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I have been a vegetarian for about 7 months and just made the switch to veganism a few days ago. I'm beginning to realize that there is a lot more to it than just avoiding milk, cheese, and eggs. How is it possible to avoid all of these animal products, or at least not spend all your waking hours reading labels? I know it can be done, but I am overwhelmed at this point. I mean, from reading the animal-derived products list it seems like everything could potentially contain an animal product. How do you guys do it?
 

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You don't have to do everything at once. In fact, you don't have to avoid every single animal product - it's up to you how fast you change things and how far you take it.

I would start with the obvious ones, like you already said -- milk, cheese, eggs. There are a few other things that are easy to look for -- whey and casein are both milk-derived. You can look for vegan versions of some foods you like -- start with the easiest ones first. I found it pretty easy to switch veggie burgers, for example, because most of the vegan ones will say "vegan" on the package. Finding vegan store bought bread is trickier, but once you get used to it the label reading isn't so bad.
 

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I mostly stick to fruits, veggies, beans, rices, things like that. For more processed things, it takes time to get used to what is probably vegan and what probably isn't. It's not too difficult once you get the hang of it, though it is a bit overwhelming at first.

EDIT: Also what ^ they said. "Usually" there are a couple vegan brands in grocery stores, though they don't advertise it. You've got to spend 5-10 minutes looking through all the ingredients to find them. A bit of a pain, but once you find one that's vegan and you like, you don't really have to check again, they don't usually change.
 

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It's easy! Make as much of your diet come from foods that aren't in packages as possible.
 

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I've familiarized myself with several of the basics when it comes to animal ingredients (whey, casein, gelatin, etc.), however I'm still getting my head around everything. I've now been vegan for 4 months. One thing that I have started doing is shopping in the natural foods section of my grocery store often, most products in that section have short ingredient lists and/or are labelled as vegan.

At the end of the day, don't be too hard on yourself. I still slip up, but what matters is your intention. And I see posts from people on here who have been vegan for years and still slip up!
 

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Look for things that say vegan right on the package

And sometimes, you can find out if something is vegan or not by looking it up on the internet.
 

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It's one of those things you learn as you go. The intense label reading is really only at first when you're still finding out what is vegan and what you like, after a little while you'll get a go to list in your head of your favourite vegan foods and you won't have to think about it unless you're trying something new.

And yeah, as others have said there's nothing easier than natural unprocessed food. Making fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes a bigger part of your diet is easy AND it's incredibly healthy. It's a win win
 

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Honestly, I think one reason vegans tend to be pretty healthy is that we get tired of reading all those damn ingredient lists and just start buying real food. I know it worked that way for me.

When I went vegan it was like a switch flipped in my brain and I went vegan right then; there was no way I could transition slowly or take baby steps. If you're like that too, you'll just have to tough it out with the labels. The good news is that you really only have to do it once. You'll find your vegan taco shells, soy sauce, bread, and whatever else and you can just stick to that brand. This does mean that you'll probably have to read a thousand labels or more, but it's honestly worth it. If it gets really annoying, just think about the reason you're reading the labels in the first place. It's worth the hassle.
 

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yeah I second (or third) that it is definitely easier to eat vegan if you just make the meals yourself. There are thousands of recipes available online, some on this site even. Milk in recipes can be replaced w/ any soy or rice milk and should taste fine. Cheese can usually be omitted without changing the dish a lot. Also, try not to overthink it sometimes. There's some simple things you could cook like stir-fries, burritos or pasta w/ veggies that are simple and often made vegan naturally.

And it does get easier as you go, once you start expanding your diet and learning new recipes and learning what things to buy in the store. If you have any specific questions just give me a holler or come here and post!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doktormartini View Post

It's easy! Make as much of your diet come from foods that aren't in packages as possible.
Yes
 

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Like what i think most peopl have pointed out already is dont go for all at once first take out foods and learn those labels ect what foods till your comfotable and know it very well then move onto other things a s a next step you dont have to be perfect everything your doing so far is Something so Good job
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by obz900 View Post

I have been a vegetarian for about 7 months and just made the switch to veganism a few days ago. I'm beginning to realize that there is a lot more to it than just avoiding milk, cheese, and eggs. How is it possible to avoid all of these animal products, or at least not spend all your waking hours reading labels? I know it can be done, but I am overwhelmed at this point. I mean, from reading the animal-derived products list it seems like everything could potentially contain an animal product. How do you guys do it?
Just look at it this way - avoiding the obvious animal products helps prevent the bulk of suffering. If you think being a vegan is hard or that it's about memorizing huge lists of ingredients, remember that veganism in and of itself is not a virtue in any way shape or form. Reasons, not rules, make us strong. Examine your personal reasons for being vegan, and if you feel you can't be 100% vegan at all times, then be vegan enough for you. I personally don't eat meat, eggs or dairy products, and almost always avoid honey, but I would use things like film or cane sugar because I believe their direct contribution to suffering is negligible. The animals who suffer the most and in the highest numbers are killed directly to be eaten and most of them are chickens and fishes.
 

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I have been vegan for just over 4 months, and I know it can be a real drag searching through all the labels. But when you do find something, you know you can have that, so that's one less thing to have to scan ingredients on.

Personally, I found it all so overwhelming, and it can be a very isolating experience if you don't know any vegans (or vegetarians, like me) but I pledged my veganism for 1 month on the Vegan Society's website, and they hooked me up with a mentor. She was amazing, whether it be foods on the forbidden list or just ethical discussion when the onmis in your life feel out to get you. I recommend this whole heartedly.

Well done on making the change though, it's a really powerful step to make, and I hope you feel good knowing you're not contributing to animal suffering. On my down days, I know I have that.
 

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I found it very frustrating for about the first 3 months of being vegan. I also spent about 6 months still using dairy, and lenient on ingrediants, and prior to that, leaned veg-so that part was very easy. I tried becoming vegan many times before, and OCD ruled my life. This time stuck to it, refused to obsess, and it got more and more normal. Now about 2 years later, I've found my niche, and am happier with food, and cooking! than ever before. I feel I have more choices, with fewer items.
I always read ingredints! It can bite your butt when something you've grown familiar with changes.
If you're in the U.S. at least, few things are labeled vegan. Some things may be labeled vegetarian, but may also be vegan.

I wholeheartedly agree with Josh James xVx post!
 
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