Can a vegetarian from birth become a meat-eater?

And boy, does that suck. I’ve had incidents where I’ve gone back later after throwing up, only to discover meat protein items in the ingredients list, or have had inlaws admit to me after my getting sick that they’d laced my food with meat broth or something. Frankly, it’s nearly enough motivation to start eating meat again, just so I don’t have to wonder when I might be playing food roulette.

I doubt it’s psychosomatic as I don’t have the “poor widdle animals!” reaction to meat. I even cook it nearly every day, I just don’t eat it.

I was going to agree completely but I do see that a few extreme cases have popped up in Australia - red meats only (and all of them), though, and apparently due to a cross-reaction. I would bet money, though, that it’s not an IgE-mediated reaction, whatever her sister is experiencing.

(I also have an uncommon food allergy, which requires me to carry Benadryl and an EpiPen, but it’s to a particular plant-based food.)

Are you implying an adverse, physical reaction to what are essentially trace amounts of animal product? Given everything you’ve read so far in this thread how could that be possible?

I suspect a confirmation bias at work. You are regularly exposed to meat products and most of the time you and never get sick. When you do get sick you go back and check and often find out that (unsurprisingly) you have been exposed int he last couple of days, hence you blame your illness on that. On those occasions when you can’t find any evidence then you just ascribe it to an intestinal virus or mild food poisoning like the rest of us do.

Have you ever gone to the same lengths to look at all the ingredients you’ve eaten in the past few days when you haven’t been sick? Have you ever been sick and not discovered any exposure, and if so how did yo determine that it had a different cause from the other occasions?

Not in a “days later” reaction, but 20 minutes or less after the end of the meal, and I’m pretty much better after throwing up. I’ve even done it to myself accidentally when I didn’t read labels closely - until after I barfed, then went back and cursed after double-checking. I’ve had probable food poisoning and that showed up much later and had me nauseated and suffering diarrhea for nearly a full day.

The second link in GFactor’s post seems to indicate that vegetarians can suffer short-term problems, but will overcome it with effort.

I can’t think of a time that I’ve thrown up within a half hour or less of eating where this wasn’t the case, that a meat product was in it. If it’s psychosomatic and I somehow “know” that meat is in an item and my brain doesn’t intervene and tell me that, then I clearly need to kick my own ass.

I can really only be totally sure of what’s in food when I make it (or when someone embarrasedly admits that they spiked my food with chicken broth because they thought I needed more protein), and I haven’t slipped up on reading labels in years, so no evidence on that end unfortunately.

Really, I’ve hand-made sausage, I make meat nearly every day, and from my biology lab days, I learned myself that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. I’m not the squeamish type. So my body better not be putting me through this just because it can.

There’s also that whole Mama’s Boob option I hear is trendy lately. I’ve never met or even heard of a vegetarian or vegan opposed to breast milk-- in fact I’d hazard a guess that women concerned about the ethical/environmental consequences of their food choices nurse in higher percentages than the rest of the population.

(I think something like 1/4 of the population of India is vegetarian, and has been so for many generations)

Would you like to explain how you can decide that someone is or is not allergic to something? Because my sister has had allergy testing and been put into life-threatening situations from eating things she’s allergic to, either accidentally or causing her to get the allergy testing (she got vascellitis after living on ham sandwiches for a couple of months. Guess what animal she’s deathly allergic to?).

Beef is the most common, but there are meat allergies. It’s the serum albumin from the animal in question that triggers it.

I really can’t see any plausible mechanism for this. You are talking about trace amounts of animal product, not a three pound steak. A little stock just doesn’t contain any more fat or protein than you standard vegetarian fare, and has alreayd been established there is no way for the gut to distinguish between where the fat or protein came from.

Actually it says exactly the opposite:

Longtime vegetarians report nausea and other gastrointestinal symptoms after consuming meat…but… they knew of no studies on the matter. The symptoms could be the result of those enzymes suddenly being asked to work harder than they have in a while… it could also be psychosomatic.

In your case it can’t be because the enzymes are working harder because the levels of protein and fat are no higher than you stadard fare. Hell you even say that sometimes you substitute the ingredients that add these trace amounts of animal product to you normal recipes. So unless beans or potato chips also make you nauseous we can rule out that explamation.

Which leaves either psychosomosis or confirmation bias.

