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Wow, I'm so glad I found a regular veg*n messageboard....I was surfing a few days ago and couldn't find any, and then I found this one by accident!

So.....I'm almost 31, got married a month ago, and saturday I have my orientation for volunteering at my county's largest no kill shelter. It'll be my first experience volunteering and I'm really excited! I'm also mom to 2 cats, Tigger and Penny.

I'm just wondering how common initial failures are among pure vegs. This is my THIRD try, and it's been almost 2 years since the last one. And I'm not veg yet, just decided last week to give it another go and I'm on the extended 12 week plan that I have in my Complete Idiot's Guide to Being Vegetarian.

I think it's been so long since I tried because I just felt so guilty that I couldn't make it work before. My reasons for converting are those horribly inhumane conditions in factory farms, not that I object to eating animals necessarily. My plan is to start out ovo-lacto veg and then go full veg from there (and consider vegan WAY down the road).

But I don't know if I can handle the guilt if I fail again! My problem is that I don't know all I need to know about nutrition, I'm pathetically unskilled in the kitchen and generally don't have a lot of patience cooking. I thought I would try to replace what I eat now with veg equivalents. Then I was reading the thread about people who are ex vegs, and how the common complaint was that they were sick, or were weak, and I feel like I'm going to fall into that trap.

I need emotional support! Last week I was reading about the animal abuse on farms and I locked myself in the bathroom for 20 minutes crying. I actually haven't had any beef since then (the idea sounds really unappealing now and I feel like I'm going to barf if I see anyone eat it), and on the days when I have no backup am trying not to think about what I'm doing when I have chicken.

So how did you guys do it? How did you make the successful transition and manage to stay healthy?
 

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MCsAngel,

Hello. I've been a vegetarian for 8 years, but before I started that counter I *tried* for about 4 or 5 years (so it's been about 12-13 years I've been into all this... jeez). My first attempt was in junior high, then I went on & off in high school, but once I graduated I stuck with it and didn't turn back. Some people can do it the first try, but that definitely wasn't me -- I suspect it may have to do with the fact that I'm not into AR. I mean, I doubt I would actually feel *guilty* if I were to eat meat, even today; I would simply be incredibly grossed out.

I think the best thing to ease the transition is to find *new* yummy foods rather than replacement foods that make you miss the "real" stuff. After a while you'll forget what chicken really tastes like and those veggie pot pies will taste disturbingly real -- but it does take a while. Check out the recipe threads here, or maybe stop by VegWeb (http://www.vegweb.com) and look at their recipes. Cookbooks with pictures are great, too.

My first attempts at vegetarianism weren't successful because the only things I knew how to cook were *very* midwestern and meat-centered. I ended up living on quesadillas and salads -- NOT healthy at all. The time I succeeded was when I read up on things, made sure I got variety in my diet, and met a few veggie friends who could give me tasty-yet-nutritious tips. Variety is key.

After a year or so I gave up eggs, and then when I went off & lived on my own I stopped buying dairy products. I'm not a vegan by a longshot -- I eat dairy when I go out. I do think it would be easier to take things one step at a time, though -- get rid of red meat, then chicken, then fish (if you eat that -- I *never* ate fish. Blech), then eggs, then dairy (if you so desire). A little bit at a time will probably be more successful, even though it may take you longer to meet your goal. Another way that was successful for a friend of mine was she cut out all meat products in her groceries, but still ate meat when she went out to eat (much like my dairy thing), and then she started cutting that down until she no longer ate meat.

Don't get discouraged, though. Even *trying* means you're limiting your consumption of meat & thereby being the cause of less suffering (since that seems to be your motivation). You'll get there eventually, even if it does take you a few more tries. But I guarantee you'll get tons of support here, so you'll probably do fine.
Good luck!!

Mskedi
 

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welcome MCsAngel


firstly, you've come to the right place!

