FAQs About Not Being Vegan Anymore

Questions About Not Being Vegan Anymore from Carrie on Living

About two weeks have gone by since my post about not being vegan anymore. It’s been quite the experience, to put it mildly.

Since so many questions have come up about my change and the future of things, I thought it might be helpful to pull together some FAQs, plus a few responses to comments.

Will your recipes be vegan/plant-based in the future?

I had very thoughtful input from my vegan and plant-based friends who suggested that I keep all of my recipes the same going forward. I gave serious consideration to that request. The problem is that I like my blog to represent who I really am and how I live as much as I can, otherwise I have no motivation to keep writing it. So, once the transfer of my old blog happens to my new site (only a few more days, I promise!), I will be presenting recipes using ingredients that I am finding to be supportive of my health, but will not be consistently vegan. As always, you as a reader have the power to either continue following or not following my blog and I respect your decision.

Incidentally, I posted my first non-vegan food pic on Instagram yesterday with full disclosure that I am not vegan anymore.

Don’t you know about the science and health benefits of being vegetarian/vegan?

Yes, I think I do. You might recall this post where I discuss my master’s degree project that was a literature review of the occurrence of selected diseases between vegetarians and non-vegetarians. My experience has been that no matter how much I know about a subject, I have to do what’s best for my family and me, taking all factors into consideration.

You didn’t do well on a vegan diet because you did it wrong, (i.e. you use/do not use oil, ate not enough/too much fat, used a microwave, should have talked to MY expert, etc.).

I disagree and think that I did a pretty good job of learning about plant-based living, but, again, all factors considered led me to stop consuming a vegan diet.

Veganism isn’t just about diet.

I agree and respect that the veganism goes far beyond just our food choices. I also respect the fact that being vegan is a very black and white definition. Even though I’m not eating a 100% plant-based diet anymore, I still think that there are endless important consumer choices to be made that impact animals and our environment.

You just want attention and that’s why you stopped being vegan.

Yikes! I should have dyed my hair purple or something else less traumatic. I actually discussed this comment with a trusted friend and she pointed out that humans want (and need!) connection and I thought that was so true. The reason I write my blog is for personal expression and connection with like-minded folks. I’d also just like to express gratitude for all of the amazing and incredibly supportive messages I’ve received recently. I hope I’ve done a good job supporting our relationship.

You shouldn’t run a vegan app.

I agree. I hate to say it, but I’ve had a hard time staying in a positive mind-space about the vegan community based on some of the really mean comments I’ve received. Even though Vegan Delish was always meant to help inspire plant-based cooking with no judgment about whether you are vegan or not, I’ve decided to remove it from the iTunes App store effective July 1st. The maintenance is paid through the end of October, so if you own a copy you can access it through that time. You can read the official announcement including how to preserve your favorite recipes. I’m sorry, but I’m only human, I’ve lost my spark to keep it going, and this was my response.

Will you create a new recipe app in the future?

That is a definite possibility. Stay tuned.

It would have been better for the vegan movement if you/your blog just faded away.

I actually think it’s worse for the vegan and plant-based movements to pretend that nobody will ever run into issues or struggle with it. My personal experience has proven to me that there is a lot of room for research and discussion on how to address potential problems, although many people may not experience any issues. I also think that shaming and judging someone for his or her weakness is inappropriate and that that kind of attitude hurts veganism more than anything else.

I expect that with time my hurt feelings will heal and I’ll take more responsibility for the harm that I’ve done.

How are your vegan friends reacting to this change?

Mixed reviews. Trust me, I would never have gone this route if it hadn’t been as close to a life or death decision as I’ve ever known. I don’t want to take a passive-aggressive approach, so I am trying to respect each and every relationship. It hurts to lose friends or end certain relationships, but I also think that change is inevitable and change brings growth. I try my darndest to show respect to everyone, even if we differ in ways that keep us from being friends as we once were.

Was it hard to digest animals foods after not eating them for so long?

I wondered about that too, but it wasn’t a problem.

Are you still eating vegetables?

Yes, tons. And, plenty of my meals are plant-based, nutritarian, vegan, or however you want to describe it.

Do you still have an eating disorder?

I sought help from a professional therapist regarding my disordered eating patterns back in April. I wrote openly about it on my blog. The desire to restrict, overeat, or overexercise has pretty much gone away completely. I continue to work with my therapist and use guidance from the book Intuitive Eating. I’m also okay with saying that chocolate will probably always provide comfort in hard times, and I am cool with that.

Wasn’t it because of your eating disorder that you couldn’t continue being vegan?

I have a complicated health history and I have nutritional needs that weren’t being met by a 100% plant-based diet. I was as explicit about that in my original post about my dietary change as I possibly could be, along with saying that many people thrive eating vegan or vegetarian and can overcome obstacles that are probably greater than mine. I reached the point where I had to do what was best.

I’m not feeling well on a plant-based diet. What should I do?

My personal experience and feelings don’t change the science of plant-based diets or the value of veganism. I would like to share some resources that can come in handy if you’re struggling with your plant-based diet. Please do not take my story as advice or a suggestion that you need to stop doing what you’re doing. And, please do seek professional medical or nutritional guidance to make sure you stay healthy.

Dr. Fuhrman books, website, and supplements

The Vegan RD

Jack Norris RD

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Nutrition Facts

I hope this interchange provides more clarity to my situation. As always, I am open to more questions and input, provided that you treat me with the same respect as I give you. I also want to assure you that I haven’t lost my spark for writing my blog. I might be a little more reserved about sharing personal details for awhile, but I am more excited than ever to keep sharing and connecting with you.

Follow me on my social media accounts, now @carrieonliving: FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Jessica says

    First off, I think that you doing what you need to do for your body is always most important. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, paleo or just eat whatever is available there are going to be people that criticize or praise you. The reality of it is that everyone needs to do what makes them feel the best that they can feel. I don’t think that people have the right to say that you did something wrong, didn’t know what you were doing, or accuse you of anything. It takes a lot of strength to change any part of your life whether it be diet related or not. As a person who has also struggled with an eating disorder I can only imagine that making such a change was even harder than it normally would be. So ultimately just wanted to say that you shouldn’t have to justify anything to anyone and that you have the right feel comfortable with what you have decided. I myself am a vegan and have followed your blog for quite a while, do I think that you becoming non-vegan has tarnished my view of you, or drastically effected the vegan community? No, definitely not.

