Considering Trying Veganism - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-25-2010, 10:26 PM
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Hey everyone. So I'm a pretty new vegetarian still (it's been about two months, but I don't struggle at all with urges to eat meat anymore or anything like that), but I'm kind of considering trying veganism. I can't say for sure yet, but I'd like to try it for about a week and see how it goes and maybe make the change permanent if it's going okay. But I have a lot of questions. Some are probably stupid questions and I'm pretty embarrassed to ask, but I need answers so I'm asking anyway



Can anyone tell me what the differences between what vegetarians and vegans eat are? Of course, I know the obvious ones... obviously vegans don't drink milk, eat cheese or eggs (I'm assuming that this extends to not eating/drinking any products that contain even small amounts of milk, cheese or eggs). I know a few other things too (I think I heard... no butter, gelatin or honey). But that's really all I know. Can anyone tell me what else I can't have/can't do while trying veganism? I know that there are a lot of other things that I don't know of. I apologize for the stupid question... -blushes-
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#2 Old 05-25-2010, 11:44 PM
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Hey, well Vegans don't eat or use any products that have animal-derived ingredients, which includes some common food additives (Whey, certain Calcium additives, etc.), don't use products that were tested on animals, and won't wear anything derived from an animal (i.e. fur, leather, suede, etc.). You can learn more here.



I'm going to be honest with you right now, sometimes it's REALLY hard to avoid these ingredients (in my experience, anyways). Especially since things can be marked "Vegan", but it depends on what you consider Vegan. Some people think Beeswax and Honey are Vegan-Friendly, while others disagree. This also goes for Wool (since sheep are sheered whether used for wool or not, so their hair doesn't mat and cause health problems), Sugar (since alot of sugar is refined with Bone Char), and some other products. But if you do your research and talk to the right people, eventually it'll get easier.



If you choose to go Vegan, I wish you the best, and hope you enjoy the benefits!
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#3 Old 05-26-2010, 01:28 AM
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Firstly, well done on becoming a vegetarian, and considering the step of becoming vegan.



There are several ways to go vegan - but the one thing that you must bear in mind is that it is going to be a learning curve. So don't beat yourself up if you make any mistakes - just learn from them.

veganism encompasses not just what we eat but how we live - so not only what we consume but what we use, or put on our bodies. So things like leather clothes and shoes are out, as are products containing animal substances or tested on animals.



Some people go vegan 'cold turkey' by eliminating everything at once, and throwing away every thing that they possess that no longer fits their new lifestyle.

Others go vegan by gradually cutting out things one by one - for example, cutting eggs out of your diet, getting used to that, then doing the same with milk etc.

One of the best ways (in my opinion) is to go vegan one meal at a time, increasing it to one day at a time, increasing it to one week at a time - this gives you chance to adjust to what you are doing, and learn along the way. As for other products (like skincare that has been tested on animals or has animal ingredients, for example) aim to buy an animal friendly one next time.



if you decide to go vegan you will also have to choose what to do with the animal products you still use -for example, a pair of leather shoes: do you throw them away, or use them up and replace them with vegan shoes afterwards? It's your choice, environmentally it is better to use them up first, but you may feel uncomfortable doing so, and may feel it sends out a confusing message to others: but ultimately it's your choice.



You will get loads of advice on these boards, so ask away, no matter how stupid you think the question is - remember, we have all been there as well!

He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.



Good luck!







Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaona View Post

Hey everyone. So I'm a pretty new vegetarian still (it's been about two months, but I don't struggle at all with urges to eat meat anymore or anything like that), but I'm kind of considering trying veganism. I can't say for sure yet, but I'd like to try it for about a week and see how it goes and maybe make the change permanent if it's going okay. But I have a lot of questions. Some are probably stupid questions and I'm pretty embarrassed to ask, but I need answers so I'm asking anyway



Can anyone tell me what the differences between what vegetarians and vegans eat are? Of course, I know the obvious ones... obviously vegans don't drink milk, eat cheese or eggs (I'm assuming that this extends to not eating/drinking any products that contain even small amounts of milk, cheese or eggs). I know a few other things too (I think I heard... no butter, gelatin or honey). But that's really all I know. Can anyone tell me what else I can't have/can't do while trying veganism? I know that there are a lot of other things that I don't know of. I apologize for the stupid question... -blushes-

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#4 Old 05-26-2010, 08:05 AM
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I'm in the midst of transitioning to vegan... It seems challenging at first, but it does get easier. I tried to go cold-turkey, but I keep craving cheese. I did just find out that a Wegman's (one of them) in the area now carries daiya and other vegan cheeses. So when I go shopping this week, I'm going to try it. I've found though that my problem isn't at home, it's going out. I know I could order things without cheese, I just don't do it. We went out last night and I got tortilla chips with a cheese dip. When it came I felt like complete crap that I ordered it. I ate some, it wasn't great. But after that I've decided I'm just going to order without cheese from now on. It didn't taste as good as it did in the past.

