Need help to become Vegan! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-28-2014, 04:35 PM
 
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Question Need help to become Vegan!

Hi guys! It's been a while since i came here the last time. In those days, I really made some progress on becoming vegan. Unfortunately, some of those efforts came to nothing. My family still forces me to eat meat and animal products (don't say that they can't force me to eat, because they really can; they put meat and other animal products in every meal), despite that, I try to avoid all the animal products I am able to.
It is hard to be a vegan here in Portugal, and to make things worse, not even my girlfriend supports me. It is hard, really hard. I don't know what I can do more so they understand that it is my life...
My dream is to become Vegan, and help all the animals i can. After I graduate from university on Biology and Geology, I would like to join the sea shepherd crew. All this things join together on two groups against me. My girlfriend and my family.
Right now, I really believe I can only become vegan in a couple years, when I get out of home, (making some progresses now, and stopping eating animal products as I am able to) and I hope I can make my girlfriend understand that it is the way i want to live, causing as less damage in this world as i can. We argued about bull fightings, because she loves it and I hate it, because the animals suffer and think just like us.
Well, sorry for the big text, but I only needed to talk to someone that understands me. Can you guys please give me some advices?

Everytime I eat animal products, it hurts my feelings, and I cry when no one is looking! Please, help me guys.
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#2 Old 08-28-2014, 09:16 PM
 
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Can you get your family to agree to set a portion of whatever is being prepared before adding meat to the dish? Are you able to prepare your own meals? If neither of those is an option you may just have to wait until you're out on your own.

I don't know if you'll be able to change your girlfriend's mind, but you can try. Is she at least respectful of your feelings on the matter? There are times when you can work through issues in a way both people can live with, and times when you just have to move on. Only you know what's right for you.
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#3 Old 08-28-2014, 09:46 PM
 
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Sometimes we are limited by our surroundings but that does not limit your goal. So for now you be as vegan as you can given the situation. Just do what you can one step at a time. Try to think of this as a growing time. Being a full fledged Vegan takes time and work because the world around us is so animal based. Avoid what you can since you do not handle what is fed to you all the time. In short order when you are on your own you will then have all the information, cooking ideas and living ideas that you will need to be vegan then. Until then again keep doing what you can and keep learning. Good luck and all great things come in time :-)
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#4 Old 08-28-2014, 10:46 PM
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Given that your post indicates that your parents hate the idea of you wanting to be vegan, I assume asking them to put more vegetables in the meal they're cooking so you can eat is out of question... I think the best you'll be able to do for now is to not eat the meat in the meals your parents cook (of course meat stock will be impossible to avoid), and eat more snacks/fruit throughout the day. Maybe try to ask them to buy vegan food that doesn't scream "I'm asking to buy this because I want to be vegan". For example: More fruit, canned beans (so you can just heat it up and don't have to ask your parents to cook them), and different types of nuts are foods even a lot of omnivores eat.

As for your girlfriend... If you intend on it being a long-term relationship, hopefully she becomes more respectful and understanding of your decision; otherwise, at some point you're going to find it really difficult to be with her. Since she loves bullfighting, you have to ask yourself "Would I in the future, or even now, be able to tolerate my girlfriend buying a ticket to go see a bullfighting event?".

"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 08-29-2014, 10:53 AM
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That attitude will get you there, the question is when.
Family can often be a deterrent and bad influence when we want to do things they don't do.
Being vegan means that you are in a very small minority of people and most others don't relate to it well.
In time more individuality and independence is likely to come along.
You could possibly work on voicing your inner feelings louder and be assertive to your right to choose what you feel is best for you. If we don't do that we can have problems in our life with people manipulating and thinking or figuring that they can control us. Try not to make a mess of it but there can be a reason to be angry if you are not being respected for your consumption choices. People should respect your choices and provide you with an alternative to their food when you are with them.
Learning how to take better care of yourself is worth it. .
Try finding a better food source if your parents can't. Or eat simple and refuse the junk.
Family pressure is the same as peer pressure and hopefully you will stay away from your peers that try to get you involved in unhealthy behavior also.
Good for you for for striving toward the strong ideal of being vegan, that is helping to make this a better world.

Caring about our health is caring about our very state of being and future which is a very good thing to be seriously concerned about making the most of.