    Continue to be you and be healthy :)

    • says

      Thank you so much, Jessica! I truly appreciate you sharing your thoughts and letting me know that you still are interested in what I have to say. You filled my heart with joy and hope with your words. Xoxo.

    • says

      Dear Carrie,
      I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your courage and honesty in writing about your dietary changes. I am a holistic health coach and I believe that each of us needs to eat in a way that supports our health and well being. Nutritional science is in its infancy and we do not have all of the answers. You have always been a kind and compassionate person and that isn’t going to change because you eat animal protein. I wanted to wish you all good things as you move forward and to say I am so offended by the hateful comments you have received on your blog. You did not deserve them and those comments reflect on the writers not on you. Best of everything to you.

      • says

        Thank you, Kristina! It’s so nice to hear from you and your kind words are hugely appreciated. I am sending you all the best too, and hope we can see each other again at some point! Xo.

  2. Oly says

    I’ll keep reading your blog, Carrie! I’m still vegan and respect everybody and the choices they have to make.

  3. Nanette says

    Dear Carrie,
    I’ve been reading your story with interest since I also determined that a 100% plant-based/vegan/whatever diet doesn’t work for me either. I am shocked and appalled at the negative and judgmental comments you’ve received. It’s certainly left a bad taste in my mouth (pun intended) toward many of those who identify as vegan. I realize that not all vegans are cruel and judgmental but, wow!
    If I had to name my eating plans, I’d go with “primarily plant-based.” But at this point, I certainly wouldn’t say “Vegan” even if I was.
    I’ll continue to read your comments and wish you all the best going forward. You continue to be an inspiration to many, many people who seek to live a more healthy lifestyle!
    Nanette

    • says

      Thank you, Nanette!!! Your words echo many of my same feelings, although I really hope I can work past the anger and hurt and even learn from the negativity. It helps so much to interact with people who show kindness and compassion despite differences. I’m certainly not perfect in that, but I’m trying! :)

    • Jane says

      Nanette! I, like you, will never use the term vegan because of the negative associations people have with it. I just say, “I try to eat mostly plant-based.” and people seem totally fine with it. Thank you so much for having the same thoughts as me. Also, I’ve tried for going on 2 YEARS to be vegetarian/vegan, I STILL slip up and for me it’s heartbreaking and confusing. I don’t understand myself and my weaknesses. Carrie is really an amazing person and I think it speaks volumes for her about how she’s reacting to this controversy.

  4. says

    Thank you again, Carrie, for being so open and forthright in your communications. My husband and I have been eating a whole-plant diet for the past two months, and yours is one of my favorite resources – and will continue to be. We shy away from calling ourselves “vegan” because we are doing this for health reasons, and don’t appreciate some of the seemingly militant aspects of veganism (although many times we will use the term “vegan” as shorthand when describing our food choices). I am sorry that you have had to deal with small minded people when going through your own health choices. I support you 100%. Be as vegan as you want to be!

  5. Amber says

    The shaming in the vegan/health and fitness communities has created a toxic environment that is harming our message and leaving people feeling ostracized rather than welcomed. As one of my favorite sayings goes, “Respect existence or expect resistance.”

    Carrie, you and your blog have always been, and will continue to be, a beacon of hope and inspiration for me. I look forward to continue following you on your journey to health, happiness, and peace.

    Love from MN,

    Amber xoxo

    • says

      What a great quote, Amber! I’m going to have to think about that one to appreciate how profound it is. I can’t tell you how much your kind words mean to me. Love back from CA! :)

  6. Mike A says

    Good job on sticking through your decision. It should be obvious that you have thoroughly researched all issues, so those who are wagging a finger should have said finger bent and twisted until they admit that they’re being judgmental scolds.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog (through its various iterations) and incorporating plant-based recipes into our family’s omnivore diet. I think that your new outlook and focus is the most realizable path for the population as a whole. Encouraging a *primarily* plant-based diet will attract more followers and make a much bigger impact than a highly restrictive and doctrinaire diet ever will.

    Looking forward to many tasty adventures ahead!

    • says

      Thank you, Mike, and I’m still giggling after reading your comment about bending those judgmental fingers. I appreciate the kind words about my blog(s) and your great input on continuing to inspire steps of all sizes toward healthier, plant-based living. Xo.

  7. Leah says

    Although I have to admit that I’m always a little sad when vegans stop being vegan, I can’t believe the backlash you’ve had. Unfortunately, the Internet seems to provide a place where people feel safe saying bad things since it isn’t face-to-face! You have clearly done your homework and from reading your blog for years, it’s very apparent that you’re very smart and passionate, and this is where your journey has taken you. I know it’s not easy to take criticism, but I feel confident that you’ll still have a lot of followers and hopefully blogging is still a positive experience for you! I know I always look forward to your recipes, and will continue to do so in the future!

    • says

      Thank you, Leah!!! I’m glad my passion shines through and I’m hopeful that I can get past any hurt feelings which kind of are inevitable when you are a blogger and go through such a major change as I have. :) My skin is thicker now and I still love putting info and recipes out there, so expect to see more of me in the future. I am grateful for the support. Xo.

  8. says

    Carrie, There will always be people unable to look beyond their own opinion, but that doesn’t make you any less valid, any less inspirational, or any less kind. Keep on keepin on and know that people who are truly behind you will help support you and continue to be available for shared open-minded discussion!

  9. Rachel says

    I didn’t comment on your first post because I wasn’t sure what to say to add to the overwhelming number of comments already posted. But reading this I can see just how much you’ve been hurt by the feedback you’ve received, and I want to add another positive note. I know it’s probably not been easy, but keep trying to forgive (yourself for making a decision you probably didn’t like, and others for having fervent opinions) and be at peace with where you are. To the other vegans who have been sending comments that are less than kind, remember: Life is like this! We all have to change, make hard choices, and get along with one another on this ride. I love the kindness I see in the vegan community, and feel disheartened when I see some of us treating others with less than the utmost respect and kindness that we each deserve in life.

  10. Jenna Krabacher says

    First of all I applaud you for choosing the high ground knowing what was going to happen. You chose honesty knowing that you would be persecuted for it by some and that in and of itself is worthy of all your reader’s respect.