And that tells me that it is confirmation bias. You are always getting exposed to meat products, but you only make the effort to check when you immediately get ill. Correlation doesn’t equal causation. How do you know how often you get exposed and don’t immediately get sick? Do you check your ingredients just as thoroughly when you have no reaction? If not then this is classic territory for confirmation bias.

Precisely. You may be getting exposed due to mistakes and people spiking you food three or four times a day for all you know. But when you get sick and make a thorough search and find animal products you blame that.

How would you know? ou have said that you only found out last time because you got sick and then went back and checked. Would you really have pulled the can out of the trash and double checked if you had no reaction? And if not how do you know that you didn’t slip up last night, beyond the fact that you had no reaction?

My money would be that your body gets sick regularly just like everyone else, and you are also exposed to meat products almost daily. So when one occurs the other is almost certain to occur coincidentally, but you have assumed they are linked. You never know about the numerous times when you are exposed to meat products and have not had a reaction because nobody ever looks for the reason that nothing happened. Hell I’ve thrown up shortly after meals several times, the fact that you apparently never have except when exposed to animal products suggests that maybe your exposure is much higher then you think.

You could very simply, if unpleasantly, do a controlled test. Get a friend to prepare two identical highly flavoured meals such as chilli, one without animal stock and one with. He then places them on the table and leaves the room while you eat one or the other at random and wait half an hour and note any reaction. If you can hit three out of three times with this (including at least one positive reaction) I’ll believe it (to the extent that I’d trust an anonymous message board experiment).

I’m not saying this is impossible, just that there is a much simpler explanation. No sense needlessly multiplying entities, especially when there seems to be no plausible explanation.

My mistake, I had thought that animal flesh allergies were impossible because of the genetic closeness. I retract that. It is just incredibly rare, less than 0.3% of people.It is even rarer for multiple allergies to occur in one individual. So it is just incredibly unlikely that you sister has an allergy to most meats.

She might be the literal one in a million but I’m wary simply because so many people claim allergy status for an adverse reaction of any sort.

Many people have allergies to food, including myself. Very, very few have multiple allergies to animal muscle tissue. Diagnose rare diseases rarely is the standard maxim.


Because if she had been eating ham sandwiches for months she clearly isn’t deathly allergic to pork. A serious (deathly) allergy is life threatening within minutes when exposed to trace amounts. Living in ham sandwiches for months is proof positive that she doesn’t have a deathly allergy to pork.
And I assume you mean she developed vasculitis. Has vasculitis ever been linked to allergens? I though it was an autoimmune response or caused by exposure to specific drugs?

There have been a number of cases from many locations concerning vegans who deny their children even breast milk, cases we only hear of because of the dire consequences.

Vegans starve baby to death on soymilk and apple juice.

Parents of ill vegan girl may face police

Vegan couple cleared of starving baby, guilty of child neglect

Vegan Couple Starved Toddler, Cops Say

I shouldn’t have read the vegetarian claim as vegan, but my memory flashed on these stories and others.

I know Blake’s in the UK, but I don’t know what he thinks of the UK’s Food Standards Agency. I think much public writing on nutrition in the UK by supposed experts is substandard at best, but I thought the FSA was more reliable. In any case here’s what they say on meat allergy.

I’d really like to think this thread won’t degenerate into bashing loonatic vegans. Fact is that for every vegan/vegetarian that starves their child there are about a thousand omnivores who are doing the same thing. Being a vegan doesn’t stop you from being an ignorant, negligent loon, but it doesn’t make you one either. Most vegans are no worse than anyone else as parents.

Yes there is a lot of nutritional misinformation coming from vegans/vegetarians due to anti-meat bias, but it’s certainly no more common as the nutritional bullshit coming from everywhere else. Just have a look at the Snopes food an drink section if you don’t believe me. Once again, some vegans are lunatics who promote ignorance, and so are a lot of omnivores.

Personally I don’t think most vegetarians have sound reasons for their dietary choices and most vegetarians don’t have a sufficiently good knowledge of nutrition to avoid the health risks associated with their dietary choices.

Having said that, I damn well know that most omnivores don’t have sound reasons for their dietary choices and most certainly don’t have a sufficiently good knowledge of nutrition to avoid the health risks associated with their dietary choices.

If I had to identify a group that was likely to be producing unhealthy children through poor nutrition, let’s just say that I’d be looking in McDonald’s, not the local organic co-op.

So can we please stop the vege bashing base don the antics of a few lunatics that the other veges all disown?

