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#1 Old 06-10-2015, 01:22 PM
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Which is better...

I have been reading a lot of the threads throughout the vegan forums and have noticed that a fair bit of irritation occurs when people call themselves vegans but still 'insert offense here'. Examples of offenses could be continuing to eat honey, not using separate kitchen tools for your meat-eating family, or any such non-vegan behaviors. So, as a newbie here in the forums, I would like to pose a question to the seasoned vegan veterans (and anyone else that cares to add their opinion...).

Which is better? Continuing to use items that either came from an animal (such as leather shoes or kitchen tools/appliances that you purchased before becoming a vegan) or throwing away items because they are not part of a vegan lifestyle?

I know that many people will say that you don't have to throw away these items, you can just give them away, but I'm asking more about older items that other people may not want (like used shoes). Plus this is a little bit of a philosophical question...
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#2 Old 06-10-2015, 01:28 PM
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I think that depends on the item, and I don't think this is specifically a vegan issue. Are you going to use the item? Would anyone else be able to use it? You mention old shoes, and I know that charity shops will take old shoes as long as they're still functional. If they're full of holes and impossible to use, then you won't be wearing them yourself, either, will you? I see no sense in keeping something broken in your possession, so in that case you might as well throw it away.
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#3 Old 06-10-2015, 01:29 PM
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For leather, the product has been purchased, the harm is done. You can keep using the shoes, as a reminder of what you used to consume. I find it very weird to try to get rid of one's old stuff because of different ethics. To me it sounds like trying to erase one's past.


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#4 Old 06-10-2015, 01:36 PM
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Well, in regards to my specific shoes, they are pretty haggard, but I keep putting new coats of polish on them and they look acceptable, but the heels are really worn down in a strange way (I have an interesting stride pattern) so if anyone else wore these shoes they would probably fall over... but these shoes cost me a pretty penny a few years ago and I am loathe to go out and try to buy new shoes when these ones will do for awhile longer...

But thinking about my shoes got me wondering about the philosophy of being vegan, so I wanted to post the question.
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#5 Old 06-10-2015, 03:49 PM
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I also think it depends on the item. My two sofas are leather - bought 10 years ago, before I became vegetarian let alone vegan. They are in excellent condition and replacing them would cost a lot of money, so although I wouldn't buy them now, I am keeping them. I did have several pairs of leather shoes and boots though and I have given some pairs to a charity shop. I didn't need as many as I had, but have kept some and will replace them with vegan pairs as they wear out.

I also continue to use kitchen stuff that I had before becoming vegan - it has all been washed and I can't see how it could possibly be 'infected'.

I like to think of the bigger picture - as Ad Elie said, the purchase has been made and the harm already done. Replacing perfectly serviceable sofas/shoes just because I wouldn't buy them now is too wasteful in terms of money and resources for me.
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#6 Old 06-10-2015, 05:36 PM
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This kitchen utensil thing is ridiculous. Just wash it really good! This pisses me off. Think about the blades on the wheat harvester that harvested your bread, and how it might or might not have sliced a rabbits head off, then realize that we're not perfect and the vegan police are full of it!

Of course we don't want to wear our leather, wool and silk anymore, so don't. You already know that, from what you're conscience told you, not the vegan police. Go buy some five dollar canvas Chinese kung fu shoes if you can't afford more, but it doesn't matter what you do with the leather and stuff. Bury it. Do what you want. Leave it on top of a trash can downtown so a homeless person can grab it... or hand it to them (better.)

But, don't worry about a knife, seriously. If any vegan poser cop tells me I can't use my girlfriend's knives and still call myself vegan, I might have to use the knife on them... or have them buy me new knives (better.)

Also, if you do end up having to wear some leather shoes for a few days, you're still vegan!
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#7 Old 06-10-2015, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by PigPrairieDog View Post
I have been reading a lot of the threads throughout the vegan forums and have noticed that a fair bit of irritation occurs when people call themselves vegans but still 'insert offense here'. Examples of offenses could be continuing to eat honey, not using separate kitchen tools for your meat-eating family, or any such non-vegan behaviors. So, as a newbie here in the forums, I would like to pose a question to the seasoned vegan veterans (and anyone else that cares to add their opinion...).

Which is better? Continuing to use items that either came from an animal (such as leather shoes or kitchen tools/appliances that you purchased before becoming a vegan) or throwing away items because they are not part of a vegan lifestyle?

