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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-13-2015 10:26 AM
shellie As far as I know dairy actually depletes your body of calcium so for your own health I would stick with the dairy avoidance. I honestly haven't heard much about eggs and human health. Some people say it will raise your cholesterol but that theory seems largely unproven... so I'm not sure. Your concern about traveling doesn't seem trivial at all, you've got to be able to eat! I always worry about what to eat when I'm not at home. If I were you I would eat vegan at home and as vegan as you are able when you travel. I've heard brown rice syrup could be a suitable replacement for honey, but I haven't tried it.
05-12-2015 02:27 PM
Aliakai To Tom:

The reasons for my dietary choices are health based because I'm effectively allergic to meat and dairy due to several intolerance I have, but my reasons to avoid leather/fur and testing could be considered ethical and environmental. I first went veg for a combination of environmental and health reasons (because who here doesn't know about the destruction wrought by the meat industry? ) but as I learned more in the realms of health and environmentalism and bought vegan cookbooks (because that's the easiest way to avoid dairy) I learned about India cows and other things that I had issues with in various industries.

It's hard for me to replace everything, and I'm worried about the judgement bubbles from both the vegan community and the world at large from applying said label and not going far enough, but I'm also worried about my hubby's safety blanket mentality with eggs dairy and honey. Make sense?
05-12-2015 12:40 PM
Tom Hi, Aliakai-

I was a bit confused by your post at the start of this thread. You wrote:

I'm not an ethical vegetarian (before anyone shoots me, I do care about the plight of animals, it's just not my primary reason for going veg, selfish as that may be)

...but then, a few posts down, you mentioned that you're not using leather or fur anymore. I thought the only reason to avoid leather would have been for vegan ethics, unless maybe someone objects to environmental aspects of the leather industry? (some of the chemicals used for tanning are quite nasty, I understand...) For that matter, I suppose someone (theoretically) could be a dietary vegan if they were strictly avoiding animal foods for purely hygeinic reasons, but still use fur (except that even lots of meat eaters reject fur as cruel, so I suppose this hypothetical example is REALLY "out there").

It sounds to me like you want to go fully vegan, but you're expecting to encounter occasional situations where avoiding egg or honey will really cause difficulties. I hope nobody shoots me either (this IS the Vegan Forum section), but I honestly don't see how eating egg or honey on rare occasions will harm someone unless they have some sort of allergy or other sensitivity to them.
05-12-2015 11:15 AM
Auxin Yeah, I was responding more to seanE, the software just doesnt include quotes in quotes, lol
05-12-2015 11:06 AM
mecanna Whoop.... I was replying to seanE's question, not passing judgement.
05-12-2015 10:33 AM
Auxin In the honey/agave nectar dichotomy isnt there some other option?
Dandelion flower syrup is a viable honey replacement but I realize its not universally available. Perhaps some other syrup would be compatible tho? [or just train yourself to stop using sweeteners, lol, but that may be the more austere option]

Quote:
Originally Posted by mecanna View Post
Health reasons are implied in the OP.
[rant]
Mainstream vegan ethics always seem quite lopsided and unbalanced.
The general consensus is that going vegan for animals is ethical and going vegan for health reasons is different from ethics, unethical, or perhaps somehow selfish.
Knowingly doing things that harm yourself is just as unethical as harming other people or innocent cows.
Things that she does to herself impacts herself, her family, and has health consequences for any children she has two years or even twelve years down the line.
My father cheeseburgered himself to death, that certainly impacted others.
My mother was raised exclusively on meaty junk food and candy, that had substantial effects on my and my sisters health.
For someone to truly be an ethical vegan they have to be doing it, in part, for their own health.
[/rant]
05-12-2015 06:57 AM
Docbanana Since you are worried about the social aspect of veganism, maybe you could just start with being vegan at home? That's where I am right now, having replaced all the non food items I use (leather, beauty products, etc) and adopted a vegan diet with foods that I prepare myself at home. When eating out among omnivores at potlucks or work events or while traveling, I eat vegetarian food (vegan if it is available, but I don't insist on it). That way I can still share the meal with others without having to request accommodation on (or detailed questions about) every dish. I figure that (1) I'm still consuming fewer animal products than when I was eating those things at home and (2) I'm usually not affecting demand for animal products, since people were going to cook that way anyway regardless of my dietary choices. Like with a veggie dish brought to a potluck with butter on it by someone who doesn't know or care to accommodate me.

