The transition to veganism! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-17-2014, 12:36 PM
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The transition to veganism!

I don't want to start an argument, I just want to learn about some vegetarian perspectives -

For the vegetarian members here on the forum, what keeps you from going vegan even though there's so much information on here about the dairy industry etc.? It'd be interesting to find out because you guys are obviously all here because you care so much, and aren't blind consumers

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#2 Old 12-17-2014, 03:39 PM
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Moved to the Transitioning to Vegan forum.

----------------------------------

For me, becoming a vegetarian was difficult, and required me 10-years to accomplish it. Once I was ready to go vegan, I found it quite easy, except I began to learn just how deeply invaded society is by the animal industry- milk and milk-solids in products where they aren't needed- eggwhites, egg-solids and eggs where you'd never expect to find them, etc. Reading labels became, not just necessary, but critical. In a nutshell, becoming and being vegan is easy, but shopping for a vegan can be a challenge; however, like anything new, it's just a matter of learning how to do it and then it becomes second-nature to you.

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#3 Old 12-17-2014, 04:45 PM
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The dairy industry is very connected to the meat industry. Dairy cows (and many of their their offspring) become meat when their milk production slows.
Dairy production involves much animal abuse.
Ethical reasons... and health reasons...
The stuff is not good for us. - (It may (or may not?) be helpful to starving and/or malnutrition plagued persons).
Meat eaters tend to argue that meat is good for us and dairy eaters may tend to argue that dairy is good for us. Some say that all things are Ok in moderation. It's Ok to argue, that is how knowledge and ideas get exchange and we may learn something.
Some Hindu religions treat cows and their milk with kindness, high regard and respect.

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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#4 Old 12-17-2014, 05:40 PM
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I was 10 when I read an article about a cow left to die in a slaughterhouse parking lot. It was the first time I really made a connection between meat and animals. I refused, flat out, to eat meat ever again. My parents were so concerned, they took me to a doctor who sent me to a nutritionist who said so long as I kept consuming dairy and eggs, I would be fine. I was a ovo-lacto vegetarian for 15 years, viewing eggs and dairy as a necessary 'sacrifice' in the name of 'my health'. Last fall (2013), I started noticing I was getting a lot more zits than normal and it wasn't connected to my hormones. I ignored it. Then in the spring I started noticing itching under my arm and this huge rash sprung up and started growing down my side and across my back that looked exactly like hives, only it wasn't going away, it was getting bigger! I started an elimination diet, unsure of what my body was reacting to, but almost positive it was an allergic reaction of some kind. When I cut out dairy, the rash almost immediately began clearing up (within 48 hours). My skin cleared up, and much to my surprise, my breathing got better even though I never felt I had breathing problems. CLEARLY I was reacting to dairy, probably for some time before it got really bad. So after well over a decade of following that nutritionists advice, I decided it was time to revisit my dietary choices. I came across the idea of eating raw and it was like a lightbulb went off. I had such a violent detox from my prior diet after switching to a mostly raw diet that barring the apocalypse happening where all there is are canned goods, I will NEVER EVER go back to eating the way I was. I was trepiditious about stopping honey because I took it for allergies, but I haven't had any in some time now (been totally vegan) and haven't really noticed a difference. I think the raw foods may have something to do with my lack of allergies though. And thats how I became vegan.
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#5 Old 12-17-2014, 06:41 PM
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I was never vegetarian. I went from omnivore to vegan, albeit later in life (I was 38, now 42). I became interested in learning more about world hunger and why with so much food on this planet people are starving and/or malnourished. I also began to wonder about where my food came from. I knew there was a such thing as vegetarian but I had not heard much about vegans until I read "The Omnivores Dilemma" by Michael Pollen. I did not agree with his views too much but I was fascinated with veganism so I researched that more and read books by Peter Singer and Gary Francoine and others and it was like I came home to what I value deep down inside and who I am. I was so profoundly affected by what I learned, about how much easier and more sustainable it is to feed our world a plant based diet on an environmental, ethical, financial, and health level; about the rights and autonomy of sentient beings (having personally experienced an unnecessary removal of my ovaries by an overzealous surgeon and the trauma of surgical menopause at 33 years of age I can relate to having my body manipulated by someone else and no control over it). It just made sense to me to be vegan. Dairy always made me sick and in fact I had avoided milk and cheese for years due to terrible cramps and diarrhea with it and sinus issues. I was already eating lentils and beans on a regular basis, and I had never been much of a meat eater. I used to eat fish because it was the "healthy" thing to do, but i never truly enjoyed it. After four years without meat I still don't crave or miss it at all. It was in fact very easy for me to transition to vegan because so many of my favorite foods already were vegan. Becoming vegan forced me to look at every single aspect of my life and how I lived from the moment I awoke to the moment I went to bed. I looked at everything I used for cleaning, my body, food etc; I thought about my actions towards others and what I thought and how I related to wild animals and "pets" and the world around me. I became more aware of my attitudes and beliefs and the way I used words like pig and cow in negative connotations to put my body down. Why do humans use animal terms/names in such negative derogatory ways?
So much of how we live and what we believe is based on culture not fact and not always what is best.

