UC’er with the Moral Issues – VEGAN


My symptoms began around age 13. Diagnosed at 25. Numerous drugs for 2 years. Started SCD diet at 27. No drugs after that and currently 31.

Some more about me:

Live in Dallas, TX. From the east coast. Environmental Adventurer.

Current Symptoms:

No logs, irregular.

Moral Issues with My Diet and Going Vegan

Ok – I have been doing well on the SCD diet for almost 4 years now. I do not stick to the exact diet all the time and when I don’t (like this past holiday season) I sufffferrr. But I can easily kick my butt back onto the diet and fix the problems. I usually fix them to a point I am comfortable with and not 100%. Aka it is hard for me to do without sugar. I do very well living without rice, pasta, beans, soy and most bread – things that ruled my life before the diet.

Anyway, there was a span in my life I was a vegetarian for 2.5 years and I really would love to be able to be a vegan but my diet does not allow this. I have tried a few times to go back to vegetarian and I only last about a week before I throw in the towel because my UC symptoms are back in full force.

Since I probably can not go vegan I try and do a one day meatless Monday. But my guilt is getting to me. I need another way to make up for this. Any ideas on how I can balance the two in my life? If I can’t change my diet how can I convince others to do a meatless Monday and “do what I say, and not what I do”. I feel like I have this disease and these moral feelings for a reason but I don’t know how to connect them.

Currently on the no list: pasta, rice, beans, hummus, grain bread, soy, tofu
Currently eating mostly: meat and veggies (potatoes, broccoli, zucchini) and fruit

So if I went veggie I would basically eat veggies and fruit – but there are several I can’t eat (kale, grapes etc). And no tofu, no soy, no garbanzo beans. Oh and one thing I definitely can’t eat is processed foods so I fear all those frozen “veggie chicken nuggets” and things would be out as well.

Anything with too much roughage causes problems in my system. I try and stick with the simple carbs.

So my dilemma remains.

Colitis Medications I Previously Tried:

Took steroids, torpedoes (thats what I called the little butt pills that go up your butt), asacol, enemas.. etc.
Currently take no medicine and only vitamins: fish oil, multi vitamin, b complex, vit e, vit d.

written by NJM

submitted in the colitis venting area


38 thoughts on “UC’er with the Moral Issues – VEGAN”

  1. I was just saying today that by allowing a mosquito sucking my blood giving life to millions of mosquitos I should have balanced what I eat in numbers… But I guess the choice is if you want to live (and live well) or if you want the animals to live. We eat and get eaten (mostly from bacteria, candida and other microorganisms). I am thinking about the turtle that lays 300 eggs each year and some year not one of them survives. And I also have a cousin that has a goat farm, I was watching a slaughter of a one month old calf and the goat mom didn’t even react. My cousin told me the goat moms usually shows no signs of sorrow from loosing a calf. Maybe some animals are meant to be eaten? they have another mind from us, it’s not to programmed in the same way. I have always been thinking about these things and somehow I would also like to live life with only doing good, but maybe it is not possible. The only way to not kill another living thing is to not eat, not to even step anywhere, breathing should be ok but not much more than that. But also we host more bacteria than cells in our body, is taking care of them is also a moral? And if so, should we take care of the bad ones as well? I see it as a symbiosis, we have so many different types and I am not so sure we as humans are the one setting the rules.

    Sorry for a philosophical and lengthy answer.

    And also maybe you can getter better and tolerate a vegan diet by supplementing with something.. Maybe you have a hormonal or neurotransmitter imbalance making you react.

    1. What the????? Mosquitos, goats that lack grief, being eaten …
      Anyway, there are paleo guides to vegetarian eating and with a few tweaks could be SCD legal, limited but available. I’m on GAPS, was a vegetarian, but sometimes have trouble swallowing meat as it sets my gag reflexes off. This has happened a few times and lasts for about two to three weeks, so it’s veggies, nuts, yoghurt, fruit, and eggs (all GAPS legal) for me until I can again do the meat thing.
      One thing that may help is to order your meat from a farmer, depends on your area etc. I’m in Australia and that is an option for me, so I can order the meat from one grass fed, free range animal. I feel your pain though as it’s a battle between ‘feelings’ and feeling better.

  2. I have found remarkable relief from changing my (20+ years) vegetarian diet to that of a gluten-free vegan one. I pay no heed to someone elses SCD theory. I was on the meanest nasty drugs and now I take nothing.