 

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#6 Old 08-29-2014, 02:57 PM
 
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Hi seedgirl, if I ask my mom to do that, she freaks out. Every meal she prepares have meat, and a lot, but really a lot of vegetables.
Unfortunally, I think I can't change my girlfriend's mind. She freaked out when I told her that I want to become Vegan, and sometimes I really ask myself, "can I handle this for much more time?"
It is really hard. People around me see vegan as a life style that will make people weaker and sick. Even my doctors say that.

Despite everybody's against me, I will not give up on this idea. They can't control me forever, it is my life...

Thanks you so much (:
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#7 Old 08-29-2014, 03:03 PM
 
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Thanks jml02080419! I think you're right, this can be a growing time in my life. I have already stoped to eat some animal products such as all milk assossiateds, i dont eat fish anymore.
I already did this small changes, and the big ones will come, and will be the hardest ones.
My family already freaks out because I don't eat a lot of animal products, and I relly hope they can understand me and respect me.
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#8 Old 08-29-2014, 03:20 PM
 
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Hi jessandreia, thanks once again. Your words already helped me a lot, and they sure helped now. My family puts meat in every meal, but they sure put a lot of vegetables there too.
About leaving the meat they cook, I tryed that once and it did not end well. But i am sure going to try it again (:

About my girlfriend, sometimes i think if it is worth it. She don't respect my decisions about being vegan and about the animals rights. It is hard, I really love her but I can't forget who I am! She really need to understand that it is my life, my choices, and if she wants to stay she needs to respect me and be there for me.
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#9 Old 08-29-2014, 03:28 PM
 
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Enthios, thanks for your words!! You guys here are my only support, you and all the animals!!!

Like I said the the last reply's, I keep fighting for what I believe and what I want. And for sure, I try to avoid people who wants controling me, but it as been hard. You are right, they should respect me, but they don't, they just keep forcing me to eat things I don't want to. The big problem here is that I dont know how to cook and I don't work cause' I'm in school.
My family can be even worse than my friends. My friends make fun of me but respect my call, and when we go out, they try to avoid places with meat, or at least with a non meat meal available.

Thanks Enthios, and I will keep doing this, because all togheter, we can make the world a better place! (:

Last edited by Rafael Borlido; 08-29-2014 at 03:30 PM.
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#10 Old 08-29-2014, 04:14 PM
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Rafael
It really is important to be able to receive support, society can be so full of bad influences.
There is an endless amount of ongoing learning that helps us retain to a better diet and to get inspiration to further it, and to learn how to deal with others. As time goes on we figure-out more on how to accomplish our wishes.
Family want the best for us but they really don't know what is sometimes. And they may or may not ever get it.
I hope you'll stay in touch and let us know how things develop with you in that situation.

You'll see that your better choices bring you better energies, as those who don't get how bad certain products are for us end up with more problems with their health.

Caring about our health is caring about our very state of being and future which is a very good thing to be seriously concerned about making the most of.

 

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#11 Old 08-30-2014, 02:56 PM
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Rafael -

Your girl "friend" should be your friend, and support you. So should your family.

Do the best you can. Have you explained to them WHY you want to stop eating animals?

What if you wanted to change religions or political parties or sexual orientation? Would they support you? If not, why not?

You have to live YOUR life, not a life for anyone else. That might be easy to say, but harder to do.

GOOD LUCK!!!!
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All animals should be respected & should have the ability to lead a natural & enjoyable life. This means not eating them, or abusing them in any way.
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#12 Old 08-30-2014, 05:21 PM
 
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I don't really know Dave! I know they should be my friends and support me, but they don't do that, they just push me away from what I want!!! Yes, I already told all of them why I want to be Vegan, they just ignore it and make fun of that!
Oh, and my mom is catolic, an I am not, I have no religion, I don't believe in god! When I told her that, she freaked out like it was the end of the world!

You're right, it is my life, not their life. I have the right to live it as I want! And if I want to live it by saving animals, they just need to let me live it that way!

Thanks Dave!!! Guys keep helping me, I don't know what I can do more!!!
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#13 Old 08-30-2014, 05:36 PM
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Would learning how to cook make things easier in your household? Or would your parents be mad if you didn't eat what they cooked?

