after being (almost) vegan for 6 years... - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-03-2018, 12:51 AM
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after being (almost) vegan for 6 years...


I’ve been almost vegan (apart from honey) for over 6 years and just recently realized that I would rather call myself vegetarian and be able to not be so strict about my diet. I have decided this a short time ago, and still love eating 99% plant-based. I just feel relieved not to have to look for every little trace of milk or eggs in every food (like if someone offers me a cookie etc.)

I also get “contaminated” by my kids food (let’s say if I buy my little one an avocado bagle and take a bite from it and there is some butter on it etc.

Years ago I joined a vegan community and got criticized for eating honey. Basically I thought: “So I go through all this trouble always avoiding the tiniest amount of dairy and eggs in restaurants etc., often only being able to order salad, just to be called a vegetarian like all the people who have way more choices than me?”

Part of it is also that I skipped the vegetarian phase and became vegan overnight.

Now I started craving eggs and just in general wanting to expand my diet a little (while still being very passionate about plant-based eating and cooking)

Can anyone relate?

Also, can some of me tell me why you are vegetarian and not vegan?

I just feel like being vegetarian and mostly plant-based would work best for me. Just, of course, the guilt is still there. And then, on the other side, I think: Well by some people’s standards I’ve never been anything other than a vegetarian for all those years anyway.

Thanks for reading!
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#2 Old 11-03-2018, 06:26 AM
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I am also nearly vegan and call myself vegetarian. A very wise woman (also vegetarian) once told me, "We do as much as we can and eliminate as many animal products as possible. That's all a person can do."
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#3 Old 11-03-2018, 01:07 PM
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After identifying as vegan for nearly four years, I obtained information on how it's actually more environmentally sustainable to eat pasture-raised eggs and goat cheese from local farms than it is to buy processed vegan subs, which are generally less nutritious and have to be shipped hundreds or thousands of miles to get to the market.

I also met people who raised their own chickens who treated them very well, gave them the run of the lawn, and besides their feed supplemented with things like fruit cores and other food scraps, and visited 100% humane goat farms where the goats are only milked for about 3 minutes per day (divided into 2 1 1/2 minute segments 12 hours apart) and are also allowed to graze out to pasture as well as being fed hay and other feed, and aren't ever slaughtered, but age as "trimmer goats" who spend their elderly years munching on blackberry brambles etc.

I think being vegan is absolutely the most ethical choice in an urban environment, especially in a major city, because vegan products are easily accessible and shipped to the stores in bulk, and there aren't many ethical local farms, so your choices for dairy are mostly factory farms or at least less humane establishments.

I think it's complicated. I think veganism was right for me while still living in a major city. I think eating local, humane goat cheese is the most ethical thing to do in the area I live now.

I'm still 90-95% "vegan"/plant-based in my shopping choices and meals, still drink soy milk (goat cheese is delicious, goat milk is another matter entirely) and eat eggs very rarely - the egg thing is not an every day or even an every week event, I was never a big fan of eggs.

Also purchasing ethical, sustainably raised honey actually helps bee populations, and I see this becoming more and more of an issue in vegan circles. There's no point in this ridiculous personal purity of "I don't eat honey, I don't do this, I don't do that" if it's actually not the best thing for animals.
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#4 Old 11-03-2018, 01:40 PM
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These kind of debates seem to come up a lot. However many of us can agree that factory farming is bad and should be reduced, even if we disagree on exactly where to draw the line.

I am similar to you. I define as vegetarian and mostly vegan because I'm not that strict, not because I eat eggs or cheese or drink milk. I also avoid non-vegan toiletries and clothes so it's not just food.

My wife does the shopping and it's an adjustment for her to get me mostly vegan. When she buys a veggie burger with egg in the list of ingredients I try and politely suggest to buy another one if possible, but I never refuse to eat it. I think if I start querying the brands of bread or pasta she chooses, that is not going to make a good advertisement for veganism at all either.

Similarly in a restaurant I ask for the pizza without cheese, but I don't feel comfortable interrogating them about how they make the bases. If the place was a regular haunt I might find out.

And yeah, I like a cookie too. Honestly, I admit I could do better ethically, and vegans are doing ethically a bit better than me, but I feel like the amount of animal product, and hence associated suffering, has been reduced in my diet by maybe 98% compared to before. I think that's more important than the last 2%. So, eat the cookie, especially if that's necessary to help you stick with this diet in a way that's mentally healthy for you.

