Need some support/help... - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-04-2006, 11:09 PM
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I know that in the past I have been less-understanding of many of you. I have even went as farr as to be a mean mo-fo... But, I disappeared for a while, and to tell you the truth, I have both become more accepting... and am having some second thoughts on my Veganism.... I am not sure how to explain it, so I guess I will just post an e-mail that I sent to a Vegan friend of mine. I hope that someone is able to relate to my problem and help me out a bit... Thanks...



.................................................. .................................................. ....

Hi! I have been an avid follower of your Vegan Lunch Box blog for almost a year and a half now. I have been honored to try out many of your recipes, and I must say that you are a great inspiration to a lot of people. However, I now require some help. I was not sure who to turn to, and being the only Vegan in my family, I decided to ask someone that may have been in my situation before.



Jen, I have recently been having some odd thoughts. Lately, I have been thinking about going to the less-strict Vegetarian lifestyle. Don't get me wrong, I see the right in Veganism, but I just... I guess I am getting lost here. I went Vegan with my older brother, and slowly we went different ways. He was a lot of the support I had! Also, we both have the dream of living in Japan, and we are currently both enrolled to study the Japanese language in college. However, it has come to my (sadly) realization that it will be near impossible to maintain a Vegan lifestyle in Japan. They are just not used to that lifestyle!



I guess what I am asking is: Am I a terrible person?



The other night I saw an episode of the Iron Chef, and the main ingredient was goat cheese. I felt so bad for thinking this, but I honestly thought that it looked good, and I have never even had Goat cheese.



As I said, my brother and I have gone seperate ways. He is now a lacto-ovo. He told me, recently, that he did not wish to tell me because he was afraid that I would hate him. Then he proceeded to tell me that every Sunday he has a Japanese-themed breakfast of cooked rice with a raw egg on top and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Again... I felt terrible because it did sound good.



Jen, I despise meat. I will never eat meat again! ... But, these littler things, such as eggs and goat cheese, are starting to make me think on my stance in life. I find myself, at times, sort of craving them! I feel so terrible... but it is true... When my mother fixes cookies, I always want some... But I beat myself up and pull myself away from their grasp. I find the Vegan lifestyle very limiting to me, is what I am trying to get at.



On the plus side, I still prefer soymilk over milk, and Earth Balance over any non-vegan butter anyday. I guess it is just a once-in-a-while thing. Would it be terrible if I had an egg once every week or something? ... Would it make me a bad person to switch to the less-strict vegetarian lifestyles? ... Please do not shun me, oh sensai!



Sincerely - a troubled and fellow Vegan -,

Austin Archer



(( I sent this via e-mail to you also, but I just wanted to make sure it was recieved. I am really in a rutt! Someone please help me. ))

















I guess what I am saying is, I am contemplating switching to a less-strict version of a compassionate lifestyle. I don't know why I have been feeling this way... I just do. Has anyone here had the same problem? Has anyone here went from Vegan to Vegetarian? ... It has been two years of Veganism for me. I just feel sort of like a bad person.
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#2 Old 11-04-2006, 11:15 PM
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Hi, Austin. My advice to you is to consider why you don't want to eat "meat,", and see if that same reason can be applied to dairy and eggs. You say they are "littler things" compared to "meat," but you may not feel that same way if you go back to your motivations for being a vegetarian.



Don't listen to anyone who may tell you that you are a horrible person. Every little thing you do makes a difference!
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#3 Old 11-04-2006, 11:20 PM
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What were your original reasons for going vegan specifically?
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#4 Old 11-04-2006, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troub View Post

What were your original reasons for going vegan specifically?



I viewed Meet Your Meat.... I tried watching it again, but it didn't have as strong an impact. I mean, as I said, I could never eat meat again... I just don't get why I am considering the switch. I guess I feel like I would be more happy, but I am not sure if that is true. Surely someone has gone through this?