    Being vegan does not automatically equate to a cruelty free or “better” lifestyle.
    You can be a non-vegan and just as humane and “good”.
    It’s the totality of your choices that equate to cruelty free and “better.”

    Your heart and soul is in the right place and that will guide you where you need to go and be to be good to yourself and the planet.

    You are doing this exactly right. You are honest. You have integrity. You are good. And let no one shame you for your choices lest they find themselves walking in your shoes one day…

    xoxo
    The Imperfect Vegan

    • says

      You expressed so much of what I am/was feeling, Jenna, and I cannot thank you enough for that. One day last week I realized I had to forgive myself for being imperfect and that’s when the clouds lifted, as they say. Xoxo.

  11. Diane Kass says

    You ROCK, little one! Stay positive, and strong. I admire the approach you are taking. I wish you much success!

    I too am saddened by the hurtful things vegans say. Such misguided zeal. Oi’, if they only knew how many people they chase away from their movement with such verbal carelessness, hostility, combativeness, and aggression. Well, all that negative energy could move mountains I tell ya!

    One such vegan literally told me that animals are more important than people. I still find that baffling, yet I could tell that it was said sincerely, and was truly believed and lived.

    I care deeply for all animals and the environment too, but there is one thing I hope to never be: a radical vegan. Quite frankly, it’s against my religion — not the eating meat thing — the nastiness thing. :|

    • says

      I love your comment, Diane. You’re awesome and I’m right there with you on staying positive and filled with love and compassion. I had a few days where the negativity got me down, but I’m back to my normal self again and ready to keep on keepin’ on! :)

  12. says

    Good for you Carrie. Haters will always hate on others but they do not know what we are truly going through, have gone through, or what our current status is in regards to living our best life. So – whatever to them, and you just continue to be the awesome you. It’s all you can do and try your best to ignore the ignorant people!

  13. Christa says

    Hi! I wanted to let you know that I am exited for your transition. I was vegan for 6 months, and it worked wonders in clearing up my gestational diabetes that didn’t go away after I had my baby. I am now on what I call an “animal light” diet of my own making and am excited to get some recipes that are plant heavy, but also include some animal sources. I am very sorry that you are getting flack from some people in the vegan community…… it honestly reminds me of when I moved from evangelical Christianity to liberal Christianity. I wanted to shout, “Hey guys! I’m still a Christian! Isn’t that what’s important?” But unfortunately, for some it wasn’t. I’m excited for you to move forward with those who support you and your health. I’ve never commented before, but wanted to shout out some encouragement to add to the positive supporters. Best wishes.

    • says

      Thank you, Christa, for your kind words and for your honesty. I haven’t wanted to compare this vegan/non-vegan thing to religion for fear offending anyone, but your situation seems to replicate some of what I’ve been facing. Best wishes right back to you. Xoxo.

  14. Dana says

    Hi. I have been reading your blog for a while. I am so disturbed by the hurtful things that you have been hearing/reading from mean vegans.
    I NEVER comment on blogs. This is the first time I have ever left a comment on a blog. (I am 39 years old, and not new to reading blogs.) But, I felt I had to say something positive to try to balance the negative you have received. This is your quote that prompted me to write:
    “I expect that with time my hurt feelings will heal and I’ll take more responsibility for the harm that I’ve done.”
    You have done NO HARM! You are a wonderful human being and your honesty is BEAUTIFUL! It is a shame that nasty jerks have made you want to (understandably) share less of yourself. Sigh.
    I hope your feelings heal quickly! All the best,
    Dana

    • says

      Thank you, Dana, and I’m honored that my blog post prompted you to write your first ever blog comment. Woo-hoo! :)

      And, I do appreciate your input on the responsibility and harm thing. But, I really do feel some responsibility for getting excited about being vegan, calling myself vegan, and not realizing the extent of what that entails. Maybe it’s the part of me that hates to admit that I’m not perfect, even though I actually love embracing my imperfections now. So, it’s just been a huge learning process and I feel bad for disappointing people, many of whom were my friends or people who I really admire/admired.

  15. Laura says

    I admire you for your honesty, Carrie, and saddened by the negativity you have received. You have always been … and will continue to be … a great source of inspiration to me. We are all just very small parts of this world, doing the best we can to live well and cause as little harm as possible. Not one of us carries the whole world on their shoulders and no one should make us feel as though our little choices will cause the whole world to drop and shatter! Keep doing what you feel is best for you, Carrie!

  16. says

    You’ve put yourself out there and that’s more than 90% of the people on this crazy planet are willing to do. Those who criticize or are hurtful just don’t see the big picture, nor do they care to understand the human element of your dilemma. Dismiss them and CARRIE ON LIVING! :)

  17. Dana says

    Hi Carrie,
    I just made your peanut butter garbanzo soup. It is great. My husband loves it!
    And, I am madly in love with your garbanzo bean salad with mustard dressing!!!
    I just want you to know I love your recipes and you have helped me a lot!
    Dana

  18. Loren says

    I recently transitioned from vegan to lacto-ovo vegetarian after a series of troubling blood test results, particularly with regard to my lipid profile. I was very conscientious of my diet, tried to get an appropriate balance of things as a vegan, supplementing where I needed to, even made sure to take a DHA-EPA omega 3 supplement. Despite this, my Triglycerides were significantly/dangerously elevated. I exercised regularly and was not overweight. Also, my liver enzymes were elevated, which my doctor attributed to the hypertriglyceridemia. After a few months of being lacto-ovo, incorporating just small amounts of organic dairy and organic eggs into my diet and not adjusting my activity level, my blood work vastly improved. It is absolutely counter-intuitive but the results didn’t lie. We re-checked to make sure the levels were within normal range and they were. My doctor could offer no explanation other than ‘keep doing what you’re doing’.

    We have to do what’s best for our bodies and this is often a journey of personal discovery. I am interested to see if you have encountered any similar stories to mine as I feel like a lone voice in the wilderness defying conventional logic. :)

    • says

      Wow, thank you for sharing this, Loren. You’re right, your experience seems counter-intuitive, but I don’t think the science is conclusive on some of these issues and we’re still learning about the complexities of our bodies. Additionally, every person is different and I support your willingness to adapt and do what is best for you. Take care and thanks again for the comment.

