New Veggie... lots of questions - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-27-2005, 11:17 PM
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Hi all. I'm new here and am looking for a little info and feedback.



I'm a new vegetarian. I decided to become so because of my love for animals. I'm also a volunteer with the local Humane Society. I basically quit eating meat cold turkey (with the exception of the one time the restaurant I went to snuck meat into a supposedly meatless dish and I didn't realize until I was almost through eating). I actually don't miss eating meat at all, because all I have to do is think of what it is and I'm repulsed. I also have started buying only cruelty free personal care and household products.



I am still, however, eating milk and cheese, as well as products with eggs. I'm very concerned about the state of the animals in the dairy and egg industry so I'm seriously considering going full on vegan. So, I have done some research but it's all so overwhelming. It seems like there are quite a few ingredients that are animal derived that I wasn't aware of. What are the big things I need to look out for? And as far as cheese is concerned, I've read where some people think cheese is ok but not milk.



I'm looking for straight answers but I've been scared off by some of the militant attitudes I've read on other message boards. So maybe straight answer with a bit of understanding for a newbie...?



Also, I know the company Bic does perform animal testing. So I have a random silly question. What do you do when you encounter a company like that with a basic monopoly on an industry? For example, lighters. All I ever see are Bic lighters. I know that may sound trivial, but it's the little things like that that make me crazy when it's time to go shopping.



Thanks for reading this and thanks in advance for any advice you guys can offer.
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#2 Old 08-28-2005, 12:06 AM
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Wow! Sounds like we have a lot in common. Bic tests on animals!!!! URGHHHHH! Their pens are my absolute favorite-they write soo smooth. I'm glad that you don't have craving for meat- that's good. Also, I know what it's like to be eating something and then find out later that it contains gelatin or something. Learning about being a vegan can be totally overwhelming, that's why this website is so cool. Check out other posts on topics that seem to be having an affect on your life. Also, I would recommend going to a local healthfood store and explaining your situation. I just went today and you'll be amazed at the number of products they have right at a store near you. If there is any other specific questions you have, feel free to ask although I'm not an expert. Hopefully more people will read this post and will be able to help you out better than I can! Cheers!
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#3 Old 08-28-2005, 10:46 AM
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wow, good job great to hear!

as far as hidden animal ingredients there are millions! so it can be a bit overwhelming, most of these ingredients aren't even vegetarian! I'd sujest checking out peta.com they have a pretty complete list you can download for free! and you can also get them to send you a little pocket list of ingredients and companies that test and thouse that don't. I found it alot easier, i when vegan "cold turkey".



also why do pens and lighter need animal testing?
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#4 Old 08-28-2005, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bad View Post

also why do pens and lighter need animal testing?



Some animals just don't know how to use a lighter safely so they really do need to be tested.



I'm sooo glad to see that you are taking this so seriously, TangledUpInBlue. You will learn a lot as you go and especially if you hang out on a board like this. It really is overwhelming at first because they (the bad guys) put animal ingredients in everything.



Just keep doing your best without stressing yourself.



There is a writeup on Ahimsa that I like because it explains how it's impossible to be perfect. Here are two excerpts:



Ahimsa or non-injury, of course, implies non-killing. But, non-injury is not merely non-killing. In its comprehensive meaning, Ahimsa or non-injury means entire abstinence from causing any pain or harm whatsoever to any living creature, either by thought, word, or deed. Non-injury requires a harmless mind, mouth, and hand....



...Absolute Ahimsa is impossible. It is not possible to the most conscientious Sannyasin or monk. To practice that, you must avoid killing countless creatures while walking, sitting, eating, breathing, sleeping and drinking. You cannot find a single non-injurer in the world. You have to destroy life in order to live. It is physically impossible for you to obey the law of non-destruction of life, because the phagocytes of your blood also are destroying millions of dangerous intrusive spirilla, bacteria and germs.

-- Sri Swami Sivananda (Sri Swami Sivananda <http://www.dlshq.org/saints/siva.htm>)
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#5 Old 08-28-2005, 01:03 PM
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As far as the lighter goes, why not splurge and get a refillable Zippo? They're pretty nice.

