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Vegan Isolation

Vegan Isolation

As assistant administrator for a popular facebook group, I often hear from new members saying they feel very isolated as a vegan. Many are surrounded by meat-eaters in their private and public lives, so for them, such groups may be their only way of socializing with other vegans, such as it is.

From what I've heard, very few vegans have a doctor that supports & encourages their lifestyle. In fact, the vast majority report their doctor having expressed some degree of horror and resistance, when they have revealed their plant-based diet.

On rare occasion (although perhaps increasingly), a member reports that it was their doctor who inspired them to watch "Forks over Knives" or gave them a vegan diet health-oriented book. With great delight at discovering another knowledgeable doctor, I find out more.

Tragically perhaps, it seems that many of these vegan doctors feel just as isolated as their would-be patients! They have often spoken of their frustrations with patients who refuse to make any effort on their own behalf and insist on being treated with drugs & surgery.

What sad irony is this? ... patients deprived of the health-care they want, which would be gladly offered by a doctor who is elsewhere struggling to help patients who would rather have disease-care. I guess my point is, thank goodness for sites like this that bring like minds together!

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Now that is Absolutely Discussing!
Jeff Novick the Dietician Magician

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  • Hello Ken,
    We do thank you for the kind comments. It is amazing but the loneliness extends to the Doctor as well who is trying desperately to get people to see how their lifestyle choices are effecting their negative health outcomes and getting rejected by many patients for doing so: "Just give me a one years supply of some pills please". :-(

  • Hi Sean,
    Indeed! The loneliness is felt by us all. However, not only do the Doctors suffer the same loneliness, but they also have professional loneliness stacked on top of that. The role of the Doctor is far rockier, with far more obstruction than the average vegan. They bear the monumental burden of having to buck the entire health care system – in addition to our society’s deep seated self-destructive habits! I can’t even imagine what that must be like.

    From my own simple experience, I learned that information provided by, for example, the American Diabetes Association is 180 degrees out from my simple, 26 years’ worth of trial-and-error findings. Though it is very sad and heart breaking to see such detrimental information (and results) given to diabetics, it is easy for me to ignore it. Doctors, however cannot ignore it. It is yet another megaton of obstruction that a real Doctor must struggle against.

    I must say, it is a gross understatement to say that I am eternally grateful to Dr. Carney and all the other real doctors.

    My advice remains: just hang in there. You truly are winning battles – saving lives - every day.

    Thank You!

  • One of the most frightening times in my life was when the Public Health nurse decided that feeding our young daughter a whole foods vegan diet was potentially a form of child abuse. She insisted that I submit to an inquisition, at risk of losing my strong, healthy, bright, flourishing child to The System, while children all around us were languishing in the fog of SOS laden SADs. I had to sit with her for as long as she wanted (because she had the power in the situation) calmly & pleasantly educating her on the basics of good nutrition. ... while inside me, I was screaming with anger at the upside-downness, the unfairness. I used the early works of Dr. McDougall as my primary reference, and thankfully, satisfied her.

  • Ouch. I can hardly imagine.

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