Am I going vegan for the wrong reason(s)? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-27-2015, 06:45 AM
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Am I going vegan for the wrong reason(s)?

Hi there,

I'm and 18 year old male who has decided by 2016 to go vegan. However, a discussion with my sister on Christmas Day made me think that I might be going vegan for the wrong reason(s).

She said that many people who turn vegan do so because they are against animal cruelty and various other reasons.

The main reason why I'm going vegan is because I want to make a drastic changes in my life and I believe that going vegan will make me feel a lot healthier and better as a person. I have thought about this before and it's not a decision I made overnight. I have also seen some people who I know are vegan and they have inspired me to go vegan (they haven't forced me). I'm a big chicken/meat eater but I also eat a lot of fast food and unhealthy food. I believe I can cut them out. I have also gone vegan for 50 days before and while it was admittedly tough, I was a lot younger back then and believe I have more self-control now and am more matured to handle a vegan diet.

However, I must say that I have seen animal cruelty and knowing that by going vegan I could be helping animals, that would definitely make me feel better.

So, am I going vegan for the wrong reason?

Also, is there a good way to start going vegan? e.g. Do I just go vegan or start gradually (cutting out meat, chicken, diary gradually).

Thanks!
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#2 Old 12-27-2015, 06:57 AM
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Sorry, mistake in the first sentence. Meant to say an*.
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#3 Old 12-27-2015, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by pierrem View Post
Hi there,

I'm and 18 year old male who has decided by 2016 to go vegan. However, a discussion with my sister on Christmas Day made me think that I might be going vegan for the wrong reason(s).

She said that many people who turn vegan do so because they are against animal cruelty and various other reasons.

The main reason why I'm going vegan is because I want to make a drastic changes in my life and I believe that going vegan will make me feel a lot healthier and better as a person. I have thought about this before and it's not a decision I made overnight. I have also seen some people who I know are vegan and they have inspired me to go vegan (they haven't forced me). I'm a big chicken/meat eater but I also eat a lot of fast food and unhealthy food. I believe I can cut them out. I have also gone vegan for 50 days before and while it was admittedly tough, I was a lot younger back then and believe I have more self-control now and am more matured to handle a vegan diet.

However, I must say that I have seen animal cruelty and knowing that by going vegan I could be helping animals, that would definitely make me feel better.

So, am I going vegan for the wrong reason?

Also, is there a good way to start going vegan? e.g. Do I just go vegan or start gradually (cutting out meat, chicken, diary gradually).

Thanks!
Hi and welcome. There are lots of reasons to go vegan, all of them good.

My best advice? Learn to cook. Cooking vegan is fun, and can be very quick and easy. Develop awesome knife skilz (see youtube, and practice!) and everything is fast. You will eat healthier, save LOTS of money, and impress others with your cooking prowess. People like to be fed.


Download this pdf for a great vegan starter guide
http://veganoutreach.org/free-guide/
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#4 Old 12-27-2015, 07:31 AM
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Health reasons are not the best reasons to become vegan, but it is possible and even pretty easy to eat healthier on a vegan diet. It's easy to eat more fruits and veggies, and you'll be more compelled to cook from scratch due to limited options for eating out. However, you should know that eating vegan isn't in and of itself a ticket to better health. You still have to pay attention to what you're eating, and get enough exercise, sleep, etc.

I would definitely urge you to consider the impact on animals -- if you consider that, you will probably also avoid animal products in non-food items such as wool and leather.

Here are some guidelines to help you with maintaining a healthy vegan diet: http://www.theveganrd.com/7-habits-o...healthy-vegans and http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/dailyrecs -- don't forget to take a B12 supplement!
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#5 Old 12-27-2015, 08:09 AM
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The term vegan is really losing it's focus on being against animal exploitation now that the health benefits are in the foreground. Some will use the term 'plant based' to mean an all whole foods, plant based diet, but vegan diet is often used instead.
Vegan should stand for being against the use, and abstaining from using, animals. That they are sentient being and have rights to lives of their own. Having a vegan diet can mean fried foods, processed foods, sugary foods. It doesn't need to mean you're looking after your own health, but should.

When you say you're vegan for health what about all the products that utilize animals? Leather, all the ingrediants and testing used in products?


I'd rather Plant based diet have more meaning.

