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#1 Old 06-15-2015, 06:23 PM
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Question Can Everyone Be Vegan?

I've heard vegans argue that everyone (besides people with medical conditions that require them to consume animal products) can be vegan. No matter how poor, busy, or your culture, everyone can be vegan.

In my opinion, this is not true. I am vegan, but I believe I have the privilege to do so. I understand that things like canned and frozen veggies are more affordable than fresh, but unfortunately I live in a country where you can buy a hot fast-food meal for about $2. Of course, besides the unethical aspect of eating fast food, it's terrible for you. But! many people have to eat whatever is accessible and convenient for them, not because they are selfish and lazy, but out of necessity. I've worked with many people who work multiple jobs from before sunrise until past midnight most days of the week. They eat what they can eat. I would never criticize them for doing so. Even to a lesser extreme, people who work long hours or have super busy schedules do not have the time to cook daily nor the money to buy quick vegan meals to have at home or bring for work.

Most people do have the privilege to eat vegan, but there is a group of people for who, being vegan would make their lives significantly more difficult or just be impossible.

What are your thoughts?


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#2 Old 06-15-2015, 06:48 PM
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I see what's your saying, but it's only because of how ingrained the meat/dairy industry is in the modern world. How much the almighty dollar rules.
Plant based eating is by far the cheapest, and can certainly be the easiest diet for modern cultures.
If you were speaking of people who live outside civilization, then for many hunting in the fall to stretch their food supply is often neccesary, as well as line fishing. For them, they often personally know in advance the older animals they would hunt, and would try to do as little harm as possible.

You know who I really, really look up to are parents who have the hardest push back and still stick to their ethics and knowledge and raise vegan kids.

We need to fight the system that funds the killing, not accomodate it and excuse it.
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#3 Old 06-15-2015, 07:59 PM
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I see what's your saying, but it's only because of how ingrained the meat/dairy industry is in the modern world. How much the almighty dollar rules.
Plant based eating is by far the cheapest, and can certainly be the easiest diet for modern cultures.
If you were speaking of people who live outside civilization, then for many hunting in the fall to stretch their food supply is often neccesary, as well as line fishing. For them, they often personally know in advance the older animals they would hunt, and would try to do as little harm as possible.

You know who I really, really look up to are parents who have the hardest push back and still stick to their ethics and knowledge and raise vegan kids.

We need to fight the system that funds the killing, not accomodate it and excuse it.
I agree with you, it's because of how prevalent animal products are in today's society and this capitalist system. I was speaking of people who do not have the option to cook for themselves and need to buy crap/convenience food, whether they like it or not. It's also true that the system needs to be challenged, I'm only writing because I've been hearing a lot of angry comments about how no one has any valid excuse not to be vegan, and I just disagree with that.


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#4 Old 06-15-2015, 08:16 PM
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In a word, "Yes"!

I do sympathise with people working such long hours that they do not have time to cook.

However as a vegan you don't have to cook. You can just put tofu/ pasta in the microwave for 10mins and eat it if you want something quick.

Once you decide to change you just find a way...
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#5 Old 06-15-2015, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by meg moo View Post
I agree with you, it's because of how prevalent animal products are in today's society and this capitalist system. I was speaking of people who do not have the option to cook for themselves and need to buy crap/convenience food, whether they like it or not. It's also true that the system needs to be challenged, I'm only writing because I've been hearing a lot of angry comments about how no one has any valid excuse not to be vegan, and I just disagree with that.

I understand that this might be the case in some places, but there are vege burgers and vege food anywhere where I live. I'm sure it's the case in many places in Western countries as well.

In the world, the norm is that more meat is consumed when more people have money. Not the other way around. So I would say rarely does this situation where you are so poor and so busy that you can't be vegan. If you can't be vegan 100% be an vegetarian or try to be vegan as much as possible.

