Can Everyone Be Vegan? - Page 2 - VeggieBoards
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#31 Old 06-26-2015, 08:57 AM
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I think it is helpful to acknowledge your privilege.

However, I dont have a lot of privelege. I live rurally, and my local grocery store does not carry a wide variety of vegan specific foods. (or a wide variety of any foods for that matter!)

I am not university educated, in fact I dont even have a highschool diploma. (I do have a GED, and have taken some community college courses)

Most of my nutrition information I read from books at my local library, and from used books I got at goodwill. I tend to pick up nutrition textbooks and learn things that way.

I am white, but not the "right kind" of white, ifykwim. I have lived at or below the poverty line my whole life.

I think there is room in veganism for people like me. Hopefully?
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#32 Old 06-26-2015, 09:21 AM
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I don't believe that OP was asking if we couldn't think up an extreme hypothetical example of someone being unable to adopt a vegan diet, such as those with medical conditions or living in institutions, but rather if an average person with a lack of funds or free time could reasonably use these as an excuse not to stick to a vegan diet. For instance, I often hear "I am morally against violence to animals, but it's impossible for me to go vegan because I can't afford it/ don't have time to prepare vegan meals." If you can afford food, you can afford vegan food. If you have time to eat, you have time to eat vegan. I lived in a food desert for years, lived off food stamps and food banks, and it was no more difficult to find vegan options than non-vegan options at gas stations, dollar stores, and bodegas. The most I could say is that I had less of a selection, but that's not an adequate reason to act against one's morals. If a person chooses to eat animal products out of convenience, that's fine-- I wouldn't fault someone for doing so-- but admit that it's a matter of convenience and not necessity.
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#33 Old 06-26-2015, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by melimomTARDIS View Post
I think there is room in veganism for people like me. Hopefully?
Definitely
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#34 Old 06-26-2015, 11:50 AM
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Most people who say they can't, can. That's all I know for sure
It might be harder for people who don't have access to vegan alternatives, but not impossible.
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#35 Old 07-01-2015, 05:37 PM
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Late to the party, as usual. But I definitely think I can add in some helpful thoughts.

My background: I have crazy ****ing medical issues and although I grew up upper middle class(trust me, there is a big, bright, neon line between my people and the upper class) and have a degree in biology, my adult life has been marked by disability, multiple hospital stays and severe poverty, as well as near-homelessness. I am fortunate enough to know how to cook and cook well, and also have some background in cross cultural studies.

So, even though dairy is very reactive for many people, even people who have no idea, like I didn't, it can be a pain to avoid. Meat is not a pain to avoid at all, but dairy and eggs are "hidden" in lots of foods, and let's be real, folks: the problem with veganism is not that it's difficult, but that it requires education at minimum, and planning ahead to do well.

My major problem with veganism would be a problem whether I were vegan or not: I just don't have the money to eat well, or take the supplements I need. I don't have transportation to go grocery shopping, or enough money to buy reasonable amounts or kinds of food. I know that I have been fortunate on my vegan journey that I know how to get what I want out of food, generally. I am not limited to the salad and french fries at fast food joints because I will order a burger with no meat, no cheese, no mayo, and get loads of vegetables and grilled onions and it is DELICIOUS. I am also not picky. I am willing to eat pretty much anything as long as it's food and vegan. I know my nutrition and I know my body. This is all privilege for me.

It is not hard to learn to be a successful vegan. I tell my meat eating friends, "You're already eating vegan- you just cover it in dead people!" Learning to cook takes practice, though, and we poor people hate wasting food and time, but you don't have to know how to cook to make veganism work, either. As others have pointed out, you can microwave beans and rice. But that's learning, too. People work hard. But few people work SO hard they literally can not improve their lives whatsoever. And for those that do, we should be there for them. We should be there by their side in the struggle.

Anyway, to sum up, I give people temporary passes only because they BELIEVE they can't be vegan. It's our responsibility to SHOW them that they CAN. The whole world says, "It's impossible." We have to be there going, "No, look at us. We are doing it every day." I think almost everyone can be vegan. I think it's not possible to do it thinking in terms of perfection and purity; if eating a hamburger bun with milk products used as dough conditioners is the same thing as eating a bacon cheeseburger, why not eat the bacon cheeseburger? I think it is only possible in terms of working with people where they are, educating them and showing them the possibilities.

Two groups I might give passes to: Those with pressing medical needs or allergies, and those who live traditional lifestyles. Obviously some people are extremely ill and/or allergic to various things, and although a talented nutritionist could potentially find a vegan diet plan for every living person to subsist on, that clearly will not happen and it is too much to ask of many people who carry those burdens, since we don't live in a world where they won't have to do all that work themselves.

Very few live traditional lifestyles, and I daresay no one lives them 24/7- certainly the Sami do not require CAFOs for reindeer. Also, going vegan as a Sami person would not mean necessarily turning one's back on one's history. If I, as a white person, have become an anti-racist, does that mean that I necessarily despise my ancestors? No, I appreciate them for what I can, and I know they were products of their time, and they were mistaken. Everyone has to come to terms with the past.
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#36 Old 07-02-2015, 02:42 AM
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Anyway, to sum up, I give people temporary passes only because they BELIEVE they can't be vegan. It's our responsibility to SHOW them that they CAN. The whole world says, "It's impossible." We have to be there going, "No, look at us. We are doing it every day." I think almost everyone can be vegan. I think it's not possible to do it thinking in terms of perfection and purity; if eating a hamburger bun with milk products used as dough conditioners is the same thing as eating a bacon cheeseburger, why not eat the bacon cheeseburger? I think it is only possible in terms of working with people where they are, educating them and showing them the possibilities.
I always want to try to tell people/educate them about veganism, but just the word vegan carries so much stigma. Almost as if, people don't want to hear anything that comes out of your mouth when you talk about it, so you have to coddle them, or risk getting in a heated debate/argument. Also, people are very defensive (guilty) about their eating habits and are quick to attack you or turn it into something you were not trying to say. How do you deal with this? (I very much like to avoid conflict with others)
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#37 Old 07-02-2015, 06:54 AM
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People seem to prefer the term "strict vegetarian". People either dont know what a vegan is, or have negative images of vegans.

