Veganism is an Eating Disorder

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DGA
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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by DGA » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:21 am

justsit wrote:
DGA wrote: Food preferences are largely an exercise in self-grasping (constructing myself as a "good person," or as a "person with good taste," or as a "person with a regionally-appropriate sensibility," or just acting out habit and nostalgia, repeating the same old round again because that is familiar and parting with the familiar is painful). This exercise in self grasping, however, has the unique ability to coincide with a certain sensibility that coincides with some sentiments in some Dharma traditions, as we see in this thread.
Really? While I'm sure that might be the case with some people, it is by no means the majority. Almost every vegan and vegetarian I know makes food choices based on health considerations. Many were overweight and developing complications and wanted to make healthier choices or had other diet related problems like diabetes. Personally, my first concern in becoming vegetarian was health; second, ethics, in terms of causing suffering to sentient beings; third was concern for the environment, since meat industry consumes large amounts of resources, among other things. Being trendy or any of the labels you mentioned above never entered into my decision. Not sure where you get the grasping thing.
Sure, many do make decisions based on health, or think they do. Good for them. But I was making a different point when I was describing food preferences, as quoted above, based on my own observation of myself and others. It's remarkable how easily the monkey mind goes into freakout mode around aversion and attraction around food or even a sense of scarcity around food. And that freakout is what I was referring to as self-grasping. Notice also that I was generalizing about food preferences generally, and not the habits of vegans and vegetarians only.

Full disclosure: I live in a vegetarian household, and stuck to a vegetarian diet for about 18 years. My experiment in veganism was a disaster from a health perspective, not because of the indigestion or the flatus, but because plant-based foods just weren't calorically dense enough to keep me going. I couldn't eat enough often enough to avoid hypoglycemia.
I've been an RN for almost 30 years and have seen first hand the effects of poor dietary choices on the lives of countless patients. I decided early on that I would do what I could to stay healthy. I also quit drinking and drugging and smoking around the same time; if that makes me "grasping," so be it.
Good for you. I rejoice in your good health.
Frankly, I don't give a flying you-know-what what others think of what I eat or any other aspect of my life. None of their business.
I nominate this ^^^ for the healthiest attitude in this thread.

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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by DGA » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:24 am

seeker242 wrote:
DGA wrote:
For clarification: I am not anti-vegan any more than I am opposed to the second law of thermodynamics.
FWIW, that isn't how it comes across. You think Thich Nhat Hanh has an eating disorder. I find that highly unlikely. :smile:
I didn't say anything about Thich Nhat Hanh in this thread.

:shrug:

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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by Adamantine » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:24 am

KathyLauren wrote:
Adamantine wrote: Hehe.. yeah I only asked because that seems to be (not saying in your case) a blindspot in the general vegan approach: absolutely no animal based food or clothing or furniture or medicine, etc. And often times there can be an argumentative intensity in trying to shame people who eat meat or dairy (as can be witnessed on the hundreds of pages of vegetarian debate thread here) even if they explain that they need it for their health..as all constitutions are unique.
Yes there are, unfortunately, many "veganazis", who give the rest of us a bad name. While I hope I do not come across as one of them, and I would never shame someone who claimed they need meat or dairy for health reasons (it might actually be true), I have limited sympathy for that argument. Such dietary restrictions are less common than is often claimed or assumed. There are in fact no essential nutrients in meat or dairy that are not also available in plant-based foods, other than vitamin B-12, which is of bacterial origin and is present in meat but not in washed plants.

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I'm close with someone who was vegetarian for years and all her
Western medical blood tests showed she was in perfect health, no deficiencies. However she felt extremely weak, would almost faint when blood was drawn from weakness afterwards, was extremely vulnerable to altitude sickness at slight rises in elevation that wouldn't bother most people, etc. I won't go into too much detail. What's more, Mantra practice triggered a "lung" or wind disorder in her. Reluctantly, at the behest of a Lama and a Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner, she added meat to her diet and felt increasingly better. So western medical analysis and its accompanying dietary recommendations are not complete in my own experience, witnessing her improvement. So perhaps you could incorporate that into your personal contemplation to accompany your thoughts about basic vitamin intake. Or do you dismiss traditional medical approaches to the human body and health?
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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by seeker242 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:26 am

DGA wrote:
seeker242 wrote:
DGA wrote:
For clarification: I am not anti-vegan any more than I am opposed to the second law of thermodynamics.
FWIW, that isn't how it comes across. You think Thich Nhat Hanh has an eating disorder. I find that highly unlikely. :smile:
I didn't say anything about Thich Nhat Hanh in this thread.

