I wrote a post sometime last year now about my opinion on why people who have suffered from an eating disorder such as Anorexia cannot, and should not be vegan.
When I wrote it I assumed that I would get a fair amount of backlash from vegans—I expected criticism and welcome it. My aim is usually to write about these things in order to start a discussion around them, and I’m far too old and cynical to get upset when people don’t agree with me. Sometimes discussing uncomfortable concepts that we don’t really want to talk about gets messy, and that’s okay.
So I’ve thought about it, and I’ve considered other points of view. But I still stand by my original statement: a person who has or has had an eating disorder should not embark on restrictive diets such as veganism.
Because you still have an eating disorder, you’re just camo-clothing it
If a clown walks down the middle of a busy high street at noon, that clown stands out like a sore thumb. If a clown walks around inside a circus tent … not so much.
If a person with an eating disorder is surrounded by other people who eat “normally,” the ED is very noticeable. If a person with an ED surrounds themself with other people who restrict the foods that they eat, then the ED gets hidden. In fact, in that population of people, the behaviour looks normal.
You can even kid yourself that you are recovered because you are eating “like other people.” (Even if those other people only eat vegetables, right?)
You’ve still got an ED, you’re just camouflaging it.
Because veganism can become culture-based, one can immerse oneself in that community and never step out of it—other than to frown with contempt at a person eating a burger, or cheese, or anything that you don’t approve of. You can only go to parties held by other vegans and convince yourself that what you are doing is normal and that the wider population is wrong. And that, is exactly what your eating disorder wants you to do.
Why do some vegans claim that becoming a vegan cured them of their eating disorder?
I’ve had a couple of people write to me and tell me that I am wrong because being vegan has cured them of their eating disorder. So why is that? Why do some people really seem convinced that they are all recovered and that becoming vegan cured them?
(Again, this is my opinion …) Because they can’t see it anymore. Because they surrounded themselves with other people who are displaying massively restrictive and often obsessive food behaviors. Because they have removed themselves from the general population and inserted themselves in a culture where their eating disorder can thrive, be celebrated, and even give them a higher social status within that population.
Veganism did not cure you of an ED, it just allowed you to believe that your ED behaviours are normal.
Does that mean that nobody can be a vegan?
That would be like saying that nobody can drink alcohol because some people are predisposed to alcoholism. Eating disorders are brain-based illnesses, so if you don’t have one and you want to be a vegan, bully for you!
Additonally, if you have not suffered an ED, your body is in a much better place to deal with not eating the nutrient-laden saturated fat found in meats, dairy, and eggs. Not true for someone like me, who’s body dealt with a state of starvation for almost ten years.
I’m not passing judgement on veganism here and frankly if you don’t have an ED I don’t give a shit what you eat or don’t eat. I’m saying, however, that if you have a mental illness that expresses itself by food restriction, food obsession, diet-like behaviours etc, etc, that you can’t jump into a pool of people who don’t eat anything but vegetables and declare yourself “recovered.”
Why do I care?
As I’ve explained in my book, I walked that path. During recovery I latched on to veganism too, and it took a lot of soul searching and truth telling for me to admit that I wasn’t being vegan for the right reasons. No, I was being vegan because it was easier than fighting anorexia for the next level of recovery. I’d got as far as three meals a day, and it had taken me years to get there, wasn’t that enough?
It wasn’t easy to start eating dairy and meat again because they are so much higher in fat than vegetables are. Vegetables are so gloriously safe, aren’t they?
It wasn’t easy, but I am so very thankful to whatever it was that gave me the gumption to do it. My body needs all the wonderful nutrients that meat and dairy and FAT contain. My skin, my hair, my period, my life, all came alive when I started eating fat again.
If you have an ED, and you are a vegan, I’m not telling you my opinion on all this simply because I am trying mean. I’m telling you because I have been there, and it felt like a halfway-house for me, and if that is true for you too, I’d love to motivate you to understand why you should fight harder.
Additionally on the physical side of the argument: If you have had an ED, your body has been through a lot, and it needs all the nutrients it can get to recover optimally. Sure, there are tons of nutrients in veggies, and you should eat a lot of veggies, but there are also different nutrients in fat that you need.
TL;DR: If you have an eating disorder and you surround yourself with people who severely limit and restrict the food that they consume for one reason or another, you can kid yourself that you are normal.