It didn't make sense to consume eggs or dairy or animal byproducts to me because it isn't consistent with my beliefs and values about doing the least harm and boycotting/protesting the exploitation of animals. Taking an egg from a chicken for your own needs to me is a form of exploitation. Hens use the shells of the eggs they lay as a source of calcium. They also lay eggs on their own biological terms, but when the eggs are immediately taken from them, they will continue to lay them more often. I have had pet birds in my past that did this. They would lay infertile eggs and by instinct would sit on them and protect them until I removed them from their cage. It would upset them when I removed the eggs and they would lay more, increasing their chance of egg binding and hemorrhaging which ultimately killed one of my birds. Also, backyard chickens have to be gotten from somewhere and usually it is from a breeder interested in making money not in the life of the bird. The chicken has to be protected from predators if kept outside which means they must be confined. Laws about keeping chickens must be followed, however, because they are considered food animals, they are not protected against abuses as other types of animals like domestic dogs are. there is always more to the story when a sentient being is involved. They are more than just organic food.

At any rate, I picked a date shortly after all the research I did (which happened over a period of two months) and gave myself a week to fully transition to vegan. The last holdout was greek yogurt, the only dairy product I could tolerate. I replaced it with creamy vegan smoothies. Within a month I had gathered up all my commercial cleaning supplies and toiletries and donated them to churches and brought some to the city recycling and waste management facility and learned to use homemade simple stuff like vinegar and lemon juice and essential oils. I gave away my leather shoes and purse and found some good alternatives at second hand stores and eventually ordered some vegan hiking boots online (I am an avid hiker). I learned where to shop and eat and so on. I had a blast experimenting with cooking and preparing vegan food and over time experimented with different styles of eating vegan...raw, fruitarian, low fat, etc. A few years in I also began to do some vegan activism with leafleting and tabling and so on. I still love being vegan and can't fathom going back to eating eggs or dairy or meat. Not to say there aren't challenges, mostly social ones for me when there are potlucks or family gatherings and so on. it isn't a matter of finding vegan food. I am always prepared. It is dealing with the attitudes and assumptions of the omnivores who think I am deprived or "can't" instead of "choose not to". I try to be positive and cheerful and show them that being vegan can be awesome, but I am only human and I have times I am tired, stressed, depressed and don't feel like proving myself or defending veganism. But it's ok.
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#6 Old 12-18-2014, 01:11 AM
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Moved to the Transitioning to Vegan forum.

----------------------------------.
No, no!! I don't know if the title confused anyone but I wanted to know why VEGETARIANS here are choosing to stay that way rather than go VEGAN after they've been on this forum. My mistake! Now vegetarians won't see it if they're not in transition to veganism

For the rest of you, wow they're such amazing answers! Why do you think vegetarian members of this forum choose to stay vegetarian even though there's plenty of information about the dairy industry here?
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#7 Old 12-18-2014, 06:34 AM
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I am a vegetarian, and I still consume dairy and eggs.

I get milk and eggs for free from my WIC checks, for my children. Its more than they eat, (my son eats no eggs due to an aversion) so my husband and I "help". in our state WIC does not accommodate vegan/vegetarian diets unless their is a documented allergy.

I do care about the cows, but you have to understand my situation, and my children's situation.

First of all, I live in a very rural area of the country, and my whole county is less than 2,000 people. we have one grocery store within 30 miles. We live at or below the poverty line, and rely on WIC for part of our food budget.

