You Can’t Save Animals If You’re Dead

This week in IIN, we began a lecture series on vegan and vegetarian diets. I have been vegan for almost three years now so obviously I have a biased towards this way of living.

Not only do I believe it is healthy for the body, mind and spirit, it is also good for the planet and of course, the animals.

In the first lecture, something Joshua, the founder of IIN said stood out to me. He was speaking about young adults and how we have the ability to eat a vegan diet successfully because we are young, vibrant and have healthy bodies simply because we have not yet lived as long.

He made the comment that what works for us now, might not always work in the best way, so we need to be mindful of that toward our clients and not force a certain diet upon them.

This made me think about my own personal choices and evaluate what I would do if such a situation were to arise.

What if a completely vegan diet wasn’t working for me at a certain point?

What if I had a disease and the only food my stomach could handle was some sort of animal product?

What would I do?

Well guys, you can’t save animals or promote healthy lifestyles from the grave.

I went vegan for ethical reasons and stay this way because it works for me, both healthfully and morally. However, if there came a point where I was ill or needed some form of calories from animal sources to survive, I would not hesitate to consume them.

This topic can be tied into my experience last Sunday with Coke.

Do I drink it regularly? No.

The situation I was in led me to consume it greedily.

Do I regret it? No.

Let’s say I was in another situation like that and the only thing available was cheese. Would I have eaten it?


Why? Because honestly, I would not have made it home without something.

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I am lucky (actually, we all are lucky) that we live in a culture and society that allows us the choice between animal calories and other types of calories. Given the choice, I will always choose the cruelty free option, unless my life and well being depend on it.

Consuming a small portion of an animal source to sustain my health and life is collateral damage for the good I can do alive to protect hundreds of other animals through my message.

Cruelty free and vegan is something I will always strive for, but I acknowledge that perfection is not always possible.

Tying this into my future health coaching practice, I will remember that each of my clients have their own lived experience and know what things they prefer in order to be successful. Just because I thrive on a vegan diet, doesn’t mean they will.

It will always be my message that a vegan way of eating is best for the planet and the animals, however part of meeting a client where they are at means allowing them to pursue their truth and realizing they might not be ready to embrace what I believe is the best way to eat.

Now, I am linking up with JenArman and Laura for WIAW!



Pumpkin spice waffle with peanut butter, coconut butter and maple syrup. Side of apples and cold brew.



Budda bowl with tofu, roasted veggies, black beans and snap peas



3 year old granola bar I found in my backpack


banana chips



Almond butter, grape jelly and banana burrito, bowl of broccoli with dip

Is it pumpkin spice time for you yet?

Would you eat something out of the ordinary for your health?

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35 thoughts on “You Can’t Save Animals If You’re Dead”

  1. I love your take on this. Being a mostly veggie girl, I want to share my passion for vegetarianism and veganism, but I have to remember that every body is different and some won’t thrive on that diet. (however I still think everyone can benefit from more veggies and fruit in their life) Anyway this is such a great reminder.
    Noooooo, fall came too quickly. I’m not ready for all things pumpkin, but I am looking forward to cooler running weather 🙂

  2. I probably would eat something or some way out of the ordinary for my health. 🙂 I really appreciate your thoughts on veganism Ellie, because they cause me to think about why I’m eating what I’m eating and to be mindful of it.

  3. Nope! Definitely not pumpkin spice time for me yet. I don’t get into that mode until about October. That being said, that waffle looks delicious.
    I know what you mean–what you’re talking about here is tough. I had a vegetarian friend in college whose mother started eating meat a couple times a week after she developed a condition–I don’t remember quite what it was. I know my friend felt very torn because she had been a vegetarian her whole life and really believed in those principles, but of course she also wanted her mother to be healthy.
    As someone with sometimes very unpleasant digestive issues, I would concur that you are fortunate to have a body that can thrive on a vegan diet. I can’t tolerate wheat or most legumes, and I have to be careful with soy, nuts, avocado, and a number of fruits. This limits my vegetarian and vegan options quite a bit, I’m afraid!

    1. You should eat for your health. Vegan options are great and I will always choose them, but I had to be honest about what I would do if I had problems that made me sick.

  4. I love the return of your banana and almond butter wrap 🙂 I have been shunning gluten (after reading too much skewing against gluten) but I kind of miss my bagels and wraps!

    1. Haha so I found out last week I am gluten intolerant…but I haven’t really changed my eating much. I do now understand why I poop so much though 😉

      1. I thought it was a vegan thing 🙂 I poop a lot too but don’t mind. I feel like my body is cleansing itself! I’m wary of those gluten tests. Except for people who have the actual auto-immune celiac disease, i really wonder how they can test for levels of tolerance. I dunno, just me. I also don’t go to doctors (I just see the holistic people – chiropractors, massage therapist, acupuncture) so I’m the wrong person to comment on medical tests. Didn’t prevent me from commenting though. Hee 🙂

          1. I would be weary of that test because if you were gluten intolerant you would definitely not want to eat gluten as it’s very painful! I would say though that if you are truly gluten intolerant or celiac you would have to remove them as they destroy your intestinal wall if you keep consuming them with the allergen. Just wanted to randomly comment, but I’m sorry that came off very serious haha just wanting to throw that comment out there

          2. Thanks Chelsea! I actually had this conversation with another friend because I’m torn between my motto of “eat all the things as long as they’re vegan” and the pain I have after eating and digestive problems. I have rolled my eyes at gluten intolerance before and now I’m eating my words…and I don’t want to come off that way.