Compare yourself to the general population, however, and you are not eating normally.
You’re still restricting food, you’re just camouflaging by surrounding yourself with other people who are also restricting food.
So yeah. That’s what I think; what’s your take?
Thank you for addressing this. Disordered eating since the beginning of my time, full on Anorexia and exercise bulimic in teens, diagnosed with Anorexia mid 20s, had been a vegetarian since late teens, hid my anorexia in disordered eating, fad very restrictive diets and eating rituals, mostly stayed vegetarian, non-stop crazy marathon runner and caridio stuff. Always returning to anorexia then started anorexia with some binging, still vegetarian, then went vegan cause hid among other vegans, raw foodists, clean eaters, blah, blah, blah and this actually helped me see that I was using this orthorexia to hide my anorexia as were the majority, yes the majority of them or at least trying to hide their fear of fat in our weight obsessed culture. I am new to The Moderating Movement, Intuitive Eating (scary and I don’t get it, yet), competent eating. No longer vegan, but still almost exclusively vegetarian, and feeling okay about it because it is really just my preference. I do not like the smell, consistency, the taste of meat, and I will not touch it if it looks anything like what it came from. lol, but I refuse to count calories, carbs, watch my glycemic index, etc., etc. because they definitely allow me to hide in my anorexia. Add trauma: I am now a fat anorexic, so doctors are always trying to put me on a diet, as is everyone else in one way or another. Can not go there even for those supposed health reasons.
Firstly, thanks for reading my book!
Secondly. Wow, we have a lot in common eh? You’ve been on one hell of a journey. I am interested that you describe yourself as a “fat anorexic” and think that this must be incredibly difficult to manage. I think that you are right on the money by telling anyone who tries to make you diet “no way!” because you know the hell that could provoke is simply not worth it.
I also wonder about the supposed “health reasons” for not being overweight. Last time I checked the science was saying that a little overweight could actually be a benefit in terms of life expectancy. In the end, other peoples and our own perceptions of ourselves are all filtered by the societal idea of what we should be. If you can work out how to define your own ideal of you, I think that is a great place to start. It comes down to more about where your body wants you to be rather than where society wants you to be.
The reason I went vegan was because of overwhelming guilt that my beliefs did not match my actions. That. Is. It.
I am bulimic, and I binge on the daily – believe me, there’s a SHIT ton of different vegan foods out there. It is not a restrictive diet in the slightest. Of course people can make it that way but newsflash: a lot of things can be twisted to suit agendas.
I am wanting to start recovery and straight up I will not be going anywhere that is going to ignore my core values and force me to consume products that cause me severe emotional distress – fun fact, as far as I’m concerned a dead body or secretions are not food!
I will happily eat any alternatives they deem suitable, this isn’t about trying to avoid recovery or avoid calories or anything. It’s about something as deeply held as I imagine you feel about I don’t know, stabbing someone. It’s a belief system.
My eating disorder is not the reason I don’t buy leather, wool or silk. And it’s not the reason I don’t eat dairy, eggs or meat.
To apply a blanket statement like you have is honestly very damaging – people who are vegan for ethical reasons can absolutely make a full recovery and to say that I can’t live my life compassionately because I have the misfortune of bulimia really isn’t helpful.
I appreciate your perspective but for the people who are ethical vegans, it’s just not accurate or fair.
I totally agree. After reading your book and studying nutrition myself, I understand your argument and I even believe that the vegan diet is quite dangerous. Certainly a bad idea for anyone with ED and even the general public. Our bodies need fat and a whole range of nutrients from a variety of foods. Vegans believe in a so called “natural existence” however they need a lot of supplements and processed foods in order to get the proper nutrients. Even then, they can experience health problems and the processed foods that they eat are not good for them in the long term, nor do they satisfy the ethics behind veganism.
I am in recovery and am not even slightly interested in taking up any diet fad or trend. After 9 years of starvation, my body and my taste buds are enjoying all the glorious fatty foods that I deprived myself of while I was ill. Sure, moderation is they key with fat. A little each day is what I aim for and I love the benefits of eating dairy and meat for my health. My skin and hair are healthier, my muscles are reforming and I just bloody love the taste of butter, cheese and eggs. No more do I restrict fat and certain foods from my diet just because they are considered bad. In fact, dairy, meat and eggs are a lot less processed than anything pre packaged and flavoured with sugar. I would much prefer to eat a piece of cheese than lollies and chocolate. Although I do love white chocolate. Probably because it is made with butter!