... Oh the craziness of my mind. It is splitting in two and traveling to the depths of my heart...
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#5 Old 11-04-2006, 11:37 PM
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Oh man, oh man, this is like a Pat Buchanan coming out as gay. You bet I remember your posts from before. I wouldn't say you're a bad person for having second thoughts, not at all, but you sure do owe some people an apology for the stuff you said to them. Unfortunately LOVeg hasn't come back to the boards since that thread hijacking right before you left. As for your dilemma, I'd say you should stick with veganism, as you seemed pretty adamant in the past that anything less than 100% purity was abominable so you must have had some pretty strong reasons for believing that...
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#6 Old 11-04-2006, 11:44 PM
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Wow! Pat Buchanan coming out as gay.... I feel I deserved that and much, much more. But, the time has passed, I served as much time in feeling sorry as I feel that I needed to. That is why I left the boards in the first place - I needed to rethink my own morals. I lost myself so much in the " wanting to do good and minimize animal harm as much as possible" that I truly lost touch with who I really strive to be - a caring and respectable guy. But, enough of the gooshey-teary stuff. I truly am sorry, my fellow compassionate friends. (Hell, if I knew LOvegs' e-mail, I would contact him/her right now.)



It is true that I believe highly in the vegan lifestyle, but lately I haven't thought as strongly anymore. Clearly I despise the harm that meat does, but... I don't really know how to explain it... *shrug* Lost, I guess.
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#7 Old 11-05-2006, 04:06 AM
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I didn't know you from before so no comment there.



To your letter, this reminds of someone who traveled to Alaska and stopped being vegetarian because it was near impossible there. I've often thought about if I wasn't sick two or three times a month and had the oppertunity, would I change my diet for a life's oppertunity.



It's not easy being vegan or even vegetarian in some parts of the world. So should veg*ns limit themselves and not go because of it?...



I suppose it really depends on how strongly your "friend" feels about being vegan and how much effort they would be willing to devote to it.

When I was in Germany, sometimes cheesey pasta was the only vegetarian option. So I was more vegetarian when I was there.



"I guess what I am saying is, I am contemplating switching to a less-strict version of a compassionate lifestyle."



I don't see it as an all or nothing thing.



"I don't know why I have been feeling this way... I just do."



I think you should explore this some more to see where you stand.



"Has anyone here had the same problem? Has anyone here went from Vegan to Vegetarian? ... It has been two years of Veganism for me."



Yes, but I just went from being vegan to being mostly vegan. Like I said it's not an all or nothing thing. I get discouraged when people decide being vegan is too much of a hassle so they go right back to being regular omnis.



"I just feel sort of like a bad person."



Yes it's ethically better to be as pure vegan as possible from an ethical standpoint. I see it this way, we are living as part of a society, a society where animal agriculture is woven right in. Instead of trying to maintain purity and possibly making yourself a nervious wreck, I see it as a long term lifestyle to maintain.

One has to keep making choices about what is feasable to avoid due to ethical concerns and what is not. Then again I feel this issue goes beyond being vegan as it applies to human rights and enviromental issues as well.
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#8 Old 11-05-2006, 06:08 AM
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I didn't know you from before but ANY WHICH WAY, I think probably without even reading all you've said yet, I probably respect your turnaround in attitude or whatever it is, (less introspection from me saving from going in-depth) ...<whatever it is> your come back is based on, from which we can gain understanding in a mutual clean-slate state of affairs or similar. so cool by me I dare say... My memory ain't registering a thing anyway....
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#9 Old 11-05-2006, 06:16 AM
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hey don't mind me for glossin some stuff you said, but allow me to note this instead....
Quote:
I guess I am getting lost here. I went Vegan with my older brother, and slowly we went different ways. He was a lot of the support I had! Also, we both have the dream of living in Japan, and we are currently both enrolled to study the Japanese language in college. However, it has come to my (sadly) realization that it will be near impossible to maintain a Vegan lifestyle in Japan. They are just not used to that lifestyle!

I'm glad I noted that part, good for you! this I could have chats with you about, despite not having succeeded in this dream either, sinceI think for sure I've given up on the teaching aspect, unless some relevation of mind happens to me to make me have a rethink, BUT as for Japan in general, I love the country, and haven't been yet, but I try to make friends there, ones which are vegan!... and its difficult there as many will tell you, but no impossible as vegan if you are really determined I gather is true, depending I guess which region you go and whether you are near to a city with a range of products anywhere near likely to contain vegan sources of food.



Btw: is your experience of Japan first hand witness of having been to Japan, are you there now??
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#10 Old 11-05-2006, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by VA~goth~UK View Post

hey don't mind me for glossin some stuff you said, but allow me to note this instead....

I'm glad I noted that part, good for you! this I could have chats with you about, despite not having succeeded in this dream either, sinceI think for sure I've given up on the teaching aspect, unless some relevation of mind happens to me to make me have a rethink, BUT as for Japan in general, I love the country, and haven't been yet, but I try to make friends there, ones which are vegan!... and its difficult there as many will tell you, but no impossible as vegan if you are really determined I gather is true, depending I guess which region you go and whether you are near to a city with a range of products anywhere near likely to contain vegan sources of food.



