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Anorexia and vegetarianism?

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Kelsey1 MsDrago Kelsey1 MsDrago United States Posts: 818
1 10 Feb 2014
Hey everyone!! Long time no see, or hear, or talk. happy

I do consider my self to be fairly educated on the topic of health regarding plant based diets, though i need help for a counter argument regarding anorexia.

My girlfriend says she was once a vegetarian too, however she apparently was developing Anorexia Nervosa from it, so her doctor prescribed her to eat meat (Along with a bunch of probably excessive medication). I highly doubt this is true, as we know, some doctors are well, clueless from only 180 full minutes of dietary education in their whole career...
I should also mention we do have the same mental issues but her family prescribed her probably three times more medications than i do.
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Ron Ron NSW Posts: 233
2 10 Feb 2014
It depends on why people adopt a veg*n diet.  If they do it to lose weight then I can understand it could cause eating disorders just as any diet taken to extreme does.  For people who become veg*ns for moral reasons, I would be surprised if they developed anorexia or bulemia unless it was also being used for weight loss as well.
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maddie45 maddie45 VIC Posts: 167
3 10 Feb 2014
Hi Kelsey! happy

I'm not quite sure what you're trying to ask here? By a "counter argument regarding anorexia" do you mean a way to persuade your friend be vegetarian, despite having anorexia?

If so, I have to say please don't. Eating disorders are such complex illnesses - to someone with anorexia, it's not about what they 'want' to eat, or even what they choose to eat for ethical reasons.

Honestly at this point (and some of you will hate me for this) she needs to do whatever her doctor recommends. If that means eating meat, or drinking dairy based supplements, then so be it. If it was her personal struggle, wanting to avoid meat because it was against her morals, then it might be different. But you have no right to impose your morals on her at this time, even though I'm sure you mean well. If this girl is able to recover, she has her whole life ahead of her - to eat what she wants, and to make a difference for the animals.

Best wishes to your friend (and to you too!) xxxxx
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The British Aussie The British Aussie SA Posts: 212
4 11 Feb 2014
maddie45 said:
Hi Kelsey! happy

I'm not quite sure what you're trying to ask here? By a "counter argument regarding anorexia" do you mean a way to persuade your friend be vegetarian, despite having anorexia?

If so, I have to say please don't. Eating disorders are such complex illnesses - to someone with anorexia, it's not about what they 'want' to eat, or even what they choose to eat for ethical reasons.

Honestly at this point (and some of you will hate me for this) she needs to do whatever her doctor recommends. If that means eating meat, or drinking dairy based supplements, then so be it. If it was her personal struggle, wanting to avoid meat because it was against her morals, then it might be different. But you have no right to impose your morals on her at this time, even though I'm sure you mean well. If this girl is able to recover, she has her whole life ahead of her - to eat what she wants, and to make a difference for the animals.

Best wishes to your friend (and to you too!) xxxxx
I agree with you on this.
Anorexia is a mental illness and all you can do is support your friend through recovery. I would not bother with the veg*n issue at all. Anorexia does not stem from a moral issue with food, it is a complex and life threading mental illness.

I wish your friend all the best in her recovery and if you yourself need any support (being someone who has been there for a person with an eating disorder myself it takes a toll on you too) then please feel free to ask. We all need someone to talk to about these things xxx
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Kelsey1 MsDrago Kelsey1 MsDrago United States Posts: 818
5 11 Feb 2014
maddie45 said:
Hi Kelsey! happy

I'm not quite sure what you're trying to ask here? By a "counter argument regarding anorexia" do you mean a way to persuade your friend be vegetarian, despite having anorexia?

If so, I have to say please don't. Eating disorders are such complex illnesses - to someone with anorexia, it's not about what they 'want' to eat, or even what they choose to eat for ethical reasons.

Honestly at this point (and some of you will hate me for this) she needs to do whatever her doctor recommends. If that means eating meat, or drinking dairy based supplements, then so be it. If it was her personal struggle, wanting to avoid meat because it was against her morals, then it might be different. But you have no right to impose your morals on her at this time, even though I'm sure you mean well. If this girl is able to recover, she has her whole life ahead of her - to eat what she wants, and to make a difference for the animals.

Best wishes to your friend (and to you too!) xxxxx
She claims when she was younger vegetarianism was GIVING her anorexia.
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Casper.s2 Casper.s2 SA Posts: 1640
6 11 Feb 2014
it is more likely to put on weight being vego, being vega how ever is often an excuse to diet profusely, as the difficulty of finding vegan alternatives can easily be too much effort to actually try being vegan - for health... not ethics or diet
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sophxx sophxx NSW Posts: 169
7 11 Feb 2014
A diet that limits or controls what you eat, such as vegetarianism, can be triggering for people who have risk factors for anorexia. It is possible that this was the case for your friend. Generally eating disorder doctors are very strict on vegetarianism, as many use it as a way to restrict their intake of "unhealthy" foods.

Anorexia is a very complex illness and even when vegetarianism is done for ethical reasons, the food side cannot be ignored. This focus on food can, for some people, trigger them to have disordered thoughts and behaviours.

If your friend wishes to be vegetarian, she must make sure she is entirely recovered from the thoughts and behaviours that drove her weight loss, and to make a personal judgement as to whether a more restrictive diet will be bad for her mental health.

happy
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