If you eat your placenta, are you still a vegan?

by | August 20, 2018

Consuming your placenta after giving birth can be a controversial topic. Add veganism into the mix, and it’s even more so. Because it is technically an animal product, some may argue that vegans shouldn’t eat it and eat it won’t make you still a vegan. But isn’t breast milk technically an animal product? Why would a mother eat her placenta, anyway? I’m here to shed some light on the topic.

still a vegan
CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK

Are you still a vegan?

I was talking with a friend last year about breast milk and wondered if it was vegan. She said, “If something like milk is willingly given from an animal, then it’s vegan.” I’m sure every individual has their own definition of what veganism is, but this really changed my perspective on why honey, eggs and even wool are not vegan-friendly. Bees, chickens, and sheep do not offer up these products to us, we take them from them. At times we exploit and harm these animals (intentional or not). Applying this to the placenta, I did choose to have my placenta encapsulated after birth to take in pill form. Because I grew it from my body, gave it to myself willingly and heard from multiple women that it had helped with postpartum depression, recovery from childbirth, increased energy and milk production, I figured I had nothing to lose.

I grew it from my body, gave it to myself willingly

It may seem gross or weird to some, but if you look at the animal kingdom, primates, herbivores, and rodents eat their placenta right after birth. Although other animals eat it raw, some women cook it up, put it in smoothies, or have it encapsulated like I did, which definitely makes it more palatable!.  Others may consider eating a placenta cannibalism, but I beg to differ. I didn’t suffer or die just so I (or someone else) could consume my placenta, I’m still a vegan if I eat it. It was created in childbirth and released from my body. It’s not something I would if I didn’t just give birth. In my mind, it serves a purpose — to help me heal from birth and balance my hormones.


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still a vegan
CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK

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You might be wondering what the benefits of ingesting your placenta are. According to americanpregnancy.org, positives include, “Increased release of the hormone oxytocin, which helps the uterus return to normal size and encourages bonding with the infant, [a] decrease in postpartum depression levels, restoration of iron levels in the blood and [an] increase in milk production.” Speaking from experience, I did feel that they helped my mood and emotions to stabilize in the first postpartum months.  

Do you think mothers eat their placenta, are they still a vegan? Are you a vegan mother that chose to partake in the practice?  Did you feel it made a difference in your postpartum experience? I’m curious as to what other vegan mama’s think about eating placentas. All perspectives are welcome. Comment below with your thoughts!


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Siri Steven

Siri Steven is a midwest mama, passionate about delicious vegan food, animal rights and caring for the Earth. She loves to write, take photos, make music with her husband and spend time exploring national parks with her family. She’s the creator of The Vegan Steven which features recipes, interviews and more!

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