Moving from vegetarian to vegan... advice? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-17-2008, 11:28 PM
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I've been a partial vegetarian for much of my life, and stopped eating all meat about a year ago. I've been slowly phasing animal byproducts out, ie, stopped drinking milk and eating eggs overtly, started scoping out vegan hygene products &etc. I'm completely down for reading labels and I've managed to get my families support.. so, just wonderring, is there any expert vegan advice that will help me start my quest? .. and more importantly stick to it =)
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#2 Old 06-18-2008, 08:36 AM
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That's a really huge question and there have been entire books written on the subject. What are the specific areas you feel you need advice on? Things to eat? Dealing with friends and family? Ethical arguments?
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#3 Old 06-18-2008, 11:22 PM
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Mostly like.. how to approach omnis about the fact that i am, and any hurdles or warnings you might have =P
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#4 Old 06-19-2008, 02:50 AM
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I would just take it slow, easing into one step at a time. For me cutting out eggs and dairy is the easy part. The hard part is looking for mints, gums, and then household products that are cruelty free. I took it slow, buying vegan cleaning products one at a time each time I went to the grocery store. About six months ago I started ordering Veganu soap from, a site I found that sponsors this one. Then I got a vegan belt, then I got non-leather shoes to work in. Slowly but surely my life is becoming veganized. Also, I've switched all the supplements I take to one with vegetarian capsules and from vegetarian sources. But I didn't throw away my vitamins and Valarian, I used them up and replaced them as the time came.

I found this approach easier than just throwing everything out and starting all at once and I will probably never label myself "vegan", but I feel every little bit helps.

It's interesting what you find when you read lables. I found out a stiry fry sauce I use has shrimp paste in it and some pasta sauce had cheese in it. Also, honey is everywhere, but I'm a little more relaxed about that. Again, for these finer details, I slowly replaced what I ate without getting all anal and bent out of shape.

I guess because I'm older, I don't have any programs with omni's or my family. I simply matter of factly state I'm a vegetarian if it comes up. I decline to get defensive, because it's my life. Over the years people have gotten used to it, and it's just one facet of my personality that is me.
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#5 Old 06-19-2008, 12:56 PM
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As for omnis, don't make it a huge issue. IE if a situation comes up where food will be involved, if you aren't in charge of the food, go to the person that is, and let them know. Then offer to bring some vegan options if there aren't any. And the general warning of not talking about veganism over food. It's so tempting at times (a coworker of mine told me recently that her vegan friend is a big reason for her not looking farther into veganism as everytime they eat together she gets "Do you know what you're eating?!" I wanted to somehow reach out to that friend and smack them).

I've gotten several comments about how easy going (meaning I don't freak out about things) I am about my veganism, and in fact have been told that it's made it easier for others to talk to me about it. People know, but I don't get bent out of shape if I'm offered non vegan food, and I always offer to prepare meals when I visit others (to the point now that most people insist on making their own vegan food for me).

As for anything else, I'd suggust learning some quick resources to pull out when omnis are giving you a hard time (doesn't have to be pamphlets, but maybe easily variable facts and their sources).
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#6 Old 06-19-2008, 05:49 PM
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I am not a vegan, but I have read the book "Vegan Freak." It is one of the most practical books out there on how to "actually" live a vegan life. It is not a cookbook, or get into all the healthful aspects of it or any of that. It is a practical book on how to become a vegan and how to remain one if you are.

I eat like a vegan since I became a veghead a month ago. I just let the diary, eggs, and milk go right along with the meat. I am working on the other things such as the leather I already own, household products, clothes and shoes. I am phasing that out a little at a time. But I have promised myself that I will not purchase anything that is not vegan when replacing items that are non-vegan right now. I am a vegan at heart, but I have to let the theory catch up to practice.

I grabbed the book from the library and my work would not be anywhere near as complete had I not read it. It is a very useful and powerful tool given in a very succinct and funny manner. I will be purchasing it and using it as a reference for years to come. I am currently reading it again.

The comments that you have so far are some sure fire ways to get moving in that direction. Good luck!

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#7 Old 06-19-2008, 06:09 PM
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just remember that veganized foods (cheese, cream cheese, etc.) are not going to taste like what you are used to. so don't feel so discouraged when you try something and find at the first bite that you don't like it. it'll take your tastebuds a while to get used to new things. so keep trying them out!
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#8 Old 06-19-2008, 10:14 PM
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Haha thanks! These comments are really helpful. And tweety, yes! thats exactly what I am doing. I've slowly amassed the things I need for veganism and am just about ready to take the leap.

I've never been a conversion happy vegetarian, so that won't be a problem, but Im a teenager (17 almost 18) and my friends tend to call me a hippy, and though they mean it in a fun way I don't know how my other peers will react.
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#9 Old 06-20-2008, 02:13 PM
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Are you from New Zealand? Me too

I found dealing with Omni's pretty easy. The hardest was to deal with people that I already knew, as it took them a while to realise that I was serious about being vegan. But at the time I started a new job, and so people knew me as vegan, and no other way.

Also- if you are going to bake vegan, then make sure you use specifically vegan recipes and don't just adapt your normal recipes- it doesn't work so well!

God loved birds, he created trees.
Man loved birds, he created cages.
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#10 Old 06-20-2008, 02:15 PM
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"Living Among Meat Eaters" is a really good book. Plus the Neat Loaf recipe in the back is
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#11 Old 06-21-2008, 09:53 PM
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Oh man my moms a vegetarian and she makes some pretty wicked nut loaf. Actually I have no idea if its vegan...

hehe Nope, Im canadian, I just have a strange love of kiwi birds. =D

Thanks for the baking tip, I just got a sweet recipe book with lots of baked goods in it, Im pretty excited cause i love cooking (:
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