Vegetarian for a week - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-16-2009, 06:37 AM
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I'm going overseas in a few weeks for a week long trip visiting my family. They are poor and eat a mostly vegetarian diet, but they use a lot of dairy. I do not want to offend them, and in their country there are no margarines or soy products, so I'm thinking about just being vegetarian when I go there. I won't go out of my way to eat dairy but I won't complain if my food is cooked in a little butter.

Is this wrong? I don't want to do it, but I have to.
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#2 Old 05-16-2009, 07:29 AM
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I do this whenever I visit my parents, just to keep the peace. They find my diet annoying, and that it gets in the way, so I eat vegetarian there, and vegan at home. I don't consider myself vegan, though.
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#3 Old 05-16-2009, 07:51 AM
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I was doing my own thing quietly and YOU are the one who created this post trying to make a big deal out of it. Keep flaming the fire. That must be what you want.

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#4 Old 05-16-2009, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by sleepydvdr View Post

You won't die from not eating some dairy for a few weeks. Toughen up. You can do it. When you get back, splurge on some vegan treats.



What? Have you ever been to a 3rd world country? Food is hard to come by for most people. Most of their food is cooked in dairy because they have /nothing/ else. If I don't eat it, I'm pretty much eating raw vegetables. It's also rude considering they are going to be spending money they work hard for on food I wouldn't eat.
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#5 Old 05-16-2009, 08:48 AM
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I personally think there are some instances where its just not practical to be vegan (perhaps middle of no where Africa). I think its unrealistic to expect these people to have an animal free diet. I don't think many people in the US or other such countries have much of an excuse (some exceptions).



There are also some instances that I would consider not eating vegan. One of them being the Peace Corps if I ever decided to join.



Anyway, if you find this is the only way to eat a half decent diet, then I would do so. Three weeks may be enough for you to feel poorly if your diet is lacking. Its really up to you, however I wouldn't feel bad because you're not sticking to your "label." You don't have to answer to anyone but yourself.



I'm also not the most radical of vegans so. :P



Good luck.



Oh I misread and thought it was a 3 week visit, rather than leaving in 3 weeks.

My opinion is still the same, with the exception of the health thing.

I still think its your choice, but a week is more doable than 3.

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#6 Old 05-16-2009, 09:26 AM
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I think it's a reasonable compromise to avoid dairy where possible without impacting your host, but not beating yourself up when it isn't.



It's something that I worry about, too. It's not so much an issue when visiting relatives or travelling in developed countries, but I have thought about doing volunteering "vacations" in the future. In those situations, you have very little control over your food options. It's one thing if you live in the country and can shop for and prepare your own food. Visiting and relying on communal food is completely different.



Good luck.



ETA: I just realised (silly me) that you are talking about a one week visit. In the spirit of "where possible", I would ask: (a) can you have a conversation with your relatives about your diet (framing it in whatever terms you think they would best understand) and (b) is it possible to bring some (light-weight, non-perishable) food items with you?
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#7 Old 05-16-2009, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by myrtlemaneet View Post

What? Have you ever been to a 3rd world country? Food is hard to come by for most people. Most of their food is cooked in dairy because they have /nothing/ else. If I don't eat it, I'm pretty much eating raw vegetables. It's also rude considering they are going to be spending money they work hard for on food I wouldn't eat.



I'm not commenting on your original question, but by the adamance of your response it seems that you were looking for confirmation for eating it. You asked if people thought it was wrong, someone said to buck up, and now you're accusing them of cultural insensitivity or...?



You could bring nuts and some other items, and eat the raw vegetables and basically be a raw vegan for a week. I'm not saying what's right for you, it's up to you what you want to do, but it's certainly not undoable if you decided not to eat the dairy.



Not really sure how to say this, but...if they're that hard up - you make it sound like they're at bare subsistence and hardly that - perhaps skip the flight and send the money.

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#8 Old 05-16-2009, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myrtlemaneet View Post

I'm going overseas in a few weeks for a week long trip visiting my family. They are poor and eat a mostly vegetarian diet, but they use a lot of dairy. I do not want to offend them, and in their country there are no margarines or soy products, so I'm thinking about just being vegetarian when I go there. I won't go out of my way to eat dairy but I won't complain if my food is cooked in a little butter.

Is this wrong? I don't want to do it, but I have to.



Is this India? If so you should be able to score some good milk from a Goshalla, where the cows aren't killed and the calves are allowed to suckle properly.
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#9 Old 05-16-2009, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Irizary View Post

I'm not commenting on your original question, but by the adamance of your response it seems that you were looking for confirmation for eating it. You asked if people thought it was wrong, someone said to buck up, and now you're accusing them of cultural insensitivity or...?