  19. Carrie says

    I think the worst thing a person can do for the vegan movement is to be nasty to other people, for any reason. It just makes people not want to be vegan because they don’t want to be in a group that they perceive as judgmental and holier-than-thou. I’m sorry you were subjected to such unkindness. I would like to see all vegans remembering that veganism is about non-harming of ALL creatures, humans included. I believe most of us do remember this; unfortunately, negative comments always stand out the most.

    Personally, I have trouble understanding some cases in which a passionate vegan stops being vegan for no apparent reason other than a craving for cheese or something, but if a person is feeling sick all the time, I can totally understand it.

    I do have a question. Do you have any idea WHY it would be that eating animal products would make you feel better? As it does seem counter-intuitive to me, I would love to understand the biology of why this is working for you with your “complicated health history,” as you put it. If that’s more than you feel like sharing right now, I understand.

    • says

      Hi Carrie, thank you for your note and of course I completely agree with your sentiment about caring for all animals, including humans. I’ve written a bit about the details of my health situation in the comments of my first post, but I appreciate that you might not have read all 400+ of them to see my explanation. The bottom line is that a trusted plant-based doctor let me know that I may have been suffering from a zinc deficiency due to the phytates from plant foods binding the minerals, or that my personal biology requires high doses of EPA which are currently unavailable from a plant-based source. I don’t have much more input than that, but there is also the added complexity of suffering from an eating disorder which just exacerbated the whole situation. I mentioned this in another comment, but I don’t want people reading this to think that my experience means that they will have similar problems, but I’m trying to be as honest as I can about what happened and why. :)

      • Carrie says

        Thanks for responding! You’re right, I did not read all the comments; as soon as I started seeing negative ones, I stopped. I hope you understand that I’m not asking you to justify your decision, I just really like understanding the biology of nutrition and the body. I also really understand the eating disorder aspect of it. I’ve struggled with that all my life, and fortunately am feeling very free from it these days. WFPB is working for me in that regard, but in all honesty if I were back in the grips of it, I would probably be willing to do absolutely anything I needed to do to get out of it. EDs can really destroy a person’s soul. I wish you health and happiness!

        • says

          No, sure, I understand, Carrie. I have had a few people who are really interested in what might have happened and why I went downhill so fast, so I’ve tried to do my best to explain what I think happened. Thank you for sharing the fact that you’ve suffered from an ED and I’m so happy to know that you are doing well. It’s nice to feel understood and you made me feel that way. Thank you.

  20. Deanna says

    The world is not black and white! I am also a “mostly” vegan … I listen to my body which sometimes needs animal protein! I’m astonished and saddened by the people who are critical – and I say that for every judgmental person who “dislikes” your new blog you will have 2 more who follow because of your honesty and passion for health and authenticity! Carry on!!!!!

  21. Kayla Revae says

    Hi Carrie,
    I live in rural Iowa where I am the only vegan I know, so I look to bloggers like you as “friends.” (Although I’ve never commented here before.) I’ve been nervous to take a more vocal role in the online vegan community because I’m afraid to get ripped apart by vegans pointing out how un-perfect I am. My dad is a beef farmer and is the greatest man I know, along with my husband, the omni-son of a dairy farmer. If I can vegan-ize our family recipes, I certainly can follow whatever blog you pursue in the future. I’m glad you’re sticking around the blogosphere and am glad you’re feeling better!

    • says

      Thank you, Kayla, for your courage and honesty. I admire you so much for your open-mindedness and really appreciate you commenting and sharing such supportive words. And, I consider you my virtual friend, too! :)

  22. says

    Hi Carrie,
    Of course it’s always a little sad for the vegan community when a fellow vegan decides or feels the need to move away from veganism. However, I am really sorry to hear that you’ve experienced so much nastiness. I really admire your humility and the quiet and open tone with which you are discussing your choices.

  23. says

    Quitting veganism is tough. I never had anything close to your readership, so the resistance wasn’t too bad, but WOW. I wish people were kinder.

    It’s so hard to give up a facet of your identity, even when you know in your bones that you’re doing the best thing for you. It’s even harder when you identify with the ethical ideals of veganism. Remember: it is ethical that you live too. Our bodies are different. I had to accept that living, for me, meant being a bit destructive. It is our nature, which was really not something I wanted to be true.

    • says

      Christine: I really took your words to heart as I read them, especially the part about it being ethical to live. I have had a similar thought but expressed in a different way, and I appreciate you for bringing up that issue. Every cell in my body wants to live and I want to live (and thrive and flourish) as well! I have such huge respect for the complexities of our bodies and I have come to respect mine more than ever through this experience.

  24. says

    Hey chick, I’m a vegan and I love it and breath it, but every person has their own journey and I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve received such negative criticism.

    Wishing you lots of love, light, happiness and health.

    Robyn xx

  25. says

    This whole thing takes guts (see what I did there?!) – making a huge change to diet, a decision to let go of the app, addressing questions and comments from people, being so open and honest along the way… I am inspired by and applaud you for your bravery, commitment to what you feel is best, and continued kindness toward others in the face of adversity. You’re handling things with a sense grace and gentleness that I could only dream of.

    It’s obvious just from reading the comments here that there is a group of kind-hearted people who support you, the direction of your blog, and are interested in that connection you talk about- and you can absolutely count me as one of them. Looking forward to reading more. xo

    • says

      Thank you, Candace!!! You have my equal admiration and support and I’ve paid close attention to your journey for inspiration. Love the gut reference. If I were feeling more witty, I’d insert some kind of inappropriate joke about digestion or something else that we bloggers love to talk about behind the scenes. :)

  26. says

    What astonishes me is that you had a) clearly worked quite hard to try to find a solution that included a 100% vegan diet; b) that you were very clear that you were NOT anti vegan; and c) for personal relationships, friendship is more than agreeing with every choice someone makes – it’s about supporting someone in what is best for THEM; it saddens me that people can’t see the forest for the trees – you deserve better than that!

    As you know, I’m excited and cheering you on!

    xox

  27. says

    I feel bad that you have to explain yourself over and over again. The people who have their objections to the way other eat should either learn to accept it or go away. I’m still with you, love your recipes, love your blog.