I know that many people will say that you don't have to throw away these items, you can just give them away, but I'm asking more about older items that other people may not want (like used shoes). Plus this is a little bit of a philosophical question...
I think it's okay to use products from 'before', in fact, it could be argued it wouldn't be vegan to buy all new stuff. New stuff requires materials and creates waste. That's not very vegan.....-stirs pot vigorously-

But in all seriousness, if you're not using something then by all means recycle it, but just keeping it around doesn't make you less vegan. It just means you had a thing and you used that thing. Majority of us weren't born vegan, or even vegetarian. So we have things that are either animal products or have been used on animal products.

To speak to the irritation part though, there is a line. It's one thing to say "I'm vegan and I own a leather coat I bought years ago" it's another to say "I'm vegan....but I use make up tested on animals/eat honey/continue to buy wool". As much as I don't want veganism or vegetarianism to seem strict to people, there's a reason we've drawn the line where we have. Animal exploitation is in our daily lives and I don't see how someone can, in good conscience, call themselves vegan while participating in something they have every choice to not participate in. (And I recognise making that choice is still hard, but that's a whole other discussion).
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#8 Old 06-11-2015, 07:18 AM
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Well, to a certain extent everyone draws their own line. I don't see how continuing to use something you already have would make you any less vegan, but I also understand why some people would be uncomfortable using those items and would choose to give them away.

As for buying new stuff I do believe what you choose to purchase and consume would effect whether or not you should call yourself a vegan.
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#9 Old 06-11-2015, 08:20 AM
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I dont know when a person is vegan, or vegan enough. I call myself a vegetarian, but I choose to not consume eggs or dairy for ethical reasons.

Sometimes I find that a bread I have purchased has honey in it, and sometimes I eat pancakes out at a restaurant that may have had egg in the batter.

I am just taking my first baby steps into the world of vegan living, and *for me* that means contributing as little as possible to animal suffering.

Currently I am eating no overt animal products, and occasionally will have a small amount of animal product in an item I do not have control over.

As for vegan beauty items, and clothing and shoes- My best friend years ago was (is) a vegan, and she turned me on to buying cruelty free stuff.

Quite a bit of inexpensive, big brand stuff is not tested on animals, and works well. So I have been buying stuff like that for a long time. I consciously look for man made materials like cotton for clothing, and man made materials for my footwear.

I also have never purchased leather furniture or a vehicle with a leather interior.

There are a few things in our lives that are animal tested/animal derived (my husband's work boots, our toothpaste, and my hair color) but when we can find alternatives we will change those to vegan products.
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#10 Old 06-11-2015, 10:21 AM
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I have been reading a lot of the threads throughout the vegan forums and have noticed that a fair bit of irritation occurs when people call themselves vegans but still 'insert offense here'. Examples of offenses could be continuing to eat honey, not using separate kitchen tools for your meat-eating family, or any such non-vegan behaviors. So, as a newbie here in the forums, I would like to pose a question to the seasoned vegan veterans (and anyone else that cares to add their opinion...).

Which is better? Continuing to use items that either came from an animal (such as leather shoes or kitchen tools/appliances that you purchased before becoming a vegan) or throwing away items because they are not part of a vegan lifestyle?

I know that many people will say that you don't have to throw away these items, you can just give them away, but I'm asking more about older items that other people may not want (like used shoes). Plus this is a little bit of a philosophical question...
Animals breathe the same air I do and drink the same water...........can I quit either of those? That is your answer.
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#11 Old 06-11-2015, 03:03 PM
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I have been reading a lot of the threads throughout the vegan forums and have noticed that a fair bit of irritation occurs when people call themselves vegans but still 'insert offense here'. Examples of offenses could be continuing to eat honey, not using separate kitchen tools for your meat-eating family, or any such non-vegan behaviors. So, as a newbie here in the forums, I would like to pose a question to the seasoned vegan veterans (and anyone else that cares to add their opinion...).

Which is better? Continuing to use items that either came from an animal (such as leather shoes or kitchen tools/appliances that you purchased before becoming a vegan) or throwing away items because they are not part of a vegan lifestyle?

I know that many people will say that you don't have to throw away these items, you can just give them away, but I'm asking more about older items that other people may not want (like used shoes). Plus this is a little bit of a philosophical question...
Animals breathe the same air I do and drink the same water...........can I quit either of those? That is your answer.
Breathing the same air and drinking the same water are a little bit different than wearing each others skin on our feet, don't you think?
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#12 Old 06-11-2015, 03:16 PM
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Animals breathe the same air I do and drink the same water...........can I quit either of those? That is your answer.
Every breathing thing on earth breathes the same air as you. What does that have to do with anything?
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#13 Old 06-12-2015, 08:53 PM
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I have been reading a lot of the threads throughout the vegan forums and have noticed that a fair bit of irritation occurs when people call themselves vegans but still 'insert offense here'. Examples of offenses could be continuing to eat honey, not using separate kitchen tools for your meat-eating family, or any such non-vegan behaviors. So, as a newbie here in the forums, I would like to pose a question to the seasoned vegan veterans (and anyone else that cares to add their opinion...).

