SO I’m battling eating disorders and I’m headed to treatment again. The thing of it is.. many treatment centers don’t allow you to be vegan, but the one I’m going to doesn’t even allow vegetarianism!!? Its so hard because I know my love of animals and support for animal rights isn’t my eating disorder. Some people claim they’re vegan as a way to restrict foods which is why many places don’t allow it, but I know that’s not what I’m doing! Any food can be made vegan just by substituting!! I don’t know.. I’m having a hard time coming to terms with it. Also, I can refuse the meat at meals where I’m served it, but have to supplement with Boost (that has whey) so I know no matter what being vegan isn’t a possibility and I don’t want to refuse the supplement, its just so hard to do it when I know where it comes from :'( Feeling conflicted!
First off, I think it’s really admirable that you are admitting that you need help and are seeking treatment. I’m sure everyone on here agrees with me when I say that I wish you a speedy recovery, and that we’re here to support your along your journey!
Secondly, I agree that your top priority while you’re in treatment needs to be getting at the root of your problem and really trying to get better, so that you’ll never need to go to treatment again! At the same time, you know better than anyone that your vegan lifestyle is not at the root of your struggle. From what it sounds like in this treatment center’s policy, it seems like they’re trying to provide an environment that’s really going to work with you to get better. Help them try to understand that in your personal case, being forced to eat meat will in no way help you to develop a better relationship with food! In fact, eating meat is actually associated with more health risks than a veg diet. You can look at http://www.pcrm.org/ to learn more about the connection between eating animals and your health.
I hope that you are able to help the treatment center understand that you can get better while still maintaining a meat-free diet, but again, we all want you to get better- so that needs to be your priority right now. Please keep us posted, and I wish you the best of luck! We’re here for you 🙂
Speak to the people involved in your care and explain how much veganism means to you for ethical reasons, and make sure you state you’re willing to eat whatever vegan substitutes they provide for you.
If it really isn’t possible to stay vegan whilst in treatment then at least settle for vegetarianism because you’re still helping the animals and the quicker you get better, the quicker you can get back to your life and being an awesome healthy vegan 🙂
This is obviously really difficult for you so you need to think everything through carefully.
You could say that being vegan/vegetarian is a part of your core religious belief which can fit in with any religion if they challenge it. Also you could explain that not following this diet could cause you severe mental pain which would not help your condition. You could also try sending them a link to a documentary such as Earthlings and saying that this is why you won’t eat meat then give them some viable suggestions of what you could eat instead such as tofu and beans along with some recipie links.
I’m sure that if you show them how dedicated you are to both your belief and to your treatment that they should be willing to try with you at the very least.
For those who don’t realize it, there is no way that the treatment center will allow veganism. While any malnurished individual can get better on a vegan diet, veganism and vegetarianism is a common in those with eating disorders and it is impossible for doctors to tell whether the patient is vegan for animal rights or to be skinny.