I agree that some people might not be able to do even that, then sure. do what you must. But most people(90%?) who still keep eating meat just don't care.
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#6 Old 06-15-2015, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by rasitha.wijesekera View Post
most people(90%?) who still keep eating meat just don't care.
I agree that this is much more of a problem than a lack of vegan fast food. This and a lack of education about animal welfare issues...
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#7 Old 06-15-2015, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rasitha.wijesekera View Post
I understand that this might be the case in some places, but there are vege burgers and vege food anywhere where I live. I'm sure it's the case in many places in Western countries as well.

In the world, the norm is that more meat is consumed when more people have money. Not the other way around. So I would say rarely does this situation where you are so poor and so busy that you can't be vegan. If you can't be vegan 100% be an vegetarian or try to be vegan as much as possible.

I agree that some people might not be able to do even that, then sure. do what you must. But most people(90%?) who still keep eating meat just don't care.
seriously. Most people have one million excuses but they are perfectly able to be vegan or vegetarian.


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#8 Old 06-15-2015, 09:25 PM
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Im a poor person, I dont live in a health food mecca (or even around many grocery stores at all!). I have young kids, and that means I am always working.

I thought veganism would be impossible because of those reasons, but you know what, when I really started looking around I found it wasnt as hard as I had made it out to be.

I can get soymilk at my local (and only) grocery store, and there is a healthfood store 40 minutes away that carries the fun stuff (vegan ice cream! Dr.bronner's soap! vegan cheese!).

Most of my protiens I get locally (beans!hummus!veggie burgers!) or through amazon (tofu!tvp!protein powder!) for a low price.

I dont eat fancy food. I dont eat organic (unless it is somehow cheaper than conventional produce/products)... And I enjoy some packaged foods, like cheerios and campbell's tomato soup.

I have to take a road trip for a wedding, which includes staying in a hotel in another state, for a week, and dining in unfamiliar locations. But I will be bringing my vegan diet with me, and I think I will be a-ok.

As for vegan home stuff, Honestly I just looked up online what cheap brands dont test on animals, and found those brands in my local dollar store. Kirk's castille soap, Sun laundry detergent, White rain shampoo/conditioner, LA looks/ELF/wet'n'wild makeup.

So, long story short, I dont KNOW if everyone can be vegan, but I think it is worth a try.
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#9 Old 06-15-2015, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by melimomTARDIS View Post
Im a poor person, I dont live in a health food mecca (or even around many grocery stores at all!). I have young kids, and that means I am always working.

I thought veganism would be impossible because of those reasons, but you know what, when I really started looking around I found it wasnt as hard as I had made it out to be.

I can get soymilk at my local (and only) grocery store, and there is a healthfood store 40 minutes away that carries the fun stuff (vegan ice cream! Dr.bronner's soap! vegan cheese!).

Most of my protiens I get locally (beans!hummus!veggie burgers!) or through amazon (tofu!tvp!protein powder!) for a low price.

I dont eat fancy food. I dont eat organic (unless it is somehow cheaper than conventional produce/products)... And I enjoy some packaged foods, like cheerios and campbell's tomato soup.

I have to take a road trip for a wedding, which includes staying in a hotel in another state, for a week, and dining in unfamiliar locations. But I will be bringing my vegan diet with me, and I think I will be a-ok.

As for vegan home stuff, Honestly I just looked up online what cheap brands dont test on animals, and found those brands in my local dollar store. Kirk's castille soap, Sun laundry detergent, White rain shampoo/conditioner, LA looks/ELF/wet'n'wild makeup.

So, long story short, I dont KNOW if everyone can be vegan, but I think it is worth a try.
Veganism is indeed a lot easier than many people make out ...It just requires discipline...

I took my own food with me to a wedding recently as you can't rely on others to provide you with the correct food...
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#10 Old 06-15-2015, 09:44 PM
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Its simple economics, law of demand & supply, if demand increases so would supply and the prices would also be reduced to keep the demand consistent. If vegan food is at about 5% demand today, wait till that number goes to even 20%, the costs would immediately come down by half if not more.. business are all about numbers and keeping them high either by bulk sales or by huge margins.

