guilty conscience v.s. perfectionist responsibility - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-26-2004, 01:25 PM
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i'm in a little bit of a bind here guys.

i have been vegetarian for almost five years now, and have not been eating flesh, meat, fish, or things containing broth or lard in them the whole time. i have however been eating gelatin, and other minor ingredients in foods for the past five years.

although i have known about the horrors and inhumane acts that take place in the dairy industry for years, it is really just sice i came to veggieboards that i have considered going vegan very seriously.

there's only a few problems with that...

1. my family and i do not have the extra grocery money each week to pay for additional vegan expenses such as soy milk and vegan treats such as icecream or cakes. my father is a stone-cold omni, and does not have the money to contribute to groceries to allow me to purchase the things i need on top of his milk and meat. we're doing fine for food with me as a vegetarian, but i'm afraid that if i go vegan we will not have the expenses to keep my diet healthy and lactose free.

2. i can be somewhat of a perfectionist. i feel that if i take the step to go vegan, than i have to eliminate facial products, shampoos, and other household items from my everyday life as well. although i want to do this very badly, again, i feel that the increase in price for animal friendly products may be a problem for my families budget. also, i have seen how many aspiring vegan/vegetarians react when they find out that they have been supporting cruel companies or ingesting non-veg*an-friendly foods. i know that i will feel the same guilt and sense of contamination if that should happen to me once i go vegan, and i don't want to go through that. it happened to me once before (when i had only been veg for about 6 months), and i recall the guilt and disgust that i felt, and i am even more serious about my vegetarian beliefs now than i was then.

basically, i feel that if i take the step that feels right to me (which is to go vegan), than it's "all or nothing" ; 100% or not at all.

is this normal? has anyone else ever been in such a predicament?
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#2 Old 11-26-2004, 01:43 PM
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When I was younger and still living with my parents,I tried to be vegetarian.My family was not supportive and wouldn't spend any money on different foods.It was very frustrating.I ended up living on peanut butter sandwiches and eventually gave up.Since making the switch as an adult it's much easier not having to share a food budget with anyone.Maybe you could try slowly phasing out certain products and slowly phasing new ones.And really veggies are much cheaper than meat.Is there a costco around you? I buy my soymilk ther in a case with 12 boxes for $11.99 Much cheaper than in regular store.Or a Trader Joes.Their soymilk is much cheaper also and very yummy.If you find it's just impossible where you are at right now just know you will have the oppurtunity someday to truly live the way you want.
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#3 Old 11-26-2004, 03:34 PM
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How old are you KT? Do you have a way of making your own money? If you are, maybe you can buy the vegan things your family can't afford with your own money.



There is a different way to look at this, too. You don't have to drink soy milk and eat convenience foods like veggie burgers and frozen dinners to be a healthy vegan. They're nice, but not necessary. For protein sources, beans and lentils are your best friends when you're on a budget. You can buy beans canned or dried--dried is cheaper, but canned is still very cheap. You can buy lentils dried, but they cook in less than 30 minutes. Whole grains have lots of protein, too and are cheap. You can buy them in bulk or buy the bag. Flax seeds are a cheap source of omega-3s. You can buy them in bulk and grind them yourself or you can buy them already ground. For calcium, yes there is fortified soymilk, but there is also fortified orange juice and leafy green vegetables like collard greens, kale, turnip greens, beet greens, and broccoli. Almonds and sesame seeds have a lot of calcium, too.



Basically, eating foods that are less processed is cheaper. Buy store brands and in bulk and you'll spend a lot less. Frozen vegetables and canned vegetables are cheaper than fresh, but fresh can be cheap when it's on sale and in season. If you like tofu, it's much cheaper to buy tofu from an Asian grocery store than a supermarket or health food store.



