From saving animals to saving the planet—because we all know that the meat and dairy industries are the biggest culprits in methane and other gas production—eating vegan is the gift that keeps on giving. Even vegan poop can make the world a better place, and if you’re vegan, PETA wants you to donate yours to someone who may greatly benefit from that gift.
A relatively new medical treatment called a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT)—which involves taking the stool of a healthy person filled with “good bacteria” and transplanting it into the colon of an unhealthy person with “bad bacteria”—is becoming a more popular treatment for patients suffering from inflammatory colon diseases like C. difficile (C. diff) and Crohn’s disease.
As it turns out, the “gold standard” of fecal transplants is to get a sample from a healthy vegan donor.
According to OpenBiome, a nonprofit stool bank, some 30,000 people die from C. diff-related causes every year. The company is now seeking healthy donors to enable it to offer potentially lifesaving treatment for people with C. diff infections. Donors are paid $40 per stool donation. Yup, you don’t even have to give it away!
So ‘Catch That Vegan Crap’ Is Actually a Good Phrase Now?
According to Dr. Greger and other health professionals, fecal transplants from vegan donors are often of a better quality and are more sought after than those from meat- and dairy “product” eaters, because vegans are more likely to have healthy bacteria.
Good bacteria thrives on fiber, but most Americans don’t meet even the minimum recommendations for fiber intake. However, fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber and therefore are the best sources of nutrients for healthy gut flora. Specific high-fiber foods that are good for your gut bacteria include artichokes, beans, broccoli, chickpeas, green peas, lentils, raspberries, and whole grains.
Talk About a ‘Gut Feeling’
In addition to making you feel better physically, good bacteria encouraged by a vegan diet can also make you feel better emotionally.
Dr. Angie Sadeghi, a medical doctor and a diplomate of the American Board of Gastroenterology and the American Board of Internal Medicine, notes that our brain is connected to the gut by the enteric nervous system. Studies have shown that gut inflammation can elevate anxiety-like behavior and that patients with irritable bowel syndrome have significantly higher levels of both anxiety and depression.
“Eating a whole food plant-based diet leads to the growth of good gut bacteria, which in turn leads to the improvement of overall health,” Dr. Sadeghi says. “As a gastroenterologist, I love the idea of PETA calling on healthy vegans to extend their lifesaving work by donating fecal matter to humans suffering from C. diff and other treatable ailments.”
So When You Have to Go, Go Vegan!
Written by Zachary Toliver