You could bring nuts and some other items, and eat the raw vegetables and basically be a raw vegan for a week. I'm not saying what's right for you, it's up to you what you want to do, but it's certainly not undoable if you decided not to eat the dairy.



Not really sure how to say this, but...if they're that hard up - you make it sound like they're at bare subsistence and hardly that - perhaps skip the flight and send the money.



I was just going to say the same thing.



Bring nuts, seeds, etc. with you on your trip, that way when you're not only eating raw vegetables. Why not bring some vegan food with you to share with your family?



Also, what country is this that you are going to?
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#10 Old 05-18-2009, 09:56 PM
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I don't think it's wrong. I eat a vegan diet for the most part because I prepare most of my meals, but if I've been invited to someone's house or on special occasions like Thanksgiving, I'm a vegetarian. Not to say that I will drink an entire glass of milk or have scrambled eggs, but I know most things that omnivores make have some sort of animal product in them. A little cheese or a bit of milk in a recipe isn't going to hurt me. But really, it's a personal choice. Do what you feel comfortable with.
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#11 Old 05-19-2009, 12:26 PM
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I don't think it's wrong. I eat a vegan diet for the most part because I prepare most of my meals, but if I've been invited to someone's house or on special occasions like Thanksgiving, I'm a vegetarian. Not to say that I will drink an entire glass of milk or have scrambled eggs, but I know most things that omnivores make have some sort of animal product in them. A little cheese or a bit of milk in a recipe isn't going to hurt me. But really, it's a personal choice. Do what you feel comfortable with.



So it's ok for you to be inconvenienced when invited over for dinner but not the other way around? With the Internet and a multitude of vegan cookbooks available it really isn't that much of a hassle for someone to veganize a recipe. They're the one that invited you over. Why wouldn't they respect your beliefs?
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#12 Old 05-19-2009, 02:43 PM
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How long has it been since you've eaten dairy?? I was ok eating dairy when I did, but since I've stopped if I do eat it (accidentally) I get really bad gastrointestinal symptoms (sever stomach cramps, gas pains, diarrhea). That just wouldn't be an option for me, and I think it's something you'd want to consider because you don't want to spend your vacation sick, and I'm sure your family would feel awful if they made you sick. Where are you going?

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#13 Old 05-19-2009, 02:55 PM
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I second a lot of the opinions here, contradictory as they might be. A lot of people don't have the option to be vegan because they eat what they can get. So I would say if you have to eat dairy, I wouldn't have an issue with that. Of course, what's more important is what feels right to you. Also, if you CAN bring nuts, seeds, bars, that sort of thing, that's good, too.



What country are you going to?



Quote:
Originally Posted by rabid_child View Post

How long has it been since you've eaten dairy?? I was ok eating dairy when I did, but since I've stopped if I do eat it (accidentally) I get really bad gastrointestinal symptoms (sever stomach cramps, gas pains, diarrhea). That just wouldn't be an option for me, and I think it's something you'd want to consider because you don't want to spend your vacation sick, and I'm sure your family would feel awful if they made you sick. Where are you going?



This is a very valid concern, one of the first things I thought of. As much as you might want to eat what your family has prepared, you might not physically be able to if it's been a while... When you don't eat dairy, your body loses the ability to digest it.
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#14 Old 05-19-2009, 03:05 PM
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I would say it's okay to eat dairy when visiting places, or eating out. I try to be as vegan as possible but don't stress about the ingredients.



Then again we ordered food out a few days ago, I got gnocchi. The description said NOTHING about cheese poured all over the top of the dish, and I had to eat it anyway because it was $10 and I didn't pay for it. I thought I would be okay but I felt like crying afterwards.



So small ingredients, I'm okay with, flat-out cheese on something, not.
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#15 Old 05-19-2009, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by m4rk0 View Post

So it's ok for you to be inconvenienced when invited over for dinner but not the other way around? With the Internet and a multitude of vegan cookbooks available it really isn't that much of a hassle for someone to veganize a recipe. They're the one that invited you over. Why wouldn't they respect your beliefs?



In a 3rd world country, they might not have a computer to access the internet.
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#16 Old 05-19-2009, 04:51 PM
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Honestly, if it's only for a week, you can definitely more than survive on a vegan diet! Just tuck some non-perishables into your suitcase (Luna bars, Lara bars, Mrs. Mays bars, instant soups, other prepackaged meals, Odwalla bars, etc.) and eat whatever your family has that's vegan. It's only a week; you will be okay. But then again, I guess it really just depends on how important your beliefs are to you and why you are vegan.



