Sorry Vegan Friends – I am not strict Vegan anymore either.

Via Aminda R. Courtwright
on Jan 9, 2012
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I am tired of the arguing but it comes down to being honest with myself and the world and damn it people if we can’t talk nicely to each other who are we???

…so here’s my story…

Awhile back my brother sent me this email message:

I send this with NO agenda

Seriously.  A friend posted it on Facebook, and I thought it was fascinating to read, including all the comments (warning – taken all together, it’s pretty long.)


So I of course read the whole post and all the comments – and I encourage you to do the same.

I am not going to be nearly as apologetic or verbose about my personal process, partly out of laziness, partly because it’s all been said so many times and partly because it’s…well….personal.

I responded to my brother —-

Thank you so very much!!!  I applaud this woman’s courage and am so distraught that other supposed “conscious” living beings would threaten her and her family — it’s like Pro-lifer’s that bomb clinics, and people praying for war and in the end it gives me courage to speak my piece…

His response made me guffaw:


It makes me think of Mandy Moore in SAVED, who screams out, “I am FULL of the love of Christ!” – while hurling a bible at someone’s head 🙂

At the end of it I gave him my feelings –

I believe this wholeheartedly…not everyone is meant to be vegan…I have never been vegan because I object to the cycle of life, I object to how animals live and are killed in our society. For me it is about sustainability and less cruelty. If we all ate less meat, ate local, in season produce and skipped processed and chemical foods that is the answer. Death is life, but suffering doesn’t have to be.

That pretty much sums it up.

His response:

Wow.  You just said in about 70 words what it took me almost an hour to get through on that web page 🙂

Bottom line: I am not a vegan anymore because it was making sick when I moved to Colorado.  The lack of sunshine and fresh local produce made it nearly impossible. Now my idea of not being vegan is I have added local eggs and goat cheese to my diet and some yogurt and kefir. Oh and discovering that you have a sensitivity to soy — that changes things.  Soy is bad m’kay.   I guess the label would be lacto-ovo vegetarian.

And sometimes when forced to eat out (blech) I get something with cheese in it…I actually tried to eat fish and a piece of steak and…well let’s just say  I’m a vegetarian for life.   eww.

But what I realized at the end of the day — my buying chia seeds and goji berries online could actually be just as harmful and no more “enlightened” than my neighbor who drives 5 miles to get his meat at the local farm.

My husband is an omnivore and he is conscientious about what he eats and buys, he is 85percent vegetarian living with me..and when he goes too long without meat it affects him, physically and emotionally.  I see that, I understand it,  and I honor our differences.

I don’t really want to argue about it. It is what it is.  Both sides have pretty compelling arguments for who is right – so like the god question I think it is an unanswerable question therefore maybe we need to focus not on getting people to agree with us but on how we can live together and cause the least suffering possible for all creatures.

Face it, at the end of the day something has to die in order for something to live…how we live up to that point is what really matters.

PS Yes I still consider myself an animal rights activist, yes I still consider myself a pretty decent yogi, yes I think people that live vegan are admirable, but I also think that people with the smaller carbon footprint are just as admirable, no I don’t think I’m better than anyone (well maybe a few people) no I don’t think anyone is better than me (OK again maybe a few people) Yes I think eating too much meat is bad for you…but then again so is eating too much fruit or cacao beans and basically being too anything!  OH and I still eat a lot of chia seeds!

I feel like I just went to the confessional and I feel so much better!



About Aminda R. Courtwright

Aminda is a wellness facilitator and founder of ARCreated Wellness, LLC. A yoga teacher, transpersonal hypnotherapist, and Reiki Master, she shares her own healing journey with others in hopes of inspiring and uplifting those she meets. Her yoga classes are gentle and workshop style to invoke a real sense of learning and designed to be truly accessible for all levels. Her biggest hope is to help others take their yoga practice off the mat and into everyday life where it is truly meant to be experienced. (and can be most useful) Refusing to settle into the middle path just yet she prefers to dally on both edges and can be seen swinging right and leaning left. A devoted animal lover and activist and a humanist she is prone to rants and believes strongly that life is to be savored and that “we are all in this together, shouldn’t we enjoy it that way? “ When she isn’t teaching yoga, hypnotizing people, adoring her husband or doting on her grandson she is out riding her motorcycle—promoting the image that yogis are rebels and are a force to be reckoned with! You can also find her on Facebook. To join her for free classes online follow her here.


20 Responses to “Sorry Vegan Friends – I am not strict Vegan anymore either.”

  1. ARCreated says:

    I am curious if there are other ex vegans in the room?

  2. ross grayson says:

    I believe that being vegan or vegetarian is a personal choice, but that we have an obligation to become, to live, to support and to promote a sustainable life. Just as being "organic" isn't sufficient, as raising organic crops can be both destructive to the environment and be produced by grotesque labor practices. Being truly sustainable integrates the concept of humane treatment, healthy (not pure) and conscious choices, impacts to ourselves, neighbors, communities, and ALL of nature… It results in a healthy, responsible, balanced diet rather than an artificial "pure" one, and is much more holistic. In my opinion. Which is, of course, correct… 😉

  3. ARCreated says:

    thank you jennifer well said indeed!!!

  4. ARCreated says:

    sustainable!!!! amen!!! sing it brother!

  5. Prashanti says:

    lack of sunshine in Colorado???? The sun shines more days on average in Colorado than it does in the "Sunshine State" of Florida. Lack of fresh local produce??? There are farms everywhere in Colorado. What lame excuses.