I incorporate more processed foods and sweets than someone doing it for health and have been called out for it, and that royaly p'ss's me off

Anyway, however you word it I don't want to discourage you! You're welcome here without meat
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#6 Old 12-27-2015, 08:15 AM
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We have a thread for weight and health. I'm certainly going to get back to it!
Eating a healthy vegan diet can be far easier to maintain good weight and health. I got into cooking and baking and eating everything than I should have.
these sites are good--]
http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/kic...start-programs
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/wp...et-booklet.pdf
http://nutritionfacts.org/
http://www.forksoverknives.com/the-fok-diet/
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#7 Old 12-27-2015, 09:07 AM
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I would be willing to give up products that utilise animals. Thanks for all the replies guys!
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#8 Old 12-27-2015, 10:58 AM
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Veganism was originally coined as the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals. It is a lifestyle, not just a diet. It's absolutely wonderful that you want to make some positive changes in your life, but I advise against people using labels wrongly. It can cause complications further in a movement, an example as some people saying they are vegetarian but still eat chicken so chicken starts showing up on vegetarian menus, which I have seen. In another case a person might say they are vegan but buy leather belts and non vegan household items because they were only it in for their health, that person is really following a plant based diet, not veganism.

People have gotten a bit blinded by the "be supportive, be supportive of every potential new vegan!!!!!!" hype and while I think that's a great thing, that doesn't mean we should just loosen the labels to make it apply more to everyone. The definition of veganism means something and fellow vegans aren't doing the movement any service by taking the approach "there are many reasons people can be vegan, don't worry!! congratz!!!! " Instead, our approach should be about the animals, yet also highlighting the health and environmental benefits. "Veganism is actually a lifestyle focused on not supporting animal exploitation. It is not just a diet it is a whole way of living that seeks to reduce harm. Of course going vegan has other great benefits such as lowering cholesterol and less impact on the planet, but the main core of veganism is about the animals."

In addition, people who also change their life in acknowledgement of real victims, not just for themselves, tend to stay with it longer because they have a better understanding or concern of whose lives are on the line if they go back.

"Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?" ~Pierre Troubetzkoy

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#9 Old 12-27-2015, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by pierrem View Post
I would be willing to give up products that utilise animals. Thanks for all the replies guys!
Lots of people go vegan in stages. I went lavto/ovo vegetarian for a year or so, then vegan (10+ years ago).

Some go meat free during the week, or until 6 pm each day. Taking things in stages.

If you want to do it all at once, do some research. Mainly, eat a lot of vegan food or you may be calorie deficient without realizing it.

Or...take the pledge to go vegan for 30'days. Tons of info here:

http://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/take-vegan-pledge
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#10 Old 12-27-2015, 11:52 AM
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welcome here, i'm new too hope we can help each others out! every reasons is good to become vegan, even thought is seems like people who do it to save animals lasts longer than those who do it for healthly reasons. but no matter what, it's a great decision you took!

good luck in your journey
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#11 Old 12-27-2015, 11:52 AM
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There isn't a wrong reason to go vegan in my opinion, yes the main focus of vegans is for the animals, I myself included. Animal cruelty isn't near the only reason though, there are tons of health and environmental benefits. It is also a good way to challenge and make yourself stronger. It takes a lot to go vegan! I have only been vegan for eight months and sometimes think that I should just throw in the towel, but I couldn't do it if I wanted. Veganism is truly a lifestyle, it is just as much a psychological change as it is physical. I am 17 (only for another six months, sorry really excited to escape the family nagging) and even though I am so young I had, and still am, having to change my instincts and first thoughts. Sometimes I catch myself thinking about testing food before I put it on the table, or licking my finger while making a cake with eggs! I cheat and eat Bocca patties and Gardein "meat", not because I have to or it makes me feel better, but it makes my family slightly back off simply because it is a meat concept. It really does taste like meat though, I think... I'm starting to forget the taste (progress!). On the health side of veganism there are tons of benefits, I personally have a family tree full of deadly diseases including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and who knows what else, but veganism drastically reduces my risk. Obviously that is also very important to me, it doesn't get healthier than a balanced vegan diet. The animal products besides in the food area aren't really that difficult, don't buy leather and certain fabrics, watch for animal testing, and however else they managed to squeeze money out of a carcass. You got this! You can't go more drastic than changing the most basic idea that you eat meat, enjoy eggs, and drink milk. After all the mocking, nagging, and being pushed around for going vegan, regardless of anything I would do it just to spite! I have been told I can't, its just a faze, I am just hurting myself, this is my teenage rebellion, and best of all-my family's response "You're killing yourself". All it does is fuel my fire, I will not let everyone laugh me off the rest of my life because I live differently than them or use this as a joke to shove in my face at every turn. Don't just do it for the animals, do it for yourself! I don't think you can find a more empowering experience or healthier way of living than being vegan, a true non-conformist!
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#12 Old 12-27-2015, 01:23 PM
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The term "vegan" refers to an animal rights movement, but you don't need to be an animal rights advocate to adopt a plant-based diet.
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#13 Old 12-27-2015, 02:32 PM
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They way I see it, once you go vegan (for what ever reason) you will slowly educate yourself subconsciously or consciously on the ethical, health and environmental reasons.

