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Leaving ovo-vegetarianism for pescatarianism. Watch

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    I've been vegetarian for about a year now. I never struggled with resisting meat - even now I have no desire to eat red meat or poultry. However I developed IBS, mostly exacerbated by dairy, so I had to cut that out for a while.

    I've been sooo lethargic, and as I have a hereditary blood problem I get regular iron checks - my iron and B12 has been dangerously low recently. Now I understand it is perfectly possible for most people to live a vegan diet and get all the essential nutrients, however being a poor student studying an intensive subject with long hours in university I simply do not have money, time nor energy to plan my meals to ensure I get enough iron through veggies.

    My doctor recommended I consider re-introducing fish in my diet which should help me with iron/B12, and trying to take on her advice I had salmon for the first time in a year today. However I've been feeling so incredibly guilty since and I'm not sure if I can do it again. I feel horrible having to eat another living creature, even though it was ethically sourced.

    Should I be feeling guilty? I'm so confused as to what I should do. Am I a bad person for eating fish?
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    Firstly, you are absolutely not a bad person for choosing to eat fish - especially not if you reasonably expect it to materially improve your health. Whether or not you should feel guilty depends on your personal ethics. This strikes me as an opportunity cost situation - do you value your health or your ethics more in this case?
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    I would feel bad, personally.
    If you can handle it, do it.
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    (Original post by getbentsaggy)
    I've been vegetarian for about a year now. I never struggled with resisting meat - even now I have no desire to eat red meat or poultry. However I developed IBS, mostly exacerbated by dairy, so I had to cut that out for a while.

    I've been sooo lethargic, and as I have a hereditary blood problem I get regular iron checks - my iron and B12 has been dangerously low recently. Now I understand it is perfectly possible for most people to live a vegan diet and get all the essential nutrients, however being a poor student studying an intensive subject with long hours in university I simply do not have money, time nor energy to plan my meals to ensure I get enough iron through veggies.

    My doctor recommended I consider re-introducing fish in my diet which should help me with iron/B12, and trying to take on her advice I had salmon for the first time in a year today. However I've been feeling so incredibly guilty since and I'm not sure if I can do it again. I feel horrible having to eat another living creature, even though it was ethically sourced.

    Should I be feeling guilty? I'm so confused as to what I should do. Am I a bad person for eating fish?
    Is it not possible to supplement? Supplementation is more cost-effective than buying fish to meet your B12 and iron requirements. One daily supplement of Vitamin B12 containing 25-100ug would suffice, and your doctor could prescribe you an iron supplement.

    But, if you really do need to eat fish, then it's good that you're feeling guilty: it's a natural response. Your priority should be to maintain your B12 and iron levels, however, whilst remembering that you're causing far less suffering than you would be if you ate the average British diet. Plus, once you're out of university, you can stop eating fish again.

    Also, having orange juice or something else high in Vitamin C with foods containing iron will increase iron absorption.
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    (Original post by viddy9)
    Is it not possible to supplement? Supplementation is more cost-effective than buying fish to meet your B12 and iron requirements.

    But, if you really do need to eat fish, then it's good that you're feeling guilty: it's a natural response. Your priority should be to maintain your B12 and iron levels, however, whilst remembering that you're causing far less suffering than you would be if you ate the average British diet.
    Agree with this. I always took a multivitamin before going veggie anyway, just cos they're so cheap and an easy way to make sure you're not deficient in anything (as most people are - vegetarian/vegan or not).

    Regarding lacking energy, I've heard it before and never understood it tbh. It's carbs that give you the most energy and you don't need meat or dairy for that.
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    (Original post by getbentsaggy)
    I've been vegetarian for about a year now. I never struggled with resisting meat - even now I have no desire to eat red meat or poultry. However I developed IBS, mostly exacerbated by dairy, so I had to cut that out for a while.

    I've been sooo lethargic, and as I have a hereditary blood problem I get regular iron checks - my iron and B12 has been dangerously low recently. Now I understand it is perfectly possible for most people to live a vegan diet and get all the essential nutrients, however being a poor student studying an intensive subject with long hours in university I simply do not have money, time nor energy to plan my meals to ensure I get enough iron through veggies.

    My doctor recommended I consider re-introducing fish in my diet which should help me with iron/B12, and trying to take on her advice I had salmon for the first time in a year today. However I've been feeling so incredibly guilty since and I'm not sure if I can do it again. I feel horrible having to eat another living creature, even though it was ethically sourced.

    Should I be feeling guilty? I'm so confused as to what I should do. Am I a bad person for eating fish?

    I'm sorry to hear that, and especially sorry that your doctor recommended to you to eat fish - don't do anything you're not comfortable with, no matter who has told you to do so.

    Marine 'food' is amongst the dirtiest 'food' out there - The oceans are under serious threat of degradation and due to the masses of chemical and bio-waste being dumped into the oceans worldwide, they are in a filthy state - and so are the animals. They consume all our waste which is stored in their flesh...which you then eat - hardly healthy. The levels of mercury found in the flesh of marine animals is on the rise - mercury is toxic to humans.

    I'm vegan and I find it really easy and cheap, but I suppose that's because I've been doing it for a long time and I know how to look after my body and how to give it the nutrition it needs.

    Feeling lethargic - Carbohydrates! They are key to making sure that your body has enough energy - our bodies are built to thrive on glucose, they will not make you fat.

    Iron - white rice is really high in iron - I eat 300g of short grain white rice everyday for lunch with lots of steamed veggies on top (broccoli, mangetout, mushrooms, frozen spinach, pak choy, sugar snaps) - takes less than 20 minutes to make and it fills me up until supper (I eat lunch about 12 and supper at 7)

    B12 - currently I don't take a B12 supplement, but am open to one and am considering getting a bottle and having a capsule every 2-3 weeks or so - B12 is constantly recycled in your body.
    Listen to NutritionFacts.org's and read Dr McDougall's advice on B12.

    Infact, you can actually email Dr McDougall (author and creator of the Starch Solution) about your health issues and see what he says (he's very active in this sort of stuff) as well as read his advice on each of the things I've talked about above on his website or in his books.

    Good luck, I hope everything works out for you, and if you have any more questions or need some more advice, such as meal ideas, I am more than happy to help you out!
 
 
 
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