    It is not as hard I as imagined it to be. After a couple of weeks you get your head around it and it just becomes normal and doesn’t affect my family at all (they are happy to eat vegan food too and just put a bit of meat on the side sometimes). Try this website: http://www.theppk.com

    Good on you,

  3. I don’t think I understand the dilemma. There is nothing immoral about eating meat. And meat tastes really really good. I’m partial to BBQ’d steaks. :)

    1. Nothing immoral about it? Tell that to the billions of animals who have their lives ended for nothing more than meals that will soon be forgotten

  4. Elaine Gottschall herself said it was impossible to follow the SCD as a vegan – you need at least one egg a week. Human beings are omnivores, not vegetarians – that’s why you have canine teeth. We are designed to eat meat. But since this is a moral dilemma for you, try, as you say, eating meat only once a week, and only organic or Compassion in World Farming-raised meat, so that the animal has had a good life. Eat meat that comes from only one animal, so that only one animal has died for you (beef or salmon, for instance, rather than shrimps, where maybe 30-40 would have to die to give you a meal). This is a Buddhist approach. If SCD makes you well, you need not stay on it forever. I followed it for three years and then gradually introduced other foods, and now I eat a basically ‘normal’ diet. But then, I never cut out meat – in fact I found I craved it, and liked it bloody for the first time in my life. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

  5. Hey NJM,
    I can totally feel you here! I followed a vegetarian (and almost vegan) diet before I started the SCD. In the beginning, I tried to stay vegetarian on the SCD but then slowly introduced fish, chicken and beef. It was impossible for me to benefit from all the advantages of the diet (e.g., the bone broth) without the meat. I keep telling myself that I will go back to being a vegetarian once my symptomes have subsided but I have to figure that out as soon as I see a light at the tunnel ;) For you I would recommend to just buy organic meat. I buy my meat at a local husbandry where I can see how the animals are living. This decreases the guilty conscious a little. Maybe you could try the same…
    Greetings from Germany,

  6. I too fail to see the moral dilemma. Humans have been eating meat since the dawn of time. There is a reason vegetarianism makes you feel worse. Our bodies are meant to digest meat by evolution. If you are worried about the treatment of animals (although, this too is irrelevant), you can eat kosher meat which is known to be treated more humanely. There is no moral dilemma here.

    1. Have you seen the videos of “kosher” meat animals being slaughtered? Much worse than the regular slaughter horrors. Posters saying nothing immoral about eating meat and who cares about animal cruelty are missing the point. Every individual is allowed to have their own feelings on the subject and that does not make them incorrect. This person does care. Stating you do not care for humane treatment of animals is not going to change this persons moral issues nor will it help them find alternative types of meals to eat :-)

      1. Amen @ SOCAL. I am considering SCD, but I would like to maintain as much of a plant-based diet as I can for health AND moral reasons. I’m thinking that as long as we get enough protein from nuts, seeds, lentils, and duh – plants, it should be doable. Take a b12, eat an egg here and there. Our bodies like carbs for fuel over protein anyway. Track using a food log app to make sure we’re hitting our DRI of protein, things should be good.

    2. Believe it or not, the Bible clearly states that AT the dawn of time, the first humans were instructed to, and ate, a purley vegan diet.

      Yep. And most people who would claim to be bible believeing christians don’t even know that, but it’s right there in Genesis!

      In fact, it wasn’t until after the flood, that G-d “allowed” humans to eat meat (there was no prohibition about what KIND of meat, either… human flesh was obviously not ruled out, but don’t expect Christians to know or agree with it, even when it’s pointed out!)

      Just providing another POV ;-)

        1. Because most Christians DON’T know that 2) the first good-given instructions on duty were vegan, and 2) consumption of meat only became allowable after the flood.

  7. i understand what you mean. i was vegan for 5 years before i started SCD. i cried as i took my first bite of tuna. my health has gotten a little better since doing SCD- not remission- but this positive change tells me that adding meat back in was the right thing to do. i’ve been following the diet since august 2012 and have really gotten used to it.

    morally, i hate that i have to consume animals and wish i could be a healthy UCer that follows a vegan diet. that’s just not in the cards for me and i’ve accepted it. i thank my animals for giving me nourishment and always buy humanely raised meat. you have to do what is right for you. you can still love animals and follow SCD as hypocritical as that may sound.

  8. Hello NJM,

    I can understand what you are going through. I am a vegetarian and don’t eat any meat or fish. I am currently in a remission and have been since last August. I was taking Lialda but it wasn’t helping me so I decided to try the natural route. Each person is different and you must figure out what works best for you. I saw a post by “Bev” who is a regular contributor and I am following her regimen. I take Vitamin D, Astaxanthin pills 4mg, L-Glutamine, and a multivitamin pill everyday. I also mix Prebiotin in juice. And I also take a probiotic called Renew Life. You can go on the websites for Prebiotin and Renew Life to see which would work for you should you decide to try this. I am off all medications and feel great. I will keep doing this as it is working. I can’t tell you what to do but I can tell you what is working for me. I eat fruits and vegetables and I do eat eggs and have Lactaid milk. And I do eat pasta. Also I do eat the “fake” chicken and “fake” meat.