  28. says

    Kudos to you for your honesty. There will always be negative people who do not agree with your decisions but you need to do what is right for you. I’m starting the third week of a vegan challenge and have found it to be an enlightening experience. I do, however, look forward to reintroducing eggs and cheese back into my diet when the month is over! All the best to you. :)

    • says

      Thank you, Janice! I’m so glad you’re enjoying your vegan challenge! I agree, it’s all part of a learning experience and I admire you for trying. Sending you my best as well!

  29. Paula Contreras says

    Carrie I loved your recipes and will miss it. I completely get your decision. First and foremost your health is your priority. I appreciate all your recipes and thank you for your honesty. Your diet and lifestyle choice is deeply personal. Thank you for all your hard work.

  30. Kate Duchesne-Bunting says

    I am very often disappointed with the attitude of other vegans, giving all of us a bad reputation. Some have no respect whatsoever for people with a different lifestyle and this is getting dangerously close to “fanaticism”. I understand why some people see us vegans as part of a sect with the goal to indoctrinate. I am sure you know exactly what I mean.
    I know that the world will never be vegetarian, let alone vegan. I never force my veganism on anybody (my husband of 6 years has only been vegetarian for 1 1/2 years) and I believe it is important to acknowledge every little thing non-vegetarians/non-vegans do for the planet and for the animals. It all counts in the end, just the same.
    Whilst I am proud to be vegan (now for nearly 5 years), I am not arrogant with it.
    I am very sorry that despite everything you have brought to our little “community”, some people are treating you so badly. Some people are obviously so set in their ways that they forget a very fundamental thing of veganism: respect for all living things.
    I will continue to read you. I will probably wince occasionally when reading about meat eating (can’t help it, it’s a reflex! ). I will probably disagree with some of the things you will write. I will, however, find it interesting to “talk” with you about those things. I will also find it enjoyable to read of your progresses. I will be eager to read more of your daily living advice. I will always remember what great work you did and I will respect you. I already do. Good luck with everything, you truly deserve it. Keep your head up and if it helps you when you are feeling down due to nasty comments, remember that you have an army behind you.

    • says

      Wow, Kate, I feel so full of hope reading your message. I know it takes great strength to recognize differences of opinion and I was guilty of being that judgmental vegan in the past, although not outwardly so. Your words have inspired me to continue trying to do my part to make the world a better place and I really mean that. Thank you.

  31. says

    Hey girl,

    This internet thing is so great for connecting with “like-minded folks” as you say, which can be such a wonderful experience when you’re passionate about a certain subject. And at this point, you may be feeling a little displaced as you take a step back from the internet community that you used to call home. But I just want to reassure you that there is another community out here: The community of regular people who love cooking, eating, sharing, feeling healthy, feeling grounded+balanced, and celebrating fabulous food. Food that satisfies our appetites, nourishes our souls, and provides fuel for an active, happy life. And we are so excited to welcome you with open arms!

    When one door closes, another one opens, as they say. And you, my dear, are in for some really good, really fun times ahead! Can’t wait to check out the new website!

    • says

      Thank you, Hilary, and I’m ready for a few more regular people in my life, ha ha. :) But seriously, I made some amazing friends in the vegan community who have stood by me, so I don’t want to completely throw them under the bus. That said, it is VERY hard to extricate myself from what I now consider to be a very extreme mindset that encompasses every aspect of life. In some ways, I admire people who can maintain that level of intensity, but I now realize it is NOT for me and does my mind, body, and spirit more harm than good. As you said, when one door closes, another one opens, and I really believe that. Can’t wait to connect with you more in the future. Xoxo.

  32. says

    What a pity that you have to keep addressing your food choices and deal with mean comments. People need to be more understanding. Kindness matters – in all situations. Sorry to hear you are ditching the app but you have to do what is in “your” best interest.

    I will keep following and reading and looking forward to your future posts.

    • says

      Thank you, Tami, and wise words about spreading kindness in all situations. You’re amazing and you inspire me, so keep up the good work. Xoxo.

  33. Maria Elena says

    Carrie – Please stop being so hard on yourself and stop apologizing. Some people just have a really hard time with change or accepting lifestyles different than theirs. It takes them more time or more maturity. This does not mean you did anything wrong. You have gone above and beyond. You don’t deserve the backlash of comments I read the other week. You are an amazing, kind, humble person. The kindest & most loving person on Earth, Christ Jesus said not to judge AND he was a fisherman, so….. just saying, he ate fish and I’m sure he loved animals/creatures. :) I hope you let go of all the negativity and know that is not how the rest of us feel at all. Your recipes have been awesome and looking forward to seeing what is next!

    • says

      Thank you, Maria Elena. I’m working on forgiving myself for my imperfections, but feeling stronger and more confident every day. Xoxo.

  34. Celeste says

    Hi Carrie,

    I’m so glad that you figured out what was going on with your body and I hope that you continue to feel better and better. You are the 2nd vegan blogger that I have followed that had had to make this choice. She had been strictly vegan for at least 12 years and ended up really sick. She still eats mostly plant based with some animal products a couple times a week and feels great. I love the benefits of a plant based diet, and mostly follow it, but I don’t have any desire to be labeled into a certain group… especially after seeing so much pride and prejudice by so many vegans. I chose to follow a “healthy” diet, and look forward to following your blog and gleaning from your knowledge and experience. Please don’t lose heart. Oh, and if you decide to come out with another app, could you consider making it android friendly as well? No pressure…I don’t have a clue at how that all works…. Thanks again and keep on smiling

    • says

      Thank you, Celeste! I appreciate your kind words and I think it’s great that we are learning from each other’s experiences. I think “healthy” is a great description for the way I try to eat, too, and for me that includes a healthy dose of chocolate just about every day. :) I did not realize the danger of putting labels on my lifestyle until recently, and boy did I learn my lesson. And, I do appreciate your suggestion about making any future apps available for Android as well and I promise I’ll do my best to make that happen!

  35. Dawn says

    I hesitate to say vegan or vegetarian. I say, “I eat a mostly plant-based diet.” I ate more eggs this past winter. I was lifting pretty heavy weights and plant based protein powders and legumes just became to hard to digest. I think eating mostly plants is best for my health but don’t stress over the occasional cheese, egg, shrimp, etc.
    Carrie on Living sounds like the best name!

