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Hello,

I have been vegetarian for a few years, I started when I was a teenager and now I am 20.
At the start, I would still accidentally eat products not suitable for vegetarians as I did not realise at that point how careful I'd need to be. For example, I had this bread product a lot when I started being "vegetarian" years ago just to discover that months later that bread, including this one, could have animal fat in it!
For a while I was super careful about food and checking ingredients but I realised how hard it was to even tell, a lot of food labels list ingredients that I cannot even understand and since these lists are always super long and filled with chemicals and such I find it hard to google search each ingredient individually.
Ever since I became vegetarian, my family get super mad and frustrated when I try to be careful with what I eat and this made me so uncomfortable that I stopped being as careful and started to make assumptions again about food (like how I was at the beginning)...and today I just found out that I may have yet again accidentally eaten a non-vegetarian product. After talking to a friend (who is not vegetarian but understands my vegetarianism), I realised that deep down I am feeling guilty about this.
On top of that, my family want me to consider going on holiday with them to a foreign country where we don't speak the language and I just know that if I join them, then they will just be mad at me because I am going back to being careful about what I eat.

I still call myself vegetarian because I never intentionally ate non-vegetarian products but I would very much appreciate some advice about how I can make it easier to check labels/ingredients and how to handle my family being so mad when I want to check things. :crying: I feel so guilty about calling myself a vegetarian all this time when I have made a few mistakes, should I even call myself vegetarian? (Thanks to anyone who reads this)
 

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Emma JC
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h LilPiy

Welcome!

I will just address one portion of your post - how I can make it easier to check labels/ingredients - this one is fairly simple if you try to eat mostly "whole" foods instead of processed foods.

Fruits, vegetables, potatoes, rice, legumes, beans etc don't have labels and so are easily consumed. Find a few processed foods that you take the time to research and stick with them for the rest.

Okay, so I will also comment on travelling - you don't mention which country you are going to but it doesn't matter. Take the time to research the typical foods that are available there and then make a plan and put it in place. Families usually become upset if what you are doing inconveniences them. If you know what you are going to do and then just do it calmly and happily then I am sure they will be happy also.

All the best with your journey! Emma JC
 
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