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#1 Old 06-15-2010, 07:06 AM
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Hi guys.



I have introduced myself as a wannabe vegan. I am currently a lacto-ovo-vegetarian. I don't have the support of my family, one example being that they keep buying me leather goods. Everytime I see my sister she asks me what I eat, like I'm starving myself or something (which I'm not!). Anyway, just mentioning I was thinking about veganism upset everyone quite a lot.



I'm not completely ruling out veganism for myself, I just think I should try to be a healthier vegetarian before thinking about it. I feel like I'm letting everyone down though.



I guess what I'm asking is this: how do vegetarians and vegans feel about each other? Are we all in the same boat or is there a feeling that vegetarians could do more? Am I a bad person for not being vegan?
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#2 Old 06-15-2010, 07:53 AM
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It all comes down to intention as far as I'm concerned. As Socrates from the Peaceful Warrior books was fond of saying, "A little something is far better than a lot of nothing." So while you may not have gone all the way to veganism yet, at least you're still making changes and that is what is important. You've changed your diet to lacto-ovo so you're moving in the right direction and there's nothing "bad" about that and you're certainly not "letting anyone down." With regards to your family you will probably just have to give them time. Veg*nism is a huge disconnect from what many people consider to be "the norm." You probably didn't decide to be vegetarian in an instant. It's probably something that was in the back of your mind for awhile right? You had all that time mulling it over even subconsciously whereas your family hasn't had any time. They just need time to wrap their heads around the concept. Be patient and stick to your guns. Be a healthy example of veg*nism and they will come to accept it more readily.

"Empathy, he once decided, must be limited to herbivores or anyhow omnivores who could depart from a meat diet. Because, ultimately the empathic gift blurred the boundaries between hunter and victim, between the successful and the defeated." - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
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#3 Old 06-15-2010, 07:53 AM
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If you're a bad person for not being vegan, what does that say about omnivores? Yes, some will judge you, on all sides of the fence. You need to find the balance that's right for YOU. You won't be able to please everyone else, no matter what you do, so look deep within yourself and do what YOU need to do.



If you truly want to be vegan, then head in that direction as best you can. It might not happen overnight, and that's ok. It might not happen at all. You're still making a difference in your health, the environment, and in eliminating some cruelty to animals. And maybe someday you'll get there, if you choose to.



As for your family, I hope you can have a sit-down with them and openly explain how their actions are hurting you. You can tell them you love them, but you'd really, really appreciate their help and respect for your choices. I hope that they'll turn around, because you deserve to have people in your life who honor your feelings.

Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart. -Confucius
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#4 Old 06-15-2010, 08:57 AM
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You're asking this question in a subforum where any stronger ethical criticism of lacto-ovo-vegetarianism, or a comment about lacto-ovos "not doing enough" is against the forum rules. So I think you might not get an accurate representation of people's answers.



What I think is that



1) It's great that you have stopped eating meat. It means you're part of a group of people who are making a difference in the cruel and environmentally harmful industry that is animal agriculture. And if you're vegetarian partly for ethical reasons, you are also representing a rejection of the cruel status quo, and that is commendable.



2) The egg and dairy industries are still very cruel and abusive and involve suffering and death like the meat industry, with which they are linked, does.



3) If you're transitioning to veganism, it's better to do that transition when fully prepared, and committed, and informed, rather than too hastily and suddenly, because in the latter case, you might be more likely to give it up. You could familiarize yourself with your vegetarian lifestyle and gradually reduce the consumption of various animal products. Even small differences make a difference.

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#5 Old 06-15-2010, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Sevenseas' date='15 June 2010 - 10:57 AM' timestamp='1276617439' post='2658491 View Post


You're asking this question in a subforum where any stronger ethical criticism of lacto-ovo-vegetarianism, or a comment about lacto-ovos "not doing enough" is against the forum rules. So I think you might not get an accurate representation of people's answers.



What I think is that



1) It's great that you have stopped eating meat. It means you're part of a group of people who are making a difference in the cruel and environmentally harmful industry that is animal agriculture. And if you're vegetarian partly for ethical reasons, you are also representing a rejection of the cruel status quo, and that is commendable.



2) The egg and dairy industries are still very cruel and abusive and involve suffering and death like the meat industry, with which they are linked, does.



3) If you're transitioning to veganism, it's better to do that transition when fully prepared, and committed, and informed, rather than too hastily and suddenly, because in the latter case, you might be more likely to give it up. You could familiarize yourself with your vegetarian lifestyle and gradually reduce the consumption of various animal products. Even small differences make a difference.



