What I'm wondering is, I keep seeing stars (Natalie Portman, Drew Barrymore, Ginnifer Goodwin) because of health issues. The only article I've seen, though, that cites what the health issues are was one on Zooey Deschanel, which said her problem was food allergies. (Hers are apparently very severe.) What other health issues could be caused by a vegan diet that would require someone to go back to eating animal products? I ask because I just know non-vegans are going to be using this to claim vegan diets are unhealthy.
I haven't seen anything about exactly why they have added animal products back in. NataliePortman said she wanted to eat things from a bakery! (With her location you would think finding a vegan bakery wouldn't be that hard, or hiring a chef to bake vegan stuff for her). She also just said that pregnant vegans need to watch things like their B12 levels, but I personally haven't read anything where she said it was because she herself had health issues, she just had cravings (unless there's something out there I haven't read). I don't know if Ginnifer Goodwin has shared what her health issues are, either. While these things are personal, they live in the spotlight, and whether they like it or not, turning away from veganism can affect others. Not knowing what any of these health issues are, who can say anything about it? Perhaps they were not eating a well-balanced vegan diet and needed something they could have found from a plant source. Were they consulting knowledgable nutritionists? As vegans, we should all know that the average general practitioner knows next to nothing about nutrition, and even some nutritionists are not all that knowledgable. We don't know what these women were eating, who they were consulting, or any of that stuff, so holding them out as examples of veganism being unhealthy is just flat out ridiculous, just like those sensational cases about sick vegan children and the like. Unless it is an extreme case, most people can live healthfully on a vegan diet, but there are always exceptions to everything, such as in a case of extreme allergies. Quite frankly, I don't want to hear arguments from most people, who are generally eating a diet of beige or artificial colorings, drinking sugar, and simply want to justify their own unhealthy habits and the desire to satisfy their taste buds with the death of another living being. Now, if they're a healthy omnivore, I'll gladly converse, but the rest of them won't hear you anyway.
I was shocked after reading your question and discovering that these stars gave up veganism. It is sad to me because like it or not they influence people and this just gives people who want to prove veganism is unhealthy lots of fuel for thier fire. I can understand more at the going vegetarian thing but not switching to meat. Did they just give up and get tired of not bieng like everyone else? Recently there was also a french women, I believe, who wrote a book against bieng vegan after bieng vegan for a long time. It does concern me but until I expierence ill health effects from a vegan diet I wouldn;t dream of going back to eating animals.
I think, while being vegan is the ultimate goal for optimal support of the environment and health, vegitarianism can be a positive runner up. Here's the thing, it is important to buy organic products that do not treat, raise, or farm animals (particularly cows) in a harsh inhumane way. I personally do not feel the need or desire to eat dairy, or eggs for that matter, but everyone is different. Just because the previously mentioned females are celebrities does not mean they should be judged more harshly (they are human like the rest of us). Food should be enjoyed, and it should make one happy and satisfied when consuming it. If eating baked goods makes Natalie Portman happy than so be it. She shouldn't have to explain herself to anybody...
The thing with Natalie Portman is that many people say it was for health issues, but the articles I have read in which she was interviewed haven't said that she said that specifically. Tony's question was about what happens when high profile vegans quit their diets because of proclaimed health issues. People shouldn't make assumptions and then try to use it as fodder against vegans, but they will. So the best bet is to be as knowledgable as you can be as an inividual about the health effects of a vegan or vegetarian diet vs. the health effects of a dairy and meat centered one. Read, educate, experience, because the fact of the matter is that in a society as exposed as ours is, these stories will give people things to try to throw in our faces.
And lest anyone be confused, organic doesn't equal humane, so if a person eats other living creatures, they should at least know where the animals that are being killed in order to provide them with food come from. If you can't visit the farm, I wouldn't trust it (aside from the fact that I personally will never willingly choose to take another's life in exchange for food that is unnecessary, but that's a different topic for another site).
They health issue I had when I first went vegan was me losing too much weight and developing hyperthyroidism. But since then I've learned how to incorporate healthy fats to make sure I am meeting my caloric needs :)
I just want to say I still applaude natalie portman for at least still maintaning a vegetarian diet, maybe she will go back to veganism, I wonder how she will raise her child? I do try not to judge anyone for there diet choices, however, it is a little harder not o be disappointed when a person who is famous advocates a vegan/vegetarian diet and like Ginnefer Goodwin, talks about it and is on t.v. talk shows and vegnews, to then come back and say it is actually not healthy. It is disappointing and it feels like another notch in the meat eating world. Drew Barrymore's comment that vegetariansim is boring and that she wanted to wear animal products sometimes is also very disappointing and seems very cold to me. For me it is a fight, for health and for the animals and when someone who is high profile knocks bieng vegan it is just another thing meat advocates can throw in our face. Personnally, my father was cured of diabetes on a vegan diet. My own health is better, although because of hypothyroidism I don't seem to loose any weight. It also seem that so many people really don't know what to eat and I feel that is a reason for some of these health problems. Learning how not to eat the S.A.D diet is very difficult and takes alot of re-learning of everything we were taught growing up. I understand the whole allergies thing, my mother is allergic to almost everything, but it can still be done.
It bothers me too. I wish they would either specify their health issues so they can be debated or at least discussed or just be honest like Drew Barrymore and say they just can't stick to it. I'm a pretty gung-ho vegan but I struggle sometimes--I've found that I have to be very low-carb in order to keep the weight off and being a low-carb vegan hasn't made my life easier--and I'm actually curious about what their (or any ex-vegan's) reasons are.
I think the problem with society today is placing soooo much importance on what celebrities are doing. I made a conscious choice to become a vegan, and I feel good about my decision. I question the intentions of those who become vegan because a celebrity is (and stray from it when they're not). It isn't a fad it is a life choice that effects, not only one's personal health, but the environment as well. I am from the school of thought that believe a vegan diet can improve one's physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Unfortunately, there are many people who do not feel that way and, sadly, hinge on every word that celebrities utter.