The prices of commodities are based on input costs + manufacturing costs + margin, for meat the industries are already charging for the amount of food the animals eat since birth, the cost of "processing" meat and of course margins. They also make huge profits on supplying to related-industries like leather, gelatine etc. I don't see any way that producing meat-food is cheaper than producing vegan food, the businesses just take advantage of the buyers by marginally subsidizing meat due to high demand, but charging a premium on leather & other related products & because vegan demand is low they make huge margins on the same because they are exploiting the nature of vegans as they have little choice. The continued increase for demand in vegan food would not only make things cheaper but also change the way food industry works. It isn't a privilege as much as its a right. Blame the industries for not making it available even though crop farming is the world's biggest industry.

The earth has enough resources for everyones need but not their greed.

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#11 Old 06-16-2015, 01:28 AM
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It's a myth that vegan food is necessarily expensive or time-consuming. Sure, Amy's ready meals and Tofurkey sandwiches are lovely, but a can of black beans from your local bodega is incredibly cheap and takes minutes to heat up. Bananas, apples, oranges, raisins, pasta, potatoes, peanut butter and jelly, even quick junk foods like chips/fries, crisps, pretzels, and popcorn are all quick and vegan. If you can afford a $2 fast food burger, you can afford vegan food. There really is no excuse in ordinary situations.
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#12 Old 06-16-2015, 01:35 AM
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another way of looking at it- if you can afford the burger, then certainly you can afford the salad/french fries from the same menu.
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#13 Old 06-16-2015, 03:08 AM
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I think most can easily be vegan, then when society is more shifted for plant based eating everyone can.
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#14 Old 06-16-2015, 03:46 AM
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I believe everyone can be vegan, but I do understand some may have it much harder than others. For example, a young teenager living at home who has a strong ethical desire to be vegan but the parents are totally against it. Or someone who lives in a food desert. I remember in 2013 flying by airplane to visit the inlaws who were doing missionary work in south Texas. The city we stayed in had very little food I could find to keep me going for a week in a hotel room. The local grocery store had a produce section the size of a small closet, and even the peanut butter had sugar and honey and crap in it. I couldn't find plain oatmeal, only the prepackaged stuff with added animal products in it. I couldn't even find a simple can of beans. I kid you not. Fortunately the inlaws drove me to the next city almost twenty miles away where there was a decent grocery store. Though where I live is not incredibly vegan friendly, I have always been able to find decent food at the grocery store and on a busline if need be, and the rare occasions I eat out there is always at least one or two token items that are vegan or can be made vegan. So to go somewhere like that was an eye opener. I could have still made it work but it would not have been easy.

My sister has a profound mental illness. She is unable to work and lives on assistance. Her budget is very tight. My Dad helps her out but he is not going to be around a lot longer. For a while I was a poor college student (I am 42 years old btw) living on loans, but one of my motivations for finishing school and getting a better paying full time job (which I have accomplished as of last year) is so that I can be a support to my sister as well. At any rate, she went vegan in 2012 and was vegan for two years. She changed from eating fast food and frozen dinners to cooking her own food from scratch. She got healthier and even became a less angry person. My Mom, a Benedictine nun, also went vegan for a short time but went back to omnivore claiming as someone who eats gluten free and has diverticulitis (can't eat nuts/seeds) it was too hard for her. Yet I have seen her bingeing on fast food that I am 100% certain is not gluten free. Sighs. My sister tends to be heavily influenced by my Mom, and over the last few months, despite my sister finally getting assistance by moving into section 8 housing (and now only having to pay 1/3 of her income for rent, whereas before it was 3/4 of her income) she told me she could no longer afford to eat vegan and went back to Omni. Sighs. I have even bought weeks of groceries for her and showed her how to shop to save money as she was buying 5 and 6 vegan yogurts per week and other expensive items. I suspect her move back to Omni is not because of financial reasons but more to do with social pressure.

I try not to be judgmental of others because I am a single person who makes my own choices and decisions. I don't have kids and don't live with parents. I do live with an omnivore husband but he is respectful and open minded about my veganism. I am highly independent, very introverted, and not easily influenced by others. Despite financial struggles myself, and health problems like severe osteoporosis, I have made veganism work for me. I have adapted it into my lifestyle. I am gone from the house from 6:15am to 5pm most days. Sunday is my day to cook stuff like dried beans or homemade bread for the next week. I shop at second hand stores, rarely eat out, sacrifice in other ways so I can have decent food. I also love to cook and prepare good food so it is not an issue for me whereas someone who hates or doesn't know how to cook is going to have a harder time and bigger learning curve. I shop through Amazon and add stuff to my wish list so I can watch the prices rise and fall, and when something falls low enough I can afford it I buy it. I have two pairs of vegan hiking shoes/work shoes I found this way for less than $60 each (one made with hemp, one with canvas) and I still have them four years later. I spend way less on toiletries as I stopped using hairspray when I went vegan, don't wear makeup, don't buy fancy shampoos and cleaning agents. I use lemon juice, vinegar, washing soda. Cheaper than the windex, clorex and other stuff I used to use. I don't have easy access to stuff like vegan commercial mayo or vegan commercial bread, so I make my own bread a lot (unless I don't mind spending $6 on Ezekiel bread) and make my own vegan mayo. It's cheaper that way and really doesn't take much time.

I like that in my city, there are community supported gardens for low income people to grow their own food. The community center across the street from me has plant based cooking classes for low income people. I live in a food desert area of my city but that is changing after years of rallying by the locals to get more stores out this way. We are getting a farmers market and a Whole Foods Coop out here this year and next. This is a shining example of people coming together to make positive changes for all. As vegans we can band together and work to make veganism more accessible and possible for others (not only financially but through education). And many of us are working toward this. I don't think veganism is a privilege. I think it is an important responsibility and obligation for us if we are going to move this world toward a more sustainable and nonviolent realm.

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#15 Old 06-16-2015, 05:24 AM
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Generally eating healthily (i.e. whole foods) does require more time and preparation. But it's about being smart with it.

I'm currently working on eating Vegan every day of the work week. That means that I do a grocery shop on Monday (we have fridges at work) to form the basis of my meals for the week. So I need to spend a little time thinking about what to buy and what those ingredients are going to be used for. I can't just go grab a random selection of stuff that I think looks good. It requires a little bit of know how and confidence in the kitchen (but these are things you can learn! And it's so easy!). This week at home I've got a bunch of leftover stuff (vegan) from the weekend that I will use for meals at home (I leave the house at 7:15am and get back at 7:15pm - so I'm time poor). I also live with an omni. I know my food is cheaper - because I do the grocery shopping - and it's healthier.

To eat vegan successfully and cheaply you need to plan. Plan some more. Then shop. The food prep takes less time than you might think.

Also does anyone else follow the blog : a girl called jack.com? She's not vegan but she does a do vegan recipes and they are all super cheap and healthy. If you're just looking for the vegan recipes she's got them all grouped under a separate link :-)
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#16 Old 06-16-2015, 07:55 AM
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I think for most people being vegan is definitely possible, but people in certain circumstances (eating at soup kitchens, for instance) would be forced to eat what is given to them. I really couldn't fault someone for eating what is available if they can't afford to buy their own food.
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#17 Old 06-16-2015, 08:18 AM
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I also track certain items on amazon and purchase them when the price is right for my family. Last week I got 12 packages of shelf stable tofu, for $9.00, with no shipping cost.

I am very lucky to live in a town that has a grocery store. Its a small grocery store, which carries a lot of produce grown by local farmers (my neighbors).

The owner of our local grocery tries really hard to carry foods that people ask for, and she has recently started carrying veggie burgers, soymilk, and a few other nice veg*n items. I have told her how much I appreciate her efforts to keep our town healthy!

No, its not a dizzying array of choices, but I can make do pretty well here.

I used to live in a food desert, and I had access to a gas station for food. Now I wasnt veg*n then, but I remember seeing some veggie friendly things, like roasted peanuts, fruit juice, pretzels,tortilla chips... Not a whole lot, but not nothing, either. Usually in those situations you stock up like crazy when you do get to a full service grocery, and supplement as needed with gas station items.
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#18 Old 06-16-2015, 08:24 AM
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If anyone else lives in a rural community, I find it helpful to ask for items that are carried by the same product lines that are available at their store.

For example- my local grocery store sells hormel canned chili. They can order vegetarian chili from the same company, without having to negotiate a new contract with a new supplier.

We carry one brand of ice cream locally, blue bunny brand. Blue bunny recently came out with an almond milk vegan ice cream, which would be easier for my grocer to get in than say, "so delicious" brand, because they already have a contract with blue bunny.

I hope that helps someone. Ask nicely and you'd be surprised how amenable people can be.
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#19 Old 06-16-2015, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Go Vegan View Post
Veganism is indeed a lot easier than many people make out ...It just requires discipline...

I took my own food with me to a wedding recently as you can't rely on others to provide you with the correct food...
Since I am road tripping out to the location, I will be bringing some food with me, and I plan on staying in a hotel with a fridge and microwave.

I will have apples,cereal, individual soymilk drink boxes, and things like that for myself and my kids, and there are plenty of Taco bell locations I can stop at for a quick bean burrito. I think I will be just fine on this trip.

I try to keep things simple to prevent getting overwhelmed.
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#20 Old 06-17-2015, 07:30 PM
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another way of looking at it- if you can afford the burger, then certainly you can afford the salad/french fries from the same menu.
that's a good point.


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#21 Old 06-17-2015, 08:32 PM
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I think not everybody could be vegan, but the majority of us could be.

There are mountain people up in the north of europe where the lands are not arable and are covered with snow. They eat reindeers and use it's skin for clothes. We wouldn't be able to ask them to go vegan would we?

But us in the center of civilizations, with access to abundant plant based foods, could.


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#22 Old 06-18-2015, 04:19 AM
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I think not everybody could be vegan, but the majority of us could be.

There are mountain people up in the north of europe where the lands are not arable and are covered with snow. They eat reindeers and use it's skin for clothes. We wouldn't be able to ask them to go vegan would we?

But us in the center of civilizations, with access to abundant plant based foods, could.


I think you may be referring to Laplanders?...To be fair they do choose to live in this way when they could just as easily integrate in with 21st century life and be vegan...
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#23 Old 06-18-2015, 10:44 AM
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I think you may be referring to Laplanders?...To be fair they do choose to live in this way when they could just as easily integrate in with 21st century life and be vegan...

No. I was referring to the Sami of Norway.


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#24 Old 06-18-2015, 11:27 AM
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Meg Moo, I do agree with you. Although I'd prefer everyone to be vegan I think it would be very hard to be vegan in extremely cold climates however people probably could today because of modern grocery stores, maybe two hundred years ago it wouldn't be possible. I think it would be hard to be vegan in some non-developed countries and where there is food shortages (even though the food given to livestock could probably feed them!). It might be hard to be a vegan in a country where there is strict government that has strict laws.
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#25 Old 06-18-2015, 12:18 PM
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An important issue, one I talk about often. Not today though. I'm taking a little break from "issues" for a day or so, I'm in "angry at the world" mode, so I'd be ranty. No one needs that

But good thread, good discussion going on.

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#26 Old 06-18-2015, 01:11 PM
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No. I was referring to the Sami of Norway.