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#6 Old 08-28-2005, 02:13 PM
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^^ Go Zippies! there sexy :P \\m/ ^-^

sorry back on topic*



B.A.D.
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#7 Old 08-28-2005, 07:29 PM
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Thanks for your replies, everyone. It's so nice to have a kind of support group. My boyfriend has been very supportive and is even going so far as to eat more vegetarian when around me, but a place like this is great to come to.



As for Bic, yes they're on the list I downloaded from PETA about companies that test on animals. I assume they test their razors. Which brings me to the question of how in the world I'm supposed to shave my legs. *garrrr* It's ridiculous how many non-friendly companies there are out there.



And uh, yeah...I'm probalby gonna get a Zippo. I've been looking looking for an excuse to buy one. hehehe



I think this is something that we all kind of have to just do our best on. Goatee, I really liked the quotes you had on Ahimsa. I have to just do my best so that I have a clear concious. And if I have an effect on other people (like my boyfriend cutting back) then I'm happy.
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#8 Old 08-29-2005, 01:10 AM
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Sometimes I feel overwhelmed as well, but just keep on doing the best I can. Like you said, setting a good example to others is important too - and I feel if we can influence others to be a little more concious and cut back on animal products, we're maybe doing MORE good than spending all our time and energy and resources hunting down that animal-friendly brand of lighter or whatever...



You do the best you can with what you have. (Can't remember the exact quote, but it's attributed to Mother Teresa).



Good luck
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#9 Old 08-29-2005, 09:32 PM
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Casting another vote to by-pass bic completely and buy the Zippo (I gotta be honest here - I loved my Zippo when I had it. Zippo rocks! )



But yea, the lists can be quite daunting, but like tofu-N-sprouts said, just do your best with what you've got and what you know. It's impossible to be 100% in this very imperfect world so just do the best you can, where you can and it'll work.



If that means being a vegetarian for a while then transitioning to vegan, that's okay. If that means going full on vegan overnight, that's okay, too. It's all in where you feel the most comfortable with things (and what your still, small voice says is right by you to do). And there are some pretty awsome people here that are good with answering questions so don't feel like you have to learn it all by yourself. Just ask an maybe a few of us can "save you some steps" on things.



You asked about the "big ingredients".... I don't know if you're in US or not (US doesn't use E numbers, other countries do) but... assuming you're in US then you'll want to be ever mindful of: gelatin, cochineal or carmine, caseinate, sodium caseinate, casein, rennin, rennit, albumin, egg whites, anything with "milk" in the name (non-fat milk powder, etc), and whey. Some people avoid anything hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated cause of what it does in the body and a few are super-leery of "natural flavours" cause that could mean anything and I do mean anything.



It's a lot to learn but give it time. You're not going to understand everything overnight so again, just do the best you can with what you have and what you know. Veg*nism is a path, not a place so enjoy the path you're on.



Hope that helps a bit.
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#10 Old 08-30-2005, 05:57 AM
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I think Gillette has a moratorium on animal testing right now (meaning their testing is on hiatus) but I could be wrong. If that is true, you could use their razors (Venus, etc.)



I also went vegetarian cold turkey with my husband. Moving towards vegan has been more of a process. First, we bought only organic milk and eggs. THen we changed all of our personal products to ones not tested on animals and not containing animal by products, even getting a digital camera. Then we replaced milk with soymilk, and wont get anything but egg-free food when we eat out, only getting local organic eggs at home (and only occasionally, maybe 6 eggs between us a month if that). That's where we've been for 5 years, but I am happy ethically with our lifestyle. :-) Congrats to you, keep it up! :-)
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#11 Old 08-30-2005, 06:26 PM
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bstutzma, that's basically what I'm doing. I realized that I can't change the world overnight. Switching to cruelty-free products wasn't hard at all. I'm completely vegetarian without a problem either. I've switched to buying organic milk products and eggs (watching out for animal rennet and making sure the eggs are from free roaming chickens). I've tried some new things - like rice milk. Interesting flavor. Not sure if I could get used to it, but it's definitely better than soy milk. I may make more changes in the future, but for now, like you said, I'm happy ethically with the lifestyle I've chosen.



Thanks so much to everyone for the feedback. Just finding these boards has been a great help.
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