I'm likely to get into trouble saying this, but hey what's new? Here it goes on:
I've never met a vegetarian who wasn't a little … absent. They are always a bit unstable.
It radiates from them like an aura that a primitive part of my brain can recognize. Then my brain sends my body the signal "run very far away from this person".
Science apparently noticed this too. Numerous studies have looked at the phenomenon and generally found that vegetarians are more likely to suffer from mental illnesses than meat eaters. Depression and anxiety are the most common problems. Many even practice self-harm … and not just by avoiding the outback steakhouse.
Now researchers from the University of Alabama have taken a closer look at a huge meta-analysis.
The researchers reviewed 1
- Vegetarians take medications for mental illness twice as often.
- Vegetarians think about suicide almost three times as often.
- Vegetarians showed significantly higher depression rates, anxiety and / or self-harm behavior.
- In general, vegetarians showed poorer mental health, while meat eaters showed better mental health.
Although not every study has found these relationships, most have. The trend "vegetarians are a little shaky" was so profound that the researchers said vegetarianism could be a "behavior marker" that indicates poor mental health.
They concluded: "Our study does not support avoiding meat consumption for general psychological benefits."
They also said: "Do not date vegans, brother. The bitch is crazy!"
( Okay, I made up the last part.)
Which came first? The tofu chicken or the egg substitute?
This, like the abundance of similar studies that have been carried out previously, leads us to ask two important questions:
- Does a vegetarian diet cause mental illness?
- Do people who already suffer from mental illnesses only attract extreme diets such as vegetarianism?
Well, we already know that basic nutritional deficiencies cause or at least worsen things like depression, anxiety, and mood swings.  For example, omega-3 fatty acids help control inflammation that has been categorically associated with mood disorders. (Fish oil has been shown to help depression and mood swell at least.)
A study from Australia showed that women who avoid red meat were diagnosed with depression or anxiety disorders twice as often. Because Australian red meat is mostly grass-fed, the researchers associated the high levels of depression with insufficient omega-3 fatty acids, but it could as well be iron deficiency.
Vitamin B-12 deficiency has also been linked to depression. Of course, vitamin B-12 only occurs naturally in animal foods such as meat, fish and dairy products.
The list goes on. But what about the other side of the coin? Are people with pre-existing mental health problems only attracted to vegetarianism?
Some psychologists say it's a control problem: people with mental health problems often feel out of control, and one thing they can control is what they eat. It strengthens them and often makes them feel good … somehow … at least temporarily.
We all came across the morally superior vegan who wrapped his entire identity around what they don't eat. For them, their diet is more of a comforting quasi-religion; something that makes sense to them ("I'm saving the planet!"); or it gives them an enemy to fight against – bad people who eat animals.
If the control theory is true, eating disorders can occur in extreme cases. Some mental health experts note that veganism is also used as a cover for orthorexia or eating disorders. A 2013 study found that half of women with anorexia – classified as a mental illness – reported eating a vegetarian diet.
Use of this information
While the debate on meat eating and physical health is likely to go on forever The mental health argument seems to have been clarified: people have to eat meat to be mentally comfortable.
At least vegans should supplement hell from their diet to avoid deficiencies that damage their mood. That should take care of the nutritional side.
If mental health problems already exist, a vegetarian diet is not the best choice because it can make the problem worse or worse.
Cardiologist Aseem Malhotra comments: "If you are vegan or vegetarian for ethical reasons, please invest extra personally in strategies to protect your mental health."
He added: "Don't meet up with vegans, brother. Be crazy about the bitches!"
Yes, sometimes I am joking. Fight me.
These fats treat depression
The mineral that treats depression and anxiety
- Dobersek et al. "Meat and mental health: a systematic review of abstention and depression from meat, anxiety, and related phenomena." Critical evaluations in food science and nutrition. 2020 April 20: 1-14.