If you have Facebook, you can probably find some Portuguese vegan recipes pages on there. Or even google it. Start by learning how to cook simple things.

Here's a simple one: http://www.menuvegano.com.br/article...a-de-lentilhas
There are a lot of recipes in that website.

You don't have to use every ingredient the recipes asks for.

"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


Last edited by jessandreia; 08-30-2014 at 05:40 PM.
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#14 Old 08-30-2014, 09:11 PM
 
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I was thinking the same thing about cooking. I presume you live at home, right?
Can you not have toast and some kind of nut butter and fruit for breakfast and take a veggie sandwich or something for lunch.

Then when you come to eat your mom's dinner you have done your best to up the veg and fruit in your daily menu. You might still have to eat your mom's dinner, but if you could cook some of it for yourself tht might help.

A long talk with your mom about how you can make it easier for her might help. Good luck.
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#15 Old 08-31-2014, 03:37 PM
 
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Enthios I will keep you updated don't worry. I know what is good for me, I know what I want. And that is enough!!! Thanks for your support guys!!!
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#16 Old 08-31-2014, 03:39 PM
 
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Hi jessandreia!!!

I started to learn how to cook yesterday. I now know 3 ways to cook rice! I have been making progresses here! I will see those recepies, try to cook them and then put a picture here and tell you guys how it tastes!!!
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#17 Old 08-31-2014, 03:50 PM
 
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kallyho, I already know how to cook rice in 3 different ways, and I will keep learning more recepies now!

I already tryed to talk with her about that. She just don't get it. Portugal meals' are based 100% in meat products and animal products.
I have manage to make my mom to buy some animal free stuff to the house. For example, all the butter we eat is vegetable and sometimes soy butter. We have a lot of fruit and vegetable here too!

I am now starting to eat more fruit and vegetables during the rest of the day to avoi the animal products!
Keep posting guys, all the ideas are good, and you guys have helped me a lot!!!! (:

THANK YOU ALL GUUYS, LETS MAKE THIS WORLD A FAIR AND BETTER PLACE
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#18 Old 09-01-2014, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Rafael Borlido View Post

I started to learn how to cook yesterday. I now know 3 ways to cook rice! I have been making progresses here! I will see those recepies, try to cook them and then put a picture here and tell you guys how it tastes!!!

Rafael, this is great!!!! Learning to cook for yourself is a great first step. This can be challenging being around people who do not support your decision on becoming vegan. Rice can go a long way with vegan nutrition. I have also learned how to make raw fruits and vegetables into a meal. Recently, I went to my in-laws for a barbeque and I brought 2 pounds of strawberries for myself and ate every last one of they. I think my family thought I was from another planet!! hang in there and remember this is a journey and lifestyle!

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#19 Old 09-01-2014, 03:13 PM
 
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Dan Bukowski, the only problem is that my mom is teatching me how to cook, and she uses meat there too! I try to avoid it, I try to avoid to cook it, and when she says that she is going to cook with meat to, I just step back! I am not a fuit eater, but i am becoming one for all my brothers in the animal kingdom and the plants kingdom. I already eat a lot of vegetables, beans and so on!

I thik my journey is only getting better!
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#20 Old 09-01-2014, 06:04 PM
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You've already recieved a lot of great advice, so there's not too much more to add.

But on the subject of your mother and Christianity. It might help if you put your veganism in terms of her Christianity.

Her Catholisism guides her, right? It gives her strength and it represents the way she wants to live her life in the best possible way. Tell her veganism is like that with you, that same feeling she gets with her faith when she does something good, is the same feeling you get when you don't eat animals or their products.

It might also help to do a bit of research on vegetarianism and veganism, within Christianity. If she can see that your values, as far as animals go, aren't that different from her own values (as a Christian) she might be a bit more supportive. (Also- But You Kill Ants by John Waddell is a great book, it actually covers a bit of the Bible, which was handy for me when I discussed my vegetarianism with my Christian friends).

As for your girlfriend, I'd dump her personally....But that's me. If that's not something you want to do right now, maybe ask her why she feels that way about the bullfights. Would she be as supportive of them if it were dogs? (Or whatever her favourite animal is).