Btw: is your experience of Japan first hand witness of having been to Japan, are you there now??



Tahnk you for your help, Goth. I am seriously going crazy here! I guess it is just that for two years now I have been the strictest of Vegans. I started out mad at myself, and then I began to critisize meat eaters, and then I even began critisizing other veggies for not being as strict as I. I was so "born" to the cause that I remember getting so upset over accidently consuming milk that I tried to make myself throw-up while I cried over it profusely.



Anyway, those times have passed. I am not as "born" to the cause anymore in an obsessive way! My brother has been in college for three years on his Japanese studies thus far. I am going into the exact same program, and from what he has told me, there are so many things containing fish there that he wanted to gain a head-start on the fact that his life will most likely change. Don't get me wrong, he still cares - as I do - about the welfare of animals, but he did not want to get to Japan in about a year and starve himself because he was unprepared for the change.



What brought this all about is this: This summer my brother went to a language college to further study Japanese. He was the only Vegan there, and he said that he had to eat rice everyday because that was pretty much all that they had! They had veggies, but most of them had fish in them.



Joshua told me about the vegetarians in the school. He told me that most of them had been to Japan, and it was pretty rough and tough for vegetarians because they use so much fish and eggs!



All of this made me think for a long, long time. Lately it has been coming a realization for me that I may have to change my lifestyle. While I truly feel bad for saying it, I may just have to suck it up and become pescetarian in the end - or at least an ovo-vegetarian or something. Like I said, I wish so badly to get to Japan.



I know how you all feel about fish consumption, so please do not jump to conclusions. Right now nothing is final! ... I am considering everything, but I truly need some help here. After two years of veganism, I guess I just fear going back. I feel like I am giving up on what I believe in simply to follow a deep-embedded dream.



As I said, I could never consume the flesh of any animal - HOWEVER, while I understand that fish is technically an animal, I may have to adapt to eating it in a few years, unless things all of a sudden change in Japan. So, I just feel like, to minimize future ripping apart of my very being, maybe I should BEGIN to accept it now and begin to be "less-strict".



Now, you may wonder: "What do you mean less-strict?"



Well... I mean I will stop being so harsh on the whole honey debate. Also, eggs: Maybe I should not use them all the time, but maybe once in a while would be ok? ... I guess I am thinking, mostly, about going semi-vegan.



As I said, cows milk makes me sick! However, if someone makes some cookies... I guess I am asking if I would be terrible to have a few. I will still purchase and consume soy or rice milks (alternatives), and I can not stand any cheese, vegan or not (but I do wish to at least try goat cheese if I actually decide on going less-strict).



To sum it all up: I would still eat Vegan when I am the one making the food. However, when I go out and have a vegetarian dish, I often have ot get the people to make it special for me so that it does not contain any dairy and egg. I would just eat it how it is if I decide upon this new change here.



Thanks a lot again! Sorry to all those that I have rediculed in the past. I think I do now know how it felt. Hell, my own being is ripping two ways inside of me.



In conclusion: Meat=NO ... But dairy and eggs when others fix me things?...



(( My brother and I recently went to a Japanese resteraunt, and he later told me - last night, when I was explaing my mixed feelings with him - that the soup that we had gotten had squid inside of it, despite having ordered it as veg. He said that he did not tell me, because he knew that I would get upset. Surprizingly, I didn't.... Infact, I had liked the soup. There is another reason that I am considering all of this. Again, I do not want to all of a sudden start eating fish - don't get me wrong - but if it happens to accidently get into things that I can not control, I have ceased to care. I mean, now that I know, I probably will not eat that soup again, but I just wasn't torn up about it. I simply shrugged and said, " Damn... That was good soup too, eh? "
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#11 Old 11-05-2006, 09:59 AM
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I guess the thing is this: I have been Vegan for two years... But I guess I am considering eating a primarily Vegan diet, but if I go to a reseraunt and order a Vegetarian meal and it has eggs, maybe I should just shrug it off?... I am seriously lost.



