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New 13 year old vegan problems...

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi! I'm 13 and I recently went vegan (by the way, please let me know if this is the wrong category, I didn't know which one to post in). I pretty much just went vegan over night when I realized how badly animals are treated in this world and I do Not want to be part of it at all. This is pretty tough though, because my family is def. not vegan, in fact they eat and use animal products Every Single Day. I don't feel like a "real" vegan since I have to use schampoo, soap etc which either does animal testing or contains animal ingredients. I even stopped using all my makeup since it's not cruelty-free.

My mom supports me I guess, but she still asks if eating "a little bit of that yoghurt" or "a piece of chicken" is really gonna kill me. Maybe it won't on the outside if it happens once, but it certainly will kill me on the inside. If I were to consume something non-vegan I would just cry for days and not forgive myself.

I turned vegan about a month ago, and my parents are separated and I live mostly with my mom so my dad doesn't know. He would probably be all like "nooo, you can't live like dat dat's just stupid blabla protein blabla" so I'm afraid to tell him.

I've been to a dietician and she said it was all fine as long as I also consumed soymilk, soyghurt, tofu and all kinds of soy foods. However, now my mom thinks I have to eat soy every single day and so she buys me all these products and I have to eat it and smile or else she won't let me be vegan since she would think that it doesn't work without them. All this soy can't be good, right? I mean you hear about how bad soy is everywhere and that just scares me a lot.

Also, I Do have products that aren't really vegan (clothes, bags and just random stuff), should I feel Very guilty about wearing them? I've found vegan clothes online but either they don't ship to my country (Sweden) or either they are Extremely expensive, often both. I don't have much money since I'm only 13, neither does my family and so I simply cannot afford them. That sucks since I want to help animals so badly but I feel like such a failure and I don't even feel like I'm allowed to call myself a vegan. I only do since that at least lets people know that I don't eat anything from animals, from what I know that's the only word that describes it. undecided.gif What should I do about this? Sorry for this very long post but I just really need help from others who understands me, I don't know a single vegan or vegetarian in real life. Thank you!

post #2 of 17
Hi Claudeeei, and welcome! You posted in the right place. smiley.gif Congratulations on making the decision to go veg! Many people who are vegan do continue to use non-vegan products that they already had before they made the change. You just have to decide what feels right to you. You could use your makeup or leather purse until it runs or wears out, then when you replace it, you can find cruelty-free brands. Or give it to non-vegan friends.

The thing about veganism is that it is about doing the best that is possible at the time. Never feel like a failure because everything isn't perfect about your veganism--there is no perfect. Eating no animals, dairy, eggs, and honey is making an amazing change and you are helping the animals. smiley.gif
post #3 of 17
First of all, I am impressed that you made this change at such a young age! I first became vegetarian at around your age, but it took over a decade before I realized eggs and dairy were harmful for animals too.

It's tough to be a veggie when your parents aren't. I would encourage you to work in collaboration with your parents as much as possible - they do want what's best for you, and you still have years left to live with them. I'm not saying you should do everything they say, but think about compromises. When your mom is saying, "well, couldn't you just eat a little bit of chicken," let her know you would appreciate it if she didn't pressure you into doing something you don't agree with. But, let her know you realize she's concerned about your health, and you can figure out what she thinks your diet might be lacking in. This is easier since you have already been to a dietitian. Do you have a written-out general plan for a healthy diet? If not, you should try to write down what you can remember. I do think legumes are an important part of a healthy vegan diet -- you don't necessarily have to eat soy every day, but it is not dangerous to do so. The "scary" stuff on soy generally is not coming from reputable sources, so don't worry about it. On days when you don't eat soy, you should still be eating beans, lentils, or other foods that are a good source of protein.

Here are some good vegan nutrition resources: http://veganhealth.org/ and http://www.theveganrd.com/ - in particular, check out Ginny Messina's Food Guide for Vegans.

As far as stuff you already own, don't worry about it. You don't really need to buy special "vegan" clothes -- many inexpensive clothes are made from non-animal materials like cotton, acrylic, polyester, etc. It may be harder to find warm heavy sweaters, but fleece is a nice alternative.