:shrug:
Did you know Thich Nhat Hanh is vegan? If veganism is an eating disorder then apparently Thich Nhat Hanh has it!
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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by jkarlins » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:45 am

To each his own. Personal interpretation of ahimsa, plus enjoyment.

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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by justsit » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:49 am

DGA wrote:Sure, many do make decisions based on health, or think they do....
I'm curious as to why you added the qualifier. Is it really that difficult to believe that there are people who actually do make decisions based on health? Must there be some ulterior motive?

I think many Americans have a very unhealthy relationship with food. It is way more that fuel, it's represents some sort of attempt to fill an emptiness inside themselves that has nothing to do with physical hunger. They're feeding something, but it isn't their bodies, although their bodies bear the consequences. For many, their whole lives revolve around food.

And for some reason, vegans and vegetarians make them feel threatened, or judged, or ....something, I don't know why. They get very defensive when the subject come up; I try not to discuss it, unless someone point blank asks.

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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by Dharma Flower » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:31 am

I just realized that, for the last week, I've been eating yogurt with gelatin in it. What the heck? Is there such thing as vegetarian yogurt???

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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by justsit » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:35 am

Dharma Flower wrote:I just realized that, for the last week, I've been eating yogurt with gelatin in it. What the heck? Is there such thing as vegetarian yogurt???
There are yogurts that use plant based thickeners instead of gelatin. Taste of Inspirations is one, they use pectin and locust bean gum. I think I read Fage and Stoneyfield are gelatin free, but check labels to make sure, or do a google search.

Just a heads up - you need to read the labels on almost everything, especially products made by big corporations, as they tend to use the cheapest most cost-effective ingredients. Even some of the smaller companies will cut corners. The closer you can to the original food, the more likely you are to get full nutritional value, i.e., an apple is a better choice than applesauce, which is better than apple juice. The less adulteration the better.

And the labels "Natural" or "all natural" are meaningless - there is no legal definition for those terms.

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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by Dharma Flower » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:00 am

justsit wrote: Just a heads up - you need to read the labels on almost everything, especially products made by big corporations, as they tend to use the cheapest most cost-effective ingredients.
There's gelatin in sour cream too???? I feel like my world is being turned upside down. At least it's just in trace amounts.

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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by Dharma Flower » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:17 am

I've decided that I am not going to freak out over inadvertently purchasing items with trace amounts of gelatin in it. I became vegetarian for personal health first, and animal rights a distant second.

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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:06 am

justsit wrote:
DGA wrote:Sure, many do make decisions based on health, or think they do....
I'm curious as to why you added the qualifier. Is it really that difficult to believe that there are people who actually do make decisions based on health? Must there be some ulterior motive?

I think many Americans have a very unhealthy relationship with food. It is way more that fuel, it's represents some sort of attempt to fill an emptiness inside themselves that has nothing to do with physical hunger. They're feeding something, but it isn't their bodies, although their bodies bear the consequences. For many, their whole lives revolve around food.

And for some reason, vegans and vegetarians make them feel threatened, or judged, or ....something, I don't know why. They get very defensive when the subject come up; I try not to discuss it, unless someone point blank asks.

For the first part I agree. However, in my experience, plenty of vegans and vegetarians (well, more vegans frankly) actually fit into the first category - of people who also have an unhealthy relationship with, and fixation on food.

That doesn't make them any different than all the other omnivores with an unhealthy relationship to food of course.. but for the louder, more judgemental ones (my favorite behavior is when people who do things like gag themselves in public when someone orders meat near them - classy), it sure makes them look like dilettantes. I know the other side can be just as bad, making fun of anyone who dares to mention begin vegan, etc.

I do respect people who are consistent and reasonable about it, and consider them both valid dietary decisions to make, for a variety of reasons. I do -not- like a lot of the social behavior I see surrounding them, and I think there are valid reasons to feel that way.
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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:56 am

DGA wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:I'll go one further and say most people who obsess long term over diet details (rather than just planning, etc.) are often in one way or another, on the road to an eating disorder. Goes for Paleo as much as for Vegans. Tell ya what, if you find Vegans uniquely annoying go spend some time with a Crossfitter on a Paleo diet..you will see there is nothing unique about Veganism in this regard, other than the (sometimes spurious) moral claims of course.

The fact that we are living around so many choices, with access to a mind boggling number of foods, and this obsession with diet...is not a coincidence.

