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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking about being a vegan again. When I was a vegan before, I cheated on my diet numerous times. I also found it hard to eat a variety of foods since I ate in the school's cafeteria, notorious for its use of animal products. I called myself a vegan for a year. Do you have any advice on ways to switch to being a vegan?
 

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Don't worry about what you are calling yourself, and don't starve. If you were vegan at home and not at school, that's still half way there. Or be vegan four days a week, or five, or one, or whatever you feel comfortable with. It's really easy 99% of the time, once your head is in the right place. I had trouble with cafeteria meals- I gave up and took in my own food. Sandwiches, yoghurt, cold pasta, cold rice and veg... I still ate with my friends in the cafeteria though. You probably wouldn't need to 'cheat' if you got a bit zen about what you are eating. Think "mm lovely fresh carrot" "mm lovely 12 month old fermented smelly greasy cow's breast milk that has been hanging around in a fridge for months and deprived some poor cow of it's breakfast and another of it's dignity". "I am what I eat, the vibes of my food are inside me".<br><br>
[I say that, but I just wooffed down a bar of vegan chocolate<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">]<br><br><br><br>
I've just lifted this out of the honey thread, but it's worth reading twice.<br><br>
.....what is a 'vegan'? Perhaps instead of defining a vegan as "someone who does not use animal products," we should define a vegan as "someone who reasonably avoids products that cause suffering to nonhumans."<br><br><br><br>
This might upset some people who feel that without a dogmatic approach (i.e., a governing body making rules for everyone else), veganism will become meaningless as people will be rationalizing all sorts of behavior. But as the situation stands now, veganism's dogmatic overtones not only drive people away, but make them not even consider giving up many animal products. If we allowed people to call themselves 'vegan' and let them decide what is reasonable, we could then try to convince them using reason, rather than dogma. How can we scare people away by telling them to do what they think is most reasonable? We think the animals would be much better off with this approach both in the short and long run.<br><br>
V.O
 

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I don't see why someone needs to say they are vegan if they are not. There is nothing wrong with being a vegetarian. To be vegan you have to give up animal products. If you are vegan you don't eat, wear or use animals to the very best of your ability. It takes work and dedication. Being a vegetarian is a good thing so until you can really be a vegan, You just call yourself a vegetarian. I was vegetarian for 24 years before I actually became vegan 4 years ago. I didn't wear leather or silk but I didn't check labels to see if there was any eggs or milk product. I called myself vegetarian until I really stopped using anything that had animal ingredient and/or animal testing. Getting a computer and getting online helped greatly. I thought that the bread I was eating did not contain animal products but someone posted on another message board about an unpronouncable ingredient in bread that came from animals, I checked my bread wrapper and sure enough there it was. I stopped buying that bread and started making my own. The internet is a great source of information and support.<br><br>
When people who are not vegan tell people that they are vegan instead of saying they are vegetarian it causes confusion and makes it hard for vegans because people do not understand. It is sort of like people who eat fish or chicken and call themselves vegetarians. It makes people think that vegetarians eat chicken and fish and they do not.
 

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Well said and I agree with you yarnblossom. Sometimes, I am not sure if I am truly a vegan, because I support my kid's cheese habbit and I still wear my old leather sandals...
 

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I don't disagree with you Yarnblossom, but if I called myself vegetarian because I have a omni husband, or have a leather steering wheel on my car, I would be given milky coffee by my inlaws and things like that. It would confuse 'people' even more than they are. If they say ' oh- that's leather and you're supposed to be vegan' I can explain that i don't like it being leather but I can't bring the cow back to life and I shall replace it when it wears out with something vegan, and that it being leather creeps me out. Or whatever. A line has to be drawn on these definitions, and I take Vegan as being vegan in intent and action, rather than vegan to perfection. I have never met a perfect vegan yet. I'm not one. I have huge grey areas in the bottles under my kitchen sink. Yet as far as food and clothing is concerned I'm probably 99.5% vegan.<br><br><br><br>
I think there is room for people to say "I am trying to be as vegan as I can". But then to me 'vegan' means that.<br><br>
Much like being a Christian.
 

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You are right there is no such thing as being perfectly vegan, but we need to try as hard as we can. And having an omni husband certainly would not mean that you were not vegan, what others do doesn't reflect on you. It does take some work to find products that don't contain animal ingredients and are not tested. It is easier for some than for others because of availablity in the areas where we live and it is shocking how many products turn out to be made by Proctor and Gamble. Things you would never suspect and things that were not animal tested a few years ago have been taken over by P&G, it is disappointing.<br><br><br><br>
I don't think that wearing out leather items that you had before you became vegan makes one not vegan either. It might give an omni who is trying to pick on you about being vegan amunition the "yeah but you wear leather shoes", but that sometimes happens to people who are wearing fake leather shoes and the person can't tell the difference.<br><br><br><br>
I think that way too many people think that veganism is a diet and they call themselves vegan when their lifestyle does not reflect being vegan. And I think it makes for confusion and makes it harder for people who are truely living a vegan life to get by and it is hard enough in this world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the advice. I guess that I should not have given myself the title of a vegan before. But, I still probably used non-vegan products like lotion which probably had glycerin or lanolin in it. I am going to look at your new thread Spud <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">.
 

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I think the best way to become a Vegan is to become vegetarian and then start to rule out different items.<br><br><br><br>
If you want to change at once, you run into so much that there is a big chance you wont make it.<br><br><br><br>
Take it easy one step at the time.
 

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I have found that i can easily stick to a vegan diet. I don't have *any* cravings anymore and i truly believe it is b/c i put a lot of thought into eating a *very* healthy diet. I take a multi-Vit each day and only eat Whole Foods. I have stopped eating processed stuff with food colorings, and nasty preservatives too. I eat fresh fruit, lots of fresh green veggies, fortified soy milk(yes it's proccessed-lol), nuts, and whole grains, brown rice etc.<br><br>
Do you eat a lot of 'junk food'? Or do you eat a well balanced diet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I mostly eat pasta, french fries about three times a week, hot cereals, fresh fruit, pizza about twice a week, beans and rice and steamed vegetables. So, I guess that I have a pretty well balanced diet.
 

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*hugs scarletboo* Hey there, dear! I'm glad you're reconsidering veg*nism.<br><br><br><br>
FYI to those who don't know... scarletboo is a friend of mine in real life.
 

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It's fantastic that you are considering it!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"><br><br><br><br>
I had a transition period of about a month where I cut out cheese milk, eggs etc, then things with animal ingredients. What really helped me with what breads/cosmetics etc I could use was The Vegan Society's 'Animal Free Shopper' - I don't know if you have that or anything similar in other countries though. Most of all do plenty of reading on the dairy and farming industries and once you know the facts you may find it easier to stick to your guns as you won't want to return to eating any animal products again.<br><br><br><br>
I'd say I'm still probably in a transition period about 9 months down the line, as I'm still working on replacing all my non-vegan/animal friendly cosmetics, household goods and shoes with vegan ones. I haven't intentionally bought anything non-vegan since I made the switch so I consider myself vegan although not perfect. Just do the best you can <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 
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