VB is the best


there are alot of people here who should be able to help you whether it be with recipes or nutrition questions (or anything else).

mskedi gave alot of great advice, just take it slowly and don't make it too hard for yourself.

i did it gradually too even though i did go vegan after about 6 months of being vegetarian .... you can read my story if you are interested.

good luck and i hope we can help you out.

for me, (as with others i am sure!) it is such a nice feeling everyday to wake with a clear conscience knowing that no animals are dying for your existence ....... peace to them all
 

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I went cold tofurkey and never looked back, but I just met a vegetarian who tried to be vegan for a couple of months but found it too difficult. She confided in me that she was glad to meet me because she's interested in doing it again, but needs advice. I know there are others out there that have experienced the exact same situation.
 

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hmmm, perhaps because I was already a pretty good cook it was no real problem. Before going vegan, I only used meat really as little additions to other meals (stir fries, noodle dishes) except for burgers but they were easily replaced with some good veggie burgers I found so no loss there either. I rarely (extremely rarely) ate out so no loss there.

Anyway, in a way I feel the ability to cook (or liking to cook) really helps.

Perhaps as a start you shouldn't worry about little ingredients in things that most vegans consider. SO if you just avoid the obvious and find tasty alternatives but don't get concerned if the bread on the sub at subway had milk in it , it might be easier

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" I'm pathetically unskilled in the kitchen and generally don't have a lot of patience cooking."

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Could you explain what it is about cooking you don't like? Is it the process you don't like or the end result?Maybe there's a way to get you to see another way and set up a cooking environment you like. Once you learn some general rules about simple meal cooking , it can help.
 

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When we first became vegetarians, this is what I did:

I kept the meals very simple and predictable:

Vegetable and tofu stir-fry.

Meatless spaghetti sauce, pasta and salad

Cheese pizza

Tacos (with beans) etc.

Homemade soup and fresh bread

Sandwich night (deli slices and veggies)

Surprise night (I suggest that you get yourself a couple of vegan cookbooks and start experimenting).

Sometimes we just ate a baked potato and a salad or had waffles for dinner.

Snacks were mostly just fresh fruit and veggies.

Just keep trying, you'll get it.
 

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Kindred spirits!

I'm glad that I'm not the only person who made many veg*n attempts. The first time I tried was in junior high school. I had gone to a function and the speaker talked about how meat tired our bodies, rotted in our stomachs and then turned to deadly toxins in our bodies. I was so horrified that I said that I was not eating meat anymore. This lasted for about a week. Then my mom kept adding non veg*n foods for me to eat saying that it was not red meat so it was still vegetarian.

I decided to become a vegetarian last year. My friend said that her New Year's resolution was to become a vegan. I had read about that and I thought that I would try it too. I was extremely unsuccessful and turned back to being omni when school started this year.

Now, I am trying to be a vegetarian again. It is still hard for me to do especially since I am not allowed to use the oven. My mom is slightly protective of her oven, only she can use it. So, I cannot make foods from scratch like i've always wanted.
 

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greetings!

i was a vegetarian for about....5 years before i became a vegan. i turned vegan on my 18th birthday and i'm 30 now. to be honest i have fallen off the vegan wagon. it was while i was living in t.o. and discovered hagen das. for me though having been a vegan for almost 12 years i've developed a severe aversion to milk, eggs, etc. it's so bad that if i take even one bite (as what happened to me the other night when i ordered a pizza that came with feta cheese to be served without the feta cheese and they decided to be good samaritans and replace it with another kind of cheese - hidden under my spinach!!) i gag. people have tried to lie to me and feed me that crap - but my body's like a lie detector test and i'm not afraid to give them results in the form of vomit.

i also believe than being a vegan is a decision made out of love and you shouldn't be beating yourself up if you fall. that you try and that you let others know you're trying and why (without being militant) is the best thing in the world for you and them.

when i became a vegan there was no such thing as Soy Delicious and Tofutti and make-up not tested on animals (not at the mall anyway). the world is changing and making it easier. oh joy, oh joy.

so nice to meet you.
 
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