But, anyhow, we slip up in the beginning. It's not a big deal.

As for hygiene products and clothing, I have chosen to wear them out, and then replace them with vegan-friendly versions. Like stated before, it's all each persons choice on the matter.

Congrats on going vegetarian. If you're not sure about the step to veganism, start small. Take little steps each day and week and see where you go.

I also highly recommend The China Study. This book is amazingly powerful! This is a must read for anyone! The information is just so neat, and logical. It all makes sense! It doesn't come out and say Go Vegan. It simply explains the results of his research and the HUGE correspondence between animal-based protein and disease such as cancer, heart disease..
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#5 Old 05-26-2010, 04:16 PM
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Thank you so much to all of you for replying I think I'm going to try out veganism starting on Monday (because I'd have to grocery shop for certain things and I do my grocery shopping on weekends only). I'll update you all on how it goes, I suppose... thanks again
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#6 Old 05-26-2010, 06:09 PM
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Just take it one day at a time and allow yourself the freedom to go slow. I just slowly starting cutting things out and then just stopped after I realized I could do it. It's been 3 weeks now and it's so much easier than I originally thought
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#7 Old 05-26-2010, 06:18 PM
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[I'm going to be honest with you right now, sometimes it's REALLY hard to avoid these ingredients (in my experience, anyways). Especially since things can be marked "Vegan", but it depends on what you consider Vegan. Some people think Beeswax and Honey are Vegan-Friendly, while others disagree. This also goes for Wool (since sheep are sheered whether used for wool or not, so their hair doesn't mat and cause health problems), Sugar (since alot of sugar is refined with Bone Char), and some other products. But if you do your research and talk to the right people, eventually it'll get easier.



Beeswax and honey are not vegan. Vegan is much more than diet. Vegans are opposed to any exploitation of animals, and will not use any products that exploits them, as well as animal research, or use in entertainment.

Of course animal use is found in most things. Even the most diligent vegan often needs to make exceptions. They avoid animal products whenever possible, and practical.

A good list of animal ingrediants can be found here:

http://www.veganwolf.com/animal_ingredients.htm



It's only hard to be vegan because of the brainwashing and infiltration from the livestock and dairy industries. It's not coincidental that just when you find what should be purely free of something animal based, you find something from a rendering plant. It gets easier with strong convictions.



I'm assuming you've done research into the egg and dairy industry. If I seem harsh, it's just because Mercy for Animals videotaped abuse at an Ohio dairy farm. I continue to moniter them because that's how important it is to me to do my best, not only in what I buy, but in advocating for animal rights, and welfare.



It is hard in the first few months. It may be full of highs and lows, embracing it fully, then wondering if a little slip will hurt. Just remember why you don't use animals, and stay on the path.

It gets easier. I recall the rush I felt a few months after giving up dairy and egg products. I was getting stuff together for dinner and realized I no longer needed to think, or obsess over what to do, I was vegan. It has incredible since. I even find that it's become almost uncanny that I can pick up things that are vegan. Kind of like when you rescue animals, suddenly theyre all at your door.

Cheese is something I still "miss". I think of pizza and think, man, I loved cheese pizza. But that's all. It's no longer a craving, or drive, I just know I loved it, and let it go. I stayed away from subsitutes, because to me, if it's not what I want, it only drives me more towards it. After you find you miss it less, you could try Daiya. I don't think I would of liked it as much if I didn't clean my tastes of cheese first. I do love it, although I'd only get it on occasion.



Please give it your all! You will benefit immensly in health, attitude, energy and spirit.

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good
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#8 Old 05-28-2010, 07:45 AM
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What helps me to not think of foods I used to love is to eat other foods that I love even more, not to try and replace the old things with some vegan fake version of it. So, hummus instead of cheese on the bread, great coffee from home roasted beans that I simply wouldn't want to dilute with anything (least of all milk), great olive oil on the pizza instead of cheese, very fine dark chocolate instead of cheap milk chocolate, fantastic dates and figs instead of candy... the list goes on, but that's the trick for me.
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#9 Old 05-28-2010, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terje View Post

What helps me to not think of foods I used to love is to eat other foods that I love even more, not to try and replace the old things with some vegan fake version of it. So, hummus instead of cheese on the bread, great coffee from home roasted beans that I simply wouldn't want to dilute with anything (least of all milk), great olive oil on the pizza instead of cheese, very fine dark chocolate instead of cheap milk chocolate, fantastic dates and figs instead of candy... the list goes on, but that's the trick for me.



I'm in agreement with this. I find that when I want to "indulge" now it's on something better and healthier. Although I don't know if I could drink coffee without milk..but I have found that oatmilk works as a GREAT cream! anyhow...to each his own. I'm sure your coffee tastes amazing though.

But, find somethings that you really love. I LOVE my nut butters. If I want a treat now I go for something (fruit or bread) spread with the nut butter (although if making homemade, don't soak them, it ruins the flavor IMO).