Thanks again for your insights. I am a little lost now that I have finished reading your book. It was such a great tool for me as I still fight this illness.
I’ve never heard of a vegan that “doesn’t eat anything but vegetables.”
Someone should tell Tim Shief, Torre Washington, Patrick Baboumian and Jon Venus that they should be eating more then “just vegetables.”
Tim Shied is no longer vegan and now speaks out about how it negatively impacted his physical, mental and emotional health, performance and wellbeing.
Tim talks about this on his YouTube channel. There are also quite a few interviews with him, including one on ITV’s This Morning.
Yeah, I think that was more the bananas things he did including a 35-day unsupervised water fast and very regularly drinking his own urine that cause any medical issues he had, urine drinking and fasts, not good for health. The largest nutritional organizations in the world have said that eating as a vegan is suitable at all stages of life and for all walks of life. Also worth noting that veganism is not a diet but is instead an ethical stance opposing animal exploitation, And it covers far more than animal agriculture. when it comes to food though. eating as a vegan is about as restrictive as someone refusing to eat dogs/cats etc in their diet. i.e its simply giving the same moral consideration to chickens as dogs, so not viewing them as “products” to exploit, abuse, slaughter and consume.
veganism is NOT A DIET it is a stance against animal abuse and exploitation. It is horribly disrespectful of the billions of animals who are enslaved, slaughtered and abused every day to write this article. You are ignorant and need to open your eyes to the world of animal abuse. There is plenty of fat and variety in a vegan diet how dare you be so naive? im disgusted by your words.
Let’s remember that you are commenting on an article in a blog about anorexia, and most of the people reading this blog are starving, underweight, and desperately begging for permission to eat without restriction.
Such people interpret ‘veganism is healthy’ or ‘veganism is not a diet’ as ‘I have to be vegan right now and restrict x and y because if I don’t I’ll go crazy with fear and anxiety’. This, for a person with an ED, all too often results in restriction, weight loss, and regression back into the depths of anorexia.
Comments like yours can be dangerous. When someone with an ED reads ANYTHING even suggesting that eating in a certain way that restricts or limits types or amounts of ANY sort of food, ie anything that our society considers ‘healthy’, ESPECIALLY if they read it on a recovery blog, it could be enough to send them back into restriction and, ultimately, a long, slow death.
Be careful what you write.
Thank you Lara for this! I am one in recovery from years of anorexia, and after seven years of being vegan, I “stepped down” to pescetarian to fight the rules and restrictions of my eating disorder and to improve my health. It isn’t even just the physical part of it. It is the mental stuff. For example, social eating can be challenging for anyone with an eating disorder, but throw in being vegan and try eating out while trying to take the focus off of restrictive eating and just being able to enjoy a meal and company. You have to call restaurants ahead, study menus, ask the waiter/waitress for specific foods or instructions to make sure it is vegan. All the while calling attention to yourself and standing out and the last thing you want to do is make a big deal out of a meal, because this plays into the disordered mind and behavior. Obsessive label reading is another. Even when I was strict vegan, the rules were getting ridiculous. Not only did I avoid animal products (in food, clothing, toiletries etc) to take a stand against exploitation of animals, but I had to avoid palm oil, sugar made unethically, non fair trade chocolate and coffee, plastic etc. You can literally drive yourself insane if you already have an obsessive compulsive mindset. you can’t avoid every spec of cruelty, death, exploitation etc. You can not be pure and cruelty free in this world. Everyone has to draw the line somewhere. I was to the point I had no life outside of obsessively searching for products, activities, etc that were acceptable to me as a vegan. My whole life revolved around being vegan to the point nothing else mattered. And THEN, I was shamed for branching out and eating processed vegan food because a LOT of vegans are also against this. Fat is shunned, sugar and processed vegan “junk food” is shunned. Anything short of whole foods plant based. I did eat WFPB for years and I was deathly underweight despite eating six times a day because I had to be pure and I had to avoid oil etc. I ate out 3x a year at most. But even that wasn’t good enough because I am on needed medication for thyroid (Synthroid) that is made with lactose, or I fed my dog a meat based diet, and my husband wasn’t vegan (though I kept a separate refrigerator and cupboard for my food and refused to buy or cook non vegan food for him and would not prepare animal based food). I felt I was never good enough no matter how hard I tried, and my relationships with nonvegan family, coworkers, friends suffered. I HAD to break out of a very obsessive compulsive mindset and also embrace more fat in my diet (besides nuts/seeds, avocado, coconut) and find a way to eat that would allow me to have a normal social life. I can still make a difference for animals without being pure vegan. I can admit i am a hypocrite and be ok with that because no one is a saint. The shaming though is really something else when you walk away from being vegan, even if it is to save your life and sanity. I question my recovery all the time because of this and it is a daily battle to take care of myself and do what I feel is best for my mind and body. So many vegans claim veganism helped them recover from their eating disorder. I found that it made mine much worse. I don’t feel it needs to be black