I do not wish to support the dairy and egg industry. As I said, dairy makes me sick, and I do not even really like egg that much, but if I get something, find it has eggs/dairy in it, and shrug it off and eat it anyway... (Yeah... That would be quite a lazy vegan, I know... I am just trying to figure this all out. I am sick and tired of struggling everytime we go out to eat and no-one understands why it is a big deal for me. Even Joshua gets annoyed sometimes, because he finds Vegetarian options easily that are often not Vegan. I worry too much... I get sick I worry so much... So I guess I am saying, " What if I just don't care if the egs and dairy are there when I eat veg. meals? "
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#12 Old 11-05-2006, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Aussyj View Post




I do not wish to support the dairy and egg industry.

So, don't support it.



These industries do harm, just as the "meat" industry does. If you don't want to contribute to the suffering, then don't eat it.



(I'm not trying to sound harsh.)
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#13 Old 11-05-2006, 10:24 AM
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No, I understand... I guess, like I said, the big issue is accepting that in the future I may have to. Do you see what I am saying? So, maybe I should just become less strict on it now, that way when I do go to Japan (it is my dream, after all) I can have time to not only adjust to the new ways of my life, but I will also not starve myself on only rice. Like I said, vegetarian diets are not the biggest thing in Japan. Sure, they can be done from what I understand, but at first they are like a kick in the face - much more so than even in America. They base meals around rice, fish, and growing popularity for eggs. That is the problem I face. I really don't want to get there and get smacked in the face with a harsh reality of possible switching to a new lifestyle just to survive. I want to be prepared, you see?
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#14 Old 11-05-2006, 10:28 AM
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Even if you DO feel like you may be "required" to compromise in the future, that is not a reason to start eating eggs and stuff now. Why cause any more harm to animals than you absolutely must?



Maybe instead of preparing for what you see as the inevitability of eating animal products, you could instead channel those energies into finding ways to remain vegan while in Japan?
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#15 Old 11-05-2006, 10:39 AM
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It sounds like you want to be like your older brother. You said you went vegan with HIM, HE was your inspiration, and now the HE went lacto-ovo you are thinking about consuming eggs and dairy sometimes. So, either get him to be vegan again or do what YOU feel is right.
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#16 Old 11-05-2006, 10:51 AM
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There are many Zen Buddhists in Japan who seem to exist quite well on a vegan diet so I dont think it would be as difficult as you imagine.



But having said that, IMO there's no point in trying to rigidly stick to a vegan diet if it's giving you inner turmoil and leading to obssessive behaviours because that's not healthy or productive for you.
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#17 Old 11-05-2006, 11:07 AM
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I didn't realize you were the one going to Japan, I thought you were talking about someone who wrote to you.



Idea: if you eat at the same place such as a language school maybe they can keep things like sandwhiches on hand.

I mean if dairy makes you feel sick, that's going to be a tough compromise.
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#18 Old 11-05-2006, 11:17 AM
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Wow! Pat Buchanan coming out as gay.... I feel I deserved that and much, much more. But, the time has passed, I served as much time in feeling sorry as I feel that I needed to. That is why I left the boards in the first place - I needed to rethink my own morals. I lost myself so much in the " wanting to do good and minimize animal harm as much as possible" that I truly lost touch with who I really strive to be - a caring and respectable guy. But, enough of the gooshey-teary stuff. I truly am sorry, my fellow compassionate friends. (Hell, if I knew LOvegs' e-mail, I would contact him/her right now.)



It is true that I believe highly in the vegan lifestyle, but lately I haven't thought as strongly anymore. Clearly I despise the harm that meat does, but... I don't really know how to explain it... *shrug* Lost, I guess.

Thank you. I can respect that, and appreciate your change of heart insofar as judging others.



Now that the shock of your post is out of the way, I can say that your struggle is really pretty similar to mine. I definetely believe in the principles behind most of veganism--eliminating ones consumption of meat, dairy and eggs to help reduce suffering for animals... but I just couldn't do it. I guess I'm not a big enough person. Instead I've found a level that I'm comfortable with and that's where I am.
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#19 Old 11-05-2006, 01:05 PM
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Although I'd never eat meat or milk again, I have thought about going ovo-vegetarian and eating only eggs discarded by chickens in a truly free range environment(I'd have to see, and approve it first though) not affiliated with the meat industy, ie a vegetarian run farm. An online friend does this, and I can't see any cruelty in it.



The cruelty in egg production is where it is affiliated with the meat industry- male chicks are killed after being hatched at a few days old, where after the hens are spent(egg production slows) they are killed and suffer the same horrific journey to the slaughterhouse as any battery hen will (which will be even more harrowing for an animal used to being in free range conditions I'd imagine), and where eggs are taken from nests as this causes the birds' distress.