My son is on the autistic spectrum, and he doesnt have many foods he can eat. Dairy products, especially plain milk and mild cheese, have helped to nourish him and provide him with calories since he was small. If his diet were vegan,his list would be even smaller, that much more difficult. Even some of the vegetarian food products he enjoys would have to be eliminated, because of the use of egg as binder ingredient, honey in breads/graham crackers, or lanolin as a vitamin D source.

My daughter is small, born small. She loves food, and has no real texture issues like her brother. She does have some life threatening food allergies however. When she was a baby she needed cow's milk formula, and she was on that for the first year of her life. She still drinks one or two cups of cow's milk a day, to keep up her weight.

I am making steps to a more vegan life, I try to eat at least one fully vegan meal a day, and keep my dairy consumption/egg consumption to a minimum. (buying no additional eggs/milk then what I get for free from WIC)

I do believe that vegans are on the right side of this issue morally. I am interested in being meatless for the rest of my life, and this is how I am doing it right now. Hopefully someday I will be able to do it better.
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#8 Old 12-18-2014, 06:38 AM
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In my case at least, I had seemingly "open minded" doctors, nutritionists and other "health professionals" (including ones who write books, make youtube videos ect...) continue to stress the importance of continuing consuming dairy and eggs and reinforce every time I went in that "it sounds like you eat a really healthy diet". You begin to view it as less harmful because it's a "necessary sacrifice" for your health, and it becomes the type of thing you just don't question after a while. And being that we are brainwashed from childhood into listening to doctors and health professionals, even though you *may* hear some contradictory views/evidence/fact you don't really pay attention to it. Even for years after I stopped going to doctors and stopped taking medications because I became informed on the medical industry/big pharma, I still never really stopped and thought about dairy or eggs and whether or not the information I had been given was indeed true and fact based. Even when I did, I didn't have time to inform myself on a healthy vegan diet and I certainly don't mess around with the potential of becoming malnourished. I guess it's a lot like eating meat- you assume it's healthy, make excuses in your mind for why it's ethically ok and think nothing of eating it until something blindsides you and opens your eyes to the implications of having it in your diet. I notice a lot of omnis know about some of the ethical, environmental and health issues connected to meat, but haven't seemed to be affected enough to stop eating it. I think you'll find a lot (not all) vegetarians with a similar kind of knowledge of ethical/environmental/health issues surrounding dairy/eggs, but haven't found a reason personally to quit.

There are also plenty of other situations and reasoning too. I just saw a post the other day about being vegetarian for religious reasons, so I guess if your religion tells you to be vegetarian but it's ok to eat dairy and eggs, why would vegetarians for that reason stop? Or people who take a slow transition. I personally "quit cold turkey" or don't, but some people cut stuff out a little bit at a time.

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#9 Old 12-18-2014, 07:22 AM
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I am a vegetarian, and I still consume dairy and eggs.

I get milk and eggs for free from my WIC checks, for my children. Its more than they eat, (my son eats no eggs due to an aversion) so my husband and I "help". in our state WIC does not accommodate vegan/vegetarian diets unless their is a documented allergy.

I do care about the cows, but you have to understand my situation, and my children's situation.

First of all, I live in a very rural area of the country, and my whole county is less than 2,000 people. we have one grocery store within 30 miles. We live at or below the poverty line, and rely on WIC for part of our food budget.

My son is on the autistic spectrum, and he doesnt have many foods he can eat. Dairy products, especially plain milk and mild cheese, have helped to nourish him and provide him with calories since he was small. If his diet were vegan,his list would be even smaller, that much more difficult. Even some of the vegetarian food products he enjoys would have to be eliminated, because of the use of egg as binder ingredient, honey in breads/graham crackers, or lanolin as a vitamin D source.

My daughter is small, born small. She loves food, and has no real texture issues like her brother. She does have some life threatening food allergies however. When she was a baby she needed cow's milk formula, and she was on that for the first year of her life. She still drinks one or two cups of cow's milk a day, to keep up her weight.