  36. says

    Wow… I’m a little surprised at some of the hurtful things people are saying/asking.
    I am feeling incredibly defensive of you, which I guess shows my love for you =)
    This post wasn’t for me as I am supportive and happy with you no matter what path you choose. But I do love this:
    “The desire to restrict, overeat, or overexercise has pretty much gone away completely… I’m also okay with saying that chocolate will probably always provide comfort in hard times, and I am cool with that.”

    That is awesome Carrie! So happy that you are finding such a healthy relationship with food (and chocolate!). That’s what it’s about – whether it’s vegan or not <3

    • says

      Thank you, Kimmy. Your continued kindness and support is so appreciated, as well as your friendship. I feel so lucky to know you both online and in “real life.” :)

  37. Susan says

    You need to do what’s best for you. You are replying to the haters way more maturely than I probably would have.

  38. Kara says

    Carrie,
    I have always loved your app, recipes and posts. So many of your recipes will remain a staple in my kitchen. Thank you for your willingness to share all of your time, effort and energy.
    I hope that all of the comments that come before and after me will quickly wash away the ridiculous, negative energy and feelings.
    Love your new name and look forward to following your success!

    • says

      Thank you so much, Kara!!! I so appreciate the kind words and support. I hope I will continue to create recipes that you enjoy. I forgot to mention in my post that I intend to offer vegan/plant-based substitutions whenever possible. My best to you!

  39. says

    It’s really unfortunate that vegans, who consider themselves compassionate, show such hostility rather than empathy when someone must make the painful decision to change their diet to include animal products. You’ve shown great honesty and humility in explaining so openly why you needed to change your diet. Your responses have been so reasoned and kind, I admire your restraint, though obviously the negative comments have been painful. I respect your decision to do what you needed to do. You are still a compassionate and kind individual, vegan or not.

    • says

      Thank you, Andrea. You have no idea how uplifting it is to read your kind and supportive message. I appreciate the fact that it’s not a good thing when someone who has been passionate about helping promote a vegan lifestyle runs into problems and writes publicly about it, but I very sincerely hope that I can continue to be a positive force in the world. Your note helps me re-gain some of the respect that I have lost for the vegan community recently. Thank you.

  40. Kate says

    Carrie,
    I think your transition is inspiring and your honesty is very refreshing. I have tried to be a vegan many times but I also struggle with an eating disorder and in the end, a vegan diet aggravated my symptoms. I have felt guilt for being too “weak” or a “failing” to thrive as a vegan, but learning your story of changing your diet to suit yourself rather than suit an image makes me feel less alone! I am so appreciative that you shared your story. Thank you!
    Kate

    • says

      Thank YOU, Kate, for being so honest about your struggles. Gosh, I sure do identify with the feeling of being alone in this, but now I realize how pervasive these issues are. I’m hopeful that continuing the discussion can help us and others. Xo.

  41. says

    I can’t believe some of the negative feedback you have received. Vegans receive so much criticism and negativity for their choices, that it’s hard to believe they would do that to someone else.
    Thanks for your honesty and I continue to support you!

  42. Rebecca says

    I’m proud of you for listening to your body! I’ll keep reading and respecting your blog-vegan or not.

  43. Paula says

    I hope you will share more of the health related issue with the diet. I have experienced serious issues with my health and I would never thought it could be linked to a low fat vegan diet. My doctor has put me on a gluten free diet and asked that I consider adding eggs and meat. I am so torn. We are currently working toward finding what caused these problems. Celiac symptoms, Hashimoto, hypothyroidism, auto immune issues . It is a scary thing to not know what to do to heal. I look forward to your new blog. I need to get healthy and look forward to reading how others work to overcome being ill.

    • says

      Hi Paula. I’m so sorry to hear that you are having health issues. I wish I could be more specific and offer advice, but I have to be really careful about crossing that line since I’m not a licensed health professional. What I can say is that my health improved once I allowed myself to ease the boundaries of a prescribed diet and experiment with different food groups. I agree it’s SO SCARY and confusing and I often feel like I know more about nutrition than my some of my doctors, but you can find a lot of great advice on the internet, too, so don’t give up!!! Sending you my very best.

      • Paula says

        Hey Carrie. I just wanted to say that I did not want you to miss understand me. I know that you can not offer advice per say. But for me it is encouraging to know that I too can find the answers I am searching for. I know exactly what you mean when you “feel” like you know more than the Dr when it comes to nutrition. I don’t think I do, but my Dr has even stated she learned some things from me too. I look forward to the new site and thanks for mentioning the book Intuitive Eating as it has been so enlightening & helpful.

        • says

          Thanks for letting me know, Paula. I guess I just didn’t want you to think I was withholding information. I do believe that the answers are out there, but it can take a lot of experimentation to figure out what diet or lifestyle or tools work for you. It sounds like your doctor has a great attitude if she let you know she is still learning and I’m thrilled that you are finding help from the Intuitive Eating book!!!

  44. John F Mensi says

    For those who say they are shocked and appalled at the negativity of the responses from vegans: please remember the plight of farmed animals. Any offense that a food blogger receives as a rebuke for leaving such an important cause can’t compare to the utter misery and torment that all domesticated animals go through just to become a meal for humans. Perspective is everything.

    I had not intended to needlessly “attack” Carrie just to be mean or cruel (which I don’t think I was). I fully appreciate her being vegan for as long as she was. Her commitment to compassion during those 3½ years is much more than any lifelong omnivore ever displays. But my fear (which also may reflect what others have tried to communicate here) is people accepting the message that being vegan is impossible for some people, an idea which still has only anecdotal evidence to support it. I agree that it should be studied, because simply taking someone’s word for it isn’t good enough. It needs to be demonstrated scientifically that such a condition exists and also what remedies for it would be the most efficacious.

    Another worry is the proposal that the so-called “humane” food options are the next best thing to vegan choices. They aren’t. Promulgating that agenda will only perpetuate the idea that animals are meant for humans to use as we see fit. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sentient animals deserve the right of autonomy to pursue their own interests and lives. Regardless of treatment, confinement and premature death preclude this for them. If Carrie is convinced that being vegan is unhealthy for her, then she should eat as fully a plant-based diet as is possible for her. Limiting her intake of animal products as much as possible would be the only morally acceptable compromise.

