cons that come with being vegan vs. being omnivore.
Pros of a Vegan Diet:
– Cruelty free lifestyle
– Reduces environmental damage
– Reduces pollution
– Reduces water wasting across the planet
– Has been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure
– Highly suitable for blood type A
– Highly suitable for those from a tropical climate
– Highly suitable for those who tend toward heat in the body or “yin deficiency”
– Suitable for “slow oxidizers” (Dr. Kelley)
– Promotes self-control
– Encourages a high fruit/vegetable intake
– Can detox the body
– Strong sense of support within the vegan community
Cons of a Vegan Diet:
– Missing key nutrients such as retinol, carnosine, creatine, DHA, B12
– You MUST eat Natto (fermented soybeans) on a vegan diet in order to get Vitamin K2, there is no other option
– Not suitable for blood type O
– Not suitable for those whose ancestors were in arctic climates and survived primarily on meat instead of fruit (think Eskimos and whale blubber, they can no longer digest carbohydrates)
– Not suitable for anyone who is too cold or has “yang deficiency,” especially kidney yang deficiency
– Difficult to ensure you are getting every single nutrient all of the time, takes a lot of research to do it right
Legumes and beans are high in phytic acid, an anti-nutrient that leeches other nutrients from the body
 
Pros of an Omnivorous Diet:
– Meat, especially organ meat, is nutrient-dense
– Highly suitable for blood type O
– Highly suitable for those from a Mediterranean, Arctic, Nordic climate
– Suitable for “fast oxidizers” (Dr. Kelley)
– K2, highly available in animal foods, can heal cavities 
– Suitable for blood type B and AB as well (lesser amounts of meat than O)
– Can heal kidney yang deficiency/yang deficiency since meat is incredibly yang
– Provides essential nutrients such as bioavailable A, D, K2, etc.
– Provides essential bioavailable co-factors crucial to digesting nutrients
– Allows you to eat unique, medicinal foods such as honey, bone broth, grass-fed butter, organs, glands, fermented cod liver oil
 
Cons of an Omnivorous Diet:
– Involves taking a life (Many debate this is part of the cycle of life. Others debate plants are also sentient beings, see “Secret Life of Plants”)
– Can interfere with Karma for those following a Buddhist life path.
– Most meat is factory farmed and fed GMOs which makes animals sick, so you must take extra care to find a farmer you trust and also must spend extra money
– Many Westerners tend to overeat meat, which can lead to heart disease and other disorders
– Not suitable for blood type A
– It takes a large amount of resources and land to raise livestock
– Contributes to pollution and water consumption
 
I can only hope that everyone finds a diet that is suitable for them. I choose to be tolerant of all paths and choices, and am willing to try everything once. Some of my nearest and dearest friends eat a vegan diet, and I am in no way suggesting that a vegan diet is unhealthy. I can’t stress it enough – we are all different and all have different nutritional requirements. This is my story… I would love to hear yours 🙂

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15 Comments

Tiia

Reply
Did you get rid of the cavities (also the black ones) by following this protocol and diet? How long did it take to get rid of them? 3 months? 6 months? Year or two? Finally I see pictures to proof that cavities can be healed with nutrition. 🙂 Sorry for the late post. I’m just curious.

Cidalia

Reply
Good post, but I don’t agree that an omnivorous diet is bad for type A blood. I’ve tried vegan, and every time, I suffer immensely…either chronic diarrhea or, shockingly, the most recent attempt left me with severe constipation that no amount of drinking water or eating vegetables, etc. could relieve. It caused great physical pain, fissures, and severe swelling…um….down there. I do better low-to-moderate carb and fiber and a bit more fat to manage my IBS. And it’s extremely difficult to get low-carb, lower fiber protein on a vegan diet.

Maikayla

Reply
How crazy, I went to a Reiki healer once, and he asked for permission to look at me/feel me energetically. I gave him the permission and the first thing he had to tell me was that he was intuitively being told that I needed Vitamin K2. He said he was even unfamiliar with the vitamin and was going to look into it after receiving that message. I had never shared with him my diet/lifestyle, but I do mostly eat vegetarian/vegan. I’m also blood type O. I don’t think that I can morally accept eating meat, but I will look into eating Natto, and I’m glad to have my own chickens from which I can get eggs, and I know exactly how their fed and treated. Thanks for this post! Much love!!

Olivia

Reply

You are very welcome!! Natto is difficult to stomach if you didn’t grow up accustomed to the taste, but I know that some companies make vegan K2 supplements from natto. 🙂 I also take a supplement called “micellized vitamin D3+K2” since it’s winter right now with minimal sun, and that seems to be a gamechanger for me.

