I was accidently a vegan twice as a child. The third time was a choice.
When I was six years old, I had open heart surgery to repair a massive whole in my heart. For about a year afterwards, I couldn't stomach any kind of meat or dairy. Even my beloved tuna fish sandwich made me queasy. Eventually the feeling wore off and I began eating pizza and macaroni and cheese like most of my friends.
Seven years later, when I was 13, the queasiness began to come back. I wouldn't eat anything but veggie subs for about 3 months. My parents probably spent $3000 at Subway that summer. Fall came and I started my first year of high school, but my health was declining rapidly.
By October I could barely walk. That is when we discovered I was in full blown heart failure. I was given three months to live unless I received a heart transplant.
I obviously received the amazing gift of a new heart, or I wouldn't be alive to write this article. At 25, I now choose to live a whole foods vegan lifestyle to combat coronary artery disease. I couldn't be healthier or happier.
Looking back I see the strange correlation between my sickness and animal products. By no means do I believe that eating pizza caused my 13 year old heart to die, but I do wonder if my body was trying to tell me something. It seems my body fought off animal products the same way it fights a flu bug. No serious science behind this, I just thought it was interesting.
Has anyone else had a similar experience?
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*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.