Friday, July 6, 2012


After 21 days as a vegan (zero cheating) I celebrated with a nice plate of foie gras, which is now illegal to sell in California - score one for the vegans.

So, after my foie gras feast it's safe to say that I am no longer living la vegan loco.

There were times during my diet when it was hard being a vegan - like when The Herbal Remedy Wife kept insisting that we go out to Mexican restaurants where everything is smothered in cheese and nothing, absolutely nothing, is vegan. 

But overall being a vegan wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. However, while being a vegan wasn't tough it did require a lot of effort. I had to constantly think about what I was going to eat each day and I had to plan accordingly. It's not necessarily a bad thing to give serious thought to your daily diet, but being vegan forces you to become obsessed with your diet and I've got other stuff to worry about - like my fantasy football draft.

I understand and appreciate all the arguments in support of a vegan lifestyle: it's good for the environment, it's good for your health, it's a proper allocation of food resources, it saves the lives of animals, etc. I think all of these arguments have some degree of merit, but what I am personally concerned with the most is the issue of health.

I embarked on this 21-day challenge to see if a vegan diet made me feel healthier - and it didn't.

Within a few days of starting the diet I felt weak, mentally sluggish, and had circulation problems in my hands.  All of these things I attributed to some type of deficiency in either vitamin B12, protein and/or omega-3 fatty acids. 

I know that all vegans reading this right now are mounting their best arguments about how healthy a vegan diet is. Well, save it, because I don't think it's healthy - at least not for me. You know what I think is healthy - a well balanced diet.  And there isn't anything well balanced about being a vegan. People in Japan have the longest life expectancy rate and they are not vegan. In fact, the Japanese are the biggest consumers per capita of fish in the world. 

If I am correct in my assumption that the vegan diet resulted in nutritional deficiencies for me, that means it boils down this - am I willing to compromise my personal health for the other social benefits of veganism? Should I make sacrifices in my health to save the lives of animals? Should I make sacrifices in my health for the very, very minimal (statistically insignificant) benefit to the environment? If I choose ME then am I selfish?  

Well, I guess I’m selfish. At the end of the day I am picking ME. I don't feel bad about it.

However, I am going to draw some arbitrary lines in my diet. For example, I am going to continue to avoid red meat, but I am adding seafood back to my diet, because I need to get the protein I've been missing.  I am also going back to a bit of dairy - like cream in my coffee, because it taste good and soy makes me fart. But I am going to try to go with organic dairy as much as possible. 

And to all the vegans out there - I do admire your commitment to what you believe in. You have my proxy to save the planet. But the vegan lifestyle just isn't for me. The truth is I am just too much of a foodie to be a vegan.