I myself, thought that vegans are more than likely white, rich, etc. and that they were judgmental in nature.

But this forum educated me a lot on these issues. I straight up had cravings for fried fish, and several vegans on this board had great tips for me. nobody called me a murderer or banned me for sharing that.

BTW- I dont crave fried fish anymore, because I found the perfect "thing" to scratch that itch. Potato chips!
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#38 Old 07-02-2015, 09:33 AM
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Thinking about "traditional peoples" (for want of a better term) and folks in general who hold cultural traditions important to them-

Of course we should be interested in promoting veganism for all, but the best/most effective advocacy will come from within those communities. There's just too much history - colonialism, forced assimilation. I'm not saying "they" won't get our arguments, but that we should worry more about our own back yard than folks living on the frozen tundra. We have to trust that people will find there own way, support the seekers, and realize that our answers are not necessarily the answers (even the questions!)

One important part of this is being aware of the fact that we already frame our arguments and practical advice for people just like us. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. We tend to be experts in ourselves. But when we shut people out of the conversation - effectively if not intentionally - shame on us.
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#39 Old 07-02-2015, 10:07 AM
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...My mother is also a cancer patient, and she has been instructed to restrict her carbohydrates (sugars) because cancer loves to eat sugar...
Since that one is so unorthodox in cancer treatment I've got to ask, did that advice actually come from a doctor and did she get a second opinion?
Fat and meat reduce insulin sensitivity, actually increasing between meal blood glucose regardless of reduced carbohydrate intake. Vegans just zip that blood glucose right into glycogen stores because of proper insulin function, thats why low fat vegan diets have been used to cure diabetes for a hundred years...
Always be suspicious of dietary advice from doctors, even the WHO has gone on record calling them shockingly incompetent in regards to diet and nutrition. Heck, my fathers doctor encouraged patients to cook with lard- lol
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#40 Old 07-02-2015, 11:35 AM
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I saw this today
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#41 Old 07-03-2015, 03:26 PM
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Since that one is so unorthodox in cancer treatment I've got to ask, did that advice actually come from a doctor and did she get a second opinion?
Fat and meat reduce insulin sensitivity, actually increasing between meal blood glucose regardless of reduced carbohydrate intake. Vegans just zip that blood glucose right into glycogen stores because of proper insulin function, thats why low fat vegan diets have been used to cure diabetes for a hundred years...
Always be suspicious of dietary advice from doctors, even the WHO has gone on record calling them shockingly incompetent in regards to diet and nutrition. Heck, my fathers doctor encouraged patients to cook with lard- lol
It came from a doctor, not a second opinion. Is it uncommon for doctors to discourage a large carbohydrate intake in cancer patients? (Honest question)

I think it is more about how tumors thrive on sugar, not so much how insulin handles the blood sugar, particularly in her case since she is not diabetic. In a cancer patient sugar goes straight to the tumors and then they grow more.

She definitely eats vegetarian/vegan more now, I would say 80-90% of her diet is vegan. And I honestly think her diet change to eating more whole foods, particularly fruits and vegetables in conjunction with her small amount of animal products its what has been keeping her alive after a very grim diagnosis. I think she is doing just fine on her daily chicken in her lunch and I know that is what is right for her at this point in time. And she makes sure its raised humanely. I am a big advocate of doing what you can, and she is.

Last edited by Brain Floss; 07-03-2015 at 03:31 PM.
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#42 Old 07-03-2015, 06:49 PM
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Interesting.
In the past I'd heard general practitioners speculate that restricting refined sugar might be good for cancer patients, but I didnt know cancer specialists were beginning to advocate lowering dietary carbohydrate over all. Looks like I need to read more medical journals, lol. [I have seen papers where no-carb chow was better than american diet style chow, but equal to low fat vegan style diet in rats, but nothing on human cancer patients that I can recall]
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#43 Old 07-03-2015, 07:20 PM
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Interesting.
In the past I'd heard general practitioners speculate that restricting refined sugar might be good for cancer patients, but I didnt know cancer specialists were beginning to advocate lowering dietary carbohydrate over all. Looks like I need to read more medical journals, lol. [I have seen papers where no-carb chow was better than american diet style chow, but equal to low fat vegan style diet in rats, but nothing on human cancer patients that I can recall]
I code cancer/chemotherapy patient accounts at work and I have seen that it is very common for cancer specialists to push their patients to increase protein intake to very high amounts (200 plus grams daily). I presume because of muscle wasting due to loss of appetite/nausea/sickness from the chemo and/or cancer and reduced calorie intake. I have not however seen mention of low carb or reduction in sugar being advocated. I have really not come across any vegan or even vegetarian chemo patient yet (I just started this job nine months ago), but a few patients have opted for alternative forms of treatment to compliment their chemo, which usually involves very high doses of vitamin C or B12 or D3. Nutrition as a form of treatment or healing seems to be sorely lacking as a point of interest in patient care where I work...no surprise. But I also subscribe to an oncology magazine and I see that it is a growing area of interest in cancer centers. I have not seen mention of low carb or avoidance of sugar advocated in the few oncology magazines I have read. This is an area I would love to do more research in if I had the time.

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