The ongoing "debate" about just what is a healthy and/or ethical diet is an interesting one, I came to the conclusion a long time ago that usually when people debate this, it is not health they are concerned about, not really. Maybe not ethics either, since they tend not to apply the same standards with pretty much anything else they buy, only food. It's something deeper having to do with neuroses and fear about moral culpability, unconscious belief that certain substances are "tainted" etc.
I have participated in some intensive, traditional practice periods ("retreat" isn't really the right word for this kind of training). One of the things I learned from practicing for long hours among others who, all of us together, had no control over what we ate, when we ate it, how we ate it, or whether we had time to enjoy it, is that a big, big, big part of our egos is wrapped up in our food preferences. I saw this in myself, and I could see it clearly in others too. For some it became an obsession.

I'm interested in these conversations about food and food politics vis a vis Dharma practice for this reason. Food preferences are largely an exercise in self-grasping (constructing myself as a "good person," or as a "person with good taste," or as a "person with a regionally-appropriate sensibility," or just acting out habit and nostalgia, repeating the same old round again because that is familiar and parting with the familiar is painful). This exercise in self grasping, however, has the unique ability to coincide with a certain sensibility that coincides with some sentiments in some Dharma traditions, as we see in this thread.

Samsaric activity can present itself as virtuous activity, and that seems highly pernicious to me. I am not accusing anyone in this thread of this behavior, since I don't know any of you well enough to know and besides I'm an idiot and not a siddha, but I would like to underscore it Just In Case it Might Apply to You. It might, you know.

You are preaching to the converted dude, I feel like doctrinaire public "lifestyle" proclamations (diet or otherwise) in general are a ugly, dumb thing. We all participate in them to one degree or another of course, no escaping it.
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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by Mantrik » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:26 am

Dharma Flower wrote:I've decided that I am not going to freak out over inadvertently purchasing items with trace amounts of gelatin in it. I became vegetarian for personal health first, and animal rights a distant second.
Just as well. Many medicines include gelatine. It isn't just the capsules, but also tablets, presumably as a binder.

Mnay vegans and vegetarians are unaware that they are eating pig and cow in their medicine, and for some it would deeply offend their religious beliefs. Medicine packaging is not marked. Although I have lobbied for this in the UK, apparently there is EU complexity making it very unlikely, sadly, that they will simply print the 'Suitable for Vegetarians' logo on the boxes. You have to read the tiniest of print to find it, and because it is an 'excipient' not an active ingredient, many doctors and pharmacists are equally clueless and regard all brands (and generics) as the same when prescribing.

More recently, the new £5 note has also been manufactured using animal products, a singularly crass and insensitive move in multi-ethnic Britain. OK, they don't eat the notes, but it is an example of how a significant proportion of the population is ignored.
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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by Dharma Flower » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:53 am

DGA wrote:Or veganism coincides with eating disorders
If our species was meant to live on a diet of animal products, why is it that so many of the most common diseases are related to our consumption of animal products? Heart disease is caused by saturated fat and cholesterol, and diabetes is caused by fat clogging our insulin receptors:
Although most think of type 2 diabetes (T2D) as a disease of glucose metabolism dysfunction, abnormal lipid metabolism is actually the underlying cause of this common disease.
http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/8/363/363ec173
Eating a plant-based diet has been shown, time and again, to prevent and reverse disease. Our ancestors were opportunistic eaters, eating whatever was available to them, including meat. That doesn't mean that meat is best for optimal health.

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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by KathyLauren » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:42 pm

Adamantine wrote: I'm close with someone who was vegetarian for years and all her
Western medical blood tests showed she was in perfect health, no deficiencies. However she felt extremely weak, would almost faint when blood was drawn from weakness afterwards, was extremely vulnerable to altitude sickness at slight rises in elevation that wouldn't bother most people, etc. I won't go into too much detail. What's more, Mantra practice triggered a "lung" or wind disorder in her. Reluctantly, at the behest of a Lama and a Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner, she added meat to her diet and felt increasingly better. So western medical analysis and its accompanying dietary recommendations are not complete in my own experience, witnessing her improvement. So perhaps you could incorporate that into your personal contemplation to accompany your thoughts about basic vitamin intake. Or do you dismiss traditional medical approaches to the human body and health?
I am sorry that your friend has had health difficulties. I, too, used to feel weak, and even passed out on occasion, when blood was drawn. It was purely psychosomatic and I manage it now by psychological means. Perhaps that Lama was doing the same thing when he prescribed meat.

Yes, I do dismiss traditional "medical" approaches. I am a scientist at heart. Always have been; always will be.