However eggs are one of the cruelest foods there is, probably more suffering per calorie than a steak. I mean, you probably already know, but make babies are being killed on birth. Isn't that enough reason not to eat eggs? Perhaps you could try out some tofu eggs, or try and get past your egg desires. If that doesn't work, you could get eggs from a farm you've thoroughly investigated and visited that really doesn't have the typical industrial factory practices, or find someone with backyard hens.

Factory farmed eggs from a supermarket, even if they claim free range or something, just isn't right. Sorry but that's my opinion.
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#5 Old 11-03-2018, 01:55 PM
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Actually, I have a slight confession to make. I sometime eat a piece of cake at someone's birthday party, or other product that could have been made with a factory farmed egg. Conceivably, I might be eating a few factory farmed eggs a year in cakes and other stuff like that so I am being a bit of a hypocrit here.

However, I think I still say no to the cake 90% of the time.

But occassionally I just have a **** it moment.

What I don't like to do is ask if it was made with an egg. The person offering the cake won't know and it will just make veganism look like a strict cult and cause hassle and probably lead to people being put off veggie ways.

I must have turned down vegan treats I actually wanted a bunch of times just incase they weren't vegan, when if I'd just checked they would have been fine! I still think that's the right trade off.

I think I am going to do better on cakes and similarly products that might have eggs. Just after reading your thread I think I should perhaps only have cake once in a blue moon; maybe if it's the birthday of a close family member and they are hassling me to eat it or something like that.

I do think eggs have a lot more suffering per calorie than cheese or butter, and a stricter policy makes sense.
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#6 Old 11-04-2018, 10:22 AM
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I've been a veggie for 34 years and vegan for 9 months. I would say I am 100% vegan and last night I went for a meal with my wife in which we drove 1 hour to Birmingham for her birthday. I called in advance to know if they have or can cater for vegans in which they said yes. On arrival, they said no! We were super not impressed!! They have a few vegan options which we enjoyed but were left starving. We almost gave into the non-vegan items but thought that we are doing our best here, and we ate something which is better than nothing. So saying that, we managed not to give in and went home with a clear conscious
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#7 Old 11-10-2018, 08:45 AM
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I guess you will need to make the decision that you feel most comfortable with. I get eggs from one of my moms coworkers. He has a few chickens on his property. I'm comfortable with the way they are cared for but not everyone would be comfortable with this.
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#8 Old 11-15-2018, 11:06 AM
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I totally get what you're saying. I call myself vegan-lite. I make genuine efforts to not consume animal products. I do really good at every possible opportunity, food, clothes, etc.. But, I refuse to become a dick about it. I'll not be splitting hairs over the occasional cookie. I own a motorcycle jacket that I have had for over 30 years. I'll not be throwing it away. I did buy a motorcycle jack last year but, it was totally textile and armored.. I but non-leather shoes, boots, belts, etc..

There is a way to do the best you can and be happy with it. You're doing that! Good stuff.
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#9 Old 11-15-2018, 03:35 PM
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My main non-vegan thing is leather- specifically, shoes. I've always used public transportation and walked, unless I absolutely had to do otherwise (like take my companion animal to a veterinarian, and a bus wasn't an option: bad weather, or not close enough to the vet). My feet are my transportation. As I understand it, the leather in heavy-duty shoes is from cows who were raised for their meat or milk- not their hides- and although the sale of an animal's skin does provide some profit to those who raise and kill them, at this point I'm willing to let that slide. (I also repair shoes as much as I can before throwing them out).

I also sometimes eat baked goods which contain small amounts of egg or milk, but mostly I control myself there. I push myself to keep improving, and actually welcome criticism from vegans. Sometimes I need a pleather boot applied to my herbivorous hiney....
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#10 Old 12-31-2018, 03:00 AM
Join Date: Dec 2018
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I’ve just joined Tapatalk and have to say it’s refreshing to find a proper forum where people can discuss subjects regarding veganism without being trolled or abused. There is a lot of great info and advice out there on FB et al (especially via the Veganuary FB page and Website). Whilst we all want to be the best version of our (almost) vegan selves (I include myself in there), it’s heartening to know that we all struggle at times - but we ARE making a difference - we really are!! Here’s to saving more more beautiful souls in 2019! Happy New Year everyone!!

