Feeling conflicted - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-14-2015, 11:23 PM
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Feeling conflicted

Hi,

I have been a Vegetarian for 2 years in the upcoming September. A slack one at that though... I still consume products with gelatin in them as I thought it would just be easier to give it all up when I go Vegan (which I'm only allowed to do so when I have been Vegetarian for 2 years). I would like to hear your opinions on whether you think this makes me a bad person/not a vegetarian. Also I would like to mention I am a Vegetarian for ethical reasons, NOT dietary

Thanks, Elle.
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#2 Old 03-14-2015, 11:35 PM
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Hi Elle. It took me fully 10-years just to transition from omnivore to vegetarian, then another 5-years to go vegan. However long it takes you is fine. You're on the right path!

"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist." -Billy Wilder
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#3 Old 03-14-2015, 11:36 PM
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I don't think anyone can tell another that they are a bad person. I think that every individual is doing as much as they can according to their current ability.

In my opinion, are you a bad person because you consume gelatine? NO. Do I think you should strive for zero consumption of gelatine? YES!

If I were in your shoes, I'll probably ask myself why gelatine is more okay to me than meat. If you want, I can provide many reasons for not eating gelatine, but since your current questions revolves around you being a bad person, I'd like to focus on that.

It sounds as though you're quite young too. Striving for as little cruelty as possible involves learning curve. I'm vegan so obviously I think gelatine is wrong to consume, but compassion toward each other is also important. You're probably doing what you can right now. Maybe you need more information? When I went vegan, I was upset because I could no longer buy silk shirts. I was angry and wanted my damn clothes It wasn't until i looked up the silk industry, researched it, that I felt an emotional connection and found an inner motivation for avoiding silk. Maybe you need to read up on why gelatine is wrong to find your inner motivation?

Good luck. And don't let anybody tell you that you are bad or wrong. Just be the best you can be. And always improve on that.
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#4 Old 03-14-2015, 11:39 PM
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I don't think it makes you a bad person. Not vegetarian? A few people would say you're still vegetarian, a lot would say you aren't. However, it sounds like you're starting to feel some guilt about still eating gelatin. So now might be the best time to give it up, or you'll get an uncomfortable feeling of guilt every time you eat gelatin.
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"We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form." - William Ralphe Inge

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#5 Old 03-14-2015, 11:40 PM
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Thank you so much for your response, so quickly! Your kind words are much appreciated
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#6 Old 03-15-2015, 01:40 AM
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You can find gelatin in so many products that it is rather difficult to avoid.

I started to avoid gelatin after being vegetarian for 25 years.

My usual answer: I have never heard a convincing reason to eat meat.
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#7 Old 03-15-2015, 02:30 AM
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I don't think people who eat meat are bad people because they eat meat, I think they're bad people because they cut in front of me in line. (Even then, they might not be bad people).

Do I wish you'd stop eating gelatine? Yeah, if only for the selfish reason that it makes it that much easier for me to explain that I don't eat gelatine to people "because I'm a vegetarian". But if you've been avoiding and not eating animals for 2 years? Then that's a pretty amazing effort in it's own way.
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#8 Old 03-15-2015, 02:39 AM
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Remember that every step that was slowly taken is usually a permanent one, rather than a quick decision that turned out too difficult.

You're on the path; just focus on the next step and before you know it you'll have crossed the bridge

Nothing tastes as good as compassion feels.
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#9 Old 03-15-2015, 06:13 AM
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I don't think it makes you a bad person. I try to imagine what it would be like for me if I had decided to go vegetarian/vegan when I was a younger person living with my parents. It would have been much harder if I had had to depend on others for my food. My hat goes off to any teenager that takes a stand and goes vegetarian when family is not all on board. It can't be easy. I had a hard enough time with my omni husband and family though I had the power to buy my own stuff and make my own decisions.

I had no clue about food when I was a teenager, where it came from and what was in it. I vaguely recall trying to go vegetarian for a year in high school but it was more for the "cool" factor and dieting than anything else. I wouldn't have had a clue about gelatin or the dairy industry being so cruel. I was raised by a mother with an eating disorder too, and I didn't even have any help or clue how to cook or eat normal meals. We didn't eat meals at the table as a family. I would have never been able to pull off going vegan at that time given my resources and knowledge then.

I actually found it easier when I went from omnivore to vegan and skipped the vegetarian step as an adult. I could never understand avoiding gelatin but not dairy/eggs etc. I thought it would be very complicated to avoid gelatin and other direct animal slaughtered products. To me, just avoiding all animal ingredients period seemed easier. But that's just my own style and way of going about it. I tend to be an all or nothing person in all areas of my life (which can be a bad thing too). However, with others, I try to encourage gradual steps rather than all or forget it if a person can't handle doing it all at once. I used to be hard on my Mom when she couldn't stay vegan but have learned to relax and be happy that she is at least making some effort under her circumstances.
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