I am not just eating the dairy/egg mindlessly but also thinking through the logistics of how I could get a vegan meal if I insisted on it or prep for an occasion like this the next time as a fully vegan person. Sadly most of the time the answer is "bring my own food" or "eat the garnish" because the food of my region (southern US) is so laden with animal products that just going meat free is hard for some meals. I actually have eaten the garnish ha ha...at a breakfast last week I demolished a lovely fruit garnish from a tray of cream cheese pastries....and I had a lunch of the bib lettuce that lined the bottom of a tray of deli sandwiches with some dip as a dressing. Not vegan bc of the dressing but better than a ham/cheese sandwich!

I think I would like to eventually eliminate this last bit of inconsistency from my diet, but I found it to be a useful strategy when I was switching to vegetarian (I had a flexitarian phase where I only ate meat when in at social occasions) and have been doing the switch to veganism that way too. Im still debating whether I'll transition fully or just stay here and not worry about perfectly fitting a label. I do know others who identify as vegetarian or "mostly vegan" who have made this "vegan at home/vegetarian out" into their regular diet and not a transition phase. The vegan police haven't come for them yet. . But the longer I stay here, the more I am "vegan policing" myself and wanting to skip the food others are eating because it doesn't appeal to me.
05-11-2015 11:23 PM
LedBoots Alailki, I agree so much that one of the hardest things about being vegan is dealing with friends and family. :/
05-11-2015 11:08 PM
Aliakai To ledboots:

You're slightly wrong about that. I already don't do leathe or fur and try to avoid products tested on animals to the extent that I can afford to (there are no pharmacies in my area that don't bind levothyroxine with lactose for example) and know to, as well as trying to select wines that don't use animal products in their bottling process. I also know quite a few of the names of animal product ingredients that I avoid when I see them on food labels, though I don't claim to be an expert at all and there's probably some that I miss.

I don't know how to get around the agave issue, and my hubby wants eggs around the house, though he supported me when I gave up dairy due to my intolerance to casein. The bias is the fear of being seen as unreasonable, picky, and uppity by friends and family. My in laws already complain that we're hard to feed because I avoid dairy and meat, and the reply when most people in my life found out I was vegetarian was ''at least it's not vegan.'' It's scary in a way.
05-09-2015 02:25 AM
LedBoots
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliakai View Post
I've been doing a ton of research on strict vegetarianism/dietary veganism and I've been fighting with myself heavily on whether or not to transition to try it out. I cook a ton of vegan food by default due to my problems with dairy and personal bias against eggs (I grew up in an Atkins household where breakfast was bacon and eggs EVERY DAY FOR 7 YEARS) on their own. I usually eat granola with soymilk for breakfast while the hubby eats eggs, and mostly only use eggs in baking, which I know can be substituted inexpensively.

The personal arguments are coming from the fact that A: I'm not an ethical vegetarian (before anyone shoots me, I do care about the plight of animals, it's just not my primary reason for going veg, selfish as that may be) and most vegan discussion isn't as health-centered as it is ethics-centered and B: I'm concerned about the complete inability to have dairy and eggs in a pinch, such as during travel. I know it seems trivial, but we do go on trips pretty often and finding vegan food is a pain in certain parts of the country.

The other hang up is honey, due to the fact that I have digestive issues with agave nectar and find it useful. However, I've read some interesting studies regarding eggs and cholesterol and honey with acidification and bone mineral loss and my interest is piqued.

How can I get over my biases? It's going to be hard to avoid eggs, dairy and honey with my husband wanting to buy and have them around the house, but the moment I brought up the vegan idea to him he wilted (though Deyna was supportive). He was worried I'd become "militant". Any advice for dealing with that?

Any more health-related articles I can read on veganism and its benefits? What do you suggest overall for getting through this?
Hi Aliakai

Since you aren't considering the change because of ethical reasons, the "vegan" label shouldn't matter. You probably won't be giving up leather, products tested on animals, etc for your health reasons, so no worries, you won't be going vegan even if you completely give up milk, eggs, and honey.

I like the materials put out by the Physcians Committee for Responsible Medicine. They have good, health based tips. Scroll down and there are great links to tips on going veg, health benefits, weight, recipes, etc. (Can't post the link as I'm on my mobile phone; just google "pcrm vegetarian starter kit.")