Being vegan becomes a lifestyle so it's almost impossible not to learn the advantages of it as you read and watch all the information that's out there.

Fair play for choosing veganism as a method of self-development, a pretty massive step!
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#14 Old 12-27-2015, 03:23 PM
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I began looking into veganism because I was incredibly concerned about my increasing weight & my high levels of cholesterol, but once I started educating myself on the treatment of animals & the effect it's having on our environment I began a new respect for veganism. I think it's really great you're looking towards veganism to make a change in your health, but I also really want to encourage you to look into the "for the animals" aspect of veganism. I really think it will further change your life & I also think it will further motivate you to continue to follow a vegan diet.

Best of luck! ^_^
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#15 Old 12-27-2015, 04:20 PM
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You should watch Earthlings and Food Inc, Earthlings is what made me go vegan! After watching Food INC I was pretty glad I went vegan, very interesting concepts in both documentaries. There is a new documentary called Unity, I haven't watched it yet, but rumor has it that it is good too.
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#16 Old 12-27-2015, 04:48 PM
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I did it for health reasons. I don't know about the stats but why do you care? Just do it. Do you really need the right reason? The animals won't care if you stopped eating them because of your health or because you loved them. I think you are over thinking this. They just care that you stop. Your heath will get better and your conscience will be clear, sounds like two good reasons right there.
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#17 Old 12-27-2015, 06:19 PM
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Vegucated is a really good documentary too!
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#18 Old 12-27-2015, 07:37 PM
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You should watch Earthlings and Food Inc, Earthlings is what made me go vegan! After watching Food INC I was pretty glad I went vegan, very interesting concepts in both documentaries. There is a new documentary called Unity, I haven't watched it yet, but rumor has it that it is good too.
Cowspiracy is good, too. On youtube and netflix.
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#19 Old 12-27-2015, 08:01 PM
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RunsOnVeggies and Ledboots, definitely will be watching them too then. I think I have heard mention of Cowspiracy, but no details and Vegucated sounds like it will loads of helpful information!
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#20 Old 12-27-2015, 09:36 PM
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Watch the documentaries!
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#21 Old 12-28-2015, 03:31 AM
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Another good documentary is Peaceable Kingdom!
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#22 Old 12-28-2015, 05:16 PM
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There isn't a right or wrong reason to adapt to a plant based diet, in fact I think it's good to be mindful of your health so that you focus on learning nutrition and a more balanced diet instead of being a junk food vegan.

There are so many reasons why vegan diets are great, that it will help your resolve in the beginning to inform yourself as much as possible, so when you think of one reason to quit, you'll be reminded of another.

Vegan for animals, environment, health, whatever, it's a great choice.

I'm transitioning into vegan from vegetarian, I'm like 99 percent vegan, everything in my kitchen is vegan, I may slip up and have some wine that isn't vegan or a soup with dairy, but my reasons are so varied and my conviction about the environment in particular so strong that I have no intention to give it up.

Honesty I don't miss meat, there are so many meat analogs that actually taste better than meat. With gardein vegan sausage or chkn, you'll never bite into gristle, feel bloated, have a disgusting greasy aftertaste, and you're less likely to get food poisoning. My experience may be different than yours, because I pretty much had to be forced to eat meat as a child, and started slowly going towards vegetarian as early as my middle school veggie pizzas and high school baked potato lunches. But I swear, if your concern is leaving behind familiar foods, meat analogs can be part of the answer. Also learn to use nutritional yeast in recipes, and remember plain soy milk has the highest creamy protein factor without any sweetness.

As someone who enjoys cooking as a hobby, becoming vegan has been kind of fun and exciting for me. I collect recipes and get to try new things. It also helps to know how to cook in terms of eating balanced meals and overcoming cravings.

The longer you do it the more repulsive animal products may start to seem to you, especially if you're well fed. Your biggest enemies will probably be hunger or social pressure. Facing hunger as a vegan is the same as facing hunger as a junk food addict. By that I mean it takes the same mental resolve to choose the healthier option rather than your bad habit. Whether you're trying to give up animal products or eating bags of doritos, it's just about choosing to eat for hunger, and to understand how to exchange bad fats for healthy fats, for example...if you crave something creamy, instead of macaroni and cheese you can have pasta with a homemade nooch sauce. If you crave salt eat salted nuts instead of beef jerky. Just things like that.

