I just really felt the need to vent. I know I really don't post a lot on here, and did wanna make my posts as positive as possible, but I can't help but vent just a little bit.
I really didn't think this was going to be a big deal. I wanted to reduce animal suffering as recently I've come to believe that no living creature should suffer needlessly, and also do something good for my body. Sometimes I wonder if I got over my head in what I wanted to accomplish with this major life choice of mine.
I stopped eating eggs and meat overnight and haven't touched them since and that was 7 months ago. No goodbye meat dinner with a giant steak, nothing. I just woke up and said "I'm not doing this anymore" and stopped eating animal flesh/embryo and at this point am very turned off by the idea of it. I felt that was as giant of a hurdle as you could jump. It took several months for me to do so, but eventually I did eliminate dairy products. Milk was easy, it tastes like ****, but cheese was damn near impossible although I did beat it. Eventually I did learn to live without it, and treasure the special trips I make to whole foods for follow your heart and rice slices for my sandwhiches. I feel guilty that looking at pizza with gooey melted cheese makes me salivate, but I don't give in.
Personal care items...a dreadful area I hate even discussing. I thought veganism was fairly simple, dont eat anything that comes from an animal. How naive could have I been? I've always loved wearing good-smelling colognes, and have recently found that they often contain fats from animals and are also TESTED on animals. My shampoos all have glycerin or other animal no-goodies in there, and my deodorants also contain that, as well as aluminum which I'm really scared of as my grandpa had alzheimers. I switched to a natural deodorant which is ok but to be quite honest it doesn't work all the time.
It sucks that I'm SO aware of all this now, and it hits me in the face every day I get ready. I see the completely cruelty free personal care items and the prices make my heart sink. When you're used to paying a dollar or two for a bottle of shampoo, 10 dollars is kind of a blow.
Worst of all is the rogaine I've been using to keep the hair on my head as I am young and want to keep it as long as I can. I quit using it and within 3 months my hair started falling out rapidly and unlike most it actually was working for me ok, and I'm scared that hair is gone. I went back on it terrified I would lose more hair, but its a struggle for me now that I know what's in it. I feel guilty that I could be shallow enough to put keeping hair on my head over an innocent animals life. Plus the Pfizer company (also recently found this out) have terrible ratings as far as environmental safety are concerned PLUS they animal test. Horrible. I've tried finding vegan minoxodil and that's about as laughable as trying to create a soy filet mignon. Sometimes I debate quitting it and shaving my head.
Little did I know that diet was only a part of the whole vegan picture and just how much you really have to know. Sometimes I wonder if your first year or two of veganism is really just a gigantic learning curve, after which you're still always learning new things and unacceptable products to eat/use. Hell, I thought not eating meat, eggs, or dairy was a huge hurdle to jump, the amount of foods that contain by-products or preservatives derived from animals is staggering, especially ones that are dairy derived.
After 7 months, Ive only found out recently that I cannot drink vitamin water. For a month when I first attempted this as vegan, then vegetarian, I thought veggie shreds were vegan until my little brother came over for breakfast and he wouldnt eat the gigantic tofu scramble I made. Silly me to not read the label and I felt like a total chump that I'd been duped by cheese called veggie shreds that was basically regular cheese, and also contained no vegetables. Meh. I assumed that at friends houses that by peeling all the cheese and meat off the pizza that the crust and sauce would be fine, until I finally tried it one night and got totally sick to my stomach not thinking about all the milk and egg products that could be in the crust, let alone the fact that it could have been cooked on a pan with shortening. Last time I did that.