and white, all or nothing for me. I’m glad that I still have at least some supportive vegan friends who get it and don’t condemn or shame me for my choices. My ED voice used to tell me I am selfish all the time. I needed to sacrifice pleasure and self care and be everything to everyone else to matter. Now I make choices based on what I want and ED screams at me for this, and so does society….I should be vegan, fit, thin, religious, you name it or I am a bad or less of a person. I’ve gone through a period of complete rebellion because I am so sick of all the rules and restrictions and standards and demands I have placed on myself and everyone else has placed on me. It is such a battle to overcome an eating disorder. I also have other mental illness that is also challenged by all this. I often feel very alone in my struggle and for leaving behind being vegan because it is so praised by everyone, and so many people who claim to have recovered from their EDs are vegan. I could not do it as a vegan. I really really tried.
Thank you for sharing. Your story really resonated with me, and it gave me hope. How did you cope with ‘stepping down’ from Veganism to Pescetarianism? I guess I’m asking how did you manage the feelings that came up for you?
For me, I am faced with a similar decision and process. I would be so grateful to hear of the coping strategies you used.
My instinct says that we have to be very careful around any kind of food restriction as it can represent an ever-decreasing circle of foods that the eating disorder allows it’s sufferer to consume. Full recovery, mentally and physically, is the goal. We mustn’t lose sight of that.
Sending love & strength to all,
Hi Diana, I am anonE. I just now noticed your reply to me so I apologize for such a late response! i am still pescetarian (I also eat dairy and eggs) but I really don’t talk about it much or like to put labels on myself. Honestly I don’t go out of my way to avoid gelatin, rennet and other obscure ingredients in processed foods. And yes I eat those foods. It is an ongoing process of recovery and I have come a very long way but it is still somewhat of a struggle. I am now paying for years of restrictive eating with stress fractures in right foot and tibia bone left leg. I am on a hardcore osteoporosis drug called Prolia and also on hormones (because I also lost my ovaries and uterus at a young age). I need to eat a LOT of food to provide the nutrition my damaged body needs. It can be hard some days. Being in the midst of a pandemic over the last year has made it even more challenging. I look forward to going out to eat again without fear from covid. When I first started to eat fish I actually started with sardines because they are such little fishies and less intimidating. I was drawn to the dense nutrition in them. Eventually I moved on to other canned fish and then to fresh like salmon, lake trout, walleye, cod etc. When I was vegan I craved eggs and Greek yogurt constantly. They had been favorite foods before then. But as a vegan you don’t talk about cravings because it is so taboo. You are not allowed to think of animals as food, though in reality animals have been food for humans since the dawn of time. the first time I walked into a grocery store and bought a large container of Greek yogurt, I was sure the vegan gods would come out of the walls and descend on me. But nothing happened and no one cared. Physically my body adapted very well despite not eating dairy or flesh in over seven years. Eggs were the easiest to adjust to. At first I would only buy organic and local eggs and dairy, but it became a lot of work acquiring these products because they are not generally found in mainstream groceries. I had to let go of these rules and restrictions because it was making my recovery difficult. I even eat…gasp…farmed fish…once in a great while. Not always wild caught. I have also caught my own fish, and yes killed it. Many of my health problems improved over time eating fish, eggs, dairy. My ferritin (iron) went from 17 as a vegan to 65 my second year pescetarian. My dexa scans have dramatically improved, though I also credit mostly the prolia for that. My hormone levels are no longer minimal but are enough to provide some protection for my bones. Due to the healthy DHA in the fish and eggs I eat, and the fat in dairy PLUS the fat in plant foods like coconut, avocado, nuts and seeds/nut butters, olive oil etc, my body is able to absorb hormones like vitamin D, estradiol etc. So my blood levels are improved. Bone turnover unfortunately takes time to improve, a long time, and is very difficult when you rely on synthetic hormones because you no longer have ovaries. I started donating blood last year and am a regular now, something I could not do for decades because I was too underweight. It is a way to do something for others and be part of something bigger without sacrificing my own health. That’s just one strategy I have used to help in my recovery. I try to align myself with people who will accept me where I am and not push their values and beliefs on me or judge me for mine. Frankly I was ready to eat animal products long before I actually did. It was something that stirred in me my last year or so of being vegan. I had doubts and struggles for a while. I talked a lot with my husband who did not try to convince me one way or the other. It was hard to make the change, because everyone had known me as the radical vegan for so long. I quickly learned who my true friends were and not. All of my family supported my decision because they had seen how decimated my body had become for a long time and they were more than happy to see me eating less restrictively and recovering. I still care about animals, as I did for the years before I was vegan. But I have to balance that with what my body, mind, and spirit need. ED took a lot away from me. A lot…
Thank you. My daughter is going through it now and wants to be vegan. We are saying no but this point of view helps explain it.