I went to Spain for two weeks, and I did not have many options (read: salad, fruits, and veggies) because of the schedule and the meal plan with my program, but I made it work (I brought bars, granola, nuts and seeds with me).
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#17 Old 05-19-2009, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Bells View Post

Honestly, if it's only for a week, you can definitely more than survive on a vegan diet! Just tuck some non-perishables into your suitcase (Luna bars, Lara bars, Mrs. Mays bars, instant soups, other prepackaged meals, Odwalla bars, etc.) and eat whatever your family has that's vegan. It's only a week; you will be okay. But I guess it just depends on how important your beliefs are to you and why you are vegan. I went to Spain for two weeks, and I did not have many options (read: salad, fruits, and veggies) because of the schedule and the meal plan with my program, but I made it work (I brought bars, granola, nuts and seeds with me).



a week really is doable and it does depend on how important your beliefs are.



when I went to Finland for five days, I didn't find any vegan food! Mostly because I couldn't find a store and when I could most of the products I couldn't read.



I survived off of instant coffee, two apples, four cookies (that I brought on the plane), one order of fried tofu (I went out to lunch with Virpukka) and a lot of peanuts. Was I hungry? At some points. But I still stuck to my beliefs.



I've always said that I would rather starve than eat non-vegan food, and I really was hungry for that week. A week is doable.



I think the OP will be fine on some food he/she can pack with him/her as well as the vegetables that aren't cooked in non-vegan food. And the OP may not even be hungry the whole time, maybe the host will be fine trying to make his/her food vegan.



It won't be all doom and gloom, eating is just a small part of the trip!
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#18 Old 05-19-2009, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Jemdude View Post

In a 3rd world country, they might not have a computer to access the internet.



I wasn't responding to the original post. I quoted someone else in the thread.
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#19 Old 05-19-2009, 07:41 PM
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I would say it's okay to eat dairy when visiting places, or eating out.



I'm gonna go ahead and say this is NOT an okay statement to make in the vegan subforum.



Oh poor me, I can afford the luxury of eating out but I have to deal with the minor inconvenience of asking the server to hold the cheese or cook it in oil.



Sickening.





To the OP: I think this decision is really down to you. You seem to have a pretty big knot in your stomach over it though... If its going to tug at your conscience, maybe its better to feel a little unsatisfied diet-wise for a week.



Also, Odwalla bars are EFFING delicious... and Pro-Bars, I think they're called. Pro-Bars are very calorie-dense and in my experience pretty much take the place of a meal.
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#20 Old 05-20-2009, 03:05 AM
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a week really is doable and it does depend on how important your beliefs are.



when I went to Finland for five days, I didn't find any vegan food! Mostly because I couldn't find a store and when I could most of the products I couldn't read.



I survived off of instant coffee, two apples, four cookies (that I brought on the plane), one order of fried tofu (I went out to lunch with Virpukka) and a lot of peanuts. Was I hungry? At some points. But I still stuck to my beliefs.



I've always said that I would rather starve than eat non-vegan food, and I really was hungry for that week. A week is doable.



I think the OP will be fine on some food he/she can pack with him/her as well as the vegetables that aren't cooked in non-vegan food. And the OP may not even be hungry the whole time, maybe the host will be fine trying to make his/her food vegan.



It won't be all doom and gloom, eating is just a small part of the trip!



Exactly.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ripvanfish View Post

I'm gonna go ahead and say this is NOT an okay statement to make in the vegan subforum.



Oh poor me, I can afford the luxury of eating out but I have to deal with the minor inconvenience of asking the server to hold the cheese or cook it in oil.



Sickening.



And plus, if you order a dish that has cheese on it, you can always send it back! Simply because you order something does not mean you are tied into eating it. Restaurants are in business to serve people, and usually, the waiter or waitress is more than happy to make you happy.
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#21 Old 05-20-2009, 06:08 AM
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It all depends on how sensitive you are to dairy. If you do not seem to be intolerant or allergic, then there should not be a problem consuming the dairy. I know that when I eat something with a lot of cheese, cream or butter in it, I will be into trouble, but a tiny bit may be okay. Bringing some vegan stuff with you is a good idea, like nuts. There are instant almond and soy milks, so maybe it is an idea to bring them along. It is all up to you to decide, not to the rest of us here.
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