Worst of all...and get ready to unleash all the pretentious veganism on the world for this grave error as I deserve it, I had assumed that fast food fries were acceptable when I was trapped with no food with nowhere else to eat. I (and yes, ignorant on my part) assumed that fried potatos were fried potatos, and hey, they cooked them separately from the meat products so who cares if I eat fast food fries once in a while. You can buy meat at Giant Eagle and Whole foods and nobody boycotts those establishments, so why boycott McDonalds because they sell burgers when I just want some fried potatos anyways? The part of my brain that thinks started to get the best of me the other day, and I decided to do some research into the fast food chains and made the disgusting discovery that these "fried potatos" weren't even VEGETARIAN. Flavored with beef flavoring? Why, if most of these people are eating meat anyways, would they need fries flavored with it? I'm never eating out again unless its an exclusively vege establishment. And the whole preserving things with milk products baffles me endlessly.
Needless to say, I'll be keeping some potatos at home and making my own fries when the craving strikes from now on.
As far as other things, I've always known gelatin was a no-no. When I think gelatin I think gooey, gelatinous, overly sweet and jiggly ****. Wasn't aware that the chalky altoids I was gleefully munching on last week had those in them. I brush my teeth with **** that has pig fat in it. Its in the gum I chew time to time. I then wash my mouth out with the **** too. Also wasn't aware that pills I take time to time are pressed with gelatin either. I feel like I've been trying so hard at this, my friends think I'm crazy and overly obsessed reading labels and being as obsessive about ingrediants in food as I have been (even so I've still missed ****), and I endured the most annoying thanksgiving of my life this year. So I prepared separate food to eat. Can you not let me enjoy the company of my grandma and aunts when I never see them by refraining from every word coming out of your mouth being a vegetarian joke or some snide comment about whether the gravy is organic or not? I left early.
Sometimes I wonder, does the world hate animals? Animal by-products are in everything!!! I felt like I did an amazing and tremendous thing by cutting meat, dairy, and eggs from my diet (working on honey and some things I eat that contain white sugar too, which I still dont know is really vegan or not it seems like there's conflicting opinions and some vegans still eat honey even though it really does clash with the lifestyle). I really felt that with the effort I put into this that I was being really successful in it and I can feel the difference. My head is clearer, I feel better, dont need as much sleep, my poops are epic and amazing, and overall I just feel healthier than I ever have and can honestly say i'll never eat meat, eggs, or dairy again. I still feel a lot of guilt about all these other things I still use that have animal-derived things in them.
Really to be honest, I felt like I was doing so well and I tried so hard but at this point I just feel like a failure at it and totally lost. Dietary things, that hasn't been so bad but I still have a couple sticking points, and the fact that those sticking points could be an advil here and there or using mousse really just sickens me. There's so many other things I need to change that I dont even know where to start. Things with natural flavors? Stuff labeled flavoring? God its in so much stuff. I dont even feel like I can trust v8 vegetable juice anymore. I find myself being hesitant making homemade tomato soup with the tomato sauce with "natural flavor" and get paranoid that it has some kind of weird animal ingrediant. Its amazing the difference between "prepared black bean" and "organic black bean" means one is cooked with meat and the other isnt. I call food companies obsessively and look things up online all the time. I actually have the peta website with the animal ingrediants list saved in my phone so I can run it by things as I shop and realize I pretty much can't have anything. I must look crazy on the web on my phone walking around looking at the labels of everything. They probably think I'm a secret shopper.
It's already hard enough with as inconvenient as it can be for me to eat sometimes if I dont prepare carefully, which most times I really do, but sometimes I really feel like I dont know where to go and that a package of unflavored nuts from the gas station will have to suffice as a meal. I really desire to live a cruelty-free lifestyle, but at this point feel like Ive failed so hard and don't even know what steps to take first to cut more out or where to even start. I refuse to part with the leather wallet my beloved and passed boyfriend bought me as a gift. I feel thats the only exception I should make yet I have all these other things in my life. Stopped some things though. Yeah, wont be eating out especially fast food ever again even if its something that would seem innocent, like a fried potato thats cooked seperately from the meat. Only trust organic bread and even then check the label. I dont know, sometimes I just wanna tear my hair out over it. Sorry if I've been meandering or unfocused but some of these things really have me down.
Thanks for reading if you took the time