However, I don't see why a hen's discarded egg, the equivalent of our menstrual blood, being eaten is cruel.



I will remain vegan until I find eggs from a similar supplier as my friend has, however.
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#20 Old 11-05-2006, 01:23 PM
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This is a portion of the conversation that I have been having with my bro. I would wish to post it here. I hope that it helps everyone understand what is going on inside of me. I still do require help, though ... Sorry...





Austin: Have you tried it?

Austin: Is it good?

j0shua: no

Austin: I am not sure, as I said, if I am up to making the addapt to a more asian theme that quick.

j0shua: I don't go out unless it's with you and mum

Austin: I am just saying... That soup was good.

Austin: And, did it really have squid in it? ... Honestly... Common....

Austin: See, things only exist if you let them.

j0shua: haha, I guess not

Austin: "Salmon bento = fish? ... Common... Now you are splitting hairs...

j0shua: haha, nice

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Austin: I don't know. I guess I consider myself, if I must have a title, as a Vegan.... But a lazy one. As said - meat and dairy is a no... but I don't really know about the whole fish thing. As I said, if it is whats for dinner, I may just eat some. Same with the egg breakfast... Once in a while it might not be that bad. I conclude with this: You remember when you ate the goat cheese? It upset me. But it did not upset me because you had broken the "vegan code"... If upset me because I wished to try some, but I was afraid to say yes. I sort of figured that you were testing me?... But, you said something that day when I attempted to understand it all... You said that you hated the titles that people give themselves, so you did not choose to have one. Thats when the spark ignited. That is when I noticed that I was being way too critical of everyone not like me.

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Austin: Everyone that didn't adhere to the "Vegan" tittle, I snapped at... Besides that, I snapped at myself on a daily basis. For example: I wanted some of your goat cheese, and when you offered, I refused, then I later snapped at myself for even wanting some. You also mentioned that being Vegan had turned you into something that you were not. You said that, basically, you were sick of being so hateful to those around you that were not "seeing the veg lifestyle as the right one". Later, I found that I agreed. That is when I began to come less strict, and slowly that all led up to this moment. Innevitably, these thoughts will plague me for a while... But I now really see what you meant. I don't have to adhere to a title.

Austin: Titles are only used because people want to sound more superior. With a title, I would restrict myself to what that title meant, even if it meant unhappiness. Therefore, titles are going out the window. I am now Austin. I will eat and drink what I want. I will not eat meat and will refuse dairy and milk, but only on the basis that it does not appeal to me. Fish?... I may be terrible for saying it, but I do remember it tasting good.

Austin: .... Ok, that is all. I am finished.

Austin:

j0shua: don't be "religious"

j0shua: I guess...

Austin: Indeed.

Austin: I still want to help out the animal cause (I guess not consuming dairy and meat will help) but I guess I am deciding,slowly, whether I will be Pescetarian, and just will never mention the title. I figure a pescetarian would get more confusion than even a Vegan anyway.
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#21 Old 11-05-2006, 01:42 PM
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AussyJ, I can't help you in regards to your emotional dilemma but I can speak about my time in Japan.



When cooking for yourself, being vegan is pretty damn easy. Fruit, veg, rice, tofu and soy milk are all cheap and good quality.



Some things are harder to get hold of...couscous, lentils, vegan margerine. And, vegan treats are pretty much out. But it can be done. There is a company that delivers such stuff - expensive, but a good service apparently. Plus, if you are in Tokyo there are plenty of places to get these things, including a great place in Ikebukuro that sells really good staples at ridiculous prices (100 yen up).



Eating out can be tough, but I had some fab meals out which were vegan. You just have to be very clear and specific about what is ok. (Admittedly it still goes wrong sometimes but I would say that they are actually much better at serving veg*n meals on request in Japan because a) they actually listen to you and b) they give a damn about customer service).

[URL="http://www.vegietokyo.com/"] has some good links, not all tokyo based (last time I checked).
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#22 Old 11-06-2006, 04:51 PM
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First, I want to express a huge thanks to all of you. While my mind is still tearing in two, I am at least getting closer to the realization of what I feel comfortable and want from life. At least I am positive that I DO NOT want meat. At least that is clear to me. (Thanks to Kpickell for responding to my PM. Hey Pickell, do you have MSN or Yahoo? I would really like to talk to someone about this in a more quick of a manner than on the Boards, and I am the only Veg. in my house. Besides, I do think that we are seeing eye-to-eye on this. Your PM helped me a lot.)



