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Hey, lacto-ovo vegetarian here. I thought you vegans would be better-suited to answer my questions, so pardon the intrusion.

I've been veggie for years (still learning what ingredients to avoid), and initially when I started, I wanted to transition into veganism. After learning that hens produce eggs regardless of fertilization, I decided it's not really a big deal to capitalize on that (and as for the cruelty aspect, I stick to cage-free organic, which is the best I can do where I live). However, I re-evaluated the milk industry and looky, I was right about the whole "the cows need to be preggers to produce the milk" and this DOES seem cruel to me. So I would like to transition into ovo-vegetarianism. I'm switching all my personal products to vegan ones (makeup, etc). I know the obvious food no-nos (ice cream and cheese, really, I already stopped drinking milk because I think it's yucky), but I know there are a lot of confusing ingredients out there that are milk deriatives, so I would just like some advice on what I should look out for (because egg ingredients are fine, so I feel following basic vegan ingredient guidelines would be overly restrictive).

Also, any tips on how to let go of my ice-cream-every-day habit and how not to hate my cheeseless life would be much appreciated!
 

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Ooooh, an ice cream fan!


I am absolutely in love with coconut milk ice cream of all kinds, So Delicious makes some fantastic flavours: http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/

They also have yoghurt and other tasty stuff!

For an actual milk replacement I prefer vanilla Almond Breeze, it's delicious on cereal or in coffee.

And for cheese replacements try Daiya, it doesn't work for everything (in my opinion, you might love it everywhere) but I think it's fantastic for things like grilled cheese, pizza, nachos, etc.

Also when it comes to cheese on sandwiches and stuff I like replacing it with other creamy spreads like hummus or guacamole. It's a different yet also delicious experience! When I get Mexican food I always just ask for no cheese and sour cream and tons of guacamole and salsa instead
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, guys.

Regarding the whole cage-free dilemma, I know it can still be bad, but as I stated, I am extremely restricted by my location. I would love to get eggs from a local farmer, but that's not possible, so I'm doing the best I can, sorry. I'll be moving next year, though, so hopefully there will be the opportunity for truly cruelty-free eggs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by delitebrite View Post

Thanks, guys.

Regarding the whole cage-free dilemma, I know it can still be bad, but as I stated, I am extremely restricted by my location. I would love to get eggs from a local farmer, but that's not possible, so I'm doing the best I can, sorry. I'll be moving next year, though, so hopefully there will be the opportunity for truly cruelty-free eggs.
is there a reason why you must eat eggs? you could eliminate eggs completely thus eliminating the problem. if you're eating only cage free now, i assume you aren't eating most items that already have egg in them since most products don't use cage free eggs anyway. if you eat "item x" in a restaurant, from a store, or at a friend's house how do you know the eggs used are cage free (or cruelty free if you want to label eggs that way)? and if you're only eating eggs you prepare yourself, those are the easiest to eliminate as opposed to those in processed foods.
the only eggs that (as far as i can think) could be cruelty free are those that are a side effect of having a rescue chicken. even if the farmer lets the females run around, what happens to the male chicks what are born alongside the female chicks?

having said all that, i still think it's great that you're working on reducing suffering
 

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Originally Posted by delitebrite View Post

After learning that hens produce eggs regardless of fertilization, I decided it's not really a big deal to capitalize on that...
Wild chickens don't do this. What you are capitalizing on is generations of chickens bred and drugged by humans to lay way more eggs than they ever would if left in the wild. If birds shed unfertilized eggs they way human women menstruate the world would be knee deep in eggs all the time. People have made them this way on purpose. It's not just a natural waste by-product they would be laying without massive human interference.
 

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Originally Posted by SomebodyElse View Post

Wild chickens don't do this. What you are capitalizing on is generations of chickens bred and drugged by humans to lay way more eggs than they ever would if left in the wild. If birds shed unfertilized eggs they way human women menstruate the world would be knee deep in eggs all the time. People have made them this way on purpose. It's not just a natural waste by-product they would be laying without massive human interference.
I never knew that. Stupidly I took it for granted that they lay lots of eggs in the wild as well.

Well, we live and learn, as they say.
 

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Hello! I did this myself, I still lived at home with my parents who were concerned about me being vegan - so after being vegetarian for three years I gave up dairy (because for me it was harder and therefore better to get out the way!) but I did become vegan a couple of years after that. It's great that you want to give up the dairy for the animals sake - it's absolutly a great decision and one I was very proud of making. Like others have said, I do believe there are very big ethical issues with eating eggs, but that's not what you asked.