Excellent answer.
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#6 Old 06-15-2010, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Raven815' date='15 June 2010 - 12:20 PM' timestamp='1276618840' post='2658513 View Post


Excellent answer.



yep.

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#7 Old 06-15-2010, 09:36 AM
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I guess what I'm asking is this: how do vegetarians and vegans feel about each other?



It's really determined by the individual. I know angels and ***holes in both factions.



Quote:
Are we all in the same boat or is there a feeling that vegetarians could do more?



Some vegans feel that all vegetarians could (and should) do more. I do think almost all vegetarians are capable of doing more and becoming vegan, but as to whether they should or not, that's up to the individual, and frankly it's nobody's business but your own how far you take your transition.



Quote:
Am I a bad person for not being vegan?



Absolutely not.
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#8 Old 06-15-2010, 09:52 AM
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What sevenseas said

Take it a step at a time. Don't listen to your family, they obviously don't know what healthy is. Show them that you can eat veg*n and be healthy. Make dishes that are incredibly yummy when you eat with them and share. I find that's been the best thing to do with my close family. Make some yummy dishes and show them that you eat more than just vegetables and fruit, 'cus that is honestly what a lot of people think we only eat. I know that seems silly, but I find that MOST people think that veg*n's only eat veggies. I know a lady who thought I only ate veggies. I tactfully explained there's a whole world of variety out there just waiting to be savored and enjoyed... That's the other thing, be tactful about things. Learn when you need to say something and when you don't. There's times I just keep my mouth shut and continue on my way. Other times, there is a need to speak up. That builds good relations with your family and keeps your boundaries.

If you don't want leather goods from your family, kindly tell them that you have no use for those things and they will end up at the goodwill or some form of donation based charity. You don't have to be mean about it, just firm. Make sure they understand it. If they still give you those things, follow through and take it to a donation stop. And when they ask about it, tell them where it went. Don't back down on things that bother you. To me it'd be the same thing if your relative gave you clothes a size to big or too small constantly. You wouldn't take it then and if you did, then you wouldn't wear it. View it as the same way and maybe even use that illustration. It's not your style to wear leather, it doesn't "fit" your beliefs.
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#9 Old 06-15-2010, 11:10 AM
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First please let me apologise wholeheartedly for any ill feeling I created by posting this message. Of course I do not feel that omnivores, vegetarians or vegans are bad people. That really is not what I meant. I am so sorry.



As for my family, I was kind of raised to eat what I was given. Now that I refuse certain things, I have been labelled as a fussy eater and seem to be a constant annoyance. Esp. to my sister who really doesn't get why I wont eat meat. I don't see my family as often as I would like, so it is difficult to talk about it. We all met up recently though and I brought a few stuffed peppers for people to try. Only my brother did, and he enjoyed it. Plus it was completely vegan.



I think you're right- I need to stick to my guns and explain how I feel about leather to them. I love my family, but to be the only veg*n is difficult. When we're together they all fire their questions at me, and I don't want to be arguementative or preachy. As a result I tend to be quite vague in my answers and so sparks more questions.



I do want to be vegan eventually. But I think I need to get in the kitchen more, then when I'm ready, filter things out slowly. Everyone should do what they feel comfortable with.



Again, I am so sorry for any offense caused and for breaking the rules. I really didn't mean to. If I am going to be banned, I understand.



All the best.
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#10 Old 06-15-2010, 11:40 AM
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I don't think anyone was offended by your post, at least I wasn't LOL.



Family stuff can be challenging for some. My family has questions but they're pretty supportive. I too grew up in a family where if I didn't eat what I was given, I just didn't eat.

Boundaries are hard as well. We all need to set limits, be nice about it but still firm. I think with time your family will understand. Keep making some yummy dishes and even if they don't eat it, more for you! I always make something with the intention of bringing some home afterward LOL. Sometimes I don't and I'm surprised!



It is hard when people are asking questions. It kinda puts you on the spot. But, answering them helps them understand. They seem to want to understand at least they raise questions. Explain them, if you don't know the answer or don't want to just say so. Is there a way where you could maybe send a mass email, like a FAQ kinda thing to your family? Or maybe print something out with a few explanations? That might help.. This is something very new to you. It will take time for you to solidify yourself in your reasoning and explanations. If you're uncomfortable, explain that to them. Maybe try to do a one on one time with different relatives. I've done that with my mom, dad, sister, aunts, in-laws, hubby, etc. Sometimes one on one is less intimidating for you and them.



In general this is a huge shift for you and your family, no matter how much or little you see them. Family and food go hand in hand and create many memories. This change may make them feel like you're breaking tradition or changing too much. Try to be balanced.