And please don't feel disheartened, you're doing what you can, when you can do it. You're learning how to cook and, just by being veg around your friends, you're changing THEIR choices as well.
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#21 Old 09-02-2014, 03:41 AM
 
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Tiger Lilly, I know that, and thanks, but sometimes my mom see me like the devil because i dont believe in her religion, and makes fun because I want to be vegan. She says that animals are here to be killed.
My girlfriend says that the bull's are evil animals that attack, even when i tell her what a bull is, when i have already been in touch with a lo of them that some of my cousins take care of, and they are like dogs in a big size. But her mother keeps making her mind on that. And I don't have the guts to dump her :C
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#22 Old 09-02-2014, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Rafael Borlido View Post
Dan Bukowski, the only problem is that my mom is teatching me how to cook, and she uses meat there too! I try to avoid it, I try to avoid to cook it, and when she says that she is going to cook with meat to, I just step back! I am not a fuit eater, but i am becoming one for all my brothers in the animal kingdom and the plants kingdom. I already eat a lot of vegetables, beans and so on!

I thik my journey is only getting better!
Any small victory is a victory!!!!

Ask your Mom exactly what does meat add to the dish?

High fat....

Cholesterol....

Pesticides, chemicals, etc.

Ask her if a diet of organic fruit & vegetables is better....no fat, no cholesterol, no heart disease, or cancer, etc.

Remind her that if you ate a healthy diet, and were actually healthy, you could look after her when she gets old. If you eat meat, you & her might be in the same hospital.

People that are entrenched in their ways are very resistant to change. Their mindset will not accept some new ideas.

GOOD LUCK!!!!

All animals should be respected & should have the ability to lead a natural & enjoyable life. This means not eating them, or abusing them in any way.
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#23 Old 09-05-2014, 04:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafael Borlido View Post
Tiger Lilly, I know that, and thanks, but sometimes my mom see me like the devil because i dont believe in her religion, and makes fun because I want to be vegan. She says that animals are here to be killed.
My girlfriend says that the bull's are evil animals that attack, even when i tell her what a bull is, when i have already been in touch with a lo of them that some of my cousins take care of, and they are like dogs in a big size. But her mother keeps making her mind on that. And I don't have the guts to dump her :C
I can't recommend this site enough for anyone who is a christian who wants to transition or is dealing with christians saying such things: http://www.all-creatures.org/cva/honoring.htm

I am a catholic vegan and I don't believe for a moment that animals are here to be killed, they are God's creations just as we are, and in terms of animals being her to be killed to feed us, I'd refer her to this:

"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." Genesis 1:29

Also no mother should think her son is the devil no matter what his beliefs! I'm very sorry for what you are going through and I hope things get better for you, just stay strong in your beliefs and know that you're doing the right thing and you'll get through it
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#24 Old 09-05-2014, 02:31 PM
 
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Vegan Dave, my mom tells me that if I don't eat meat and fish and milk and eggs and so on, that i am going to get sick due to lack of vitamins and proteins. I tell her that i can find everything on vegetables and fruit, and taking a pill of vitamin B12 a couplke of times a year, but she tells that the doctor told her otherwise.

My reaction to all of this is, I don't care what they tell you, money moves the world, and they will tell you exactly what they are being paid to.
She tells me that I need milk, and I tell her, the humans are the only mammal that drinks milk after the time when we got it from our moms, and she tells me to shut up, because she can't awnser.

Thanks Vegan dava (:
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#25 Old 09-07-2014, 07:07 AM
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Hi Rafael!!

It's great to see someone else from Portugal here - I am British, but live in Portugal and became vegan recently. I don't have the same family pressures as you do, but being vegan here certainly has challenges here that I would probably find easier if I still lived in the UK. Just for context for others reading the thread, the only study that has been done about vegetarianism (not even veganism) in Portugal put the number of vegetarians at 0.3% of the population. It's even less of a thing here than it is in other parts of the world!

Have you found centrovegetariano.org? They have a loads of articles & information and also a forum, it isn't as busy as this one obviously, but you might be able to get some ideas from people who have faced the same situation. They also have information about doctors in Portugal who are vegetarian/vegan friendly - they do exist! As jessandreia said, there are various Facebook pages & groups, including Vegetarianos de ... for every district (I'm a member of Vegetarianos de Leiria) and they sometimes have picnics or meet ups, depending on where you live.

