I started eating a vegan (plant-based diet) when my oldest child, now six, was around five months old. So, it’s been around five years since we went vegan. Last October, however I started incorporating animal products into my diet and we’ve since continued to eat animal products. Keep reading to find out more about why and how we stopped vegan. I also share why we don’t take on any specific “diet” anymore.
Why I’m Not Vegan Anymore
Why We Went Vegan Initially
My main goal with veganism was eating as many whole food as possible. Meaning, I wanted to eat fully plant-based, and not substitute everything I ate with vegan alternatives (Tofurkey, Oat milk, etc.)
It was also important to me to have my daughters grow up with a versatile diet. I wanted them to know, love, and eat vegetables. Being vegan almost ensured this (or so I thought).
Saving the animals was definitely a huge positive for me, as I passionately disagree with (and still detest) big agriculture. However, the health aspects were my number one motive from the beginning.
Briefly, here are some positive things that came out of our veganism experience:
Five Years Later
Fast forward five years. My daughter is six. She starts showing a huge interest in trying animal products, as my husband is not vegan. She notices eggs, meat, and other foods at restaurants or at friend’s houses. I knew this was a possibility, and I was ready for it when the time came. I never wanted to or planned to “force” her to be vegan against her will. I was very very VERY picky about the animal products I started her on, as she had only had a tiny bit through exposure as a baby (for allergy purposes). We started with pastured butter, then moved on to pasture-raised local eggs. Now we incorporate grass-fed and finished animal meats, wild fish, and even bone broths into our diets.
Part of this is just her curiosity. But I also believe that because of her MTHFR gene mutation, her body was craving natural B12. (She was on a synthetic supplement, but as with everything, I truly prefer the natural form over man-made.)
So this is how my daughter started eating animal products. It doesn’t necessarily explain why I started eating them, however. Ultimately, though, I had to make a choice. I was vegan for the health benefits first, and for the activism second. I had to choose the route that best nourished my family, and for the time being, it just isn’t veganism.
Why I Eat Animal Products Now
After this I sort of went into a spiral of research. My daughter’s interest led me into researching the best products to feed her, and that’s what piqued my interest. This led me to discover regenerative farming and I sort of fell in love with the idea, and I just realized how much sense it made. I realized why people had farmed that way for so long before they started industrializing our food system. The monocropping of foods like corn and soy are extremely detrimental to our soil environment, and yet so many of the foods we eat each day (vegan or not) contain these glyphosate-infested, processed foods.
I could go on and on about how soil depletion and lack of whole foods in our diets today is the root cause of so many underlying issues, but I can tell you that it certainly is not a problem of whether you are vegan or not. There is no true diet that is earth-friendly. Big agriculture and monocropping are one in the same, and the companies profiting from this are turning our food industry for profit, not for the benefit or our health. So all that to say, I don’t buy that veganism is a planet-friendly diet anymore like I used to because I know a bit more than I used to.
So What IS Your Diet Now?
Positive Changes After Making the Switch to Animal Products
Something I want to point out is that I really did thrive on a vegan diet at first. I was switching from a Westernized diet of mostly-processed foods and sugar to almost exclusively plants. I noticed the benefits of a plant-baed diet for a long time. I had glowing skin at first, I lost a lot of fat (almost too much in the beginning), and my energy levels felt great. But after years of eating a vegan diet, I started to notice small things. My hair was a bit more frail. It didn’t grow as quickly as it used to. I felt sluggish and needed coffee to get through the day, and most of all, I started to crave sugar. Lack of protein intake almost always results in a sugar craving, and I felt this way for a long time before finally making some changes. The changes were small, and it took several months to introduce an animal-rich diet again, but I have noticed some very positive changes. I’ve also done some research on the necessity of animal products and I feel that it’s right for me and my body.
There were some pretty noticeable changes once my body got used to eating animal products again. Here are the things I noticed: