Practical Veganism - Page 2 - VeggieBoards
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#31 Old 12-08-2009, 01:17 PM
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RE: expensive vegan products, I think it depends on your attitude and you're desire for convienence. What I mean by this, is there's plenty of vegan cheap alternatives available (often supermarket own brand products, etc) but often it involes hefty ingrediant searching, checking, and emailing companies (I'm forever emailing companies!), because they're not specificly designed vegan products - they're just accidentally vegan.



"Vegan" designed products are over priced, 99% of the time. Prime example: I used tp buy VEGAN bourbon biscuits at an exortionate price, untill I realised supermarket brand ones are usually vegan at a fraction of the cost! A mistake new vegans, or prospective vegans often make, is thinking they're commited to only buying specialist vegan products. There are lots of alternative cheaper choices out there, bu tyou really have to search for them. If I had the time, I'd email when I found them to ask them to consider labelling their products vegan in the future, but I never think to.



A bit offtopic, sorry. x



That's been my experience as well. It took a lot of hunting around the internet to find information about cheap vegan products but I found them in the end. It's just really rather frustrating at the beginning.
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#32 Old 12-08-2009, 01:18 PM
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PS: You can also shine shoes with a banana peel.



Funnily enough I've never had to shine the black shoes I bought from Vegetarian Shoes a year and a half ago. All I have to do is wipe them with a cloth if they get muddy in the rain. And they're still shiny! Yay faux leather shoes!
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#33 Old 12-08-2009, 01:28 PM
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Good reading here: http://www.veganoutreach.org/howvegan.html



and here: http://www.veganoutreach.org/advocacy/path.html (starting with The Vegan Example section)



When I first considered going vegan I thought it absolutely had to be all or nothing until I realized it could never be that simple. Now my focus is on eliminating the use of any food/product that directly contributes to animal suffering and exploitation (as in meat, eggs, dairy and their respective derivatives). I'm not sure if that would make me a vegan or just a strict vegetarian but I really don't care about the label and this just seems like the best way I can help other animals and encourage others to do the same. I'd love to hear others' thoughts on this view of veganism.



Excellent article, thanks for sharing. One paragraph in particular:



There is hope for animal liberation if and only if we learn how to help people get past their wall of denial and manifest their latent compassion. To succeed, our interactions with others must be rooted in empathy and understanding working with and from a persons motivations, fears, desires, and shortcomings. Instead of approaching with a fighting mindset, which necessarily makes people defensive and closed to new ideas, we should provide people with information that they can digest on their own time and act upon at a sustainable pace. Only then will real progress be made.

There is no such thing as truth. People who really know what happened aren't talking. And the people who don't have a clue, you can't shut them up. - Tom Waits
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#34 Old 12-08-2009, 01:30 PM
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Funnily enough I've never had to shine the black shoes I bought from Vegetarian Shoes a year and a half ago. All I have to do is wipe them with a cloth if they get muddy in the rain. And they're still shiny! Yay faux leather shoes!



I'm definitely going to get vegan tennis shoes when I have to replace mine, but my leather ones are from high school and still going strong almost ten years later, so it may be a minute.
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#35 Old 12-08-2009, 03:23 PM
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No, the vegan lifestyle usually takes some getting used to and it is very specific. If its not for you, then great. But should the term vegan be relaxed in order to incorporate those without the drive to fully embrace the concept? No. What's wrong with being a vegetarian? Nothing at all. If you're veggie, then congratulations.



Just look at the word 'vegetarian'. It means many things to many different people. Some people think vegetarians eat chicken and fish. Some think vegetarian means eating meat every other sunday. Some think it means eating rennet. It is in fact become a meaningless word. the word 'vegan' was invented to breakaway from the loose definition of 'vegetarian' to describe something specific which is the 'vegan path' as described. If you don't want to follow the vegan path, then fine. But don't criticise the strictness of the diet because you cannot find the will to embrace it fully. Be happy being a vegetarian and let the vegans have their own path.

I didn't say the word vegan should be relaxed per say, I'm saying some people get very into it and, like for example, almost stop calling themselves vegan over eating something with sugar in it or not knowing where the wine is from (sorry to use this example, not meaning to single anyone out). You honestly think it helps the vegan cause to have one less person calling themselves vegan even though for all intensive purposely they ARE vegan? I just see some of the people here deciding to back down and call themselves vegetarian instead, when honestly they ARE vegan, but they're just feeling overwhelmed by the obessiveness they feel, or feel like they are being nitpicked. I'm not talking about vegans eating dead animals or eggs! And I never criticized being vegan at all not sure where you got that?
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#36 Old 12-08-2009, 09:16 PM
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I don't like the term "practical veganism". You're either vegan or you're not.



So are you saying that you don't drive a car or ride a bicycle? Are you sure the water you drink and bathe with isn't filtered through bone char? It's most definitely tested on animals. Do you go to the movies? Film companies use animal gelatin because it's cheap, but it sure isn't vegan. You personally might not do any of these things. For all I know you live in a hut in the woods and bathe in a lake. My point is that most people that call themselves vegan still engage in activities every single day that technically are not vegan and that perhaps we should focus on the point of being vegan in the first place instead of trying to be the most pure vegan in the world. If we as a society were to give up the foods and products that are directly linked with animal suffering the byproducts would naturally disappear and industries that use them would use plant or synthetic sources. They are only used now because they are cheap and plentiful.



There is a line used in one of the articles I posted that I like a lot and sums up my entire position: We want a vegan world, not a vegan club. I have no issue with people personally taking their veganism to whatever degree they feel is right for them but I just hope it won't discourage other people from taking steps of their own.

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#37 Old 12-09-2009, 07:02 AM
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There's a thread over on veganforum about vegan myths. It's about the things vegans believe are true but for which there's no evidence. One example was that all German beers are vegan - not true apparently. And someone else pointed out that just because a wine appears on a vegan list online, that doesn't necessarily mean it is vegan for the simple reason that you just have someone else's word for it. The only way you can be sure is if you only buy products labelled vegan or alternatively you contact the company yourself and ask.
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#38 Old 12-09-2009, 04:44 PM
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That's been my experience as well. It took a lot of hunting around the internet to find information about cheap vegan products but I found them in the end. It's just really rather frustrating at the beginning.

Care to share your findings?
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#39 Old 12-10-2009, 12:55 AM
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Care to share your findings?



Do you live in the UK? If you do, then you should find a branch of the Co-op as the majority of their household products are vegan and they are labelled as such. Also the Co-op operates a strict no animal testing policy with a Fixed Cut Off Date of 1985 so they are certified by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection. Their own brand toiletries are also vegan for the most part. Original Source shower gels, shampoos and conditioners are certified by the vegan society - my favourites are the the avocado and pear shampoo and conditioner. Simple Skincare products also contain no animal ingredients and say so on the bottle. I use their shower gel and face wash and hand cream. Superdrug has also started labelling it's own products as suitable for vegetarians and vegans if they are. However, they do not operate a fixed cut-off date re animal testing.
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#40 Old 12-10-2009, 05:13 PM
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Do you live in the UK? If you do, then you should find a branch of the Co-op as the majority of their household products are vegan and they are labelled as such. Also the Co-op operates a strict no animal testing policy with a Fixed Cut Off Date of 1985 so they are certified by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection. Their own brand toiletries are also vegan for the most part. Original Source shower gels, shampoos and conditioners are certified by the vegan society - my favourites are the the avocado and pear shampoo and conditioner. Simple Skincare products also contain no animal ingredients and say so on the bottle. I use their shower gel and face wash and hand cream. Superdrug has also started labelling it's own products as suitable for vegetarians and vegans if they are. However, they do not operate a fixed cut-off date re animal testing.

Aw, no I'm in the US. Oh well!
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#41 Old 12-10-2009, 07:40 PM
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This is such a difficult issue for me. I call myself vegan because I am 98% vegan. When I am out at a restaurant and I don't know there's dairy in it, I've done my best to avoid it. (I do ask.) My MIL will just assume I can eat something and when I ask say I can eat it, but in reality it's not vegan. One reason I say vegan and not strict vegetarian is BECAUSE there's such a loose definition of vegetarian - some people I know said, oh so you just eat fish? "Vegan" lets them know that no I don't do ANY animal products. I'm concerned about the trace ingredients and I DO MY BEST to avoid them - but if I don't know I'm not going to stress about it. Also, as I am a new vegan and no one I know understands or accepts the concept, if it comes down to eating a tiny bit of the mashed potatoes prepared specially for me or creating a huge scene at the family's Thanksgiving dinner, one time won't kill me and I make sure to explain that I will not in the future be eating it - my MIL has said on the phone that she tries to make things without eggs or dairy for me, but "if it tastes better made with eggs and dairy, then oh well!" as though it's no big deal. (My in-laws are Southern. No offense meant to Southerners, but they are the traditional meat-means-meal type.) She has been trying but she and my FIL and husband think that veganism is too extreme, so I have to be really careful eating at their house and don't always know. I don't think that this makes me not a vegan - if you want to be a purist about it, fine, but I strive to always avoid all animal products and derivatives - the difference between that and being 100% successful does not disqualify me from using the term. (I know this is not going to be a popular opinion here, but I don't have any support so I think 98% is darn good.)
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#42 Old 12-10-2009, 11:58 PM
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This is such a difficult issue for me. I call myself vegan because I am 98% vegan. When I am out at a restaurant and I don't know there's dairy in it, I've done my best to avoid it. (I do ask.) My MIL will just assume I can eat something and when I ask say I can eat it, but in reality it's not vegan. One reason I say vegan and not strict vegetarian is BECAUSE there's such a loose definition of vegetarian - some people I know said, oh so you just eat fish? "Vegan" lets them know that no I don't do ANY animal products. I'm concerned about the trace ingredients and I DO MY BEST to avoid them - but if I don't know I'm not going to stress about it. Also, as I am a new vegan and no one I know understands or accepts the concept, if it comes down to eating a tiny bit of the mashed potatoes prepared specially for me or creating a huge scene at the family's Thanksgiving dinner, one time won't kill me and I make sure to explain that I will not in the future be eating it - my MIL has said on the phone that she tries to make things without eggs or dairy for me, but "if it tastes better made with eggs and dairy, then oh well!" as though it's no big deal. (My in-laws are Southern. No offense meant to Southerners, but they are the traditional meat-means-meal type.) She has been trying but she and my FIL and husband think that veganism is too extreme, so I have to be really careful eating at their house and don't always know. I don't think that this makes me not a vegan - if you want to be a purist about it, fine, but I strive to always avoid all animal products and derivatives - the difference between that and being 100% successful does not disqualify me from using the term. (I know this is not going to be a popular opinion here, but I don't have any support so I think 98% is darn good.)



