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When veganism doesn't improve health
Laura is dying of her own choice.
Her choice? To embrace the vegan philosophy of not accepting food of animal origin. Her diet now consists entirely of raw food and fruit juices. And yet the benefits of a raw vegan diet elude her as her health deteriorates.
It's not the first time Laura has been sick; she has had a record of problems with various ailments before. Her face, the most exposed part of human body, hints at various allergies and perhaps something more mysterious hiding deep beneath her skin.
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No one really knows for how long and with what intensity Laura has suffered. But her husband, who shared the same nutrition routine, was recently diagnosed with a non-malignant form of leukemia. He rejected chemotherapy and turned to herbal medicine which has so far stopped his health problems.
For years both Laura and her husband have rejected any food of animal origin, not simply for the supposed health benefits but also for the simple ethical reason of not wanting to cause suffering to animals. The promise was that vegan food would increase their health and lifespan.
Milk went on the strictly controlled list a long time ago along with eggs and all other by-products of animals. Thanksgiving parties with roast turkey or sausages fried in a campfire were restricted products even in the presence of others enjoying all the forbidden foods. Same story with smoked, roasted and/or fried salmon that abound in the region of Canadian northwest.
Yet despite their good intentions, both have suffered with a variety of illnesses, infections, allergies, and colds. Laura is now in one of Vancouver's hospitals whose staff plays an ever-changing guessing game of what to serve her at every meal. Her looks have changed for the worse, with dominant, disproportionately large eyes, and a face and body that seem to be fading away.
One day, not long ago something really unexpected happened. To the complete disbelief of everyone around her Laura asked for scrambled eggs for breakfast. But is it too late? Was it a warning signal from inside of her body to reverse a deadly course? What will it take to change her thinking before everything is lost?
For now, she seems to have chosen slow death for clinging to her vegan beliefs. Will that change as time passes?
The name of the ill person has been changed for the purpose of this article but the events and facts are real.