Like I said, she’s had allergy testing - she’s allergic, in varying amounts, to pork, poultry, shrimp, almonds, and corn. Eating pork and poultry causes her throat to close up and may require an epi-pen, which, I believe, would be the classic allergic response, yes? (Almonds give her migraines, corn gives her hayfever like reactions). IANAD, nor do I pretend to be, but I know what my sister told me and how it corresponds with what I saw. She had vasculitis, she said the doctor said it was from eating pork. Don’t allergies take a certain amount to hit the threshold where it affects you?

Ah. Found a cite re: vasculitis

She is NOT one of those people who says she’s allergic when she just doesn’t like it. She’s one of those people where she starts getting ill a few minutes after eating soup (after the chef insists its vegetarian and then admits the secret ingredient is chicken broth :smack:) and may have to go to the emergency room.
I’m not sure how we moved from a general hypothetical to my sister (who is not a vegetarian)

That is not most meats, which is what you claimed. That very narrow list is much easier to believe. Now she’s probably only one in a hundred thousand, rather than one in million. Still a tough break

May require an epi-pen? IANAD, but, Dude, if someone who carries an epi-pen has their throat closing up due to allergy there’s no maybe in there. Hit them with the bloody adrenaline unless you live next door to the emergency room.

Speaking of allergies to meat. When I was a kid I remember my stepgrandmother telling us about a classmate she had when she was a kid. He had moose and rice for every school lunch because he was allergic to basically everything else, but everybody could eat moose and rice.

When I first heard this story it was already forty years old and the teller was a kid when it happened, so I suspect a certain amount of distortion of the truth, but I doubt she made all of it up. Best guess what was going on, anybody?

The rice bit’s simple enough. Kid was a coeliac with a nasty reaction to wheat and barley. He may have been very unfortunate to also have an allergy to maize, in which case he was basically left with rice and potatoes as his starch sources.

The moose bit I don’t quite buy. Hard to imagine someone with an allergy venison and mutton and pork but none to moose.

If it was true that kid was the unluckiest person on the country.

What would you call most meats? She can eat fish and beef. You’re in the UK, so you’d probably throw mutton in there, but we’ve never had it (I’d eat it, but I’ll try anything that’s dead and fresh). She used to like duck and shrimp (but not turkey. She has no taste, I swear.) Admittedly fish covers a lot, but she’s not especially adventurous food-wise.

It doesn’t come up often because she’s careful (that whole possible death thing…) I think I’ve seen her use it once.

In terms of the standard North American diet, that pretty much is “most meat other than beef”. Sure, there’s some mutton, and game, and fish, but most meals that have meat in them, it’s beef, pork, or poultry.

As for the moose-eating kid, it could just be that the parents noticed that he reacted poorly to some other meat (which may even have been a one-time fluke), but not to moose, and decided to play it safe. Given the time frame when it happened, safe, scientific allergy testing probably wasn’t available, and you can hardly blame parents for not wanting to experiment with their kid’s life.

I was a pretty strict vegetarian (not vegan) from birth to age 20. Never had any problem digesting meat from age 20 on.

I am not allergic to miss piggy, but with the med combination I am taking, sausage [breakfast, keilbasa, italian, pepperoni] will cause me to vomit, even thinking about them makes me lightly nauseous. I can have a limited amount of fresh pork [about 2 oz] and then I start getting nauseous. I can eat pretty much any other animal with impunity to about 6 oz. All of them will cause nausea over 6ish ounces.

I have determined that it seems to be linked with fat content as well as species. Oddly enough, I had the gallbladder checked and it is churning away happily. Mechanically I am sound. It just seems to be the med combination =(

I really miss bacon=( I oopsed and went off all my meds for 2 weeks, and had a piece of bacon … it was heavenly. :frowning:

If she has a genuine allergy to a meat (or meats) it would only take minute amounts to trigger a reaction. I’ve had projectile vomiting and in one case a trip to the ER after exposures to allergens that I couldn’t see or taste and found only after later hauling a can or package out of the trash and reading it on the ingredient list. Or, for that ER trip, being told “it was just one tablespoon of ketchup in the soup, which I used instead of tomato paste because you told me you were allergic to tomatoes.” :rolleyes: After which my hosts became very angry at me, because having to call an ambulance disrupted their party and I was no longer welcome in their home. Maybe my gut can’t tell the difference, but my immune system sure as hell can!