Ashley

Reply
I have been on a vegan diet for a few years. Ever since I had shigella 4 years ago, I have been trying to get my body back on track. Last year I had 8 cavities. It was a complete shock since I haven’t had a cavity since elementary school (and it fell out because it was a baby tooth). All of a sudden I began to reexamine my diet. Since I have IBS, acid reflux and so many sensitivities to food I have to be careful with what I eat. I have been trying to eat as colorful as possible but I have been avoiding the dentist because I don’t want anymore fillings or toxins in my body. I don’t want to have meat products but I have come to terms with the fact that I have to make changes because I don’t want fillings. I have brain fog, fatigue, pain in my joints, especially my right leg. My hands and feet are colder than cold all the time. I have hormonal acne and hair loss. I already do oil pulling every morning. I live in Dallas and I’m not sure where to get local meat products from. I would like to eat as little animal products as I possibly have to. I give one of my dogs dehydrated turkey liver because when we adopted her, we needed to heal her liver (and her nutritionist recommend that because liver heals liver). What do you recommend as far as organs? Are there any dishes you could recommend? Thank you so much.

Bob

Reply
About Creatine/Carnosine, I quote: Dr. Greger’s answer, “So there’s a number of nutrients carnitine, carnosine, taurine, creatine that are not made by plants, then you say ‘Uh oh! That’s all I eat, what do i do? They’re only made by animals’. Well guess what? You’re an animal, right? And we make it just like the cow makes it that people eat, we make it too, we’re animals too, and so we make all the carnitine we need just like the cow does….

Nikki

Reply
I love you and your blog very much, and I don’t judge or discriminate on those that aren’t vegan; however, I do feel that it is a bit contradictory to be awakened and be aware of things such as karma and to live a life based on love and compassion and still support the inhumane slaughter of animals (the complete opposite of compassion) when there are hundreds of variations of a vegan diet that can be suited to almost anyone’s needs. All vegan diets are not created equal. The whole “grass-fed, cage-free, organic” thing is a complete farce, as a way to appeal to people that want to live compassionately but still want to eat animal products. Have you seen videos from those farms? They practice pretty much the exact same horrible methods as regular slaughterhouses. Cage-free simply means that instead of 10 chickens crammed into a tiny cage, it’s a thousand chickens crammed into a tiny room. They are still de-beaked without anasthesia because close quarters encourage pecking disorders. They are still miserable and live sad lives. Cows are still de-horned and castrated without anathesia. Baby cows are still taken from their mothers at birth, where they will each cry for days on end for eachother, so that we can then have the mother’s milk, instead of her baby cow, and the baby is then taken to a dark confined box that it can’t even turn around in where if its a male it’ll be turned into veal, and if a female, the same fate as her mother. After 5 years of service in the dairy industry, she’ll have her throat slit and slowly bleed out. All of that pain and torture is ingested when we eat the meat (if you believe in energy and cellular memory, which I would imagine you do.) Male chicks, even on free-range farms, are thrown by the thousands into a meat grinder alive or suffocated in garbage bags because they are of no use to the egg industry and can’t pay for their own feed. The fact that 150 billion animals are killed every year so that we can eat them when there are thousands of other healthy ways to live without taking the life of another, is a very sad thing, and I do feel that there is no way to get around ingesting that pain and suffering and energy of that animal, hence, ingesting that karmic debt. I am not Buddhist, I am just spiritual, and it still doesn’t make sense to me. I feel one would have to disconnect from a part of their heart and their compassion/conscience to still eat meat after watching something like Earthlings on Youtube, and that isn’t being true to oneself. It’s one thing to be unaware, and if you honestly believe cage-free/grass-fed actually means compassionate killing, which I honestly think you do, because I can tell you are truly a kind, caring individual who truly cares about people, and I’m sure that caring translates to the planet you live on and other beings as well. (Although “compassionate killing” sounds like a complete paradox to me, as things like rape and murder are wrong no matter how you do it) but to know about that and still choose it without trying all the other diets that we can thrive on that don’t involve needless murder seems a bit contradictory to your lifestyle. Not judging, although it may sound like it. Please, please know that. I respect you a great deal and love your blogs and posts, and I think you do a great service for this world. You are very brave, and I will never stop following you or your blog. I just wanted to put this out there and put my 2 cents in and see if it maybe made you think about it a bit, that’s all. Still respect you just as much though either way, and definitely not trying to push my lifestyle onto you. We all have the freedom to make our own choices; it just seemed like maybe you were unaware of how cruel cage-free/grass-fed/organic is, and how it’s just as cruel as regular factory farming, and I’m sure if you saw footage from those farms, you’d think differently. I think you’re just unaware, that’s all. Same goes with fish. For every 1 lb of fish caught, up to 5 lbs of unintended marine species are discarded as bykill.That environment and rain forests you get a lot of your superfoods and herbs from, such as the Amazon—well, animal agriculture is responsible for 90% of the Amazon’s destruction and is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction. Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from ALL transportation. It’s destroying our planet. You can see sources for all these stats on Cowspiracy.com. Earthlings on Youtube is great too. Also, read the China Study. Animal protein is one of the worst things for our bodies, but primarily the protein found in dairy. It also contains casein morphine which makes it incredibly addictive. I just feel that if we can’t bear to kill the animal ourselves because it would bring us to tears and make us feel horrible, that’s telling us something. We shouldn’t have to pay someone else to do it. I would maybe give it a second thought and see if 429 pops up when you’re researching it. I truly believe that higher powers speak to us through signs and numbers and animal totems, and I believe 429 is your higher powers and guides communicating to you. Only they can tell you what is right for you in this exact moment of your life. And what may not have worked for you before may work for you now that you’re so much healthier and your body has healed a great deal! Just a thought! Sending positive vibes and love and light your way! You’re amazing and I love your work. I admire you greatly. Keep doing what you do. Much love.