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#11 Old 12-31-2018, 11:09 AM
Join Date: Mar 2018
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I guess it depends on your motivation. If you were vegan because of your refusal to exploit animals, then someone's comment about honey wouldn't have any bearing on your moral values.
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#12 Old 01-02-2019, 08:03 AM
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I'm in a very similar position to you right now. I've been calling myself vegan for a few months now (though it was about a year ago that I switched to an almost entirely plant-based diet), and I'm already starting to think about switching to calling myself a vegetarian, while still continuing to eat an almost completely plant-based diet. For me personally I feel like it would work the best to be completely vegan when I'm cooking for myself at home, mostly vegan when I go out to eat but not needing to religiously check the ingredients of everything I order, and not holding myself to any standards beyond mere vegetarianism when I'm at social/professional events or a guest in someone else's home. I have found that it can be quite difficult to be completely vegan in a lot of social and professional contexts, and I feel like it can sometimes impede relationships. I really don't like feeling as though I'm burdening people or rejecting their hospitality, and I've already felt that way a lot trying to be vegan.

Besides what's best for me and the people around me, I also feel like it isn't necessarily better for the cause of animal rights/welfare to be 100% vegan all the time. I think this is a really complicated topic that probably depends a lot on the specific social context you're in and even the specific people you're with, but honestly I think in at least some scenarios some people might be more open to the idea of a plant-based diet if this person they know who's on a plant-based diet is more flexible and not rigid about it. That might make the idea of a plant-based diet seem less daunting and more doable to them. I think a lot of people write off vegans immediately because the diet seems so hard as to be impossible to them, particularly in the situations that are making me consider dropping the "vegan" label myself. So they don't pay any attention to what plant-based dieters have to say because it seems too extreme to them. That drives people away from the cause.

This relates to another opinion of mine that there seems to be a really harmful vegan versus non-vegan dichotomy in the mainstream vegan movement. In this philosophy, it is morally required to completely refrain from the use of animal products at all times (unless there is some very good reason not to, a reason that would have to extend far beyond personal convenience), and you are simply not living up to your moral obligations if you are not doing this (and that includes frequent meat-eaters, vegetarians, flexitarians/reducitarians, and even people who are mostly vegan but make exceptions sometimes). I honestly don't think this is helpful for the animal rights/welfare movement. I think it makes a lot more sense for the movement to be welcoming to anyone who cares about the issue and wants to do something to reduce the harm they are doing to animals. Yes, of course the fewer animal products you consume the better, and it's awesome if you're consuming little to none, but I think it's really dangerous to set up a binary between "people who never ever ever consume animal products" and "literally everyone else", and to paint the latter group as completely awful people.

The thing is, I don't see any special reason why completely abstaining from animal products at all times is morally obligatory. There are lots of other kinds of consumption habits that cause harm in some way (eg. things that are not environmentally friendly or sustainable, things bought from companies that mistreat their workers, etc.), and I very rarely if ever see people being absolutist about that. When it comes to those things, people sort of seem to adopt an attitude of "try your best" -- you know, reduce your waste, recycle when you can, try to buy secondhand, maybe buy fair-trade, etc. -- rather than vilifying people who are really trying to reduce their harm but aren't doing so 100%. Because, the thing is, it's impossible to cause absolutely no harm through your consumption habits! Maybe it's possible to be completely vegan or only buy fair-trade or be zero-waste and so on and so forth, but it literally is not possible to cause absolutely no harm through your consumption habits. So I honestly do not see the logic in saying that it is morally obligatory to be completely vegan based on the premise that it is morally obligatory to cause no harm at all to animals through your consumption habits. Since I think it's impossible to cause no harm whatsoever, I try to do the best I can across all areas of consumption, rather than picking one specific area and becoming absolutist about it.

Anyway, thanks for the post; I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way.
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#13 Old 01-02-2019, 02:57 PM
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A great post, or maybe it's just that I agree with it.

Does it make sense to not eat something that contains 0.1% animal product, but then you eat things like rice, bread, pasta without ever stopping to consider the varying ethical consequences?

Perhaps the ethical impact of eating rice vs pasta is more important than the ethical impact of something with 0.1% animal product? So, once you've reached the approximate point that the ethical bad of a tiny amount of animal product feels similar to the relative ethical bad of eating organic vs inorganic, beans vs vegetables, local vs air freighted food...that maybe a good point to stop being strict.

Arguably, veganism is essentially an instinctive, moral purity type philosophy. To be more specific, it is a non utilitarian philosophy and these debates are perhaps ultimately about the question of whether utilitarianism is correct.
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