Marie I wish you all the best with her. I know how hard it is to convince anyone suffering from an ED not to take part in such restriction.
I think this ultimately depends on the person. One thing to remember is that not everyone has suffered from an ED in the same way. In other words, some who have dealt with milder EDs haven’t had the condition take the same physical toll, if any at all, on their bodies as say maybe someone with moderate or severe anorexia or bulimia. One part of ED recovery is learning to eat what makes your body feel good and nourished, and these thoughts aren’t always necessarily tied to obsessiveness in every ED patient, since some some choose this diet for more personal reasons. I definitely agree that it should be approached with caution and perhaps later on in the recovery process, but we have to remember that not every ED sufferer sees food/eating in the same way.
Brit, I would really like to encourage you to read the book Women, Food, and God. (Though it sounds religious, it is not.) I think it will really help to broaden your perspective on this.
Hi! I just wanted to thank you for putting this out there. I have been simultaneously vegan and struggling in recovery for years, and reading this yesterday finally helped me to realize that I was still just as disordered as I had began. Though it gives me barrel fills of anxiety to begin eating without restricted foods, I know that only means I am on the right path. Thank you for waking me up from that fantasy world.
Wow. I didn’t expect that I have to admit. Usually the ED rebels so much when reading something that hits too close to the truth that people really cannot see beneath it all. That must have been a really difficult thing for you to admit, and believe me when I tell you I have been there, had the same horrid realization, but that it took me a lot longer to really be prepared to acknowledge it.
You are very strong. I hope you can get over the anxiety and you know what you have to do. It will be rough and stressful initially but you will get past it. I think that you know the only path to real and complete recovery is a life without restriction, and I know you can get there!
After reading this, I know I need to give in to the disordered patterns too. I have been restricting ‘fattier’ foods I used to enjoy for a while now. I was a pescatarian before my ED took over and I still am now. Through all the disordered eating, I have eaten some fats, like eggs and cheese, but I became more restrictive going from full fat to lower fat to extra low etc, weighing fats etc. Now, while admitting my behaviours and eating more, I am still resisting all fats and still being rigid in the types of food snd the times I allow myself to eat and give in. So, I suppose this is where it becomes more complicated: I allow icecream but only on certain days. This then shows how we need to push the ED so it cannot be rigid. That way, we can truly say we are recovering. I am fooling myself aren’t I if I think I am recovering. I might be on a better path but not giving the fingers up to the ED. Thanks for slapping me in the face again. I definitely need it!