Anyway, today I thought - yet again - all day about this. I tried not to let it interfere with my school work, and I think that I succeeded, for the most part. This is truly something that is bothering me. I wish that I could get to the bottom of it - but I am not sure if I will.



We have to write journals for school. It is our choice on what we can write, so today I wrote about this very problem that I am facing. With Veganism as a big part of my life, I just don't understand what I am feeling anymore. Have I lost the passion? ... No. I still believe in equal rights and equal treatment of animals. I guess I am just... lost... Haha.... Anyway, here is what I wrote. It was titled, "Internal Seperation: Mind or Heart".



For two years now - and counting - I have been a Vegan. I have followed - on a daily basis - a meat and cruelty fre lifestyle. I have tabled at the local Mint Festival to spread the word about my lifestlye and the evils of the meat industry. I have even critisized those less-strict than I (for which I am not too proud of). For the most part, I have been happy - not to mention healthy - due to my choice to be Vegan.... For the most part....



Two years ago, as I have so often joyfully proclaimed, I made the ethical and moral choice to go Vegan. I made this choice in collaboration with my personal feelings and the realization about the evils of the meat industry. I felt then - and I still feel now - that if one can eat a cow, then they can no differently eat a dog or a fellow human. I wanted no part in this. However, lately some events have left myself being internally torn apart, and it truly does not feel good. My tears are real, but I cry them silently.



For two years of my life I have held to a title. That title has been: Vegan. Due to this "brand" upon me, I often have found myself being someone that I am not. I made fun of those that I saw as "weak-willed" when compared with my fellow Vegans. I even went as far to see regular vegetarians - or less strict ones - as scum. I did not realise it at the time, but for all intent purposes I was a Nazi. My haullocaust was aimed at the mass market of meat and its consumers, and sometimes I got who those consumers were totally mixed up.



This sort of behavior went on for a year and a half. However, then something happened that sparked this whole internal struggle: My brother, who had gone Vegan at the same time as I, purchased and consumed goat cheese. That is right: My brother reverted to a lacto-ovo diet.



I remember feeling lost upon that day. Joshua had offered to let me try the goat cheese, but I declined. To tell you the truth, I was at a loss of words. I had no idea what to say, or how to react, to his sudden switch. I felt both angry, dejected, and alone. My brother is my best friend and the best of both of my sibblings. I felt that, because of this recent revertion in his lifestyle compared to mine, that we were lost. I honestly felt that our Veganism was our bond.



That day I sat up in my room and I began to think. That is when all of this started. I guess the most hard part of all of this was the thought that I would lose my brother. Aslo, as I had mentioned above, Veganism had made me a nazi to those less strict than I. If I were Hitler, and Joshua was a jew, I imagine that is how I would feel. Suddenly, I wondered if my brother was the enemy. That very wonderment made me sad.



Was I truly going to let this get in the way of a life-long relationship? ... I sure thought it would, but even in my mad state of confusion, I remained a strict Vegan, and I slowly just began to accept that Joshua and I were two diferent people. What was right for him may be very different than what was right for me, and I had to realise that and go with it. I am happy to say that I did.



For a while, the internal struggle had stopped. However, the other night I was enjoying an episode of Iron Chef. The main ingredient was Goat Cheese. My mind suddenly went back to that very moment when my brother offered me a try of his block of goat cheese. This time, I was not disgusted. My attention on Iron Chef was little for the remainder of the episode, and right afterwards, I called up my brother from home. We exchanged our greetings, and then I just shot out and asked him, "Josh... What does goat cheese taste like?"



Iron Chef made me hungry. It made me actually wish that I had tried the Goat cheese when Joshua had given me the chance. Where I would have felt terrible and hit myself repeatedly for even pondering the very taste of goat cheese, I found I was, instead, sincerely interested. Did I want some goat cheese?... I can't really say. However, if I were back at the moment that Joshua had offered it to me, I would have probably tried it at that point in time.



A while has passed since the battle of the goat cheese, but a lot has also happened. My brother and I decided - recently so - to try a Japanese/Korean resteruant in his area. Their menu on their website showed vegetarian options, so we figured that we would give it a go. Despite our past experiences with trying to eat out, we went anyway.



