Saturday, 2 March 2013


Click to tweet: . I went vegetarian 27 years ago and progressed to veganism a year and a half later.  I did absolutely fine for about two years and made sure i had enough vitamin B12 from yeast extract and the like, along with addressing the other problems such as essential fatty acids and so forth.  I am still convinced that veganism is a healthier and viable option for the vast majority of people.  However, i am no longer vegan.

After about two years, i began to experience various symptoms which i attribute to vitamin B12 deficiency.  Vegans usually have more folic acid in their diet than vegetarians, which masks the pernicious anaemia associated with classic B12 deficiency but are at least equally susceptible to the neurological side, and i was no exception although i also got the symptoms of anaemia.  Specifically, i lost my sense of smell, started to hallucinate (particularly the smell of peppermint) and acquired a particularly boring psychosis which was basically just poor memory and concentration along with a sense of depersonalisation a bit like the one associated with alcoholism.  I accidentally set fire to my bed due to not being able to smell, although to be fair i do tend to set fire to things by mistake quite a lot.  As a result, i went back to eating dairy, although only in small quantities and i have now more or less recovered (my memory is still poor though).

The reason i think it affected me in that way is probably either to do with my stomach lining not secreting enough intrinsic factor or malabsorption via the terminal ileum of my intestines.  Most people would not only do absolutely fine on a vegan diet, but thrive better than on others.

I am not going to pretend it's better not to be vegan as far as ethics are concerned.  As far as i'm concerned, lacto-vegetarianism is only justifiable as a transitional state towards veganism and it's probably the worst of both worlds if you eat a lot of dairy, which is impossible to justify in almost any terms.  However, i would also say that some diets which include meat are ethically better than some diets which exclude it, for example eating roadkill compared to a vegan diet consisting largely of processed food with a lot of food miles on it, and various other factors involved mean that the issue is not clear cut.  Nor have i got anything personal against meat eaters.  It isn't even cheaper to eat dairy compared to being vegan, although i do use dairy as a source of free nutrition.

Just wanted to say that really - sorry everyone.

Sometimes beds really are on fire, but not with passion and love.  I wanna tell you a story.

Back in the day, i underwent a certain kernoodle (which i can't spell) with a certain Westphalian.  Since it was rather cold, i turned on the gas fire in my room, which was rather close to the mattress.  I had lost my sense of smell.  After a few minutes of - well, smoking a ciggie to be honest, but not me - this particular heterochromat noticed the smell of a different kind of smoke and i proceeded to empty the contents of a glass of water over it, which successfully quenched the fire.  However, i persisted with my veganism for quite some time after that.

Another experience i underwent as a result of my veganism was becoming mildly psychotic, and the thing about that was - it was really boring.  No unusual beliefs, no conviction that i was being followed, no threatening visions of demons.  Just poor memory, reduced attention span and depersonalisation, oh, and the occasional transparently obvious hallucination of the odour of peppermint.  I don't know if that's what B12 deficiency is normally like for vegans, but i should also point out that my brain can't do psychosis properly.  I once took many times the apparently effective dose of Psilocybe with no discernible consequences, and have taken six times the maximum recommended dose of Hypericum perforatum without any anti-depressant effect.  The reason i mention the latter is that since depression often involves a realistic assessment of one's world or life, anti-depressants probably work by loosening one's grip on reality.  It's not that simple of course, but it explains the problem quite well.

I'm not saying i can't go mad or that i'm in some macho way able to "take double anything you could".  I'm just saying my brain doesn't bend that way.  Speaking of which:

So there you go, you grey whistling void, another day in the outer darkness.