  9. Hey NJM,

    I follow the SCD and I’m vegetarian, and I’m living without medications. I had pretty severe UC before the diet, never was in remission without high doses of prednisone. Now my diet sustains me and it’s awesome.
    I feel really good about how clean I eat. I was vegan before UC and into the first few years, but the crazy amount of soy was killer. Eventually I reintroduced eggs and fish, and for a year was totally carnivore again, but it grossed me out too much to keep up with that. I wasn’t following SCD at the time, though I didn’t eat dairy or gluten or soy.
    Now I still eat eggs and some fish occasionally, but otherwise have no animal products, no dairy and follow the SCD without many illegals at all. I make yogurt out of homemade nut milk, and saurkraut and kimchee do my body well. I occasionally eat seaweed, agave, or carob when I’m eating at a raw vegan restaurant. No negative consequences but I wouldn’t include them in my normal everyday diet. Some people are shocked by how narrow my diet is but I don’t see it that way. I mainly eat vegetables and it rules. Over the years I’d limited my diet so intensely that I don’t miss much. I don’t go out of my way to recreate eliminated foods like baking grain-free or making veggie burgers. I eat pretty simply. The first 6 months of SCD I didn’t eat raw foods at all because I had to do some significant healing, and I didn’t eat fruits or honey or any sugar or legumes yet. That was pretty much just eating for sustenance, steamed vegetables, vegetable purees, nut butters, and eggs and some fish. It wasn’t the most fun menu but food was practically my enemy by then. Once I advanced in the diet I started introducing way more adventurous concoctions, which pretty much translates to different salads. I mainly eat salads now and I’m symptom free. I also take some supplements like L-Glutamine, b12, etc.
    Anyway, vegetarian SCD is possible, you just have to really love vegetables in their pure forms and make some room for eggs at least. Free-range organic, practically guilt-free.

    1. Katya,

      Can you please share more about how you started? Do you have a blog or anything to help those of us who are vegetarian?


  10. I find it sad that humans on here don’t care about the brutal and vile way animals are raised and slaughteted. I thrive and have conquered my uc with loads of fruits and veggies and various but limited nuts/seeds such as hemp hearts, kidney brands and lentils. My body looks and feels amazing and my soul too.

  11. Strict ethical vegan…. diagnosed with Crohn’s…. there is so much to eat that isn’t animal or starch or sugar. You conscience lets you know what you believe in. You can absolutely get the nutrition and variety you need in Fruits & Vegetables. It’s not as easy as grocery store shopping or hitting the drive through, but it is doable. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature and you can’t imagine living differently and feeling bad (physically or emotionally) because of what you eat.

  12. My wife suffered from chrohn’s since age 13 (now 31). She had an ileostomy when she was 20 and was on medication from antibiotics to cimzia injections and everything in between. I could go on about this and the symptoms of bowel diseases but I’m sure you have an idea.

    To make a long story short, her father worked at ke***gg’s (refined sugar food manufacturer) and she would tell me story’s of how her life consisted of sugar, cereal, and poptarts until age 17. So after 5 years of getting the full story (back when we met) I decided to research since no one really had any ideas. We started SCD with great intestinal results yet still frequent kindey stones, pain and the like.

    We liked the progress but wanted to tweak it since with education we felt we could eliminate the meat and dairy which we thought may be responsible for her other symptoms. We kept researching and finally decided to eliminate meat and dairy and focus on a variety of whole fruits, vegetables etc and eliminate wheat (her not me). Legumes, nuts, leafy vegetables, root vegetables, brown rice, wild rice, beans…if you really know vegan then you know the list doesn’t end.

    We substituted spices for salt and eliminated any thing that was processed with more than a coffee grinder or a mallet. If the box had more than a few whole ingredients that were processed more than with a coffee grinder and mallet we dint eat it.

    If WE had trouble with digestion of roughage (which is not crohns related as I did too) we used diluted apple cider vinegar which did WONDERS on the vegan diet for digestion and gas.

    Fast forward and she is med free, showing healing in areas that haven’t healed in the last 10 years and that some doctors said wouldn’t heal, kidney stones have drastically reduced and non existent pain. This is OUR experience and we will never look back.

