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Need to start eating meat again, but I feel too guilty watch

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    I've been a vegetarian for the most-part of 3 years (with a 6-month spell of eating meat in the middle of it). I didn't think it would have any negative effects on my health. However I have noticed that since I started being veggie, I've had a lot of low mood, I get colds constantly and I'm always tired. I get iron deficiency a lot anyway due to my genetics, so this wasnt much different after i started being veggie.

    However I recently had a full blood test (reason why I was given this is irrelevant) and it was found i have both iron and zinc deficiencies. My GP said zinc deficiency isn't usually seen in young adults in developed countries - it's usually found in young children, the elderly, and those who are unable to access a balanced diet in the developing world.
    However, the GP also mentioned that it can be found in vegetarians and vegans - so this must have been the cause for me.

    Most dietary zinc is found in meat and fish (with the exception of a few nuts / seeds) and I'm sick and tired of feeling down and unmotivated all the time. GP has prescribed me zinc, and I want to start eating meat again, but I just feel too guilty about the thought of it.

    Can anyone shed some light? How do I stop myself feeling guilty? :cry:

    Any ex-veggies / vegans on here who can give advice?
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    (Original post by Bezoar)
    I've been a vegetarian for the most-part of 3 years (with a 6-month spell of eating meat in the middle of it). I didn't think it would have any negative effects on my health. However I have noticed that since I started being veggie, I've had a lot of low mood, I get colds constantly and I'm always tired. I get iron deficiency a lot anyway due to my genetics, so this wasnt much different after i started being veggie.

    However I recently had a full blood test (reason why I was given this is irrelevant) and it was found i have both iron and zinc deficiencies. My GP said zinc deficiency isn't usually seen in young adults in developed countries - it's usually found in young children, the elderly, and those who are unable to access a balanced diet in the developing world.
    However, the GP also mentioned that it can be found in vegetarians and vegans - so this must have been the cause for me.

    Most dietary zinc is found in meat and fish (with the exception of a few nuts / seeds) and I'm sick and tired of feeling down and unmotivated all the time. GP has prescribed me zinc, and I want to start eating meat again, but I just feel too guilty about the thought of it.

    Can anyone shed some light? How do I stop myself feeling guilty? :cry:

    Any ex-veggies / vegans on here who can give advice?
    You have ethical reservations about eating meat, but this doesn't seem to be the full story as you don't seem to be considering taking iron and zinc supplements.

    If you really think it is ethically wrong to eat meat then someone telling you not to worry about it will make no difference. You need to work it out for yourself.
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    (Original post by Bezoar)
    I've been a vegetarian for the most-part of 3 years (with a 6-month spell of eating meat in the middle of it). I didn't think it would have any negative effects on my health. However I have noticed that since I started being veggie, I've had a lot of low mood, I get colds constantly and I'm always tired. I get iron deficiency a lot anyway due to my genetics, so this wasnt much different after i started being veggie.

    However I recently had a full blood test (reason why I was given this is irrelevant) and it was found i have both iron and zinc deficiencies. My GP said zinc deficiency isn't usually seen in young adults in developed countries - it's usually found in young children, the elderly, and those who are unable to access a balanced diet in the developing world.
    However, the GP also mentioned that it can be found in vegetarians and vegans - so this must have been the cause for me.

    Most dietary zinc is found in meat and fish (with the exception of a few nuts / seeds) and I'm sick and tired of feeling down and unmotivated all the time. GP has prescribed me zinc, and I want to start eating meat again, but I just feel too guilty about the thought of it.

    Can anyone shed some light? How do I stop myself feeling guilty? :cry:

    Any ex-veggies / vegans on here who can give advice?
    Not a veggie or vegan and actually a full blown non-veggie but maybe ease yourself back into it with just fish and seafood for a start. Spinach is great for iron if you don't want to eat red meat. Also, these foods:

    • Legumes: lentils, soybeans, tofu, tempeh, lima beans
    • Grains: quinoa, fortified cereals, brown rice, oatmeal
    • Nuts and seeds: pumpkin, squash, pine, pistacio, sunflower, cashews, unhulled sesame
    • Vegetables: tomato sauce, swiss chard, collard greens,
    • Other: blackstrap molasses, prune juice
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    You don't need to stop eating meat- why not try changing what your eating instead. Are you eating enough whole foods esp vegetables and leafy greens? Also try having a smoothie in the morning with kale or spinach and a banana and frozen fruit and oats and chia or flax seeds with almond milk or water - I always find this gives me such energy!!
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    (Original post by Bezoar)
    Can anyone shed some light? How do I stop myself feeling guilty?
    Why don't you eat meat? Identify the single main reason. Weigh how important this is to you. Then weigh this against the importance of health benefits from eating meat.