You mention the need for help to get over your "biases". What did you mean by this exactly, I am not sure what biases you have?
05-08-2015 08:47 PM
Purp
Quote:
Originally Posted by dormouse View Post
Regarding your first two questions, I would say not to worry about those things now. For me, going vegan was a long process that began before I was even really aware of it. It's easy to let future hypothetical situations frighten us out of taking that first step toward veganism. I say to just forget about it for now and address those issues as they come up. Focus on today and tomorrow. How can you reduce your intake of animal products right now? The first step for me was trying out lots of vegan recipes and incorporating them into my usual lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. Then, I tried to eat at least one meal a day vegan. Eventually it reached this critical tipping point where it was easy to go all the way. This approach worked really well. I haven't traveled yet as a vegan, but I plan to take each meal as it comes and do the best I can. I don't know what will happen, but I won't let that uncertainty stop me from eating vegan now. It's not about being perfectly adherent to a label or even perfectly consistent. It's about reducing the suffering of animals, minimizing our environmental impact, or, in your case, being as healthy as we can be. Thinking about it in binary terms of vegan or not vegan can be counter-productive sometimes.

Also consider this, if you're travelling and really in a pinch, as a vegan you aren't "completely unable" to have dairy or eggs. The choice to go vegan now doesn't prevent you from eating those things if you're starving (though some long-time vegans do become lactose intolerant). The vegan police won't come and arrest you for doing so. There ARE no vegan police. I'm not trying to encourage you to eat dairy or eggs, but I don't want you to be scared to go vegan now because then you're bound to eat vegan forever. You're not. Veganism is a process, a journey, a choice you make every time you put something in your mouth (or don't). I bet, though, once you get used to eating vegan and being resourceful as a vegan, you won't have any trouble when you travel. You probably won't want to eat animal products and will find some creative way to avoid it and be fine. I say this because two months ago, before I made the choice to go vegan, I had the same worries you did. I use to eat a lot of cheese in foreign countries, and I was worried what I would do without that option. Now, even though I haven't done much travelling, the experiences I've had eating out and snacking at home have made me less concerned about what I'll do when I next go on a trip.

As far as honey, it's generally accepted that honey is NOT vegan. However, if that's your hang-up, work on eliminating honey last. Just don't worry about the honey now. Start with the dairy and eggs. Once you have that down, you can work on the honey and either eliminate it or not. Even if you never fully stop consuming honey and become fully vegan, you're still eating healthier, harming fewer animals, and contributing less to global warming.

When I went vegan, I told myself that first I would just go vegan at home and allow myself to eat animal products at restaurants. This was to take the pressure off and make me less afraid and intimidated. It worked. But you know, after two weeks of eating vegan, when I went to a restaurant for the first time, I didn't even want to eat animal products. I was so proud of what I had accomplished that I could look at the cheese plate that my family ordered and not even want any.
@dormouse Thank you!! Well written and though out response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seanE View Post
why would you be a vegan if not for ethical reasons
@seanE --I didn't have much say in becoming a vegan. I first had to figure out vegan desserts because of a 5-year-old relative's allergy testing, which included no eggs and no dairy. (I wasn't going to tell a 5-year-old, "I'm sorry, I made a delicious dessert but you can't have any because you might be allergic."). The 5-year-old's mother's half brother and half sister moved here, and they are both vegan, so I had to figure out a little more then desserts...So health and respect (consideration?) for other people were a big part of my vegan journey.
05-08-2015 03:29 PM
karenlovessnow You guys...you're so smart and supportive! *group hug*


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
05-08-2015 01:03 PM
Poppy Dormouse says there are no vegan police - well she's wrong, wrong wrong!

<<<—see?

So don't be vegan. Be a vegetarian who eats mostly vegan stuff except when it's completely impossible. Perhaps the label thing is bothering you and you don't want the restrictions.

The thing is, going vegan is a huge lifestyle change. It affects not just you, but everyone around you - friends, family, and co-workers. And so if you (and I don't mean you specifically, but transitioning vegans in general) are not willing or able to be completely self sufficient and flexible, especially at the beginning, then everyone will be made miserable. No one wants to hear "oh I miss eggs so much!" or "how can you eat a pig?" while they are eating the same breakfast they've had for years.