  13. I too am shocked at people not caring about the cruelty that animals are treated for the sake of $$! It just boggles my mind and breaks my heart! They do have feelings and feel pain, we are supposed to care for them and protect them. Not torture, beat shackle and cage them. Would you want to be treated that way?
    Don’t do to others what you wouldn’t want them to do to you. That includes all living beings. That’s my belief and I stand by it.

    I chose to buy only milk from local pasture raised cows, local free range chicken, eggs and wild caught fish etc.
    But am also seriously considering a vegetarian SCD diet since that is still killing.
    What scares me is the lack of protein (can’t do soy, legumes, nuts hurt me etc)
    When I started the scd diet almost a year ago, I started withering away and got weaker and weaker. Felt a little better, but was so frail I had to introduce more meat and some GF bread, occassional quinoa, potato (no fries, just baked or boiled) occassional asian rice noodles and honey.
    Would like to try again and get healthy and strong while respecting the beliefs.
    I do like the idea of having a meatless days, that should help the mind. Thank you!
    I guess it’s also about balance :)
    Good luck on your endeavors and may you feel better :)

  14. Bit late but here goes.

    There are no problems with not liking the methods of industrial farming however you have a serious illness, never put politics before health. You don’t have the luxury of making a stand on this unless you want to end up very sick.

    There are things you can do though , find good small, organic farms who only raise grass fed free range animals, lots of these places welcome visitors to look around their farms and see how they treat animals and the quality of produce is far healthier than factory farms.

    I do think that if you are against factory farming then supporting small organic grass fed free range farms is actually more positive than becoming vegan/vegetarian. Business goes where the money is if they see a large switch to ethical farming the big boys will follow the money. If you go vegan you aren’t of interest to them.

    I do believe humans fair better on a varied diet but that meat is an essential part of that. I have a cousin who is a doctor and they have lots of children of vegans couples who come in with early stages of malnutrition, vegan women having lots of miscarriages etc.

    Can you stomach fish and other sea food? There are some things like oysters and others that have no real brain so don’t feel pain so free range eggs and some sea food could help you get plenty of options.

  15. This is also a bit late, but I think in this dilemma it is very important to remember that you are a living breathing organism as any animal is. This may seem obvious, but surprisingly many people deep down do not view themselves as something that deserves compassion equally to animals. In Hinduism and Buddhism, the concept of Ahimsa is very important. That is, to consciously avoid causing harm to living beings. “All living beings have the spark of the divine spiritual energy; therefore, to hurt another being is to hurt oneself.” This is often the concept that is justification for vegetarianism in India, but it is very complex and goes both ways. By hurting yourself or depriving yourself, you are also hurting this divine spark. If your body needs to eat animals, by avoiding that, you are not practicing Ahimsa to yourself. The concept has to first come in practicing kindness and compassion to you and your own body. The lion cannot feel guilt because it must eat antelope. The wolf cannot feel guilt because it has to eat rabbits etc.. The universe simply works in this mysterious way, though it may be hard for our human brains to deal with, and you have been created in a certain way as well. Your body is a result of biology, which is impossible to apply in moral terms. As long as you respect the animals and thank them for the food they provide to you, there is no guilt. I hope this helps.

  16. Very odd concepts Kris. What you are saying though are personal not global beliefs – and I respect that. Myself, I feel no guilt – because I have to eat cows and pigs. I thoroughly enjoy a good steak and my eggs with bacon. Cheers.

  17. I am a vegetarian for 24 years. Last two years I got really sick because of severe blastocistis hominis and yeast infection. I was extremelly sick because my infection spread everywhere and I almost died. I managed to clear it all without antibiotics which almost everybody told is not possible and I am managing to heal my leaky gut on vegetarian diet as I can tolerate brown rice, few vegetables, papaya and sunflowers and almonds. I eat these few things already a year and a half and I look better every day :). There is always a way, we just have to be brave to find it. SCD or any other diet is not all in all….We have to give ourselfs a bigger role and responsibility in finding the right solutions for us….and we will be helped on the way….we are never alone…..

  18. .. late reply, but new here and also am struggling with concept of eating meat to heal my gut – especially chicken which I haven’t eaten for about 20 years due to dislike of industrial farming. For what it’s worth, I get carcasses from local butcher (for about 10p each!) to make stock/ soup which I really crave during a flare. If your dilemma is with the industry, rather than flesh eating per say, it is kind of easier to do this as this is effectively a by-product which would otherwise be wasted. Maybe I’m kidding myself, but if there’s one thing worse than factory farming, it’s killing a poor option-less beast and then throwing it’s meat into landfill…

  19. Gaby Van der sanden

    Hi Katja ,

    Are you still on this diet? Im having trouble with all the meat aswell. I would like to ask some advice about scd vega recipies
    Thank you

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