Being dairy-free is much easier than you'd imagine - and you're in lucky because in my humble opinion dairy free icecream is the BEST vegan alternative available. I feed it to my omni friends all the time and they don't even realise it's vegan untill they notice I'm eating it too, it tastes exactly like icecream, and I have even had omnis pick it over dairy icecream in a blind taste test! YUM! I can't point you to brands as you're in the US but I'm sure there are some great ones available! Cheese is the opposite IMO, although lots of people love dairy-free cheeses they don't really taste anything like cheese - and a lot of people find it's good to forget about cheese for a while, and then try the alternatives when you're not comparing it to cheese as much.

I don't know if you have allergy warnings in the US, but if you do then all foods will say "contains milk" if it contains milk, so it's actually very easy to spot. ("Contains traces of milk" is okay, it's just a precaution, milk isn't an ingrediant in it!). So if it's vegetarian and milk free you're in! Some things to remember is that lactic acid IS commonly not from dairy, dispite the name! Lactose obviously is from dairy, and whey powder crops up a LOT. They're the main ones I find (and obvious stuff like "milk powder" etc)

One tip is that instead of trying to eat like you did before, without dairy, try lots of new foods, new recipes, check out health food shops (or online stores if there aren't any near you) for dairy-free alternatives (and the free-from sections in the supermarket) and just TRY lots of new things, so that you have lots of exciting new foods and flavours, I think that helped me a lot - really getting stuck in! Rather than just eating what you did before and thinking you've suddenly limited your options.

So yep
If you have any other Qs feel free to ask! You're doing a great thing by giving up dairy so well done and goodluck!
 

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You'll stop craving cheese, ice cream and the like after a while (For me it took a month). There's plenty of vegan ice creams available made from soy, rice, coconut etc.

Just because chickens lay eggs, doesn't mean we have to eat it. It's needlessly exploiting the animal, and there's nothing in eggs that you can't get nutrition-wise elsewhere.
 

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I was already lactose-intolerant, so the transition has not been nearly as difficult for me so far. I'm still working on weeding out foods with animal ingredients, though. I hate eggs, so that's not a biggie
I have chicken-owning friends from whom I could get naturally produced, non-fertilized eggs if I wanted, but as I already mentioned, I dislike them. Why do you feel the need to eat them?

+1 on the coconut milk ice cream... Expensive but oh so tasty!! The cost keeps me skinny


I was a big cheese person, but am not finding cutting back/out to be all that difficult.
 

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I was a huge cheese fan, and I loved ice cream as well. It can be done!

It helped me to first cut down on dairy (cheese in particular), then look for substitutes. I didn't time things out, but I'd say it took me a few months to go from my previous level of dairy consumption to none at all. I haven't found a cheese substitute that is absolutely perfect, but I like different substitutes for different purposes -- for example, shredded Follow Your Heart on lasagna or nachos, Galaxy Vegan slices (not all of them are vegan, so read the label) on grilled cheese, or a homemade cheesy sauce for mac and cheese.

As far as ice cream goes, I actually like soy ice cream the best. I got frustrated with the limited number of flavors, though, so I bought an ice cream maker. I'd recommend it if you're at all interested!


There aren't really all that many confusing ingredients -- if you're worried about something with a chemical sounding name, I'd recommend the Vegetarian Resource Group guide. I only worry about those things if it's in something I'm going to be buying a lot. But, the major things I look for are things with milk or butter in the name (milkfat, butterfat, buttermilk, etc), whey, and casein (milk protein).

As far as the egg thing goes, of course it's your decision. For me the reasons for quitting eggs and dairy were quite similar -- A) What happens to the babies (male chicks are killed, calves that will eventually become beef cattle), B) What happens to the animals when they are no longer useful, and C) How are the animals treated while they are alive. There are so many easy and tasty substitutes for eggs, it was no problem for me to eliminate them. It is sad that I can't eat friends and family's baked goods anymore, though. Even if you still eat eggs sometimes, you might consider cutting down.
 

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Originally Posted by PonyGirl View Post

+1 on the coconut milk ice cream... Expensive but oh so tasty!! The cost keeps me skinny

.
You can actually make coconut ice cream at home very easily and cheaply. You don't even need an ice cream maker.
 

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Originally Posted by offthahook View Post

You can actually make coconut ice cream at home very easily and cheaply. You don't even need an ice cream maker.
You do know you can't say something like that around here without posting a recipe, right?

As for the eggs and dairy problems, I don't have much more to add to what everyone else said. Find out if you're a cold tofurkey or gradual approach person and give it a shot! You can only learn from the experience
 

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Originally Posted by Kjesta View Post

You do know you can't say something like that around here without posting a recipe, right?
Amen to that! I have a vegan ice cream recipe book reserved at the library, but until I move from about 15th on the list... Post away!
 
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