(exchange that c for a k?)
Originally Posted by Indian Summer
My learning points are these:1. New vegans and vegetarians need support networks (veg*n friends, uni veg*n associations, Internet forums etc.), especially the younglings.
2. Contrary to what many veg advocates say, becoming vegan or vegatarian is not generally easy. It's hard.
With my own experiences in mind, I'm sympathetic to people who have tried and failed. I don't think it's necessarily fair to label them "lazy", or assume they were consuming nothing but potato chips and soda. But of course they are wrong if they blame their failure on veg*ism itself.
I've now been vegetarian for 13 years, and vegan for the last four of those. It has become a lot easier over the years, because I now can cook and because veggie foods are more plentiful and available. I also have a vegan fiancé
who does 98% of the cooking in our household. But there are still challenges, simply because we live in a meat-centered society.
So respect to those who try, admiration to those who succeed.
I get a little tired of threads popping up everywhere running down (often very young) people who tried to go veg*n and failed. Lots of people who never could have imagined to fail at being veg*n when they started, nevertheless did fail after a while or even after a longer time. And some who have failed before, eventually decide to try again one day, and are likelier to succeed this time if they're ready for it, and have learned their lessons. They need your encouragement and support, not your disapproval.
I was one of them, went long time l/o-veggie to strict vegetarian (dairy/egg free) for 2y to flexitarian for ~5y to vegan since >2y ago now. When I first went vegetarian, there was no public internet, and when I first went dairy/egg-free, there was some internet info (nowhere like now), but no forums like this, and not dozens of suitable cookbooks either. My first interest for a dairy/egg-free vegetarian diet was mainly based on treating some health issues; I knew next to nothing about animal rights advocacy and didn't hear much of it anywhere either. Even now, that these things are readily accessible and available, and now that veg*ns can network so much easier than years ago, some of the challenges remain, like being the odd one out in ones surroundings, or having to few veg*n contacts IRL, and these can make it harder to stay veg*n for some people than for others. Besides that, a lot of crap which you never dreamed of as a teen can happen in your life, and turn it upside down, and even alter your perception of things, to the degree that staying veg*n becomes the least of your concerns, even if your veg*n diet was balanced.
I've been there myself, and I know of others who (have) struggle(d). I feel quite confident about being and staying vegan now, but I'm aware. And I'm not honest about my past struggles to flagellate myself, or for the pleasure of those who choose to ridicule the imperfect ones among us, let alone would I want to discourage any fellow veg*ns from staying veg*n.
But in my experience too, it's better to accept going and staying veg*n as the challenge that it really is, and not view it as something that is done in the twinkling of an eye without anything to worry about. It can be hard, but it can be done, and be very rewarding, if you take it seriously enough without getting obsessed over it. And if you or some other veg*ns you know struggle, help them, and if you stumble or fall, get up, dust yourself down, and see when, and how, you can try again.
Educate yourself about veg*n nutrition as much as you can, learn to cook, and to enjoy. And if you want to support others in going and staying veg*n too, never completely forget that you once have been an omnivore yourself.