Are you a vegan? I’m a vegan. And don’t worry my omnivorian friends, I’m not here to preach my vegan agenda, I just want to talk about placentas. (If you aren’t sure which is worse, placenta or vegans, this blog isn’t for you – click here to escape!)
Do you know what a vegan is?
A vegan is sometimes thought of as a strict vegetarian. Vegans do not eat meat, eggs, poultry, dairy products, or any other food item that has come from an animal (including that delicious raspberry flavouring that comes from a beaver’s butt). Vegans also avoid non-food products that have animal-derived ingredients and do not wear leather, wool, or fur.
But the important part of being a vegan isn’t what a person chooses to consume, it is why they make those choices. A vegan chooses to eat a plant-based diet to reduce harm to animals.
You can eat a plant-based diet and not be a vegan. True veganism is in the why.
So, let’s look at the human placenta.
Sure, the placenta is a meat and vegans don’t eat meat. But why do vegans not eat meat?
Well, because meat is usually the flesh of an animal that did not want to die or, in the case of animal placentas, meat is something that belongs to an animal that we did not have permission to take.
Your human placenta, on the other hand, doesn’t harm anyone or anything by being born. No one must die for a placenta to be consumed. It is also not being taken from anyone without consent. Your placenta belongs to you, so if you choose to consume it, you obviously have permission. You could even give consent to others to eat your placenta, although I wouldn’t recommend it. By contrast, consuming someone else’s placenta without their permission would not be vegan.
Eating a placenta doesn’t conform to a plant-based diet, so if you eat a plant-based diet for reasons unrelated to veganism, placenta consumption is not for you.
So why do people eat their placenta, anyway?
Although it’s still not a mainstream practice, placenta consumption is gaining in popularity. With a little help from celebrities like the Kardashians, Kailyn Lowry, Kim Zolciak-Biermann, and Holly Madison, placenta consumption went from completely underground and mostly unheard of to a pop culture joke.
New moms are choosing to consume their placentas in pill or tincture form, or by adding to smoothies, for the anecdotal benefits. People who support placenta consumption believe it:
- improves bonding
- reduces post-birth pain
- balances breastmilk supply
- improves postpartum recovery time
- reduces inflammation
- increases energy levels
- improves moods and sleep
- strengthens the immune system
The anecdotal studies and information is promising, and many people who have experienced the benefits of consuming their placenta feel it made a significant impact on their postpartum recovery. Unfortunately, solid scientific information on whether placenta consumption is helpful is hard to come by.
How do people eat their placenta?
Most people in Calgary (and throughout Canada) who choose to consume their placenta after birth choose placenta encapsulation. Placenta encapsulation is the process of cleaning, steaming, and drying the placenta before crushing it and placing it into capsules (preferably gelatin-free capsules, if you’re vegan).
Other option includes adding dried or frozen placenta to smoothies and other foods, having the placenta made into a tincture for adding to tea or juice, and yes, frying it up with a nice chianti.
So there you have it. Consuming your own placenta after having a baby is completely ethical, at least from a vegan standpoint. There is nothing un-vegan about it.
Want to learn more about placenta encapsulation in Calgary? My team and I provide the safest placenta encapsulation in Calgary. I’m vegan, so you know your capsules will be, too! Check out our page Placenta Encapsulation or contact us for more information.