Anyway, I'm so glad to hear you've made this positive change! For what it's worth, I don't use the vegan label for a multitude of reasons (it comes with a lot of baggage attached), but I still do what I can to reduce animal suffering. I do find the word "vegan" useful when asking for food without animal products, if the person I'm talking to happens to know what it means. smiley.gif
post #4 of 17

You should be very proud of yourself, you've done a fantastic job and definitely shouldn't beat yourself up should you use a non vegan product by mistake or until you find suitable replacements.

 

I'm sure all of us on this site have tons of research on the Internet, looking at vegan beauty products/foods/clothes etc. It is hard to find them sometimes and they can be expensive. I'm not sure what will be available to you in Sweden as I'm from the UK, but there are tons of threads of here about it all, which have definitely helped me out a lot.Have a search through and I'm sure you will find decent, affordable replacements to your current products and bits in no time.

 

In the mean time, please don't stress, you're doing something amazing, and it takes time to get it all worked out, but as soon as it does it becomes second nature. If you can't afford clothes from a vegan site, then you just get clothes you can afford and check they are not made out of silk, wool or leather. It's just about doing the best you can.

 

 In my opinion you definitely can classify yourself as a vegan.

 

Welcome to the site, and congratulations on your lifestyle change :) x


Edited by Heather Louise - 6/27/12 at 8:52am
I love my friends. So I don't eat them
I love animals. So I don't eat them either
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I love my friends. So I don't eat them
I love animals. So I don't eat them either
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post #5 of 17

Hi Claudeeei! Welcome to the boards.

 

As for your shampoos and soaps that aren't vegan I'd recommend still using them up and then getting vegan ones later. The harm is already done and it would be worse to waste a product.


Same goes for your non vegan clothes and bags. Don't throw them out or waste them. You can either wear them and make good use of them, or if you feel uncomfortable with wearing them, you can donate them. As for vegan clothes, most clothes are made of cotton or polyester, which is a plant fiber, so that's okay. You don't need specialty vegan clothes unless you are referring to more like "animal rights" shirts that display a message.

 

I think you need to let your mom know that you can be healthy without as much soy as it seems like she wants you to eat. I would direct her to the Veganhealth website or the vegan food pyramid.

 

http://www.chooseveg.com/vegan-food-pyramid.asp

http://www.veganhealth.org/

 

"That sucks since I want to help animals so badly but I feel like such a failure and I don't even feel like I'm allowed to call myself a vegan."

 

You're not a failure!! In no way are you a failure! The fact that you have the compassion and heart to go vegan proves that you are sweet person and are headed down a kinder path. You only fail if you don't try. However, we do make mistakes, which is not the same thing as failing entirely. You will make mistakes as a vegan by accidentally getting something that contains animal products, and that's okay, it happens to all of us. Even people who have been vegan for over 10 years still make mistakes. We are all learning, and we can't possibly grow and learn what we could improve on, if we don't make mistakes.

 

Stay strong, and simply learn more about veganism. You just recently went vegan so I'm sure there are things that you are probably unaware of. Don't stress. When I first turned vegan I was fairly ignorant, but overtime I learned more and more new things. And I still am learning new things. :)

"Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?" ~Pierre Troubetzkoy
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"Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?" ~Pierre Troubetzkoy
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post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Wow, thank you all! You made me feel so much better. I wasn't expecting to be so welcomed, so thank you so much! notworthy.gif

 

Yes, I have planned my food and I make sure that I eat carbs, protein and fat every day. I eat both legumes and soy foods so I don't think I'm eating to little protein. ^^ The foods I mostly eat are veggies, fruit, grains, legumes and soy products.

I think my mom just wants me to eat everything and not be so "controlling", but since she (hopefully) soon understands that I will not (and do not want to) eat or consume food that causes harm to anybody, maybe she'll stop asking.