Good luck.
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#23 Old 12-29-2015, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrem View Post
Hi there,

I'm and 18 year old male who has decided by 2016 to go vegan. However, a discussion with my sister on Christmas Day made me think that I might be going vegan for the wrong reason(s).

She said that many people who turn vegan do so because they are against animal cruelty and various other reasons.

The main reason why I'm going vegan is because I want to make a drastic changes in my life and I believe that going vegan will make me feel a lot healthier and better as a person. I have thought about this before and it's not a decision I made overnight. I have also seen some people who I know are vegan and they have inspired me to go vegan (they haven't forced me). I'm a big chicken/meat eater but I also eat a lot of fast food and unhealthy food. I believe I can cut them out. I have also gone vegan for 50 days before and while it was admittedly tough, I was a lot younger back then and believe I have more self-control now and am more matured to handle a vegan diet.

However, I must say that I have seen animal cruelty and knowing that by going vegan I could be helping animals, that would definitely make me feel better.

So, am I going vegan for the wrong reason?

Also, is there a good way to start going vegan? e.g. Do I just go vegan or start gradually (cutting out meat, chicken, diary gradually).

Thanks!
Hi there
I am only a year older than you and am also starting the vegan journey for the same reason actually. Changing your diet is surprisingly personal and I believe that there is no right or wrong reason to go vegan. Whatever reason it is as long as YOU feel strongly about it, then there is no problem. You made your decision and you might as well research the other benefits, as they are plentiful. There's lots of good books on the Kindle packed with info on vegan origin and diet tips, I myself am reading three at the moment. Educating yourself on veganism is not only important but will strengthen your desire to becoming vegan. Being vegan does not necessarily mean being healthy. We have to watch what we eat as much as anyone else. Sadly, junk food is everywhere.

Good luck on your journey, aloha.
Brie L.
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#24 Old 12-29-2015, 12:03 PM
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everyone does it for their own reasons. it seems like it may start out for one reason, then it morphs into more. it's a win/win brah.
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#25 Old 12-29-2015, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by pierrem View Post
Hi there,

I'm and 18 year old male who has decided by 2016 to go vegan. However, a discussion with my sister on Christmas Day made me think that I might be going vegan for the wrong reason(s).

She said that many people who turn vegan do so because they are against animal cruelty and various other reasons.

The main reason why I'm going vegan is because I want to make a drastic changes in my life and I believe that going vegan will make me feel a lot healthier and better as a person. I have thought about this before and it's not a decision I made overnight. I have also seen some people who I know are vegan and they have inspired me to go vegan (they haven't forced me). I'm a big chicken/meat eater but I also eat a lot of fast food and unhealthy food. I believe I can cut them out. I have also gone vegan for 50 days before and while it was admittedly tough, I was a lot younger back then and believe I have more self-control now and am more matured to handle a vegan diet.

However, I must say that I have seen animal cruelty and knowing that by going vegan I could be helping animals, that would definitely make me feel better.

So, am I going vegan for the wrong reason?

Also, is there a good way to start going vegan? e.g. Do I just go vegan or start gradually (cutting out meat, chicken, diary gradually).

Thanks!
hello and welcome!

Firstly, i have to say there is no right or wrong reason for going vegan. I have been a vegan for more than 10 years and have never felt better.

There is no doubt there will be times which you will doubt your decisions, peharps because of social circle of friends or pressure from your family or loves ones. But if it is a choice you have decided, because you feel right about leading this way of live, then dont worry and proceed ahead with confidence

Honestly, there were times which i have wanted to turn back, especially in certain social situations which friends/colleagues are having key outings in restaurants which serves no vegan food. It sounds kind of stupid now, thinking back that these are actually stuff that made be waver, but it happens to everyone.

After 10 years of being vegan, i have never felt better in both my health and life.