    If the health benefits outweigh your reason against eating then you have an easy decision and should not feel guilty about it.
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    It is not only what you eat, it is more how you eat it.

    Iron absorbs the best with vitamin C, however, if the meal contains high amounts of Calcium they both will not absorb, so nuts are usually not the best source of iron. In addition, dairy food, coffee, tea, chocolate, alcohol and some other substances stop the iron absorption for a few hours, so eating iron meal within 2-3 hours from or before dairy would be useless.

    There are many other factors, mostly hormonal, to iron loss or lack of absorption. Eating meat is not the only solution.


    I've been a vegan for over 4 years already without any issues in blood tests (not even taking additional B12 suplements, there are enough in soy milk and different artificial things I do eat sometimes).
    I was anemic for a short period of time a few years before becoming vegan, so I didn't have a lot of iron supplies. I just plan my meals to get enough iron and other nutrients.
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    Reminisce about the good old times when you were eating kebabs.

    Remember how good that **** tastes.
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    (Original post by eden3)
    Reminisce about the good old times when you were eating kebabs.

    Remember how good that **** tastes.
    Remember how those innocent animals on your plate were violently abused and murdered unnecessarily
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    you could start by eating veggie meat replacements, having them cooked in food than having small bits of meat. I totally get that you're going through a hard time.
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    (Original post by Obolinda)
    you could start by eating veggie meat replacements, having them cooked in food than having small bits of meat. I totally get that you're going through a hard time.
    there are also vegetarian options for getting these nutrients!!!
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    My stepdad was a vegetarian for ethics but changed to be a pescatarian for his health but doesn't actually eat that much fish. There's definitely ways to get the nutrients you need if you really aren't happy with eating meats. You can always look at companies with really clear ethical sourcing policies for their meats/fish as well? Do the research (someone above me has posted a really good graphic) and join lots of Facebook groups for health vegan/vegetarian recipes.
    Some of the meat substitutes you can get freely these days are also specially formulated to include extra 'helpings' of the minerals/vitamins you need.
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    OP asked for advice on how to start eating meat again so I gave her some.
    (Original post by Catlover0161)
    Remember how those innocent animals on your plate were violently abused and murdered unnecessarily
    Guess what, life's not fair. Animals dying doesn't phase me. I don't give a **** about them.
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    (Original post by eden3)
    OP asked for advice on how to start eating meat again so I gave her some.


    Guess what, life's not fair. Animals dying doesn't phase me. I don't give a **** about them.
    I understand, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Sorry to upset you I didn't mean for you to get angry. I know, life isn't fair - the truth is even more unjust for the innocent animals that suffer the absolutely disgusting and inhumane cruelty within the slaughter houses. You say you don't care about them now but if you knew what happened to them you would.
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    I went vegan with no supplements at the start of March during my second year of A levels but 2/3 months later during exam time, I had no energy, brain fog, was always cold, memory loss and my grades dropped😟 (I did better in mocks in January when I was omnivore and was supposed to do much better than I did). Luckily it was modular back then so as I got high marks in AS, even tho I got Bs and even a C in a maths exam in A2, I got A’s overall. With hindsight, I should have got a blood test to check what nutritional deficiencies I had and worked on fixing them with a doctor, or waited until after my exams to start veganism and research more. After exams, I had time to research more and diagnosed myself as having vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms and so took a multivitamin which seemed to bring me back to normal. However, now I am a pescatarian just because I worry about not getting all the different amino acids, omega 3s and iron etc. I think at the time when I suffered, I was eating incomplete proteins that didn’t compliment each other to give me the full spectrum of essential amino acids. The rest of my family eat meat and I have no veggie friends so that made it harder. Maybe when I go to uni and learn to cook properly, I’d become a good enough chef/nutritionist for myself by using books to go back to being veggie/vegan. I only eat fish and eggs as my animal products and feel like I can relax about getting all the nutrients my body needs, and I feel great now. I think all bodies are different so if a diet works for one person, it may not work so well for someone else. The extent of our needs for certain nutrients vary from person to person, and so we can thrive on different diets, although I know there are general guidelines of course. The good thing is that I’ve learnt a lot about nutrition etc. from my “journey” and don’t think I’d go back to eating meat other than fish and eggs.

    Good luck on finding the diet that works for you😊👍 Hope this helped someone maybe and feel free to comment. x
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