This question is very controversial and I don’t think there is a definitive answer to it but that rather it affects different people in different ways.
I think a very important question to ask yourself if you have anorexia and are vegan is this: Is your veganism a way for you to avoid foods? Or in other words, is your veganism feeding your anorexia? The answer may be difficult to know for sure but it is important that it is considered thoroughly.
It is likely that if you have decided on veganism whilst suffering from anorexia, it is because you have become afraid of foods due to the illness. Although now that decision may indeed be tied in with your ethical point of view, you have to really think about when this first started. It is nothing to be ashamed of to realise that actually no, veganism wasn’t just about ethics but also to avoid foods. The decision to be vegan isn’t a bad one (at all) of course, due to all its benefits, but it could be well holding you back from really recovering.
In short, the decision itself isn’t bad but the initial intentions are.
I myself have just come to this conclusion. Thinking really hard about it, I have realised that although I am all for the ethical side of veganism and I highly support the movement, I cannot lie to myself and say that my anorexia didn’t play a part in becoming vegan. I now realise that veganism is still a way for my anorexia to control what I’m eating and this is not healthy for me. As much as I hate this step, I have to take it: I cannot be vegan at the moment. Of course it will be hard to eat food that derives from cruelty but talking to my doctor about it, she said I should think of the food as medicine. I cannot help the earth or animals if I am not healthy myself. Of course, I will remain vegetarian but I think the only way forward in recovery for me, is to start eating food containing dairy products.. until I get better.
So, if you are now realising that the decision was made even partly due to anorexia, I believe it is better to drop that lifestyle for now. Remember, veganism is great and it will be totally ok to get back to it once you are recovered! But for now, avoiding certain foods is not helping you cure your illness. Restricting your diet this way could only lead to relapse in the future as that illness is still controlling what you eat.
You can even use veganism as a goal for you, you can use it as a motivation to get better. The sooner you’re recovered, the sooner you can go back to this lifestyle!
On the other hand, I do realise the plus side of veganism in recovery. Veganism can be a great way to recover! For some, finding alternative ways of eating can build back up that healthy relationship with food. It can be a great way of letting go of guilt since you are after all helping animals, you and the planet! Veganism can open so many doors and lead to a much healthier you and indeed help you cure the anorexia. Abundance is key in a plant based diet!
I do not want anyone to read this last paragraph and use this as an excuse for their veganism if that isn’t true. Again, if your veganism is tied in with anorexia, I advise you that just for now, not forever, should concentrate on eating, not on what to eat.
I am very open to discussion with this! So please leave a comment with your point of view!