So if your family isn't ready to make the change but you are, you'll have to be tough and do it for yourself. You may have to keep groceries for two different diets, you may have to keep your mouth shut about animal rights at the table, and you may have to deal with occasional smells and cravings. But I promise that it's doable and once you are used to it, it's much, much easier.

When I went vegan, my family thought it was a phase. Ha! It's a phase that's lasted nearly 10 years! During that time, my husband has gone from being a normal SAD eater to a mostly vegetarian pescatarian, and now spends his free time as the board president for a local no-kill shelter. Over time, this vegan diet of mine has actually brought us closer together and united our passion for animals. Everyone changes over time.

So if you decide to try it, go easy on the lectures, experiment with lots of new recipes, and get yourself some packable snacks to keep in your purse or backpack. Request that restaurants accommodate you (they nearly always will) and thank everyone who goes out of his or her way to help you.

Good luck!
05-08-2015 09:22 AM
mecanna
Quote:
Originally Posted by seanE View Post
why would you be a vegan if not for ethical reasons
Health reasons are implied in the OP.
05-08-2015 06:45 AM
Thia Winter
Quote:
Originally Posted by dormouse View Post
Regarding your first two questions, I would say not to worry about those things now. For me, going vegan was a long process that began before I was even really aware of it. It's easy to let future hypothetical situations frighten us out of taking that first step toward veganism. I say to just forget about it for now and address those issues as they come up. Focus on today and tomorrow. How can you reduce your intake of animal products right now? The first step for me was trying out lots of vegan recipes and incorporating them into my usual lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. Then, I tried to eat at least one meal a day vegan. Eventually it reached this critical tipping point where it was easy to go all the way. This approach worked really well. I haven't traveled yet as a vegan, but I plan to take each meal as it comes and do the best I can. I don't know what will happen, but I won't let that uncertainty stop me from eating vegan now. It's not about being perfectly adherent to a label or even perfectly consistent. It's about reducing the suffering of animals, minimizing our environmental impact, or, in your case, being as healthy as we can be. Thinking about it in binary terms of vegan or not vegan can be counter-productive sometimes.

Also consider this, if you're travelling and really in a pinch, as a vegan you aren't "completely unable" to have dairy or eggs. The choice to go vegan now doesn't prevent you from eating those things if you're starving (though some long-time vegans do become lactose intolerant). The vegan police won't come and arrest you for doing so. There ARE no vegan police. I'm not trying to encourage you to eat dairy or eggs, but I don't want you to be scared to go vegan now because then you're bound to eat vegan forever. You're not. Veganism is a process, a journey, a choice you make every time you put something in your mouth (or don't). I bet, though, once you get used to eating vegan and being resourceful as a vegan, you won't have any trouble when you travel. You probably won't want to eat animal products and will find some creative way to avoid it and be fine. I say this because two months ago, before I made the choice to go vegan, I had the same worries you did. I use to eat a lot of cheese in foreign countries, and I was worried what I would do without that option. Now, even though I haven't done much travelling, the experiences I've had eating out and snacking at home have made me less concerned about what I'll do when I next go on a trip.

As far as honey, it's generally accepted that honey is NOT vegan. However, if that's your hang-up, work on eliminating honey last. Just don't worry about the honey now. Start with the dairy and eggs. Once you have that down, you can work on the honey and either eliminate it or not. Even if you never fully stop consuming honey and become fully vegan, you're still eating healthier, harming fewer animals, and contributing less to global warming.

When I went vegan, I told myself that first I would just go vegan at home and allow myself to eat animal products at restaurants. This was to take the pressure off and make me less afraid and intimidated. It worked. But you know, after two weeks of eating vegan, when I went to a restaurant for the first time, I didn't even want to eat animal products. I was so proud of what I had accomplished that I could look at the cheese plate that my family ordered and not even want any.
This is awesome, practical advice dormouse! Thats so true, it's a process And a journey.
05-08-2015 06:28 AM
seanE why would you be a vegan if not for ethical reasons
05-08-2015 06:15 AM
melimomTARDIS dormouse- i found your post here to be really helpful! Its easier to take it a day at a time!
05-08-2015 05:56 AM
dormouse Regarding your first two questions, I would say not to worry about those things now. For me, going vegan was a long process that began before I was even really aware of it. It's easy to let future hypothetical situations frighten us out of taking that first step toward veganism. I say to just forget about it for now and address those issues as they come up. Focus on today and tomorrow. How can you reduce your intake of animal products right now? The first step for me was trying out lots of vegan recipes and incorporating them into my usual lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. Then, I tried to eat at least one meal a day vegan. Eventually it reached this critical tipping point where it was easy to go all the way. This approach worked really well. I haven't traveled yet as a vegan, but I plan to take each meal as it comes and do the best I can. I don't know what will happen, but I won't let that uncertainty stop me from eating vegan now. It's not about being perfectly adherent to a label or even perfectly consistent. It's about reducing the suffering of animals, minimizing our environmental impact, or, in your case, being as healthy as we can be. Thinking about it in binary terms of vegan or not vegan can be counter-productive sometimes.