    Only Carrie can know what her intentions and motives were for making the change, and anyone else questioning them is futile. I am not angry that she quitted veganism, just very disappointed. We can use as many qualified voices as we can get for our feeble movement. For a cause as worthwhile as veganism is, it is astounding how uncommon and insignificant it actually remains today. This fact saddens me deeply.

  45. Lilly says

    Well, my goodness! You are doing what you believe to be best for your health and what the heck right do any of us who eat “vegan” have to judge your choice?

    Yes, awful things happen to animals before and when they are killed for human consumption. Humans are very inhumane. However, we easily ignore the other ways that we inadvertently harm animals, as well. Driving a car, using technology, living in a home, using utilities, shopping, paying taxes, voting for idiots . . . we all inevitably make choices that adversely affect the animal world. There is a lot of gray area. Veganism is a choice that helps animals, but not the only choice.

    • says

      Again, more wise and rational words, Lilly. I cannot tell you how much hope you have given me, knowing that someone who is vegan can be open-minded enough to appreciate that I must take care of my needs, but I can still make choices that help animals. You gave me a giggle, too, with your comment about voting for idiots. :)

  46. Lilly says

    Oops, I forgot to add that I never saw you as a vegan. I saw you as a compassionate, creative, awesome blogger who creates fabulous vegan recipes. You are a sweet and honest soul, Carrie. Your posts on your blog speak for themselves. You need to do what you need to do.

    As a plant eating gal, I decided to visit a vegan doctor for medical work. I figured he’d be very supportive of my eating only plants. Instead, he asked me if I’d would consider eating eggs. He was adamant that there are many eating paths to good health. It varied from patient to patient. Some needed eggs or meat, others didn’t. His beliefs didn’t cloud the nutritional evidence he had seen among his patients.

    You do what you need to do for you!

  47. says

    Carrie,

    It hurts to see the title of this blog post. It seems like you are sensationalizing the “X-Vegan” part of your story and not the “recovery from an eating disorder” part of your story. In fact, I’m not sure if you can accurately call yourself “Not a Vegan.” What is that? Someone who used to care about the welfare of animals? Is that a thing now?

    That’s not you, is it?

    It’s not just you, obviously. This seems to be a “thing” on the internet right at the moment. And boy are news outlets jumping on the “X-Vegan” bandwagon. What a story!

    So please. I am begging you. Stop sensationalizing this. Eat whatever you want. But don’t add fuel to any fire that Veganism was the problem or defective. Because that is what you are promoting by continuing to talk about it this way. Maybe Nutritarianism was a problem. I don’t know. But Veganism is a whole different animal (sorry about that) and the two cannot be lumped together.

    Please, talk about recovery from your eating disorder. I can sympathize with you on that. But don’t hurt the Vegan movement any more, and don’t hurt innocent animals either.

    • says

      Hi Wendy. I do appreciate where you are coming from, but I very much disagree with the “sensational” aspect of your comment. I rarely read the news and I have been very careful not to promote my posts other than making sure my readers know what has happened. I wrote my post from an honest place and use the term of not being vegan because I had to be clear. I mean, my blog was called “Carrie on Vegan” and my app was called “Vegan Delish.” I use the term vegan very synonymously with plant-based, but I’m not even sure that I am NOT plant-based. What I do know is that I am not eating a vegan diet and that is what I needed to express so there was no confusion. Am I perfect in expressing myself? Of course not. But, I’m doing the best I can and I’m proud of how I have expressed myself and responded to the negativity. I don’t want to hurt the movement to improve animal welfare, but I’m also not willing to hide the fact that a 100% plant-based/vegan diet was not working for me, and, in fact, was hurting me because of the nutritional deficiencies I had developed. I think it hurts veganism more to pretend that it’s the perfect diet and that if problems occur, then you must be doing it wrong. I am sending you nothing but respect, but I’m also hopeful that you will appreciate my perspective at some point.

  48. Marvin says

    I was vegetarian and nearly vegan before becoming totally vegan about 14 months ago. I shifted to being totally vegan after viewing some of the better known documentaries, most notably Earthlings. However over the last year I have seen many others.

    The impact I felt after viewing those videos was powerful. The moved me in a number of ways and changed my perceptions and my sense of reality. But they also stimulated some tremendous personal conflicts, with friends and family, but also with other vegans, some of which continue to this day.

    I am a pragmatist. As such I see many sides of an argument or issue. With that point in view when stepping back to see veganism in perspective. In that regard one has to see the whole picture, not just a highly specific biased point of reference.

    It is easy to forget that humans are simply another species on the planet. We have the capacity to reason at a higher level than other animals. This ability gives us the illusion of being superior. We used that reason to create certain rules to live by, which we call ethics and morals. But, what is considered ethical and moral in one place, are dismissed or ignored in another. Even those who hold to certain ethical and moral codes may abandon them under certain circumstances.

    So it is that we form beliefs and then judge others as measured against what we believe to be true. But the same token, we are then judged by others. Obviously not every belief can be equally valid, or correct. So it is that conflict of opinion and an on-going battle of beliefs sets us against each other and creates a constant state of judgement.

    Such judgement is especially obvious in the vegan community. This is very regrettable because it creates conflict which is distracting and often destructive. What is most needed in the world is peace, not conflict. I encourage you to continue on your own path and find your own peace. Ignore those things which disrupt that journey.

    • says

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Marvin. I consider myself a pragmatist as well. For instance, even during the 3 1/2 years of when I was vegan equally for health and ethical reasons, I was still open to learning about the latest in nutritional science, even studies that were not necessarily supportive of 100% plant-based approaches. I agree with your thoughts about judgment and how destructive it is to the vegan movement. It is probably idealistic to think that we won’t judge others who disagree with our points of view, but I do think humans are intelligent enough to have the capability to show respect for differing perspectives, although the endless wars in the world based on differences show that many humans do not utilize that capability, and cause much unnecessary suffering as a result.

  49. Bill says

    I’ll continue to read your blog, and use it as a resource. I eat a mainly plant based diet with unprocessed meat on the rare occasion. I’m a nutritarian. I think there’s something to be said for minimizing the use of meat, not having it on a daily basis.

