Transitioning to Vegan - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-24-2004, 06:58 PM
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Hi all-



I recently made the choice to go completely vegan, but realizing it is a transition of course. (I was previously vegetarian)Anyhow, I'm going through the process of replacing anything that is leather,animal products etc. (I've gotta find a vegan version of my danskos!) Anyhow, just looking for some support and/or advice from others who went through this transition. I don't have enough finances to just give everything away and buy new stuff but I am doing this one step at a time. My biggest thing is finding vegan shoes and vegan vitamins for my kids. All the reasonably priced vitamins for my kids have gelatin so it's been really hard. Despite all this I am feeling so good about my decision, and really enthusiastic. It was like one day I just had this epiphany, and I knew I was ready to make this transition. Of course some of my inspiration came from Joanne Stepaniak, when I read her intros in the Vegan Vittles cookbook.



Any advice,thoughts?
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#2 Old 01-24-2004, 07:06 PM
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Hi!



Don't get frustrated with veganism. It is a transitional process to most people, as you need to evaluate many aspects of your life that you may not have done before.



I buy vitamins from www.veganstore.com (Pangea). The multivitamin is about $11.00, I think. That is for 90 vitamins, and they say you're supposed to take 3 a day, but I only take one a day, as I eat many fruits and vegetables and get vitamins through my food.



Do you have a health food store near you? They will have a wide variety of vegan cleaning supplies and bath products. There is also a "Vegan for Cheap" thread in the "Product Reviews" section. You might want to check that out.



As for shoes, when I decided I wanted to get rid of all of my leather (not to mention wool ), there was no stopping me; I was going to do it then. I went to Rack Room Shoes, which is a cheaper shoe store, but they had many nonleather options. I bought probably 9 pairs of shoes that day for about $150. They are all comfortable, too. I have bought a few vegan pairs of shoes now from www.veganunlimited.com, and I will continue to buy more.



So initially, it might not be a bad idea to buy "cheaper" shoes, but eventually, you'll probably want to buy from vegan stores, as they make sure the shoes are high-quality, in general. Or it's up to you which you prefer!



If you ever need any advice, don't hesitate to ask us. Your fellow vegans and vegetarians are here to help!
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#3 Old 01-24-2004, 07:37 PM
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Congratulations on your decision! What Artichoke said... if you have any questions, or need support, just post on VB
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#4 Old 01-24-2004, 09:16 PM
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Thank you so much for the ideas and links. I will definitely check them out.



Luckily, there are a ton of health food stores in Boulder, one being our local co-op. I'm definitely starting to find tons of sources for vegan products, there is actually quite a lot out there once you know where to look.



I'm also interested in other's experiences and what made them decide to go vegan? I feel like I struggled with that transition for years and then one day it was like, oh yes I can do this! And boy did it feel good.
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#5 Old 01-24-2004, 09:26 PM
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I know different people feel differently about this, but I continue to wear my old leather shoes and figure they'll just be replaced gradually by vegan ones over time. I tend to wear shoes until they fall apart. (I have a pair of shoes from high school I still ocasionally wear--I'm 34!) Anyway, if it just really disgusts you that they're leather, or if you don't want to give the impression that you're ok with wearing leather, then give them to Goodwill and invest in new shoes. I feel that the damage was already done so I continue to wear them.



I buy New Balance running shoes here: http://www.joesnewbalanceoutlet.com A lot of their shoes are vegan and this site has some really good deals. As for regular shoes, I just keep my eyes open since I'm a bargain hunter. They other day I got a cool pair of shoes with fabric uppers for $8.99 at a used clothing store. I don't really like plastic shoes because they make my feet sweat, so I tend to keep my eyes open for shoes made with some sort of fabric.



I have a hard time finding inexpensive vegan vitamins too though...
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#6 Old 01-24-2004, 10:12 PM
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I know different people feel differently about this, but I continue to wear my old leather shoes and figure they'll just be replaced gradually by vegan ones over time. I tend to wear shoes until they fall apart. (I have a pair of shoes from high school I still ocasionally wear--I'm 34!) Anyway, if it just really disgusts you that they're leather, or if you don't want to give the impression that you're ok with wearing leather, then give them to Goodwill and invest in new shoes. I feel that the damage was already done so I continue to wear them.



I buy New Balance running shoes here: http://www.joesnewbalanceoutlet.com A lot of their shoes are vegan and this site has some really good deals. As for regular shoes, I just keep my eyes open since I'm a bargain hunter. They other day I got a cool pair of shoes with fabric uppers for $8.99 at a used clothing store. I don't really like plastic shoes because they make my feet sweat, so I tend to keep my eyes open for shoes made with some sort of fabric.



I have a hard time finding inexpensive vegan vitamins too though...



Thanks eggplant, I didn't know new balance shoes were vegan, and I actually have some running shoes that are new balance so I'm going to check and see if they are vegan.