  6. Steph says:

    Dude I think your story is very different to "voracious eats"… who went from a vegan to a meat eater and claimed veganism was bad for her health. I don't think many vegans would begrudge someone eating eggs or cheese from free-range, ethically raised animals. I, for one, do not begrudge such a choice. Your post seems a bit sensationalist actually, like you are wanting people to attack you.


  7. Jill Barth says:

    I posted this to the Elephant Green Facebook page. Thanks for sharing!

    Jill Barth, Green Editor
    Join us! Like Elephant Green on Facebook

  8. Eric says:

    Ross~ how is organic farming destructive to the environment, especially compared with the dominant factory/chemical farming paradigm? what are the 'grotesque labor practices'? (there are some crops that cannot be machine-harvested, necessitating human labor; and if the workers are treated poorly, that has nothing to do with 'organic'–it has to do with bad management).
    Just curious. Thanks.

  9. ARCreated says:

    I do feel as if being vegan opened my mind to possibilities. there is a movement about "traditional" foods that I think french cheese would fall into and you are just keeping the ways alive…and I think organic artistry cheeses from family farms are a huge part of sustainability…and delicious!

    It is HARD to come out isn't it? thanks for the lovely support! and good on you!

  10. ARCreated says:

    thanks for your reply…my response here 🙂

  11. Suri says:

    Read Tashas post , wow , pretty enlightening ! Its good to hear the other side of the story.
    What i did find surprising and disturbing is the overdose of hostility she received from the vegan camp , i mean life threats? Conspiracy theories?sexists remarks? Really? this coming from supposedly ethical people or so they say.
    I think one of the questions that begs to be answered is why so much hate? Where is this coming from?
    Why this fear of coming out ?
    I personally can relate to her , i went through the same health issues and i dont regret eating meat again.

  12. namastehon says:

    diet from the Ayurvedic perspective: the most successful vegetarians/vegans are Kapha prakriti and/or vikruti (they are naturally more heavy and prone to weight gain and diabetes and so benefit from a lighter diet) and the least successful are Vata prakriti and/or vikruti (the skinny mini marathoner types and chronically anxious people need heavier food to balance themselves).

    Plus, it's impossible to follow a locally sourced fresh vegan or vegetarian diet in an area that's often too cold to grow things (think about the Inuit and other northern tribal peoples who eat primarily meat and fat, only gathering plant foods during the short summers). If you live in the tropics where plant life is in abundance you will be more successful but even those traditional peoples supplemented their diets with fish and other sea foods. For more info on traditional diets visit and keep an open mind!

  13. Philippe says:

    I'm 50. I've been a vegetarian since the age of 18, without meat, eating cheese and a lot of fish.
    In july of 2012 I decided to go vegan and removed the cheese and the fish.
    Too long to explain why here,but this month I reintroduced fish. Only two species are ethically acceptable. Wild Pacific Sardines, caught in US waters by US ships, and Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon.
    I will NEVER eat meat, never because the idea of raising animals to kill them revulses me. But a sardine will NOT die of old age in the Pacific ocean and about Alaskan Salmon, what should be known is we fish them on their way to die in reddings.
    After one year of research I had to face the fact that:
    We can't get vitamin B12 from plants. We simply can't
    We can't convert ALA to DHA, I got tested after one year without eating any omega 6 and getting tons of chia and flax seeds. My ALA were really high, but my DHA not that high. That's why I'm putting back fish.
    Vitamin D; You will NOT get vitamin D from the sun, not enough or from vegetable. Get over this.

    Don't eat mammals and birds, such as chicken, but you should not worry about eating a sardine that will end up in a bigger fish or a salmon that will die if not fished.
    You have projects, loved one, these two animals don't. they don't OK, so if you can thrive by eating them, do it.
    If you do a lot of research you'll find entire villages in India plagued by Vitamin B12 deficiency, these people are exclusively vegan. This is not pretty. Forget about the westonaprice fundation. They promote meat eating to extreme.

  14. John Porridge says:

    There is no such thing as "ethically raised animals". but nice try…
    What happens to all the male chicks?
    What happens to all the male calves?
    The author of this post can't be having 'health problems' due to being on a vegan diet, because humans evolved to be vegan, like our ape ancestors…

  15. John Porridge says:

    So a tiny minority of individuals made 'life threats' against her (I would love to see any evidence of this) and somehow she is the victim, now that she has gone back to paying psychopaths to torture and kill baby animals? MMkay…
    What "health issues" did you allegedly go through? Human beings aren't supposed to eat animal products, so a lack of them can't cause "health issues"…

  16. John Porridge says:

    LOL. Human beings are not supposed to eat fish – please go for a swim in the sea and catch one with your mouth and eat it uncooked, every time you feel hungry, if you think I'm wrong…
    Of course you should worry about fish, because of people like you there will soon be no fish left in the sea due to over fishing…
    So we can't get B12 from plants, yet somehow it's a 'vitamin'. There are no 'vitamins' that come only from animal sources, because human beings aren't supposed to eat animal products of any kind.
    You are deluding yourself. I've been vegan for over 30 years, am in perfect health, have the figure of a 20 year old, and do almost no exercise. I would rather die than cause animals to die for me. Your arguments are irrational and don't stand up to debate.

  17. John Porridge says:

    "eating cheese and a lot of fish. "

    So cows don't grieve over the loss of their babies, male calves aren't killed so you can drink their mothers' milk, and fish apparently don't feel pain and don't suffer when they are dragged up in nets and suffocate and/or die due to their bodies expanding due to the pressure changes.
    No species of fish are "ethically acceptable". You're simply deluding yourself, and your 'health problems' cannot possibly be due to a vegan diet.