Also consider this, if you're travelling and really in a pinch, as a vegan you aren't "completely unable" to have dairy or eggs. The choice to go vegan now doesn't prevent you from eating those things if you're starving (though some long-time vegans do become lactose intolerant). The vegan police won't come and arrest you for doing so. There ARE no vegan police. I'm not trying to encourage you to eat dairy or eggs, but I don't want you to be scared to go vegan now because then you're bound to eat vegan forever. You're not. Veganism is a process, a journey, a choice you make every time you put something in your mouth (or don't). I bet, though, once you get used to eating vegan and being resourceful as a vegan, you won't have any trouble when you travel. You probably won't want to eat animal products and will find some creative way to avoid it and be fine. I say this because two months ago, before I made the choice to go vegan, I had the same worries you did. I use to eat a lot of cheese in foreign countries, and I was worried what I would do without that option. Now, even though I haven't done much travelling, the experiences I've had eating out and snacking at home have made me less concerned about what I'll do when I next go on a trip.

As far as honey, it's generally accepted that honey is NOT vegan. However, if that's your hang-up, work on eliminating honey last. Just don't worry about the honey now. Start with the dairy and eggs. Once you have that down, you can work on the honey and either eliminate it or not. Even if you never fully stop consuming honey and become fully vegan, you're still eating healthier, harming fewer animals, and contributing less to global warming.

When I went vegan, I told myself that first I would just go vegan at home and allow myself to eat animal products at restaurants. This was to take the pressure off and make me less afraid and intimidated. It worked. But you know, after two weeks of eating vegan, when I went to a restaurant for the first time, I didn't even want to eat animal products. I was so proud of what I had accomplished that I could look at the cheese plate that my family ordered and not even want any.
05-08-2015 02:11 AM
Thia Winter Congrats on considering it!

There are plenty of sites and articles out there...the biggest source I rely on is vegsource.com (it will lead you to all the big named proponants of veganism for the health benefits and then you can search for their individual sites). I did, and still do, a lot of research on the subject, although I am an ethical vegan, I am glad my health will benefit.
05-07-2015 10:00 PM
Aliakai
The Burning Question

I've been doing a ton of research on strict vegetarianism/dietary veganism and I've been fighting with myself heavily on whether or not to transition to try it out. I cook a ton of vegan food by default due to my problems with dairy and personal bias against eggs (I grew up in an Atkins household where breakfast was bacon and eggs EVERY DAY FOR 7 YEARS) on their own. I usually eat granola with soymilk for breakfast while the hubby eats eggs, and mostly only use eggs in baking, which I know can be substituted inexpensively.

The personal arguments are coming from the fact that A: I'm not an ethical vegetarian (before anyone shoots me, I do care about the plight of animals, it's just not my primary reason for going veg, selfish as that may be) and most vegan discussion isn't as health-centered as it is ethics-centered and B: I'm concerned about the complete inability to have dairy and eggs in a pinch, such as during travel. I know it seems trivial, but we do go on trips pretty often and finding vegan food is a pain in certain parts of the country.

The other hang up is honey, due to the fact that I have digestive issues with agave nectar and find it useful. However, I've read some interesting studies regarding eggs and cholesterol and honey with acidification and bone mineral loss and my interest is piqued.

How can I get over my biases? It's going to be hard to avoid eggs, dairy and honey with my husband wanting to buy and have them around the house, but the moment I brought up the vegan idea to him he wilted (though Deyna was supportive). He was worried I'd become "militant". Any advice for dealing with that?

Any more health-related articles I can read on veganism and its benefits? What do you suggest overall for getting through this?

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