I too am transitioning to veganism. I'm giving myself and my family time to get used to it. The only time I eat cheese or dairy is with family generally. I know that if I refuse cheese/dairy that they'll feel that I'm being a bit extreme. I do plan on cutting it out, but with some time and explanation.
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#11 Old 06-15-2010, 02:48 PM
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You might wanna start out with trying one or two vegan meals a week and see how that feels. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. While there is cruelty in the egg and dairy industries, just eliminating a little of those products from your diet makes a difference. If everyone ate vegan half the time, it would be like half the people were vegan. Isn't that a great thought?

Tam! RUGH!
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#12 Old 06-15-2010, 02:56 PM
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I had the same conflict with myself, and still do to a certain degree. When I became a vegetarian, I was lacto-ovo. Two months ago I still had the mindset of "in all honestly, I really have no intention of ever becoming full vegan". I haven't made the full transition yet, but I have now totally cut out every dairy and egg product with the exception of organic greek yogurt. I'm tossing around some ideas to replace it with, and that'll be it. But I started realizing how much better I felt in all aspects of my well-being once I cut out all the dairy.



I didn't realize there was so much conflict between the two (vegan-vegetarian) groups until I joined this forum. I don't think anyone should consider themselves a bad person by any means for not going total vegan. In my mind (many people will disagree), buying and eating a package of rennetless cheese is a far cry from eating a ribeye steak. Like I said, many people see that differently, but that's my opinion. Sevenseas had pretty much the perfect answer.
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#13 Old 06-15-2010, 03:03 PM
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Random thoughts:

I wish I had gone vegan long before I did. I regret being lacto ovo vegetarian for so long.



When I was lacto ovo I didn't like any of the vegans I met but I admired their veganism. Now as a vegan I have to admit I still don't like most vegans (but that's not saying much since I don't like most people).



As a vegan now, the only time lacto ovos bother me is when they act like it's too hard to be vegan. I mostly think we're on the same team.
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#14 Old 06-15-2010, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by miss_strawberry' date='15 June 2010 - 01:10 PM' timestamp='1276625434' post='2658608 View Post


First please let me apologise wholeheartedly for any ill feeling I created by posting this message. Of course I do not feel that omnivores, vegetarians or vegans are bad people. That really is not what I meant. I am so sorry.



As for my family, I was kind of raised to eat what I was given. Now that I refuse certain things, I have been labelled as a fussy eater and seem to be a constant annoyance. Esp. to my sister who really doesn't get why I wont eat meat. I don't see my family as often as I would like, so it is difficult to talk about it. We all met up recently though and I brought a few stuffed peppers for people to try. Only my brother did, and he enjoyed it. Plus it was completely vegan.



I think you're right- I need to stick to my guns and explain how I feel about leather to them. I love my family, but to be the only veg*n is difficult. When we're together they all fire their questions at me, and I don't want to be arguementative or preachy. As a result I tend to be quite vague in my answers and so sparks more questions.



I do want to be vegan eventually. But I think I need to get in the kitchen more, then when I'm ready, filter things out slowly. Everyone should do what they feel comfortable with.



Again, I am so sorry for any offense caused and for breaking the rules. I really didn't mean to. If I am going to be banned, I understand.



All the best.



You haven't done anything for which you need to apologize.



Sevenseas' answer was an excellent one.



I think the transition to no eggs or dairy will be a lot easier once you're comfortable in the kitchen preparing some dishes that don't contain dairy or eggs. Vegan cooking and baking is really a different methodology, and the switch from vegetarian to vegan cooking and baking is more difficult, IMO, than switching from omni to vegetarian cooking. That being said, once you have a few basics down, you will find that there is no limit to the foods you can make, and make sinfully delicious.



IMO, Veganomicon, The Vegan Table and Vegan Vittles are three cookbooks that contain recipes for dishes that are easy, tasty and familiar. Request one or more of these books from your local library and try some of the recipes. They'll give you the experience and confidence to branch out on your own with vegan cooking and baking, and that'll make your transition to veganism, if you choose to undertake it, much easier.
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#15 Old 06-15-2010, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by miss_strawberry' date='15 June 2010 - 02:10 PM' timestamp='1276625434' post='2658608 View Post


I think you're right- I need to stick to my guns and explain how I feel about leather to them. I love my family, but to be the only veg*n is difficult. When we're together they all fire their questions at me, and I don't want to be arguementative or preachy. As a result I tend to be quite vague in my answers and so sparks more questions.