Which is better? Continuing to use items that either came from an animal (such as leather shoes or kitchen tools/appliances that you purchased before becoming a vegan) or throwing away items because they are not part of a vegan lifestyle?

I know that many people will say that you don't have to throw away these items, you can just give them away, but I'm asking more about older items that other people may not want (like used shoes). Plus this is a little bit of a philosophical question...

I throw them away. To me, giving them away is like saying it's OK of others to use them because the product is good, and it's not.

If I am approached by a non-vegan, I don't have to be concerned with answering why I'm still wearing, for instance, leather jacket. Even if I say, it was expensive so I'm keeping it but won't buy another; I'll get vegan next time (which the leather jacket may outlive me because leather lasts a long time), or I don't buy animal products anymore...I don't see those kind of statements as being a good reason. I've thrown away very expensive clothing. For me, I didn't give it a second thought, but even if I felt it does hurt and it'll take a long time replacing it , well that's the price I pay for buying animal cruelty in the first place. There are consequences for bad behavior.

Also, I'd like to say, veganism is not about being perfect; it's about doing the best one can. There may not be a replacement that's vegan for some things, like certain appliances, cars. But if I can get along in life without it interfering with keeping a job (like a car), running errands, cooking, etc., I'd get rid of it.

Everyone should know what honestly doing the best they can means for them and try to live by that, IMO.
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#14 Old 06-13-2015, 07:40 AM
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I just went through all my shoes this week. Most of what I thought was leather was man made. I did find three pairs of leather ones that I will be tossing. I've pretty much always used cruelty free products for personal care but I went through them to see what's actually vegan and what's not. I won't be repurchasing the things that arent, but because I just separated from my husband I won't be getting rid of them yet either. Money is far too tight for me to be able to do that. But I'm ok because for me it has never been about perfection but doing what I can.
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#15 Old 06-13-2015, 07:53 AM
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This is what I feel about each offense as listed by you, its my personal opinion though I wish that this could be the universal blueprint to becoming a true vegan :

1) Honey - NO

2) Using separate utensils for meat & veggie people - Absolutely required. Once the utensils are washed thoroughly they may be interchanged if necessary but cooking a vegan dish just shortly after making a meat dish without washing the utensil amounts to violation.

3) Buying leather/suede/silk after becoming vegan - NO

4) Continuing to use old leather/suede/silk after becoming vegan - Recommended, in the interest of ecological sustenance the policy of reduce/reuse/recycle is very important. So by continuing to use old leather items you are still giving it a purpose, reducing costs of purchasing a new shoe/jacket and also preventing it from becoming trash. Gifting to someone needy is also fine.

As you can see vegetarianism or veganism aren't very demanding at all, its only logical. However the smallest violation from the above rules can lead to the term vegan losing its meaning.
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#16 Old 06-14-2015, 03:07 AM
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I honestly don't know how people can say they're vegan and still consume honey.. I mean, either they've kidded themselves that it's totally ok for the bees or they know exactly what happens and are still fine with it. Either way I find it confusing and disappointing.

But anyway, I have plenty of shoes and items of clothing that contain leather or wool from my pre-vegan days (and that was nearly 3 months ago, so not long). I have absolutely no intention to stop wearing them or throw them out while they're still in good condition. I understand why others may be bothered by it because the thought of wearing animal skin disgusts/upsets them. It makes me feel the same way - if I constantly remind myself where it comes from and what the animal's life would have been like. That's why I don't let myself think of it too much when I get dressed, only when I'm making new purchases. I actually bought my first ever pair of fake leather boots a month ago and was so happy I was telling everyone! If I had plenty of money, I would go out and replace every single thing with an animal cruelty-free alternative and donate the leather and wool stuff to Goodwill. But alas, I don't.

And I am not interested in buying 'five dollar Chinese kung fu shoes' (whatever they are? haha) in replace of my $150 ones. I care about fashion and quality, too [yes, I am aware quality can come at a cheaper price, but see above where I mention I am pretty broke nowadays]
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#17 Old 06-14-2015, 08:48 AM
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I really don't see a problem with utensils. We never cook meat here, but my husband does have parmesan in the fridge and ice cream in the freezer. I don't think spoons and forks are somehow spoiled or contaminated because he uses them, and I would never suggest that he have separate utensils.