Thank you, now I'm not as afraid of soy as I was before. I probably won't eat it every day though, a little variety is always best. ^^

 

I've decided I will use up my non-vegan things and then look for alternatives, since it's already purchased and I can't return it, I feel like it would just be wasted if I threw it away.. I'm not proud of them though, not at all. But of course people make mistakes, I feel like as long as I'm Really trying my best I should be fine.

 

Thank you for all your answers, though! They surely helped me a lot. yes.gif

post #7 of 17

:)

 

I've sent a tweet to Barry M cosmetics asking if they are available to buy/be delivered to Sweden because they are AWESOME. They're not tested on animals and are all vegetarian, most vegan but some not. They list on their website which ones are not suitable for vegans. Fingers crossed they are available in Sweden. I will let you know when they get back to me.

I love my friends. So I don't eat them
I love animals. So I don't eat them either
Reply
I love my friends. So I don't eat them
I love animals. So I don't eat them either
Reply
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather Louise View Post

:)

 

I've sent a tweet to Barry M cosmetics asking if they are available to buy/be delivered to Sweden because they are AWESOME. They're not tested on animals and are all vegetarian, most vegan but some not. They list on their website which ones are not suitable for vegans. Fingers crossed they are available in Sweden. I will let you know when they get back to me.

Thank you so, very much! I highly appreciate it! smiley.gif Yeah, I hope so


Edited by Claudeeei - 6/27/12 at 10:58am
post #9 of 17
There's already some great advice here, I just wanted to say hi and welcome to Veggieboards! grin.gif

Vegans are basically saying, "Hey, animals shouldn't be needlessly harmed." It's amazing how many people that sentiment freaks out. - Vegan.com

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Vegans are basically saying, "Hey, animals shouldn't be needlessly harmed." It's amazing how many people that sentiment freaks out. - Vegan.com

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post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Werewolf Girl View Post

There's already some great advice here, I just wanted to say hi and welcome to Veggieboards! grin.gif

Hi! hi.gif And thank you!

post #11 of 17

First of all, welcome to Veggiebaords! I'm a vegan too and what to congratulate you on making the switch. while living with omnivores, the lines can get a bit blurred on what is okay and what isn't. I know that often times when I go out to dinner with my dad an order a salad with the chicken, he'll ask the waiter to put the chicken on the side and he'll eat it. Many house hold supplies are shared so it is unclear if using them is wrong. But there are two things to keep in mind.

 

1. Don't try to conform to the label of vegan. Don't do what you feel is wrong and don't worry if it seems like your are cutting corner or extreme. I go by what creates a demand for something that causes animals to suffer (so I see no issue in using the makeup, it is already bought the demand is already made). You go by whatever rule you want.

 

2. We cannot live 100% vegan. It's sad and horrible, but true. Mice and bugs are killed int harvesting plants, and many items have animal products can be hard to avoid. An example is plastic bags, like those at a grocery store. I have a reusable bad and I try not to use to plastic bags, but many times they'll end up bagging them in one. Tires are in the same boat too, along with several other, hard to avoid items. Point is, at this point in time, we cannot be 100%, completely vegan. But just because we can only save 9 lives and have 1 perish, doesn't mean that all 10 should go. Avoid as much as you can, and as you grow more dependent and into an adult this will be easier. Until then, do as much as you can and feel good knowing that you did your best and tried your hardest.

 

 

Now, about that soy. Some people are afraid of the plant estrogen it contains, fearing breast cancer and a decrease in masculinity in men. I've been reading research papers on soy, and it is pretty much the opposite from what I read. Soy might have an ability to decrease the risk of breast cancer (not sure, some studies have the decrease as not statically significant). But I haven't been able to find any number of studies that show soy to be the death trap some claim it is. However, I don't eat a whole lot of soy and I think a more varied diet is a better one. Protein is what makes up living things. It like the concrete of our body, it makes up most of us and is used in almost everything. This goes for plants too. Just about everything has protein, and grains, beans, and nuts have a lot of it. So you don't need to get all your protein from soy, and eating a more varied diet will not only be cheaper but will give you a wider array of nutrients and vitamins.