The vitamin thing is frustrating, as I have a family of four and have to make sure the kids are getting their vitamins. I'm not rich (yet) hehe, so I have to watch the dollars. Seems like there are few kids chewable vitamins that don't have gelatin but have enough b12. I'm sure if I look around some more I will find some that work.
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#7 Old 01-24-2004, 10:22 PM
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Look for generic brands of vitamins, they often are vegan
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#8 Old 01-24-2004, 10:48 PM
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My one bit of wisdom: Don't think you have to start shopping in specialty stores. Vegan shoes abound at places like Payless (my two favorite pairs of sneakers came from there.) And you know there's lots of vegan food at your local grocery store. (No need for the HFS). And vegan treats at carnivals and amusement parks (Icee's, big soft pretzels)... I guess I'm just saying, don't get into the separatist mentality. Vegans are a part of society! We can shop and eat in the same places as everyone else.
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#9 Old 01-25-2004, 12:06 AM
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Here's a very good list of animal ingredients and their alternatives. Education is your best defense.
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#10 Old 01-25-2004, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]@_girl View Post

I'm also interested in other's experiences and what made them decide to go vegan? I feel like I struggled with that transition for years and then one day it was like, oh yes I can do this! And boy did it feel good.



I went to eating strictly vegan for health and environmental reasons. At some point the Animal Rights started to make sense, and that is clearly my main motivation today.



I went vegan more or less overnight, it never even occured me that it would be difficult to get adequate nutrition without animal products... Nevertheless around and after the transition I spent a lot of time with research.
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#11 Old 01-25-2004, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by [email protected]@_girl View Post

I'm also interested in other's experiences and what made them decide to go vegan? I feel like I struggled with that transition for years and then one day it was like, oh yes I can do this! And boy did it feel good.



I started to eat vegan for health and environmental reasons. At some point Animal Rights started to make sense, and that is clearly my main motivation today.



I went vegan more or less overnight, it never even occured me that it would be difficult to get adequate nutrition without animal products... Nevertheless around and after the transition I spent a lot of time with research.
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#12 Old 01-25-2004, 04:08 AM
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When i decided to be vegan i wanted to get rid of any leather i had, i was so shocked at the price of vegan shoes that i found online! so i went to town and had a look around, and was really happy to find out that the cheaper shoes weren't always leather, which is good because my shoes don't last me very long lol.



It took me nine months to completely change from vegetarian to vegan, it was a lot easier when i realised heath food shops were full of vegan food. It only took me that long because everyone was against it, and i had to convince my parents i wasn't going to end up ill, and that i could eat more than just fruit.
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#13 Old 01-25-2004, 11:58 AM
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Hey! Congrats on your decision, you obviously feel really good about it so go you!! That's the most important thing about any decision, that YOU feel GOOD about it.



The best advice I could give is: don't stress over it. Some people go vegan overnight (aside from learning about all the hidden crazy ingredients, which takes some time, but for the most part vegan anyway), and for some it's a long process. Don't get discouraged if yours takes a while. The most important thing to do is make sure you're comfortable with the changes you're making, whether you do them all at once or not.



So, you asked why folks went vegan. My reasons were for the animals. I've always loved them, and while I enjoyed my meat taste-wise, I think as soon as I found out that we can be healthy without animal products, I stopped using them. I was happy to. I never liked eating dead animals, the idea of it. I watched a lot of Peta's undercover videos. They horrified me. I figured if those things happen at even only a couple places, that's a couple too many, and chances are it's happening more often than that... and there's no way I'd be a part of that kind of stuff.



Now I'm happy with the environmental and health benefits of it as well, but my main motivation was animals, pure and simple. If I can live without purposefully killing creatures, I certainly will!!
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#14 Old 01-25-2004, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharityAJO View Post

My one bit of wisdom: Don't think you have to start shopping in specialty stores. Vegan shoes abound at places like Payless (my two favorite pairs of sneakers came from there.) And you know there's lots of vegan food at your local grocery store. (No need for the HFS). And vegan treats at carnivals and amusement parks (Icee's, big soft pretzels)... I guess I'm just saying, don't get into the separatist mentality. Vegans are a part of society! We can shop and eat in the same places as everyone else.



Good point. I love soft pretzels! mmmmm
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#15 Old 01-25-2004, 12:14 PM
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By the way, thank you all for the words of wisdom and ideas,stories. The veggieboards have been so good for me. I think everyone on here is full of compassion and ready to share advice and stories which I think is so cool. It is really helping to be able to share information with others that have gone down this path, sometimes it's hard to find other veggies/vegans that you can really talk to.



Peace!
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#16 Old 01-25-2004, 12:25 PM
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Congrats on making the transition!



Take it at your own pace and know that you're making a difference for many animals. I went vegan after reading the Why Vegan booklet online and my main motivation was the treatment of animals on factory farms.
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#17 Old 01-25-2004, 01:49 PM
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First off, welcome to VB



When I decided to become vegan from vegetarian two years ago I called it my 'five year plan'.



For the first year I cut down on all visible dairy and learnt to read labels so that when I was ready I would already have a feel for which foods to avoid and which I could eat. I was concentrating more on raising my awareness of what I was eating than actually avoiding anything. No pressure!