  50. Sallie Davis says

    Hi Carrie!
    Your health is what is most important!! And I can’t believe that so many people would sit in judgement!! I started following your blog because it was “vegan”; however, I will continue to follow it because I absolutely love you (and your recipes)……. vegan or not vegan!!! Please don’t listen to the “haters”! Love yourself and eat what makes you feel healthy and happy (yes, indeed…..chocolate HAS to be on that list) :)

    • says

      Awww, thank you Sallie! It is so nice to hear from people who are vegan but still are interested in what I have to say. I appreciate that it’s a huge change in my material to go from vegan to non-vegan, but I really want to be authentic and share some of my experiences in trying to stay healthy and vibrant, even if it’s not within the boundaries I set for myself several years ago. I do hope that my blog continues to be an inspiration and that I can develop recipes that are appealing for my plant-based buddies. Sending you a huge virtual hug for your kind words.

  51. David Parrish says

    Carrie,

    I sympathize with your struggle. 22 years ago I came down with multiple sclerosis. The first several years were debilitating, and although things improved somewhat from time to time, I was barely able to continue working for the next 10 years. During that time, since the medical establishment offered almost no hope (the first MS drug wasn’t available yet), I researched every nutritional approach available. I tried the Ornish diet (which at the time included no fish oils, only vegan with a little non-fat dairy) , and felt WORSE. I then happened upon Andrew Weil’s books (he was just beginning a website), and I learned of his journey from being vegan (although he was really more vegan), to discovering that he felt better when including fatty fish and some small amounts of cheese in his diet. He was developing his “ant-imflammatory” diet, which emphasizes low-glycemic plants, whole grains, and protein that includes nuts as well as wild salmon, sardines, etc. to make a long story short, I adopted this diet and very QUICKLY began feeling better. I continue this diet today.
    The truth is that humans are OMNIVORES. Nevertheless, research shows (read David Perlmutter’s book GRAIN BRAIN) that we ALL need more healthy sources of fat and LESS carbs (particularly sugar, even too much fruit can be a bad thing). If the fat comes from wild salmon or grass fed beef (although I don’t eat beef any longer), this shouldn’t be an ethical dilemma since it should be sustainable (wild salmon spawn before death, grass-fed cows cause much less problem to the environment, etc.). Everything (including plants) must give it’s life to nourish another life. It’s the way of creation. Do we need to effect change in big food’s methods? You bet. But we also need to look at the REAL problem–population control. No matter WHAT the diet, at some point ALL resources will insufficient to feed the planet.

    Michael Pollen says it best: “Eat food, mostly plants, not too much”.
    I wish you the best on your continued journey.

    • says

      Thank you so much for your educated, thoughtful, and inclusive comment, David. I agree with everything you wrote and very much appreciate you taking the time to share your story and thoughts. You make such a great point about no matter which diet plan we choose (or how many hybrid cars we drive, few plastic bags we use, etc.), at some point we are going to run out of resources.

  52. David Parrish says

    Meant to say “vegetarian”, although I guess he was initially mostly vegan (sorry if I’m wrong, Dr. Weil!)

  53. Stacy says

    Hi Carrie. I do not agree with anyone being rude to you for your decision to stop identifying yourself as a vegan. To me, their rudeness reflects the opposite of what I believe veganism is. However, I am “practicing veganism” to do the least amount of harm with my daily choices. So, I’m sure you’ll understand that I won’t be following you anymore because I have no interest in recipes with animal products in them. It’s not because I think you are evil :) You are just a silly human like the rest of us. Good luck.

  54. David Parrish says

    I should add that if vegan works for you, great! Some do very well—in general, more plants IS better. But there appears to be a fairly wide variance in our genetic makeup, sufficiencies (some can better convert vegetarian fats to Omega 3’s our body needs, for instance) and deficiencies (some are sensitive to gluten, for example). So what works well for some may not work as well for others.

    I follow a mostly plant-based diet (except for fatty fish, organic pasture-raised eggs, and small amounts of goat/sheep cheese) and stumbled across your site because I was looking to make macadamia nut milk!

    • says

      I so agree, David, that we are all different and have varying needs based on our genetics and other influences. P.S. I’m so glad you found my blog…I have such a smart and savvy readership and you obviously fit into that category. Welcome! :)

  55. Jane says

    Carrie, I love your blog and will never stop reading. I am glad you are being so open and honest. If you need to eat a little meat, then that’s STILL the nutritarian way. Dr. Fuhrman includes a few chicken dishes in his recipe book! Geesh, people need to understand that every body is different. You had thyroid cancer, and thank goodness caught it and had your treatments. Not everyone has had that experience. Since you tried so hard, harder than most, to be completely vegan for three years, I think it is unfair to judge or make hurtful comments about your choice.

    You may learn you have more supporters now. Your blog will still be healthy and will still be delicious. I am excited to see what you have in store. I am STILL (after two years) having struggles staying completely vegan. I never say I’m vegan! I’m sure it has been a strange transition but to tell you the truth, I find it refreshing to be honest and open in this world of internet. It would be easy to sweep it under the rug. It’s easy to be dishonest and have an internet personality where you can be exactly who you want. You didn’t though, and I have to respect that. I really admire you Carrie and all the work you do.

    Also I wanted to mention that people who read your blog often like I do remember that you have a Master’s Degree in nutrition. People who really know “you” and understand “you” understand that this must have been hard for you, a real struggle. Eating is very personal. I hope you don’t take the unkind things that people have said and internalize it because there are people like me who love you and your blog! It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to study a Master’s Degree. I hope that you can put it to work by helping others with nutrition, working at a co-op, or having a community garden. I’d love to see what you do end up doing with your degree.

    One last thing is I’d like to mention how much I really like Alan too. He’s always been so supportive of you. He seems like such a nice man. Your lil’ family is great.

  56. Maggie says

    I’ve been out of the loop for a while (moving) and I missed this but I just have to say that this doesn’t change how I think of you at all. You must put your own health first and I hope that this helps you find what you need. I’m sorry that some people can be so negative (it’s frankly one reason why I try to not label myself as vegan). I hope you find continued success here on your blog. I’ll be here reading :)

  57. LB says

    Hi Carrie.
    I just heard about your new blog. Yeah!
    I just read about the negativity. Boo!

    You put yourself out there, stayed true to who you are throughout your journey, and I really admire you for that. Have you seen this quote from Teddy Roosevelt?

    “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

    Teddy Roosevelt, speaking at the Sorbonne in Paris, April 23, 1910

    Carrie, you have dared greatly. Keep up the good work.

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