When Josie stumbled across a PETA tent at the tender age of 13, she was so moved by their content that she became a vegan overnight. Fast forward ten years later, and her health was going downhill—fast. After being admitted to the hospital multiple times, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis—a painful inflammatory disease of the digestive tract.The next four years she desperately tried to find a cure within the parameters of a vegan diet, but it eluded her. Finally—after years of suffering—she started to wonder if the vegan diet she so ardently believed in might be the problem.
Initially diagnosed with diverticulitis in her early twenties, Josie’s symptoms manifested as blood in her stool, fatigue, urgent diarrhea multiple times a day, and a constant low-grade fever. Six months after that, she found herself hospitalized with potassium levels so low—that had she waited even one more day—the doctor said she could have died. Josie was put on prednisone, which helped keep her symptoms at bay, but as she continued to tinker with her plant-based diet to heal herself—a flare-up would inevitably follow.
Four years later, a death in the family coupled with the sense of an impending hospitalization forced Josie to reckon with the idea that perhaps veganism wasn’t for her anymore. Throughout the years, her doctors rarely discussed her diet. Ironically, one actually told her to steer clear of meat and dairy—reinforcing her preconceived notion that they were bad for her health. Within a month—one month—of reintroducing animal products to her diet, her ulcerative colitis symptoms disappeared. Now, healthy and brimming with vitality at the age of 27, she extols the virtues of an animal-based diet on social media, happily sharing her story of transformation—and sounding the alarm bell to anyone considering a vegan diet.
Never the type to criticize those who ate meat around her—Josie admits it was still a bit uncomfortable telling her family and friends she was no longer a vegan. “It was hard in that sense because it was kind of admitting to everybody that I was wrong, because including animal products in my diet again healed my colitis.” Josie says her family and friends were understanding and compassionate, and any hate she receives these days is from vegans who are unhappy with her newfound message of “meat heals.”
Another incredible side effect that Josie experienced on the carnivore diet? She says her mental acuity and self-esteem are through the roof. When asked if she would ever consider being vegan again, her answer is an unequivocal “No!”
“Seeing the way that my life-threatening autoimmune disorder has reversed itself…and every other health issue that I’ve had has completely turned around…I can only determine that this is my natural diet.” She hopes her story will be able to help others who may be going through similar health struggles. “People who shared their ex-vegan story…it helped me when I was considering not being vegan anymore. That was what made me want to share my story.”
Article by Jennifer McDowell