For health and beauty care items, there are mainstream brands that are vegan or at the very least don't conduct animal testing. PETA has a list of companies that don't test here: http://www.caringconsumer.com



It will mean you'll have to spend more time preparing food, but it will be healthier and make veganism more accessible to you money-wise. Even if you can't completely go vegan while you live at home with your family, you can make steps in that direction.
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#4 Old 11-28-2004, 07:44 PM
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Why do you need milk, ice cream or cakes?
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#5 Old 11-28-2004, 07:46 PM
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thank you so much for the input guys. i see that not too many people have replied to my thread, but that's okay. veggiefaery and tearhsong2, you were both very helpful.

oh, and i am 16 years old, just for the record, but am really concentrating on school at this point in my life and do not have the extra time to attend a job. in the summer months however i am going to get a job, which will solve my problem. thank you, i hadn't even really thought about being able to pay for the extra things i need once i have a job.

i was just fretting, and feeling especially guilty that day, but i am good now. i have talked to my mom about it since, and she is going to make the effort to include the foods i want and need in our grocery list each time now, despite finances.

thanks so much for the animal friendly consumer list as well tearsong.
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#6 Old 11-28-2004, 09:18 PM
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From people I've talked to... This is NORMAL.



Most people, upon going vegan, go through a 'perfecitonist' stage... where they are very strict in elimination use/consumption of any and all animal products.



Then after about a year, once comfortable with their vegan lifestyle, my friends note that they give up this level of perfection/strictness/purity in favor of doing what they can for the animals and not being a maniac about modicum ingredients.



So... I would say your instinct is normal, usual. It's one way of adjusting - to be very strict with yourself until you've established in your brain that you are Vegan. It's the route I took.



Anyway, if you want advice on being a Frugal Vegan, feel free to ask. I've been living on a tight budget and buying most my own groceries/meals since I made the switch. And I've got a lot of experience dealing with Mom in terms of preparing/buying vegan food.
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#7 Old 11-28-2004, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KT_E_M View Post


2. i can be somewhat of a perfectionist. i feel that if i take the step to go vegan, than i have to eliminate facial products, shampoos, and other household items from my everyday life as well. although i want to do this very badly, again, i feel that the increase in price for animal friendly products may be a problem for my families budget. also, i have seen how many aspiring vegan/vegetarians react when they find out that they have been supporting cruel companies or ingesting non-veg*an-friendly foods. i know that i will feel the same guilt and sense of contamination if that should happen to me once i go vegan, and i don't want to go through that. it happened to me once before (when i had only been veg for about 6 months), and i recall the guilt and disgust that i felt, and i am even more serious about my vegetarian beliefs now than i was then.

basically, i feel that if i take the step that feels right to me (which is to go vegan), than it's "all or nothing" ; 100% or not at all.

is this normal? has anyone else ever been in such a predicament?



Why, you have just described a "Vegan"
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#8 Old 11-28-2004, 10:25 PM
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I constantly struggle with perfectionism and not just in the veg sense. I think its normal, as long as, it doesn't rule your life (compulsive disorders, EDs, severe anxiety disorders, etc.). No one is ever perfect. Just do the best you can with the options in front of you. Remind yourself that every time you do choose the more compassionate option, you are adding just a little less suffering to the world. You can't take everyones pain away, but you can do something.



I think you have already been given some good cheap vegan food options (beans, whole grains, veggies). If you can get your family to buy you one specialty item, I would suggest fortified soymilk. It will cost them about 3 dollars per week, but it will provide you with some much needed calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.



Good luck!
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#9 Old 11-29-2004, 09:10 AM
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you don't need soy milk to be vegan. all you need to do is to avoid dairy and eggs. you replace these with beans and the like, fortified cereals (most cereals are fortified--like cheerios or whatever) and take your multivitamin. it's not terribly difficult or expensive to be vegan, if you avoid specialty products like "vegan mayonaise" and "vegan yogurt" and "vegan cheese" and "vegan ice cream." you don't need any of these things to be healthy or to be vegan, so that shouldn't affect the budget.



the cleansers, etc, are a big issue, but there are ways to go even less expensive than products that you already use. my husband and i are switching from our cruelty free products to sulfite free cleansers, etc. we're moving toward more natural products. We are trying out different scents of castile soap (dr. bonners) for shampoo, soap, hand soap, and using apple cider vinegar for conditioner. we're using vinegar, water, and baking soda to clean our house. we use a natural toothpaste (natures gate) and mouthwash (toms of maine), which are probably more expensive than other brands. I don't know though.



Anyway, you don't have to go vegan now, you can always wait until you're on your own, too. just depends upon what's possible for you.
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