Your mum, as well as just not understanding your moral view, is probably worried about you, particularly if she talks about you getting sick. Maybe you can show her some of the nutrition articles on Centro Vegetariano? There is a blog called compassionatecuisineblog.com, written by a Portuguese lady who is studying nutritional science and she also has a lot of nutritional information and some really lovely recipes. Maybe rather than telling her about humans being the only mammal that drinks milk into adulthood, you could buy some soy milk, to show her that you can get almost the same protein & calcium from that than you can get from dairy milk. Make sure it is a fortified milk though - Alpro is the only fortified vegan milk I've found in my local supermarkets. She probably isn't ever going to agree with you on the ethical sides of things but might just need convincing that you really know what you are talking about from the health side of things to stop giving you such a hard time.

As others have said, keep the long term goal in mind and consider every meal you can eat without animal products as a step in the right direction and a small victory. Keep going with the cooking and just remember that when your mum teaches you something with meat in it, you can find vegan chorizo and seitan in some supermarkets here, so when you make it for yourself, you can substitute those, even if your mum isn't willing to.

Good luck!

Sarah
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#26 Old 09-07-2014, 07:21 AM
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Great post ^^^, Sarah, very helpful.
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#27 Old 09-10-2014, 10:16 PM
 
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Rafael, I can't even begin to tell you how much I relate!!! My mother was very frustrated with me when I went vegetarian, and when I went vegan she actually began to yell at me. She keeps complaining that I will be sick which is ridiculous. I'm studying nutrition in college, take my vitamins, and try to exercise daily, but apparently that's not good enough!

I completely agree with the other posts about learning how to cook - this is essential to living a healthy lifestyle. In addition to the other resources mentioned like Google, I recommend YouTube for getting a visual aid in cooking. Cooking shows on TV can be quite entertaining as well!

It is hard when you don't work to really buy the foods you want, which is tricky. Just try your best to avoid the meat in the foods they cook, try to eat whole foods like bananas and apples that don't require preparation, and just do your best to stick it out until you can move out and make your own choices!

As for your girlfriend situation, I don't know what to say. My boyfriend is an omnivore but he is supportive of my lifestyle decisions and actually quite enjoys my vegan cooking. I guess you just have to figure out if she is willing to compromise and see things from your perspective, and whether or not it is a relationship you want to invest time in.

I wish you the best of luck! It gets much easier when you have your own money and resources to make your own food, but until then unfortunately there is not much you can do. Just don't get down on yourself! I have lived through it and you can too, and I'm sure there are tons of other people out there who can relate to less than supportive friends and family. My mom finally just gave up pestering me and now just deals with it - she even eats some of the meals I cook and uses vegan ingredients in her cooking on occasion!

Wishing you the best,
Lys
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#28 Old 09-11-2014, 08:36 AM
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Ask them to watch the documentary "
". Get your girlfriend to watch that movie--it will change her life!
Rafael, do you have a Facebook? If so, add other vegans on Facebook, simply type in vegan in the search engine in Facebook's page and you'll find groups to join or people to add as your friends. My vegan friends consistently post quotes, pictures, and info about veganism, animal rights and health benefits and much more that you can post or show your family and friends. Add me on Facebook, my name is Cassie Kinney!

If you have any questions, message me at my facebook. I want to help you or anyone that wants to practice veganism.
I also have a website (click the link by my name below) for health information, debunking protein myths, exposing cruelty, and much more.

-Cassie K, Vegans Living Off the Land
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#29 Old 09-11-2014, 03:01 PM
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I added you on Facebook Rafael!
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#30 Old 09-20-2014, 04:17 PM
 
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It´s hard to reply to all of you, so I am going to try to reply all it here (:

I keep going and making my life options. I left my girlfriend, I couldn't support her anymore, she didn't respect me and tryed to control me...

I am for sure checking all the information you guys gave me. I already saw that video, we saw that in class, I asked my teatcher to put it on, my friends started to see why I want to live this way and they do respect me now.Silly buuns I am gonna addd you, sorry if I didnt accept you earlyer. It's been a while since I came here, but school is taking a lot of my time (:

Thanks guys, I will keep you updated (:
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