Olivia

Reply

Thank you so much for your input and I really appreciate your support even though we have differing views on this one topic. I understand what you are saying completely about the cage-free being a myth in terms of what’s available in grocery stores. The “organic”/cage-free eggs from the grocery store are indeed a farce, which I have a post on too! They are NOTHING like the eggs I get from my local Amish farm. Which brings me to that point – I get all my animal products locally from an organic Amish farm that I’ve been to personally. I don’t buy them from the store or from any of those companies lying to us about “cage free”, “free range,” etc. Once a farm goes big, that’s it. So I make sure to buy from farmers where I know how the animals are treated. I totally respect you as well and I thank you for your passion towards what you believe in. And it’s funny you mention 429… I ALWAYS see it whenever I’m about to make a post or I’m researching about why I believe balance is required and why I include small amounts of organic animal products in my diet. I recently had a friend switch from a vegan diet (which made her feel great for the first few years) back to including local eggs, wild fish, and grass-fed butter. She texted me right at 4:29 to talk about it and she immediately felt better by making the switch (and so did her young daughter). I really believe that everyone is different, although all of her meals are still plant-centered (just like mine). I will always advocate for balance, and will ALWAYS tell people to run far away from factory farms and grocery store animal products. If someone is not as lucky as I am to have a wonderful local farm, I tell them there’s plenty of protein in plants. It’s about finding what’s best for the earth AND each individual while not losing sight of our own needs. Thank you again for the love and support and I’m glad you found a diet that you love just like I did. xoxo

Yanna

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Hello, Seems to me like you’re mixing things a little bit here. According to Chinese Medicine, some foods create heat, cold or are neutral for your body. So it’s true that chicken or beef are hot, but for example crab is quite cold. Rice is neutral and good for everybody. There are plant foods which support Kidney Yang : barley, an old grain cold yi yi ren in Chinese, black sesame seeds… Methinks that you made your health issues worse by eating what seems to be a Raw Till 4 diet. Raw foods are extremely cooling for the body and exhausting for your Spleen Qi. Just for you to know^^

☮ Chin Jin ツ

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Thank you! I have a question though: I'm also interested in Traditional Chinese Medicine, but how did you learn more about TCM without learning Chinese? Thank you so much 🙂

teresavalentinaxoxo

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Thank you so much for sharing your experience on this delicate topic, Olivia! I have been on a vegan diet for a year and first it worked very well for me, I even began to push my new lifestyle on my beloved ones, then I didn't feel good anymore, I felt really weak and I got problems with my teeth. Now I am trying to find balance in my life and with my eating habits as well. I don't judge

Elena

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Hi my name is Elena and I tried living the vegan lifestyle as well and I was feeling wonderful but then I realized that my teeth were being affected so I had to stop and now I’m finding ways to get my teeth back to be healthy, and I was wondering if you have any ways or tips

Allyson Judkins

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How did you find Lily?? Looking for a "Lily" in my area.

Shakiah Taylor

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You took the words out of my mouth!. obviously lily has taken a "liking" to Olivia , they seem to have a friendship. I hope to find sometime just as good in philly. Good luck!

Rachel Tuttle

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Amen! I have raised animals who has a wonderful life as well as my yearly organic herb and veggie garden. I see so many vegans and meat eaters hating all the time on each other and those perhaps like myself are looked upon as horrible people. This post was refreshing and I comend you for being so brave!

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