I've found the way to deal with family meal situations is to offer to cook myself. That way I know exactly what goes into my food.
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#43 Old 12-11-2009, 06:31 PM
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There are many opinions out there about how rigorous you have to be before you can legitimately start calling yourself a vegan. As far as I can tell, the vast majority of people who call themselves vegan do not believe that it is necessary research the origin of the vitamins in your food in order to merit the title.



In any case, the danger lies not so much in when we decide to call ourselves vegan, but when we decide to tell other people that they are NOT vegan. This is when we have the potential to do a lot of damage.



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#44 Old 12-12-2009, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Eugene View Post

There are many opinions out there about how rigorous you have to be before you can legitimately start calling yourself a vegan. As far as I can tell, the vast majority of people who call themselves vegan do not believe that it is necessary research the origin of the vitamins in your food in order to merit the title.



In any case, the danger lies not so much in when we decide to call ourselves vegan, but when we decide to tell other people that they are NOT vegan. This is when we have the potential to do a lot of damage.



-Eugene



I just feel that it's counterproductive to tell people who abstain from meat, dairy, eggs and honey and who no longer buy wool, silk and leather that, despite making those changes, they aren't vegan because they have consumed sugar that may not be vegan (a problem that we don't seem to have to worry about in the UK) or whatever else it may be.
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#45 Old 12-12-2009, 11:20 AM
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I just feel that it's counterproductive to tell people who abstain from meat, dairy, eggs and honey and who no longer buy wool, silk and leather that, despite making those changes, they aren't vegan because they have consumed sugar that may not be vegan (a problem that we don't seem to have to worry about in the UK) or whatever else it may be.



Said much more eloquently than I. Exactly my point, though.
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#46 Old 12-12-2009, 02:09 PM
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RE: the wine issue. If you have an iphone, there's a free app for a vegan wine list. I found it by typing "vegan wine" in the search and it came up. It's not perfect, but you can also add in wines that you know are vegan and isn't on the list. It basically has a list of the more common brands and on the left it'll be green for vegan, yellow for some, and red for none. But on the brands that says some are vegan, it doesn't specify which. Like Yellowtail for example has some vegan wines, but it doesn't tell me which ones. It's helpful though.

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#47 Old 12-15-2009, 12:18 AM
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RE: the wine issue. If you have an iphone, there's a free app for a vegan wine list. I found it by typing "vegan wine" in the search and it came up. It's not perfect, but you can also add in wines that you know are vegan and isn't on the list. It basically has a list of the more common brands and on the left it'll be green for vegan, yellow for some, and red for none. But on the brands that says some are vegan, it doesn't specify which. Like Yellowtail for example has some vegan wines, but it doesn't tell me which ones. It's helpful though.



I have an iphone. I'll download it.
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#48 Old 12-15-2009, 12:28 AM
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Said much more eloquently than I. Exactly my point, though.



Well on a thread on veganforum.com, someone said that he didn't ask about sugar in meals in non-vegan restaurants because he thought it would make him look very strange. I have to say, it was not something I'd even considered. As I say, in the UK, the sugar produced by the major sugar companies is vegan. However, I'm going to the US on Saturday and may end up eating in an omni restaurant. I will ask about dairy products, eggs and honey (if I think it's relevant) but I'm not going to ask if there's sugar in a dish and what brand it is. And I won't simply because it would make me look deeply weird, and everyone would think I was even weirder if I explained why. A Jewish friend of mine compared being vegan to keeping kosher. But I hate that idea. Anyone who knows even vaguely what keeping kosher entails would be put off from attempting to go vegan. If you'd told me that when I was an omnivore, I would have said there was no way I could do that. People may respect you for adhering so strictly to your principles but it wouldn't encourage many people to join you.
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