 

Getting the hang of eating a good balanced vegan diet might take a bit of work. A lot of times a person will try to go vegan, not sure how to eat, end up getting sick because of it and blame veganism. I don't want that to happen to you, so if you find yourself tired or ill and suspect that it might be due to your diet, try to fix it. I'm not sure just how broke your family is or what the health care system looks like in Sweden, but a dietitian is the best person to consult with. You should be careful though, some people in the health care profession are strongly against veganism, or just not know how to build a good vegan diet. If you do end up consulting with a dietitian, make sure they know how to work with vegans. If for whatever reason you cannot consult with one, then the internet is better than nothing. I like to think I know a thing or two about a vegan diet (I'm a vegan and I feel fine, so that is something), and there are several websites that offer suggestions on how to build a vegan diet.

 

If you need anything else, or just want a group of understanding people to talk, we are here and waiting.

post #12 of 17
the dietitian probably wants you to eat soya because it is a complete protein, ie that it contains the right amount of the 9 essential amino acids that your body needs.
But you can get the right amount of those by combining foods without soya, eg beans and rice.

I have read that tofu isn't as good as soya(on its own) because some of the amino acids are lost in the process of making it.

Here's a page on protein:

http://nutrition.about.com/od/askyournutritionist/f/protein_combo.htm


some people don't think getting enough protein is that big a problem, as a lot of food has all the essential amino acids, just not all at the high level.

I read that even lettuce contains all the essential amino acids that you need, but I also read that grains have very little of one amino acid(lycine), so I'm still not quite sure, but if you eat a varied enough diet, you should be ok.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blobbenstein View Post

the dietitian probably wants you to eat soya because it is a complete protein, ie that it contains the right amount of the 9 essential amino acids that your body needs.
But you can get the right amount of those by combining foods without soya, eg beans and rice.
I have read that tofu isn't as good as soya(on its own) because some of the amino acids are lost in the process of making it.
Here's a page on protein:
http://nutrition.about.com/od/askyournutritionist/f/protein_combo.htm
some people don't think getting enough protein is that big a problem, as a lot of food has all the essential amino acids, just not all at the high level.
I read that even lettuce contains all the essential amino acids that you need, but I also read that grains have very little of one amino acid(lycine), so I'm still not quite sure, but if you eat a varied enough diet, you should be ok.

Sorry to say, but that is outdated info. Getting enough protein is definitely important, but as long as you eat a variety of foods and adequate levels of protein, combining proteins isn't necessary and has been disproven. Although strict "protein combining" isn't necessary, legumes and grains definitely make for satisfying meals. Legumes are certainly recommended as protein rich foods!
post #14 of 17

Hi!  I just wanted to say welcome to VeggieBoards.

 

My advice would be to just do the best you can.  You are not a financially independent person, and you probably will live with your mom for a few years yet.  Try to be understanding because  this is new to them too, and undoubtedly, they want you to be as healthy and as mentally fit as possible. They love you!

 

And please go easier on yourself.  We ALL make/have made mistakes in trying to be vegan.  It just happens, so you must accept that there will be "oops" and be able to move past it. No crying for days!!!

 

We are here to support you and answer questions.  Best of Luck!

My second favorite website! www.ral.org
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My second favorite website! www.ral.org
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post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you all!

 

I've been to a dietician, and she said it was completely fine to be vegan. That honestly really shocked me, but I'm so happy she said that since my mom was there with me.

 

I don't feel ill or tired at all, I feel great and I'm so happy I made this decision hamster.gif

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunnerVeggie View Post

Sorry to say, but that is outdated info. Getting enough protein is definitely important, but as long as you eat a variety of foods and adequate levels of protein, combining proteins isn't necessary and has been disproven. Although strict "protein combining" isn't necessary, legumes and grains definitely make for satisfying meals. Legumes are certainly recommended as protein rich foods!

By combing foods, I only meant within the same day, or couple of day.....but it might be helpful to do it within the same meal(just to keep track of the proteins we are eating), although not necessary.

It looks like we both agreed that having a varied diet should mean we get enough of all the proteins.
post #17 of 17

Hello and Welcome! I'm albert.

http://allstopsnoringaids.com

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http://allstopsnoringaids.com

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