Upon arriving at the Asian cafe, my brother and I looked over the menu. Everything vegetarian had seafood in it! Joshua said that most Asian countries, such as Japan, consider seafood vegetarian. Again, despite all of this we did find an item that appeared to be safe: Vegetarian Miso Soup. We gladly ordered, I gladly consumed, and all was well with the world! Hell, we even went back for the Miso soup a second time. Again, it was great.



Anyway, my mind kept roaming back to the whole 'goat cheese' episode of Iron Chef. I brought it up with my brother once again, and he asked if I had ditched the vegan lifestyle. I told him no, but I was just curious; For, while I did want to try the goat cheese, I would never let him know. I was afraid that he would shun me! I thought that Joshua was Vegan again.



However, then Joshua began to confess his lifestyle to me. Every Sunday, Josh has rice day. Rice day is basically just including rice as the main dish at all of his meals of the day. For breakfast, Joshua confessed that he had a raw egg mixed into his rice and topped with sesame seeds. Suddenly I did not feel so bad for my mixed thoughts anymore.



Well, I began to explain how I was feeling lately, and what my thoughts were doing to me. I told him of how I had been questioning my dedication to "the cause". I explained to my brother about how I have been becoming tense with myself, and it was making me sick.



He recommended that I just remember - and think deeply - on who I am. Joshua told me that I need to stop holding myself to a title. Again, this only sparked more thought, but this is what I have come up with thus far:



Compassion can not be measured in a word. I can say that I am Vegan as much as I wish, but to me that is only a measure of my bragging rights and my biggotry. You see, I have been so bent upon retaining my "Vegan" title that I lost touch on who I am and what I want. I began to lose touch with myself just in order to keep proclaiming that - yes- I am Vegan. Many times I found myself passing things up that I truly was curious or direable of - and I was doing all of it within a word. I took so much pride in my "rank" as a Vegan that I was shaping myself around it and becoming someone totally different than I: Austin Jarediah Archer. Don't get me wrong, though! I do know that meat is wrong. I do not ever want to eat meat again. Meat makes me sick! ... However, I miss grandmas cookies, and mommas pies. Sure, I could make them Vegan for myself, but then they just often go to waste - for I have control. Besides, nothing is better that the original. (I can't even stand dairy unless it is mixed into things, and cheese upsets my tummy. I imagine that most of this is due to not having consumed the stuff for so long, but I am actually greatful for it. Hell, dairy is terrible for you, from what I hear.)



The bottom line is: In life we have to do what is right for us. We are the only ones that can define right for ourselves. What may seem right to me may be totally different than what seems right to everyone else. I have come to accept this fact.



So, am I still Vegan? By definition, I have yet to break this lifestyle. However, I am no longer going to shout it out. From now on I am going to work on being Austin: Caring and Healthy consumer. I will still purchase meatless foods. I will still purchase substitutes for eggs and dairy. I will still practice my Veganism. However, if goat cheese calls to me again, I will most likely give it a go.



So, that is where I stand. Does it make me a terrible person? ... I sure hope not. I still hold the beliefs that the meat industry is wrong, and I will still work to bring it down, but I am going to do so with what I feel is a respectable set of restrictions - both upon myself and the entire picture as a whole. I will never go out of my way to use animal byproducts, nor to purchase them. Meat is a no-no! ... I just think that I need to seriously stop holding myself against my own wills.
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#23 Old 11-06-2006, 04:54 PM
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Again, Thank you to all those that have been supportive in my time of distress. If the Vegan-Boy title on this board bothers anyone for it to stay, I will remove it upon request. Appology's for my earlier behavior. You are all great contributors to a great cause.
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#24 Old 11-06-2006, 06:41 PM
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I'm probably going to regret this.... but...



Personally, I don't think it's very fair to blame your bad behaviour (being rude to others less vegan than you) on veganism. Many people manage to be vegans without being jerks to others.



I could be dead wrong here, but from what you're saying it sounds like you are having food cravings and want to find a way to give in to them without feeling any guilt about it. You don't have to eat goat cheese to be more tolerant of others. I wouldn't say this if you hadn't already demonstrated strong opnions against partaking in these "foods."



Obviously you're going to do whatever you want, but please don't blame veganism unfairly to justify giving in to your desires. And perhaps you should consider not letting yourself be so influenced by what other people are doing. Most of the reasons you've given for your turnaround relate to other people and what they're doing.



But, it also sounds like you have decided you want to eat dairy products and eggs and you're going to do it regardless, but just be honest about your motivations, at least to yourself.
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#25 Old 11-06-2006, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meatless View Post

I'm probably going to regret this.... but...



