I have felt the pressure to be vegetarian or vegan in high school. Many of my closest friends decided to be one and I could understand their reasoning- the harming of animals. I totally get it. It was when I started to have stomach problems that I decided to be a non-red meat vegetarian and eat as many vegetarian meals as possible. I really thought this would somehow stop the horrible pain and digestion issues. Though, it had nothing to do with ethical treatment of animals.
I went non-red meat vegetarian for a couple years. It seemed to help me and I would announce to people I was this sort of vegetarian proudly like I entered a club. Let’s face it- it is a sort of club or more so a movement. I see it all over. Kat Von D and her tribe are all vegan, many people into health crazes are vegan and hipsters are vegan. The vegan movement is huge. I was kinda part of that movement but just for a little while.
I’m diabetic (being retested for type) with IBS and gastroparesis with food allergies and intolerances. I’m part of the “sick” group of people who deal with this kind of shit everyday. I’m part of those with medical lifestyles that are not by choice and not a movement like veganism. Medical lifestyles are personalized and varied depending on the person’s needs and success. I know people doing the keto diet for diabetes and others simply just eating low carb. Some people with gastroparesis use feeding tubes, the FODMAP diet and/or use medication. Our lifestyles are very much our own. Veganism is like sticking a wrench in the whole machine.
I can see myself vomiting and laying on the floor in the bathroom crying from trying to be vegan.
I write this because the pressure for dieting and body image all over the internet is real. It is a constant reminder of the lack of freedom I have and I’m sick of it. I feel I cannot be the size 0 I used to be nor able to eat as I used to. I cannot feel as I used to feel. Myself is all I can be. Here in Norway, I find I am becoming more and more comfortable with who I am and who I know I can be. These constant pressures from the outside are just plain bullshit.