I'm not naive enough to think that the vegan food I order at restaurants isn't occasionally prepared with utensils used for non-vegan food as well. I can't possibly expect other people to be as serious about this as I am.

As for leather shoes you owned when you were not vegan, sure, wear them if you wish. You will probably find with time that wearing leather becomes distasteful and looking for vegan options can be fun. Soon, you'll have a closet full of non-leather footwear and you'll never miss the leather.
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#18 Old 06-14-2015, 09:44 AM
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I honestly don't know how people can say they're vegan and still consume honey.. I mean, either they've kidded themselves that it's totally ok for the bees or they know exactly what happens and are still fine with it. Either way I find it confusing and disappointing.
There are wannabes in every kind of group. But of course just because they say they are, doesn't mean they are. A person can say they are anything, but doesn't make it true.
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#19 Old 06-14-2015, 10:31 AM
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I honestly don't know how people can say they're vegan and still consume honey.. I mean, either they've kidded themselves that it's totally ok for the bees or they know exactly what happens and are still fine with it.
I think that people kid themselves because they enjoy eating honey and just want to carry on eating it.
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#20 Old 06-15-2015, 02:54 AM
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This is what I feel about each offense as listed by you, its my personal opinion though I wish that this could be the universal blueprint to becoming a true vegan :

1) Honey - NO

2) Using separate utensils for meat & veggie people - Absolutely required. Once the utensils are washed thoroughly they may be interchanged if necessary but cooking a vegan dish just shortly after making a meat dish without washing the utensil amounts to violation.

3) Buying leather/suede/silk after becoming vegan - NO

4) Continuing to use old leather/suede/silk after becoming vegan - Recommended, in the interest of ecological sustenance the policy of reduce/reuse/recycle is very important. So by continuing to use old leather items you are still giving it a purpose, reducing costs of purchasing a new shoe/jacket and also preventing it from becoming trash. Gifting to someone needy is also fine.

As you can see vegetarianism or veganism aren't very demanding at all, its only logical. However the smallest violation from the above rules can lead to the term vegan losing its meaning.
Hell this is the kind of post that makes me lose all hopes about becoming a vegan. Looks like I'm reading the testaments of a religion, not the choices individuals can make by themselves. I know the arguments behind those statements but the "thou shall not do ..." form makes me run away in panic. Like I don't want to join a sect. I guess I'm not the only person with this epidermic reaction to this kind of statements.
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#21 Old 06-15-2015, 03:29 AM
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Hell this is the kind of post that makes me lose all hopes about becoming a vegan. Looks like I'm reading the testaments of a religion, not the choices individuals can make by themselves. I know the arguments behind those statements but the "thou shall not do ..." form makes me run away in panic. Like I don't want to join a sect. I guess I'm not the only person with this epidermic reaction to this kind of statements.
I prefer to think of veganism as reducing animal products to the best of your ability. The only "rule" is that you avoid animal products when you can. This doesn't imply a flippant attitude, though-- it's not like you can order a beef burger for lunch and then say that you're doing your best! You have to examine your choices honestly. Are you really making the best possible decision or are you deferring to convenience?
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#22 Old 06-15-2015, 06:34 AM
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Hell this is the kind of post that makes me lose all hopes about becoming a vegan. Looks like I'm reading the testaments of a religion, not the choices individuals can make by themselves.
The meaning of the word "testament" is actually a legal term and it means a personal statement/event which has been attested by a witness. This is not the same as the Hebrew word Mitzvah which means Commandment in English.. the difference is that while testament can be a generic statement made by anyone the Mitzvah or Commandment is a statement that enforces what is written to those who want to belong. So yes what I wrote is indeed a testament, its a personal view and people might agree or disagree and you are fully free to do either of those. Its just one opinion in the end and you have no reason to fear it.

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I know the arguments behind those statements but the "thou shall not do ..." form makes me run away in panic. Like I don't want to join a sect. I guess I'm not the only person with this epidermic reaction to this kind of statements.
As I've said before, the website is called Veggieboards.com, thus my opinion naturally will be of this sort.. I don't think its all that surprising. Its my own view which is influenced by no other, and you're free to form your own views as well..my above statement was only for the creator of the thread to clarify doubts as has been asked. If that post doesn't make sense to you, you are free to follow what you believe in. However you cannot ask me to revise my views just to appeal to your tastes, I strongly stand by what I wrote above because the definitions are as below :

Vegetarian = no meat & eggs, but milk, cheese & honey allowed.

