Former vegan reveals she now only eats meat after suffering spider bite

Former vegan reveals she now only eats meat after suffering spider bite

As we trudge into the new year, many of us will probably be endeavouring to take on diet-based resolutions to help us kickstart our 2019 in a positive way. Some people will give up drinking, others will attempt to cut down on sugary food, and a significant number of folks - myself included - are doing their best to go vegan for the month.

And let me tell you now, cutting out chocolate and cheese has already proven difficult for me just a couple of days in.

All things considered, then, the vegans and vegetarians of the world probably deserve at least a little respect for cutting animal products from their diet on a permanent basis, regardless of how preachy we may think they are.

However, not all vegans commit for life.

Sylwia was a vegan for four years but stopped due to the deterioration in her health that the diet caused (PA Real Life/Collect) Credit: PA Real Life

Slywia Tabor from Sacramento, California, was a vegan for several years when she was younger, but was forced to switch back to a balanced diet when a number of health problems meant that her body wasn't getting the nutrients it needed. She returned to eating animal products, but still consumed all the fruits, veggies, and grains that the rest of us do.

As of 2017, though, she was forced to undergo an even more extreme diet shift.

It all started on a camping trip that summer, when Tabor was bitten on the ankle by a spider while in Michigan.

The spider bite that infected her with necrotising fasciitis (PA Real Life/Collect) Credit: PA Real Life

"I didn't think much of it at first. It was only a small bite on my ankle," she said. "But in late August, I developed this pimple in my groin area, which over the next days grew and grew until it was about the size of my hand."

The condition quickly got worse, and spread up her torso as a swollen purple mark. Tabor was rushed to hospital, at which point she was diagnosed with necrotising fasciitis (NF), and had to have the infected flesh removed in order to prevent the disease from spreading any further.

Warning: the next picture is a bit graphic.

Sylwia's torso following her operation to remove the infection that was eating her flesh (PA Real Life/Collect) Credit: PA Real Life

Though the worst of the disease had been dealt with, Tabor was still coping with some of the negative side-effects. Her already-problematic digestive system seemed to get worse, and she was unable to eat most foods without breaking out in rashes or suffering from stomach problems.

"Because I was on lots of antibiotics, which kills all of the good bacteria in your gut that you need to digest things, my stomach was in a mess again and I was feeling terrible, like I was during the worst times of my veganism," said Tabor.

In fact, the only thing that didn't cause her too many problems was meat. So, in January 2018, she decided to give up everything else, effectively becoming the most anti-vegan she could be!

Sylwia now sources all of her meat from a local farmer (PA Real Life/Collect) Credit: PA Real Life

"The more I looked into it, the more I discovered that meat eating is the most efficient way of absorbing nutrients, far more so than when you add carbohydrates and vegetables into the mix," she explained.

Tabor still has a similar mindset to the one she had when she refused all animal products, however. "I source my own meat from a local farmer," she said. "I know that it is coming from a good place, so the ethical concerns that I had before don't worry me anymore."

Sylwia's has been left with thick scars along her side (PA Real Life/Collect) Credit: PA Real Life

It's now been a year since Tabor switched to her somewhat controversial diet, and she claims to feel all the better for it. She no longer has the digestive problems she was experiencing from eating other foods and feels much better overall.

This doesn't mean everyone should ditch their veggies, of course. In Tabor's case, she needed to for the sake of her health - but the rest of us should still focus on getting our five a day.