Personally, I don't think it's very fair to blame your bad behaviour (being rude to others less vegan than you) on veganism. Many people manage to be vegans without being jerks to others.



I could be dead wrong here, but from what you're saying it sounds like you are having food cravings and want to find a way to give in to them without feeling any guilt about it. You don't have to eat goat cheese to be more tolerant of others. I wouldn't say this if you hadn't already demonstrated strong opnions against partaking in these "foods."



Obviously you're going to do whatever you want, but please don't blame veganism unfairly to justify giving in to your desires. And perhaps you should consider not letting yourself be so influenced by what other people are doing. Most of the reasons you've given for your turnaround relate to other people and what they're doing.



But, it also sounds like you have decided you want to eat dairy products and eggs and you're going to do it regardless, but just be honest about your motivations, at least to yourself.





I agree with you 100%, to start on my reply. However, I do think that either I mis-stated or you mis-understood the whole "title of vaganism" thing. What I meant, basically, was that calling a Vegan made ME feel superior. I don't know why, but I felt... Snobby?... I felt like I was the best of the best.



Now, that is not because of Veganism, but it is because of the title that I gave myself, and how highly I regarded it.



Now, as to the craving comment: I do not crave foods. I must admit that it does seem that way, but I think that it is something more than that. I guess I just feel... Blah... Hard to explain, I guess. I am pretty certain that it is not a crave, though.



Again, let us all remember: This all sprung from something. I am bound to figure out what it was, but I just haven't hit it yet. At least I seem to be getting closer. Until then, I am going to avoid dairy and egg... Basically, however, I am saying that if I do consume these two byproducts, I will not hit myself over it, and I definitely will not do it every-day.



A Lazy Vegan?... Pretty much the way I am feeling right now... *Sigh*
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#26 Old 11-06-2006, 07:09 PM
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I guess what part of the problem is - at least for me - is that I was following my Veganism so closely that any other views were despiteful to me, and that is not me. I... Bathed in the power that I felt the word "Vegan" gave me.



In a nutshell: Veganism became a religion for me. I know, I know! That isn't a terrible thing, right?... Well, I despise religion.



I felt so restricted and held back as Austin: The Vegan.





Am I saying that I will eat meat? Again, no. I am just saying that I have decided to no longer call and reffer to myself as Vegan. Like I said, I will simply now say "A healthy and caring consumer". This way, if I do make mistakes, I will not hit myself so hard and feel so damn guilty all of the time.



For example: I once went to an indian resteraunt. They were serving a Vegetarian desert there, and there was some mix-up with translation. Appearantly, I partook in Fried Milk Balls. I FELT TERRIBLE! I wanted to, litterally, make myself throw up a million times. I wanted to, again litterally, punch myself in the face repeatedly! ... I don't want to feel like that again... I don't want to feel so bound to a word that I have to feel like if one tiny thing happens, I have to start all over. (It is like numerous of these threads say - We all make mistakes. I guess I just fear finding myself with the "hand in the cookie jar" and feeling terrible about it. Not a great metaphor, huh? ... Like I said, Hard to explain.)



Not even Christians pray to Jesus as much as I worshipped Veganism. (No intended hurtful words there. I am just trying to get out my point.)
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#27 Old 11-06-2006, 07:23 PM
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Hi

I dont think your a bad person for going less strict. I'm a lacto-ovo vegetarian because it is almost impossiable to find vegan food in New Brunswick Canada. I have to travel sometimes to Maine to find diffrent foods to add something new to my diet. When I can have a good vegan meal I take full advantage. So don't be so hard on yourself.
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#28 Old 11-11-2006, 04:16 PM
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Well, I decided to go ahead and follow Kpickells advice. I have decided upon the best choice for me. It probably is not the best choice that I could have chosen, but it is the choice that I am happy with. I am a regular vegetarian now, and I am considering going pescetarian. I know that most of you hate pescies.





Well, the delema is pretty much solved. Thanks goes to all of those that helped!



PS



I have found a local place that sells eggs. The couple is very nice, they let me see their chickens and where they live and how they eat. I will not buy eggs from the store! ... I, again, know that most of you have mixed feelings about all of this.



Milk is out. I can't consume it without getting sick. Same with dairy products, as well. Therefore, it looks like soy will be my main source of liquid on my cereal!



Enjoy!
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