Vegan = no meat, eggs, milk, cheese, honey, leather & silk, not even in small traces.

Lacto-vegan = only milk and milk by-products allowed, rest are not.

Lacto-ovo-vegan = only milk, milk by-products and egg allowed, rest are not.

Most people including me believe that the last 2 categories should not exist but they do and I'm only making my point within the popular definitions of each.
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#23 Old 06-15-2015, 09:08 PM
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Theoretically, if I had a pair of old leather shoes left over I would still put them in a charity clothes "bin" and let the charity use them as they saw fit...I wouldn't wear them...
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#24 Old 06-15-2015, 11:32 PM
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I have been reading a lot of the threads throughout the vegan forums and have noticed that a fair bit of irritation occurs when people call themselves vegans but still 'insert offense here'. Examples of offenses could be continuing to eat honey, not using separate kitchen tools for your meat-eating family, or any such non-vegan behaviors. So, as a newbie here in the forums, I would like to pose a question to the seasoned vegan veterans (and anyone else that cares to add their opinion...).

Which is better? Continuing to use items that either came from an animal (such as leather shoes or kitchen tools/appliances that you purchased before becoming a vegan) or throwing away items because they are not part of a vegan lifestyle?

I know that many people will say that you don't have to throw away these items, you can just give them away, but I'm asking more about older items that other people may not want (like used shoes). Plus this is a little bit of a philosophical question...
Donald Watson, the founder of veganism, said this. a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals. Source(Bolded part mine) Don't do nothing because you can't do everything. Do something! Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. Anytime I think I'm perfect, I remember my cousin lives on an island, and I've never walked over to visit her. Purp

What these quotes are saying, is, is there isn't a clear cut and dried answer for this. Don't think you are going to be perfect, because you aren't. Perhaps you got them as a gift from a good friend before you became vegan. Perhaps you, like me, are in financial straits and can't afford to chuck things because of leather/silk/wool/etc. I have shoes that have leather in them, and jeans that have a leather patch on them. I don't wear them all the time, but I do wear them. I'm not in a good position right now (no job and live with parents), so throwing things out that are still good and still work doesn't make sense to me. As for kitchen tools, I still use them, even though they've been used to cook meat, eggs, and dairy in them. Why? Because they're still good and we have a small kitchen (barely room for one person), and we can't afford new stuff just for "me". I don't eat honey, since it wasn't a big deal to give up (I only had it when I had a sore throat, so it wasn't a huge loss). I don't eat meat, eggs, or dairy, but I don't think I'm perfect, either. So far as I know, no one else does either. Just don't expect perfection from yourself or anyone else and it will be all right.
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#25 Old 06-19-2015, 11:33 AM
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Just don't expect perfection from yourself or anyone else and it will be all right.
Thanks. That's really helpful.
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#26 Old 06-20-2015, 10:30 AM
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When I said sometimes my bread turns out to have honey in it- Twice, when scanning ingredients, I didnt see honey on the list until I had already got the bread home. Whoops!

I did still consume the bread afterward, I just went to buy a different loaf next time I did my shopping. I dont buy honey-bread if I can help it.

Make sense? No?
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#27 Old 06-20-2015, 10:36 AM
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Makes sense to me mT but then I'm not in the Vegan Police.
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#28 Old 06-20-2015, 05:14 PM
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Honey is in a different category for me than meat/lard is though. I bought a "vegetarian" soup, with a vegetarian sounding name, and found it had "chicken fat" in the top 10 ingredients, after I got it home.

I could not eat it. Too yucky. I asked the store if I could exchange it for one of the same price/brand, and they let me.
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#29 Old 06-20-2015, 05:30 PM
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Some may find it gross to use a leather jacket or leather shoes after becoming vegan. They are the item not as a piece of fashion but rather dead animal, which it is. Personal I was able to afford to just throw everything away. And thought it's been a year since being vegetarian (now transitioning to vegan) I still have those items from before. However I haven't bought anything else since. Then again I haven't bought much clothes at all in the last year so that might have helped hahaha

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#30 Old 07-08-2015, 03:45 AM
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Personally I don't think you should throw away leather items, more that you should look after these things and respect and accept how they came to be. I have leather shoes and I look after them really well. They also remind me every time I look at them why I went vegan, which is good when I'm having a huge cheese craving!
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