Om mani padme hum
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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by Adamantine » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:33 pm

KathyLauren wrote:
Adamantine wrote: I'm close with someone who was vegetarian for years and all her
Western medical blood tests showed she was in perfect health, no deficiencies. However she felt extremely weak, would almost faint when blood was drawn from weakness afterwards, was extremely vulnerable to altitude sickness at slight rises in elevation that wouldn't bother most people, etc. I won't go into too much detail. What's more, Mantra practice triggered a "lung" or wind disorder in her. Reluctantly, at the behest of a Lama and a Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner, she added meat to her diet and felt increasingly better. So western medical analysis and its accompanying dietary recommendations are not complete in my own experience, witnessing her improvement. So perhaps you could incorporate that into your personal contemplation to accompany your thoughts about basic vitamin intake. Or do you dismiss traditional medical approaches to the human body and health?
I am sorry that your friend has had health difficulties. I, too, used to feel weak, and even passed out on occasion, when blood was drawn. It was purely psychosomatic and I manage it now by psychological means. Perhaps that Lama was doing the same thing when he prescribed meat.

Yes, I do dismiss traditional "medical" approaches. I am a scientist at heart. Always have been; always will be.

Om mani padme hum
Kathy
No Kathy, she didn't have an issue with the action of blood being drawn, it was the after effects which lasted a couple days. It's ok, if you choose to dismiss other systems of understanding the body than the dominant Western paradigm, however Tibetan Medicine is considered a Dharma teaching from Sangye Menla so if you are practicing Tibetan Buddhism it could be something to be a little open minded about. There are many things Western medicine and science are still totally boggled about.. and many illnesses that it's incapable of diagnosing. Being a scientist (unless one subscribes to the dogma of scientific materialism) should also be about being open minded, since it's consistently outdating itself... imagine how Newton might feel about contemporary physics if a time traveler tried to pitch it to him?
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by emaho » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:46 pm

justsit wrote:
Dharma Flower wrote:I just realized that, for the last week, I've been eating yogurt with gelatin in it. What the heck? Is there such thing as vegetarian yogurt???
There are yogurts that use plant based thickeners instead of gelatin.
I have no problem with gelatine because I'm not a vegetarian, but I wouldn't buy any Yoghurt that uses any kind of thickener, because IMO that's just crap. Yoghurt doesn't need thickeners. All it takes to make yoghurt is milk and a starter culture of yoghurt bacteria. If you want it to be thicker, add some milk powder to the milk. That's it. If you can't buy real yoghurt, you can easily make it yourself.

Sorry for being off-topic, but bad food creeps my out. That's my personal obsession ;-)



(Going off to the kitchen to make a new batch uf Hummus...)
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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by justsit » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:01 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:For the first part I agree. However, in my experience, plenty of vegans and vegetarians (well, more vegans frankly) actually fit into the first category - of people who also have an unhealthy relationship with, and fixation on food.

That doesn't make them any different than all the other omnivores with an unhealthy relationship to food of course.. but for the louder, more judgemental ones (my favorite behavior is when people who do things like gag themselves in public when someone orders meat near them - classy), it sure makes them look like dilettantes. I know the other side can be just as bad, making fun of anyone who dares to mention begin vegan, etc.
I guess I must hang out with a different crowd or age group or something - not many hipsters in Delaware. Most vegans/vegetarians I know are older and have been eating that way for many years, it's no big deal and rarely comes up in conversation. I can't say as I've ever seen anyone gag themselves in public, although I have come across a few poseurs here and there.

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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by emaho » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:07 pm

DGA wrote:My experiment in veganism was a disaster from a health perspective, not because of the indigestion or the flatus, but because plant-based foods just weren't calorically dense enough to keep me going. I couldn't eat enough often enough to avoid hypoglycemia.
That doesn't seem to be a problem with veganism per se. A friend of mine is vegan and suffering from a lot of overweight.

PS: not accusing you of anything here, just saying. I guess it has a reason vegans use so much coconut milk and eat so many nuts, avocados and high-caloric fruits like bananas.
"I struggled with some demons, They were middle class and tame..." L. Cohen

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Re: Veganism is an Eating Disorder

Post by Dharma Flower » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:58 pm

emaho wrote:
justsit wrote:
Dharma Flower wrote:I just realized that, for the last week, I've been eating yogurt with gelatin in it. What the heck? Is there such thing as vegetarian yogurt???
There are yogurts that use plant based thickeners instead of gelatin.
I have no problem with gelatine because I'm not a vegetarian, but I wouldn't buy any Yoghurt that uses any kind of thickener, because IMO that's just crap. Yoghurt doesn't need thickeners. All it takes to make yoghurt is milk and a starter culture of yoghurt bacteria. If you want it to be thicker, add some milk powder to the milk. That's it. If you can't buy real yoghurt, you can easily make it yourself.

Sorry for being off-topic, but bad food creeps my out. That's my personal obsession ;-)



(Going off to the kitchen to make a new batch uf Hummus...)
Gelatin is often used as a thickener in non-fat dairy products. I just have to be more careful to read the label.

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