I am making steps to a more vegan life, I try to eat at least one fully vegan meal a day, and keep my dairy consumption/egg consumption to a minimum. (buying no additional eggs/milk then what I get for free from WIC)

I do believe that vegans are on the right side of this issue morally. I am interested in being meatless for the rest of my life, and this is how I am doing it right now. Hopefully someday I will be able to do it better.
That is so agonising to hear! It's horrible that you're not capable to make those decisions for yourself and that there are external reasons limiting your lifestyle choices! It's amazing how you've stuck to your goals though and that it didn't stop you from being vegetarian. When it comes to children I completely see why you have that hardship of going vegan and I salute you! Thanks for your input, it might be horrid for you but it does help other vegans to see why stepping stones might be too far to jump to Good luck!
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#10 Old 12-18-2014, 07:24 AM
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In my case at least, I had seemingly "open minded" doctors, nutritionists and other "health professionals" (including ones who write books, make youtube videos ect...) continue to stress the importance of continuing consuming dairy and eggs and reinforce every time I went in that "it sounds like you eat a really healthy diet". You begin to view it as less harmful because it's a "necessary sacrifice" for your health, and it becomes the type of thing you just don't question after a while. And being that we are brainwashed from childhood into listening to doctors and health professionals, even though you *may* hear some contradictory views/evidence/fact you don't really pay attention to it. Even for years after I stopped going to doctors and stopped taking medications because I became informed on the medical industry/big pharma, I still never really stopped and thought about dairy or eggs and whether or not the information I had been given was indeed true and fact based. Even when I did, I didn't have time to inform myself on a healthy vegan diet and I certainly don't mess around with the potential of becoming malnourished. I guess it's a lot like eating meat- you assume it's healthy, make excuses in your mind for why it's ethically ok and think nothing of eating it until something blindsides you and opens your eyes to the implications of having it in your diet. I notice a lot of omnis know about some of the ethical, environmental and health issues connected to meat, but haven't seemed to be affected enough to stop eating it. I think you'll find a lot (not all) vegetarians with a similar kind of knowledge of ethical/environmental/health issues surrounding dairy/eggs, but haven't found a reason personally to quit.

There are also plenty of other situations and reasoning too. I just saw a post the other day about being vegetarian for religious reasons, so I guess if your religion tells you to be vegetarian but it's ok to eat dairy and eggs, why would vegetarians for that reason stop? Or people who take a slow transition. I personally "quit cold turkey" or don't, but some people cut stuff out a little bit at a time.
I understand that better now, thank you! Isn't it crazy how people can all of this information thrown in their face but because we have lived our entire lives a certain way it almost passes us right by?
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#11 Old 12-18-2014, 07:53 AM
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I am autistic myself, (I've got Asperger's syndrome) and though I desperately try, I find it very hard to transition to a new diet. I usually stick to a vegan diet for a few days, then taste something that is weird to me and get scared back into my routine again.

I am working on this issue right now through therapy, but it's not easy. Autism is often stronger than me

I'm going to do the vegan challenge the coming month, I really hope I will succeed this time.

Nothing tastes as good as compassion feels.
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#12 Old 12-18-2014, 08:13 AM
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I am autistic myself, (I've got Asperger's syndrome) and though I desperately try, I find it very hard to transition to a new diet. I usually stick to a vegan diet for a few days, then taste something that is weird to me and get scared back into my routine again.

I am working on this issue right now through therapy, but it's not easy. Autism is often stronger than me

I'm going to do the vegan challenge the coming month, I really hope I will succeed this time.
That's so sad but inspiring! Thank you for sharing
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#13 Old 12-18-2014, 08:17 AM
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That's so sad but inspiring! Thank you for sharing
Thank you, I guess with my condition I should be happy that I managed to at least give up eating meat and not revert back to that; but though I aspire veganism's ideals I often fall short.
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#14 Old 12-18-2014, 01:09 PM
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Thanks for your understanding lightergait! I know my post may look like "excuses excuses excuses" But I hope to move more vegan as we go.

Just for fun, my sons vegan foods he can eat-

fruit/veg-corn, peeled apples, a certain brand/flavor of fruit leather, craisins, calcium fortified OJ,a few clear juices.

protien- peanut butter (jif creamy), sabra hummus (classic only)

soft bread

snacks-certain brands of crackers, certain brands of pretzels, home made popcorn, and oreo cookies.

I do encourage him to make those choices as often as possible, but I cant restrict his diet to only those items just because they are vegan. I am pretty sure he'd end up malnourished in a hurry.
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#15 Old 12-19-2014, 01:24 PM
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I was vegetarian for a year or two before going vegan. I did not know about the egg/dairy cruelties then (8,9 years ago.)