  5. What a great post. One thing I’ve learned with age is life is not as black and white as I thought it was when I was younger and there are grey areas like this. I’ve also learned that many people have issues/fighting battles that are different than mine and make different decisions because of that.
    Pumpkin spice? NOT YET!!!!

    1. Hahha don’t hate on the PS 😉 Thank you for sharing your opinion. There are so many gray areas and we all live in them. Part of what makes us all unique.

  6. I love this!! Lately I have been experimenting with changing up my diet specifically for healthy reasons. Mentally it’s hard to swallow at times, but this totally helped. My health is the most important. It’s not always, and nothing is permanent. Listening to my body is my priority right now and I know in time things will work themselves out.

    1. Yes they are. I bought them 3 years ago in college when they first came out, I was not vegan then. Long story short, there is debate about insects having a central nervous system and therefore cannot feel pain. I do not actively buy these bars nor actively seek insects to consume. I ate the bar because I was hungry, it was there and I don’t throw anything away. Thanks for asking 🙂

  7. Love love love your viewpoint! One of the things that never really sat well with me when I was 100% vegan was how so many others out there would look down upon those that did eat meat, or wouldnt taste a bit of cheese if they’re life depended on it. I’m SO glad there are others like you out there that are able to see beyond that and be vegan for the good of the planet and your health, rather than as a method of restriction! You’re going to be a great health coach one day being able to work with people from all different beliefs! 🙂

  8. I think health needs to override all. Of course, this can be very difficult, uncomfortable and not ideal when it requires previous morals and beliefs to be challenged, but I don’t think anything is worth martyring ourselves and our health over. There is too much in the world to see and be grateful for to let diet keep us from enjoying it. I know that’s just me and some people may have much stronger beliefs than I do, but I am glad to hear that you would choose your health first.
    Also – not pumpkin spice time for me yet necessarily, but you better believe I’ll be hopping on that train as SOON as the air gives any hint of fall. Do you have a recipe for your waffle!? It always looks amazing.

    1. Thank you for your opinions Cora. I think that personal health comes before a lot of things. Kind of like a “put you own air mask first on when the plane is going down” sort of thing. My waffle recipe varies based on what I have. Sometimes it’s even a premade mix. A go to is 1/2 cup flour, 1 banana mashed or a half cup pumpkin and 1/3 cup (ish) milk. If I use pumpkin instead of banana then I add some sugar or sweetener.

  9. I am right there with you on a lot of points. I went vegan initially for health but quickly connected with the environmental and ethical reasons as well. I really do believe that a vegan diet is the healthiest diet on the planet for health, the animals, and the environment. However, I agree that it might not work for everyone- but I really think it can work for most people with a little effort (and desire to eat that way of course). Love reading your posts about veganism!

    1. I completely agree with you Kerri. It takes a bit of work and planning, but a vegan diet is available to everyone 🙂 Thank you for your input, what other types of vegan posts would you like to see?

  10. Ah banana chips! Fav:) Also loved this post! It reminds me of my husband. He’s not vegan, but he eats whatever vegan food I make and often eats vegan when out. I think even if someone isn’t fully vegan, their choices to eat vegan meals often is still such a help!

    1. Hey Faith! I read your blog often (even though I don’t comment much) and enjoy it very much! Thanks for commenting, banana chips are my true love <3

  11. I have definitely eaten things out of the ordinary for my health. I never used to eat meat until I found out that (as a result of coeliac disease and damage from gluten on my gut) I wasn’t absorbing iron at all – especially from plant sources. I was allergic to iron supplements and had two iron infusions with horribly adverse reactions (but I needed it) and realised I needed to start eating meat more as apparently my body was able to digest and absorb it better.

    It’s pumpkin time for you and nearing the end of pumpkin season for me as I can’t wait for summer eats, haha!

  12. Very interesting thoughts on veganism and I do realize that everyone is different. I’ve been a vegan for 6 1/2 years now and have struggled with low times wondering if my diet was the reason and stuck it out while adding a larger variety of plant foods and maybe throwing in more supplements. I think it’s easier and better to be vegan now because animal foods just aren’t a great source of nutrients they used to be thanks to the mass production and over-sterilization and we can easily get them from vegan sources. But sure, there will be situations, especially when traveling, when food choices are very limited.

    I do a lot of strange things for health and to not be wasteful like saving veggie scraps for smoothies, I have broccoli in my breakfast smoothie this morning. 🙂 And sure on pumpkin spice, I’ve added it to smoothies too. But September feels more like the time to really get serious about it.

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