Laplander is the English word for the Sami (who are spread across northern Norway, Sweden & Finland).
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#27 Old 06-18-2015, 01:49 PM
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... many people have to eat whatever is accessible and convenient for them, not because they are selfish and lazy, but out of necessity. I've worked with many people who work multiple jobs from before sunrise until past midnight most days of the week. They eat what they can eat. I would never criticize them for doing so. Even to a lesser extreme, people who work long hours or have super busy schedules do not have the time to cook daily nor the money to buy quick vegan meals to have at home or bring for work.

Most people do have the privilege to eat vegan, but there is a group of people for who, being vegan would make their lives significantly more difficult or just be impossible.

What are your thoughts?
Someone in assisted living or on a military deployment might not be able to keep vegetarian, much less vegan. Likewise, anyone else whose shopping and cooking are done for them by a meat-eater. For most others, if they really want to they can. Part of it depends on how well they can tolerate extreme inconvenience. When I'm on a cross-country drive, I can come close but haven't yet done all 3,000 miles without slipping up one way or another.

But the high cost of fresh vegetables isn't a deal breaker. Discount food markets like Grocer Outlet or Aldi make it easier to spend less and eat better. I bought a 2-pound bag of carrots at Aldi yesterday for about $1.20, and a couple of ripe mangos for 39 cents each, among other things. Vegetables and fruits are just as important whether a person eats tofu or meatloaf. The big switch to becoming vegan is substituting beans and grains for their former meat and dairy. Beans and rice are always going to be cheaper than meat, even in the US, even in the middle of an urban food desert. Though I admit shopping without a car can be a royal pain.

People who can't cook need to learn how, period. It's a basic life skill that's part of independent adult living. If they don't have access to a kitchen, that will likely resolve sooner or later. But right now, while they're stressed and slammed and poor, is when a lot of them are packing on the weight that'll be hard to shed later, and falling into habits that will be hard to break even once they've got breathing room and a kitchen full of nice appliances.
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#28 Old 06-18-2015, 02:59 PM
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being vegan in the military would be an extra challenge, but my husband met several vegetarians during his service in the Marine Corps, so that is an option. I think in those situations you kind of eat the closest to vegan as you can.

I have a friend on myfitnesspal who is vegetarian, and must eat a very specific diet due to medical issues (cant eat much carbohydrates, no soy products,no gluten,must have higher fat/protien levels) and she eats quite a bit of dairy products as a result.

I suppose she could take supplement powders, like rice or pea protien shakes, and maybe eat more nuts/oils for the higher fat diet she must eat, but you can see how it would be harder in her specific case.

I also imagine if someone had other compounded ailments like fructose mal-absorption and a soy or nut allergy, it would be harder.

I am unsure of how many people have disorders like that, compounded in that way. But I could see where it could be potentially quite difficult.

When I was a very poor omni, I heard about veganism, and I thought that one day I would consider that further. I didnt really absorb the message, I just put a pin in it until I was ready to look at that portion of my life.
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#29 Old 06-25-2015, 09:16 PM
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Some people have medical conditions that keep them from being vegan and require them to eat meat. For example, I had a friend with a sister who was born with some serious issues-she basically had severe intellectual disabilities and a slew of physical ones to boot. My friend told me because of this, she needed to eat 4,000-5,000 calories a day. That's difficult to do for a severely disabled child even when animal products are involved-it would be even harder while on a plant based diet. My mother is also a cancer patient, and she has been instructed to restrict her carbohydrates (sugars) because cancer loves to eat sugar. While she loves to eat mostly plant based food (and she does), she adds in a little (humanely raised) chicken to her lunches. I'm sure there are plenty of other conditions that prohibit veganism, but those are my two personal examples.

(*Edit: just saw the "everyone can be vegan except those with medical issues" line in the first post. Whups.)

I also believe that some people just feel better eating animal products and can feel really ill when not doing so-even if they are doing everything in their power to eat healthily. Perhaps everyone is just wired a little differently biochemically speaking. I'm not sure.

I don't think it would be fair to ask the Sami people to give up their culture to move to become "modernized" just so they could switch to veganism.
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#30 Old 06-25-2015, 10:43 PM
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I saw this today

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