Now my diet's sorted I'm concentrating on toiletries, and I'm finding it harder to read labels on those! I'm getting there slowly though.



As to why I went vegan? Well, I was vegetarian already out of concern for the treatment of animals and simply because I didn't want to eat them I started researching the effects of milk on the lungs, because something in the combination of a fizzy drink and a cup of tea before bedtime was bringing me close to an asthma attack every night. I'd been eliminating things to try to figure out what was the problem.



While researching how to cut milk out of my diet (since I realised that was the major culprit) I came across a lot of vegan sites. I realised that the vegan lifestyle was entirely fitting with my ethical beliefs and I decided that I would eventually become vegan, it was just a matter of time.



I have an odd tip, but one that has consistently worked for me:



While transitioning, if you have a craving for something that you cannot ignore, then have some I've done this with fish, cheeses, eggs, and other stuff. I've always found that it never tastes as good as I've built it up to be, and my resolve is strengthened because I can directly weigh the experience of eating the food against the price paid for it (death and suffering of an animal).



I've never had another craving for those foods that I've done this with. Instead of 'forbidden foods' that taste great, they now equate in my mind with disappointment.



And yes, Joanne Stepaniak is very inspiring! I love her compassionate, tolerant approach and it's something I aspire to. In case you haven't seen it, she has a nice website here http://www.vegsource.com/joanne/



Best of luck with your transition
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#18 Old 01-25-2004, 08:58 PM
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Thanks Bobsy. Those are good tips, and it sounds like you took a very realistic and logical approach to the whole thing. I guess it just has to work however it feels right to you. I also got a lot of inspiration from reading fast food nation. Oh my gosh, I had NO idea. When I started as vegetarian (ovo-lacto) I just didn't realize how much the dairy industry really abused those poor animals. It's just absolutely horrible.



Anyhow..glad my path led me here.



Peace!
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#19 Old 01-26-2004, 07:30 AM
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Congrats on your decision to go vegan, Karmagirl! I think you do have to accept that it will be a gradual process in some aspects. I'm still getting there too (i 'switched' at the beginning of January) - I still have one or two pairs of shoes to replace. I know there is no problems getting vegan alternatives (I even found cowgirl boots for my line dancing class!) but it is the finaical restraint of being unable to chuck everything out and fork out £100 in one go to replace shoes that wouldn't normally need replacing yet.



Just remember you have taken a huge step in the right direction!



Kerry x
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#20 Old 01-26-2004, 08:27 AM
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i still haven't found a decent replacement for danskos. once all of mine wore out, i was seriously bummed thta i couldn't find a pair as nice. I've written to (and visited) the company many, many times asking for vegan versions of their shoes and they pretty much ignore me--even when i'm face-to-face. I told them that there is a relatively large vegetarian market, that the shoes would be cheaper to make once they get started, and so they'll probably make a good profit from them. They do make some that are cloth-leather combinations, but they haven't yet made the jump to all vegetarian clogs. It really gets me.



Otherwise, i buy most everything from non-specialty shops. I shop at regular stores, go home and research the shoe (or other item), and then go back and buy that product once i find out it's vegetarian.



Food is the easy part. I don't take vitamins, so no biggie there, and if i'm not mistaken, "juice plus" vitamins have some that are vegetarian. but again, food is easy. I avoid animal products as much as i can--the only real problem being when i'm "stranded" at certain restaurants. For example, this past saturday we took my FIL out to dinner for his birthday. We went toa restaurant tht is usually very accomodating to me, but another manager (new) was "on" that nite. Apparently, he likes everything mixed before the dinner rush. that means, mixed green salads with tomatoes and blue cheese is already tossed and they can't separate out the cheese. Burritos (usually can be made vegan) were pre-made with cheese, no exceptions. So, although i usually get a mixed green salad without the cheese and the burritos (or pesto) without the cheese, that nite the manager wouldn't budge even though the chef was like 'no big deal i can make it.' So, i had to eat a bit of cheese (and i'm paying for it!) I did call the owner this morning to talk about his new manager, btw.



i mainly became vegan not because of animal rights, but definately for ethical reasons regarding animals and the environment, the religious notion of simplicity, and probably a few other reasons tossed in there. It never made sense to me that i person would not eat the cow, but they would wear the cow, drink the cows milk until the cow was killed for meat, and of course not eat the calf that was killed from impregnanting the cow.
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#21 Old 01-26-2004, 10:30 AM
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Congratulations for deciding to go vegan!



The longer I have been vegan the easier it has become. It has taken me a long time to go 'completely' vegan, but I feel helthier and also a lot happier for it. I used to beat myself up every time I had a bit of cheese, for instatnce, but I now realise that for me it had to be a gradual process, and I am happy as I am now.



Personally it was animal rights that got me interested in going veggie - originally because I loved pigs and thought it was a bit weird to eat them therefore! - but as I found out more about things that go on to produce meat and dairy I also added human and environmental reasons for being veggie.



I find these boards really helpful and there are a lot of people who really know a lot about lots of different things.
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