Try different milks to see which one you like the best. I made soy milk. It's decent, I'll make it again in the future, but it's a bit beanie in my taste. Oat milk is great and creamy, awesome for coffee and gives a nice taste. Nut milks are just delightful, but I do end up drinking them in a day! I haven't tried coconut milk but I hear it is da-bomb!

so yeah, try different things. As I've been learning there's more to veganism than just the diet. However, the diet is the first stage. When I first contemplated veganism I thought "I'm going to eat honey anyways" but as I researched I understood why honey isn't ethical. Now if I ever want a companion animal in the future, I'll be getting it from a shelter, not a breeder. Things like this come with time. So, focus on the diet first and then other things will follow.
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#10 Old 05-29-2010, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdiprincess View Post

I'm in agreement with this. I find that when I want to "indulge" now it's on something better and healthier. Although I don't know if I could drink coffee without milk..but I have found that oatmilk works as a GREAT cream! anyhow...to each his own. I'm sure your coffee tastes amazing though.



It sure does



Here's the thing with vegetable milks though. They work well with coffee just not the same way that cow's milk does. Cow's milk tends to hide a lot of tastes in food and that's one of the reasons it is so often used in coffee too. It's a quick and easy way to save a bad cup of coffee. I think most of us have done that from time to time in our lives.



Ethics aside, for a good cappucino I really don't think there is a substitute for cow's milk. A cappucino with soy milk looks better but tastes differently and IMO not so great. Coconut milk is however my first choice for a latte (or whatever we ant to call that tall cup of hot milk and coffee) and the reasons are basically two. First of all none of the vegetable milks hide any taste, they blend with the coffee and since I like coconut I like how it blends with most coffees I've treid (however, it won't save a bad coffee). Secondly, you can heat it up more than milk, temperature doens't affect its taste in the same way.



Almond milk is fine too, rice milk I have tried and not really liked, milk from aots didn't work for me at all. My first choice will remain an excellent cup of black coffee with nothing added to it, except maybe a very, very small pinch of salt (try it!).



Quote:
But, find somethings that you really love. I LOVE my nut butters. If I want a treat now I go for something (fruit or bread) spread with the nut butter (although if making homemade, don't soak them, it ruins the flavor IMO).

Try different milks to see which one you like the best. I made soy milk. It's decent, I'll make it again in the future, but it's a bit beanie in my taste. Oat milk is great and creamy, awesome for coffee and gives a nice taste. Nut milks are just delightful, but I do end up drinking them in a day! I haven't tried coconut milk but I hear it is da-bomb!

so yeah, try different things. As I've been learning there's more to veganism than just the diet. However, the diet is the first stage. When I first contemplated veganism I thought "I'm going to eat honey anyways" but as I researched I understood why honey isn't ethical. Now if I ever want a companion animal in the future, I'll be getting it from a shelter, not a breeder. Things like this come with time. So, focus on the diet first and then other things will follow.



Yeah, I think that's wise too. It is a very complex issue, there's much to learn and much to see differently that you're used to. Let it come slowly, for your own sake and for the people around you. Turning intop a vegan-taliban overnight isn't really gonna do a lot of good to anyone and my expreience is that people who do often turn into a taliban for something else a few years later.
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#11 Old 05-30-2010, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaona View Post


... obviously vegans don't drink milk, eat cheese or eggs (I'm assuming that this extends to not eating/drinking any products that contain even small amounts of milk, cheese or eggs). I know a few other things too (I think I heard... no butter, gelatin or honey)...



From how this was phrased, I thought it sounded like you're a bit confused about dairy products Vegans don't eat (or otherwise consume) dairy products, which are things that come from a dairy, which is where cows live :P So anything that comes from milk is not vegan. This includes cream, cheese, butter, yoghurt, ghee, and whey. It also doesn't matter if it came from a goat or sheep instead of a cow. Sorry if this sounds patronising, but you seemed unsure



When I went vegan I just looked up what everything that vegans don't eat actually is, like what gelatin is made from, what rennet is etc. Being vegan makes you very aware of where all your food comes from.
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#12 Old 05-31-2010, 09:30 AM
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When dealing with food, it's easiest to go for fresh produce, beans, and whole grains--you know those are going to be vegan. The less labels you have to read, the healthier you are probably eating, and the more likely it is that you won't accidentally consume a non-vegan food. Don't worry too much about it though, avoid the obvious animal ingredients, look up ingredients you are unsure of, and if you can, go for foods that you can easily identify all the ingredients in.

Here is a short list that could help you with avoiding non-vegan ingredients:

http://vegetarian-issues.suite101.co...an_ingredients



For products like shampoo, conditioner, etc. it is easiest to find vegan products at health food stores. Look on the back for the words "no animal products and no animal testing" or the leaping bunny logo:





For everything else, just do your best. Continue to learn about veganism, and if you found that you've accidentally bought a non-vegan item, just do better next time. Good luck with veganism! Just keep remembering why you want to do it and it will be easy and totally worth it.
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