If You are a vegetarian and considering encapsulating your placenta, you may be wondering if this is an acceptable practice due to your health convictions or food preferences. I wanted to give my take on this today.
I will start by saying I am a strict vegetarian, not vegan, and I feel it is perfectly acceptable to encapsulate your placenta. I have also encapsulated the placentas of other vegetarians and some vegans, who made the exception to consume their placentas. This will be a personal choice for you and there is not a right or wrong choice, but let's explore the potential issues.
Why are you a vegetarian? This is the main deciding factor. Here's the possible reasons I am aware of...
1. Health concerns or benefits of not eating meat
Recent studies have shown excessive meat consumption can be harmful to our health. Meat consumption should according to the research be kept at a minimum of only several times a week and viewed more of as a condiment than an essential nutrient. I agree with this stance as it is documented and thoroughly well researched in the book Eat to Live.
Placenta encapsulation is not typical meat consumption however. It replaces vital nutrients that are lost during birth. The hormonal and nutritional makeup of the placenta is different than any other type of meat, and while the placenta looks once cooked like a medium sized steak, it is actually an organ. It is also not excessive consumption as it's only a specific amount that's gone once you run out and lasts only a short time. The studies on meat consumption are purposed to include meat eating on a long term basis, not short term as in consuming the placenta.
2. Quality of the meat available in the U.S.
Yes, there are still some good sources of meat available, but they are becoming more and more slim. Organic or grass fed meat or wild caught fish are harder to purchase in regular grocery stores and often cost more. It takes effort to find good sources of meat, an effort some are willing to choose to forgo altogether. This is a main reason why I choose not to eat meat. I worry over the quality and what I'm putting into my body.
This is obviously not a concern with placenta encapsulation. You know where your placenta came from and while you may have some concerns over bacteria in the placenta (http://phoenixplacentaencapsulation.blogspot.com/2012/12/how-does-group-beta-strep-gbs-affect.html) or if it stores toxins (http://phoenixplacentaencapsulation.blogspot.com/2012/12/does-placenta-store-toxins.html), it's not the same issue as the state of our farmed meat and how the animals are treated.
3. It's not necessary to eat meat to get enough protein, so you'd rather not
Yes, this is true and one of the best reasons why being vegetarian is a healthful diet choice. You would not be, however, choosing to encapsulate your placenta due to protein intake. This is not one of the benefits of placenta encapsulation (for benefits: http://www.phoenixplacentaencapsulation.com/pages/benefits). With all the benefits of encapsulation, there are very compelling reasons for vegetarians to consider encapsulating their placentas.
4. Don't feel an animal should die for your food or don't want to support how the animals are currently treated
I personally feel this is great reasoning for being a vegetarian. I share both convictions. The state of how our farmed animals are cared for is appalling and eating meat and purchasing meat products supports and encourages these practices. As humans who are charged with caring for the creatures of the earth, I do not feel this is acceptable. I also feel that in our society if meat consumption is not only not necessary for health, but may potentially be unhealthier, I believe that it is not necessary for an animal to die simply because I would like to eat it. This is why I choose to forgo eating dead animal flesh.
The placenta is different however as it was arguably designed for consumption, evidenced by every mammal, besides the camel and most humans, consuming placenta following birth. No animals are harmed nor have to die during placenta encapsulation. Also, be sure your specialist uses vegetarian capsules inside of gelatin made capsules.
5. Simply don't enjoy meat
This is why I initially stopped eating meat. I didn't like it and got tired of forcing myself to eat it. I have never once missed it. I occasionally only miss certain condiments, particularly tartar sauce. Meat has always somewhat grossed me out. It had to be cooked nearly burnt for me to eat it. I couldn't cut it myself or cook it myself and actually eat it. It just made sense for me to explore vegetarianism as an adult. So, I can admit, eating meat grosses me out. So did the thought of eating my own placenta, and I probably won't be consuming it raw or making smoothies with it the next time. I probably won't be frying it up to make a stew out of or serving it cooked in a lasagna. I think all of these ideas are kind of cool once I warmed up to them, but being vegetarian, I just don't need to.
This is why encapsulation is so brilliant. If eating meat grosses you out, this is the perfect solution. You don't have to prepare it yourself or taste it. You get all the benefits, but don't have to feel grossed out. Encapsulation is also preferred because it lasts longer than consuming it all at once in a smoothie or other recipe. You spread out the capsules over a period of weeks and can feel the benefits over an extended period of time.
As you can see from the reasons I've outlined above, while being vegetarian or vegan certainly has many valid reasoning, there's also valid reasoning for a vegetarian to explore placenta encapsulation. The common reasons for choosing vegetarianism don't extend to the placenta, making it an acceptable practice probably for most vegetarians or vegans.