I’m learning so much of your articles and podcasts. I was wondering a lot if my veganism is a result of my eating disorder or being a vegetarian was my deepest desire as a child living in a very meat-eater society. Actually, when I was physically very underweight with a bmi lower than I should admit to anyone (because I know how triggering it was to find out other’s) I was first on a meal plan with a low carb high fat version of diet or whatever, eating heaps of olive and coconut oil, eggs, fatty meat and all protein but ridiculously low amount of carbs and I was not gaining weight! I guess my body was starving for carbohydrates for years, and in the first year of refeeding I was still restricting carbs. I had leaned down even more, my weight has not really increased yet I looked worse. BUT on the other hand I got rid of my fear of fats (because obviously it didn’t get me forward in recovery). The interesting part is that only after I finally gave into my desire for trying veganism has started my weight and menthal state improved. Because I was eating carbs. All the processed carbs with no fat. Then I got feared of nuts and even a tiny teaspoon of oil….. but carbs was still a huge step into my recovery and my still responds to it in a weird way. I’ve got rashes along my skin of the volume and amount I was eating of real food (and not just cheese, yogurt and oil) it was horrible actually! I’m already “vegan” for 2 years and still afraid of carbs. It is ridiculous after all this time but eating all the plantbased foods teach how not to be afraid of bigger volume meals and carbohydrates. I wasn’t eating fruits for years because… and then I was mostly eating fruits for months when I switched to the plantbased diet. I have eaten crates of freshly picked apricots and ripe bananas and watermelons etc. and it felt so good! So sad that I know now it was still all restricted, and I’ve been underweight for the last 5 years and what I’m eating is still less than I should aim for.
I am not labeling myself as a vegan, because I don’t want to stay in a strict box. Being vegan would mean I shall not be able to order pizza at all in my town because they put a little milk product in there. And if I want pizza, I don’t ask if they do it or not, I order one I like. Without cheese but still. Being vegan is strict, restricted and yes, I agree with you that no one should switch to this lifestyle until they are weight restored and mentally healed of ed thought. Reading all the labels and the negotiation with waitresses/family members is very triggering and exhausting. But I wanted to be vegetarian since I first met someone vegetarian as a child. I’ve hated myself for eating the animals as a child, I couldn’t bear the shame of eating another living creature just because we’re used to it and I should have.
Just wanted to let you know that veganism – even if my ed is channeling itself through it – gets me to face my fears and change me for the better. Yes, it ruins my social life and relationship with others (family,eh?) but at least I’ve experienced that carbs are nothing to be afraid of. It is quick energy and fuel to my brain xx
Wow can’t believe I wrote this! My brain was clearly malnourished back then thanks to that low fat vegan way of eating.
I’d like to share a quick update:
It turned out, my body couldn’t recover on plants only. It wanted saturated fat. And lots of it. What those grains, legumes, nuts did was destroying my gut health and creating even more issues with my health. I regret being vegan, ever, and I really think a plant based diet is not sustainable long-term and leads to mental health problems as well. The world is changing, a lot of people are leaving veganism because the vegan community is abusive and the diet is not healthy in the long run. Tabitha, you were right. We need saturated fat. And animal protein. As tibetans say “plants cleanse, meat heals”. And during eating disorder recovery we definitely need the nourishment part.
I do understand your point, especially rgards veganism as oppose to vegetarianism in recovery..and all of your other posts are incredibly useful and so well written..and sure some ED sufferers could put thier own health before the health of an animal, that is what their families would want, and dairy would surely help them gain weight quicker if they ate it…but really, vegans don’t just eat vegetables! avocados, nuts, nut butters, seeds, poatoes, olive oil, bread carbs carbs carbs.. it is offensive to vegans to keep saying they ‘only eat vegetables’…also, having breast fed babies myself, its not easy and I would not have liked to have had my babies taken away from me and been machine milked for the rest of my ‘productive’ life before being taken off to the slaughter house when too old.. thats my only problem with any of your posts…but thanks and keep up the good work otherwise.
“Veganism did not cure you of an ED, it just allowed you to believe that your ED behaviours are normal.”
This sounds like SUCH a useful thing to say to anybody. I think you have no idea how callous that statement is, lol. “By the way, you THINK you’re recovered, but you’re not, and I know this. lol anorexia support!!!”
and then the end of your article where you invoke this again:
“you can kid yourself that you are normal.” ( <— wrow)
"Compare yourself to the general population, however, and you are not eating normally."
so because it's not mainstream, it's wrong, lol. The general population is also very diseased, by the way.
Article author: You can’t recover from an eating disorder while being a vegan
Vegans in the comments: Actually we did recover from our eating disorders while being vegan
Article author: Ok well I’ve decided you’re liars and also delusional
This is such an outdated point of view. I have recovering from an eating disorder, and I am vegan. I also ate vegan while in residential, PHP, and IOP. So yes it can be does and it will continue to be done. Nobody should have to give up on their ethical values because they struggle with an eating disorder.