I think the reason some vegetarians don't go vegan is because of the social aspects. It's pretty easy to find a vegetarian meal in any restaurant, not so much with vegan food. And relatives/friends flip out at no butter/ cheese.
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#16 Old 03-03-2015, 07:14 AM
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I think people who are just vegetarian and don't want to move to vegan (without any good reasoning) wouldn't post on this thread for the fear of being attacked. Also sitting on the vegan part of the forum, less vegetarians would see this anyway.

Also mods don't like this kind of threads. They don't want vegetarians being pressured to being vegan
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#17 Old 03-10-2015, 08:53 PM
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I think people who are just vegetarian and don't want to move to vegan (without any good reasoning) wouldn't post on this thread for the fear of being attacked. Also sitting on the vegan part of the forum, less vegetarians would see this anyway.

Also mods don't like this kind of threads. They don't want vegetarians being pressured to being vegan
I agree with all of the above

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#18 Old 03-10-2015, 09:03 PM
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I mentioned this in another thread earlier though can't remember which one, but the few vegetarians I know openly say that being vegan is extreme and geeky, some of them are not bothered by animal suffering issues at all as they went veggie during uni years because it suited their budget and they just got used to it. Others are veggie for health reasons and a couple for psychological reasons (don't like texture of meat etc.) . So about 60% of vegetarians I know are doing it for reasons other than animal welfare. But even those that claim to be doing it for the animals don't want to hear about the cruelty in dairy and egg industry, which I found disheartening and confusing. Lots of people are simply numb to animal suffering and see it as the norm. It's a very cruel world and it's made us cruel without realising it

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#19 Old 03-11-2015, 06:50 PM
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I So about 60% of vegetarians I know are doing it for reasons other than animal welfare.

Really? I've heard this before but I've never personally met anyone who doesn't have the ethical reasoning.
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#20 Old 03-12-2015, 06:31 AM
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Really? I've heard this before but I've never personally met anyone who doesn't have the ethical reasoning.
I know I was so disappointed to learn as many of them are my friends. And even though my head tells me it's still a good thing they are veggie whatever the reason as they are still saving lives but heart can't help but feel heavy and sad that my closest friends don't share with me ideology that's most important to me now

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#21 Old 03-12-2015, 08:21 AM
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I mentioned this in another thread earlier though can't remember which one, but the few vegetarians I know openly say that being vegan is extreme and geeky
I've never understood how veganism could be considered "extreme" by anyone. I suppose if I were breaking into factory farms and throwing paint on people, sure-- but just not eating dairy and eggs? It's only a step from vegetarianism, and not even as big a step as some vegetarians assume. Vegan food is just regular food. I don't get it!
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#22 Old 03-13-2015, 05:42 AM
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I label myself a vegetarian, despite the fact I don't eat eggs or dairy.

For me, and I've said it before, the move away from eggs and dairy was just slower because I simply wasn't ready and couldn't make the same connections. I mean, I grew up on a farm where I knew the chickens the eggs came from and the cows the milk came from. I actually thought something like that was happening when I bought my eggs and dairy, you know?


I still don't make a connection. I do it out of habit, because I know it's just going to hurt someone and at some point that resounded with me. But right now, it's not a choice I make out of compassion.

And it's more difficult than vegetarian. Markedly so.

I think some vegans don't realise because they might live in cities where stuff like faux cheese is readily available. Let me tell you, for me to get decent vegan cheese, I'm looking at a 2 hour drive or an order online. And dining out? No chance (well, some chance and it's getting better, but only if you live in a city). I didn't even like cheese that much. But it's the convenience. It's the social aspect. It just makes it harder and so you don't listen as closely as you should, to stories about the dairy industry....At least I didn't.

The other thing is, vegan isn't just food.

It's all the other stuff too. I'm not saying it's not something we shouldn't work towards, but it's a lot of work and I understand why a lot of people just don't want to go there. I'm the one who stands in the makeup department, Googling "does X brand test on animals".


All of those things take a lot out of a person, without even getting into the issue of the 'vegan police'.

Why would I want to put in all that effort, adopt the label and then fail because of whatever reason and be shamed for it?

It doesn't scare me, as so much as I just don't want to deal with it.

I should say, I know it's a minority that are like that. If not for the caring vegans on this board, I would have probably never looked into the dairy industry in the first place. Still, I got enough going on without someone telling me I'm a terrible person because I ate cheese once. (I don't plan on eating dairy again, I'm just saying if I did.....)
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