I do want to be vegan eventually. But I think I need to get in the kitchen more, then when I'm ready, filter things out slowly. Everyone should do what they feel comfortable with.



My family also continued buying me leather after I was vegan. At first they just didn't think anything of it, the most recent time my mum just didn't realize the shoes she was purchasing are vegan. I just politely told them that I appreciated that they went to the trouble to buy me something, but it's leather and I wouldn't use/wear it. It's best to get it out of the way instead of them continuing to purchase leather products, even if it will be a bit uncomfortable to bring up at first.



As for the kitchen part of things (ah, such a fun part of being vegan), I'd strongly recommend the cookbook "Vegan Yum Yum." There are pictures of all the finished products which I really like in my cookbooks. The author has a blog too: http://veganyumyum.com/ And one tip: don't be afraid to try new foods! There are so many vegan products, recipes, and restaurants and it is so much fun to try new stuff out. Don't let it intimidate you, just give it a try!



Good luck with everything!
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#16 Old 06-16-2010, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by miss_strawberry' date='15 June 2010 - 03:06 PM' timestamp='1276610776' post='2658459 View Post


I guess what I'm asking is this: how do vegetarians and vegans feel about each other? Are we all in the same boat or is there a feeling that vegetarians could do more? Am I a bad person for not being vegan?

'Lo Strawberry



Vegetarians and vegans are in the same boat in as much as that fruitarians can look down on both of us.



Breatharians look down upon fruitarians but the fruitarians don't care 'cos breatharians don't tend to last very long anyway.
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#17 Old 06-16-2010, 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Clueless Git' date='16 June 2010 - 02:43 AM' timestamp='1276674197' post='2659003 View Post


'Lo Strawberry



Vegetarians and vegans are in the same boat in as much as that fruitarians can look down on both of us.



Breatharians look down upon fruitarians but the fruitarians don't care 'cos breatharians don't tend to last very long anyway.



You are forgetting about that Guru who has survived on 'spiritual life force' for seventy years
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#18 Old 06-16-2010, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Clueless Git' date='16 June 2010 - 08:43 AM' timestamp='1276674197' post='2659003 View Post


'Lo Strawberry



Vegetarians and vegans are in the same boat in as much as that fruitarians can look down on both of us.



Breatharians look down upon fruitarians but the fruitarians don't care 'cos breatharians don't tend to last very long anyway.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inedia



And i thought you were joking. This makes for some fascinating/amusing reading.
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#19 Old 06-16-2010, 06:09 PM
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I struggled with being veg**n most of my life. I never opposed just the killing of animals, but the way they're used, so being completely vegan was all I ever used to try. Obsession killed my resolve.

Do as much as you can do, as long as you keep the passion, you will have the resolve.

You don't have to choose, simply use vegan recipes, keep away from animal products, and if standing in a cafeteria line starving, with pizza being the closest option, don't swim in guilt. Sometimes, at least in the beginning, having cheese at a meal can keep you vegan longer than obessing over it and then giving up completely.



I still have old leather sandels. They're my favorites. I don't feel bad about it, in fact giving them up could be more detrimental than wearing them till they fall apart. (I don't see that happening either).

I have replaced most everything else.

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good
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#20 Old 06-16-2010, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Clueless Git' date='16 June 2010 - 03:43 AM' timestamp='1276674197' post='2659003 View Post


'Lo Strawberry



Vegetarians and vegans are in the same boat in as much as that fruitarians can look down on both of us.



Breatharians look down upon fruitarians but the fruitarians don't care 'cos breatharians don't tend to last very long anyway.



Level 5 Vegans trump all.

i hear in my mind all of these voices
i hear in my mind all of these words
i hear in my mind all of this music
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#21 Old 06-16-2010, 09:10 PM
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I'm a Super Vegan 3 who has mastered the Kamehameha.

Tam! RUGH!
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#22 Old 06-16-2010, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by miss_strawberry' date='15 June 2010 - 11:10 AM' timestamp='1276625434' post='2658608 View Post

As for my family, I was kind of raised to eat what I was given. Now that I refuse certain things, I have been labelled as a fussy eater and seem to be a constant annoyance. Esp. to my sister who really doesn't get why I wont eat meat.



Honestly I recommend that you just embrace the label rather than giving yourself stress trying to fight it or bending over backwards to prove your family wrong. I guess you are a fussy eater now in your family. So what? I guess they'll have to accommodate a fussy eater if they want to see you. And if they have any sensitivity, maybe they'll try to understand why it's important to you to be vegan.

"If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.