Hang on to what you believe, and when in doubt, this is what the forum is for, support

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#26 Old 12-31-2015, 08:15 AM
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Yes, because you are not a vegan, just following a vegan diet. Being vegan means no animal products or exploitation. No leather, wool, silk, down, honey, beeswax, or fur. You don't go to zoos, aquariums, sea world, or anything that uses animals for entertainment. No horse drawn carriages either, or doves at a wedding. You should check all of your makeup and toiletries to make sure the companies don't test on animals or use animal products. Check clothing labels for animal materials. Check cleaning products...you get the idea.
It also means that you feel disgusted by the horrible treatment of animals as property, when they are sentient beings.
So...vegan means a lot more than just eating plants. It is a lifestyle and one that omits animal exploitation.
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#27 Old 12-31-2015, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Thalassa4 View Post
There isn't a right or wrong reason to adapt to a plant based diet, in fact I think it's good to be mindful of your health so that you focus on learning nutrition and a more balanced diet instead of being a junk food vegan.

There are so many reasons why vegan diets are great, that it will help your resolve in the beginning to inform yourself as much as possible, so when you think of one reason to quit, you'll be reminded of another.

Vegan for animals, environment, health, whatever, it's a great choice.

I'm transitioning into vegan from vegetarian, I'm like 99 percent vegan, everything in my kitchen is vegan, I may slip up and have some wine that isn't vegan or a soup with dairy, but my reasons are so varied and my conviction about the environment in particular so strong that I have no intention to give it up.

Honesty I don't miss meat, there are so many meat analogs that actually taste better than meat. With gardein vegan sausage or chkn, you'll never bite into gristle, feel bloated, have a disgusting greasy aftertaste, and you're less likely to get food poisoning. My experience may be different than yours, because I pretty much had to be forced to eat meat as a child, and started slowly going towards vegetarian as early as my middle school veggie pizzas and high school baked potato lunches. But I swear, if your concern is leaving behind familiar foods, meat analogs can be part of the answer. Also learn to use nutritional yeast in recipes, and remember plain soy milk has the highest creamy protein factor without any sweetness.

As someone who enjoys cooking as a hobby, becoming vegan has been kind of fun and exciting for me. I collect recipes and get to try new things. It also helps to know how to cook in terms of eating balanced meals and overcoming cravings.

The longer you do it the more repulsive animal products may start to seem to you, especially if you're well fed. Your biggest enemies will probably be hunger or social pressure. Facing hunger as a vegan is the same as facing hunger as a junk food addict. By that I mean it takes the same mental resolve to choose the healthier option rather than your bad habit. Whether you're trying to give up animal products or eating bags of doritos, it's just about choosing to eat for hunger, and to understand how to exchange bad fats for healthy fats, for example...if you crave something creamy, instead of macaroni and cheese you can have pasta with a homemade nooch sauce. If you crave salt eat salted nuts instead of beef jerky. Just things like that.

Good luck.
Excellent post, QFT
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#28 Old 01-01-2016, 01:04 AM
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You're reasons to go Vegan are your own (and there are lots of reasons!), just like you're reasons for making other life decisions. You weigh the ins and outs within your personal belief system and go from there.
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#29 Old 01-02-2016, 07:27 AM
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Your biggest enemies will probably be hunger or social pressure.
It's funny, but since I switched to Vegan, I'm not hungry anymore : Brown bread and avoiding dairy and junk food as taken care of my hunger and beyond, because my most known feeling is fullness. It could be that I do plan my meals way carefully, and I'm finally free of all the nasty additives they put on junk food to keep you hungry, so you'll buy more junk food.

Social pressure? I don't know how true this is, when you have done your schoolwork and be aware of all the wrong arguments, then you can easily work trough them one by one calmly, explaining your reasons, and if they still refuse to at least talk about it on a rational way, then I'm probably wasting my time with these people. I don't need to justify my choices or my lifestyle : It makes me happy, and if you can't understand it... It's too bad, but you won't change me or make me feel guilty.

I say, let's welcome all vegans, and stop over analyzing. Once we are around, we can offer them videos that surely will make them see there are other reasons for this. What matters is that they are not consuming meat or dairy, they are saving animals even if they don't know why.

I don't think we'll ever see chicken on a vegan restaurant... And the 'vegan' asking for chicken will be greeted with a 'this is a VEGAN restaurant, sir/Madam'. It could happen that they open 'fake' vegan restaurants, but they won't be around for long. And no, you won't 'kill veganism' because there are 'fakes' around. We can't go all 'all or nothing', not on these times and on the kind of societies we are living in. A smooth transition is better than no transition at all.
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#30 Old 01-11-2016, 06:28 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 456
Forget the label, consider more your intent. You want to feel healthier - both physically and mentally. Adopting a vegan diet and eating only Oreos and fries will not give you the results you want. For me personally, I feel best when eating mostly whole foods.

As for how you do it, cold turkey works well for some (it's the only way I can do things) whereas others are better gradually cutting back. Do whatever works best for you.
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