 

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#23 Old 06-18-2010, 06:00 PM
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hey there



nope you arent a bad person for not being vegan....but I can totally relate to what you have been feeling...I will be veggie 21 years this year and was vegan three of those years all at different times but due to severe medical and personal issues its not something I can do for the rest of my life without severe health complications and I am not going to do that.....for the longest time I felt that I was a total failure and was failing myself and others and not measuring up or that I needed to do so much more...it was awful to feel that way and it was many years before I was okay with being ME a very very proud veggie.....so my motto is do whats best for you....not what others think you should do....believe me I have had people tell me they would rather die than go back to being L/O....I chose my life over being vegan and dont feel bad about that at all....I would rather be an alive l/o veggie ar activist making a small dent and difference than dead and doing nothing....thats just my life and story.



Good Luck on your Journey whether it be as a veggie or vegan....hope its a very hippie one....



peace.
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#24 Old 06-19-2010, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by miss_strawberry' date='15 June 2010 - 10:06 AM' timestamp='1276610776' post='2658459 View Post


how do vegetarians and vegans feel about each other?



vegetarians are like my little brother: I beat him up every day, but God help anyone else who picked on him...

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#25 Old 06-20-2010, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by miss_strawberry' date='16 June 2010 - 01:06 AM' timestamp='1276610776' post='2658459 View Post


Hi guys.



I have introduced myself as a wannabe vegan. I am currently a lacto-ovo-vegetarian. I don't have the support of my family, one example being that they keep buying me leather goods. Everytime I see my sister she asks me what I eat, like I'm starving myself or something (which I'm not!). Anyway, just mentioning I was thinking about veganism upset everyone quite a lot.



I'm not completely ruling out veganism for myself, I just think I should try to be a healthier vegetarian before thinking about it. I feel like I'm letting everyone down though.



I guess what I'm asking is this: how do vegetarians and vegans feel about each other? Are we all in the same boat or is there a feeling that vegetarians could do more? Am I a bad person for not being vegan?



I haven't read the other comments but I'd just like to say, it's completely up to you! Don't worry about what anyone else thinks, or if you're "letting everyone down" - it's your body, your choice! And I believe every little bit helps, wether it's cutting out meat, eggs, dairy or all animal products from your diet
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#26 Old 06-20-2010, 12:55 PM
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Going vegan sort of forces you to be healthier since you get limited on what junk foods you can eat. I mean yeah, there are vegan cookies, cakes, chips out there. But I think they are slightly more troublesome to obtain than the standard junkfood. Which is probably for the better.



I dont have the support of my family, but I survive. The animals need us to stand for them, the environment needs us, and we need to be nicer to our bodies.



It is pretty simple to buy veg-friendly groceries. Brown Rice, Beans, Fruits, Veggies, etc. They aren't expensive and you can buy them at any grocery store.
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#27 Old 06-20-2010, 01:19 PM
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To be totally honest - the notion that 'any little bit you can do' in terms of reducing consumption 'makes a difference' or that 'doing something is better than doing nothing' in this case is kind of silly for the following reason: any individuals' consumption is always of marginal value to the industry - going veg*n doesn't individually spare any animals - someone else will eat them.



The real value is not in the individual abstinence but in setting an example to others so as to build a movement that could have an impact on ow many animals are killed. In normalizing abstinence from animal products and demonstrating that its possible.



So the real value is in in the message you send.



But if you are sending a message that its okay to eat eggs and dairy, when really these are morally equal to eating meat since they equally result in animal killing and torture - then I think thats sending a message that doesn't make sense - its building a movement in a direction that doesn't serve animals.



In particular if people increase egg and dairy consumption to compensate for eliminating meat from their diets, its not clear that its helpful at all.



Obviously, no ones food choices really make them 'bad persons' as everyone is more than that - but not all choices are equal and refusing to recognize that requires real self-denial.



p.s. - this thread should have been posted in compost heap.
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#28 Old 06-20-2010, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Chorisu' date='20 June 2010 - 03:55 PM' timestamp='1277063738' post='2661832 View Post


Going vegan sort of forces you to be healthier since you get limited on what junk foods you can eat. I mean yeah, there are vegan cookies, cakes, chips out there. But I think they are slightly more troublesome to obtain than the standard junkfood. Which is probably for the better.



This seems like super wishful thinking. Oreos (in the US, not UK), many dark chocolates, most potato chips, most veggie spring rolls, most breads, many crackers, nearly all black licorice, most boiled hard candies, white rice, white bread (usually), bagels, salted peanuts (high fat, high sodium), any wheat noodle made without egg, pasta, rice noodles, etc are vegan.
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