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I'm about 90% vegan at this point. While I completely respect anyone's personal reason for going vegan, I do it not because I believe consuming animal bi-products is innately wrong but because the abuse the food/other industries inflict on these creatures is disgusting and has encouraged me to try my best to be a more ethical consumer.

Now, this holiday I did join my family in our traditional non-vegan Christmas dinner as an exception to my new lifestyle. I'm not overly concerned about labels but I want to respect the "vegan" title and identify with it only if it's appropriate. Can someone who makes the occasional exception in their food choices (Christmas meal, when it's absolutely impossible during travel, etc) still identify as vegan?

Thanks!
 

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The only situation I can imagine where it would be impossible not to eat meat is some kind of nightmare survival scenario: a plane crash, a hiking trip gone horribly awry. It's actually quite easy to find vegetarian food while travelling. Mixed nuts, fruit and fruit juices, potato chips/crisps, fries, onion rings, bean burritos (even from Taco Bell), cheeseless pizza (even from Pizza Hut or Papa John's) are all vegan.

If you truly care about animals, please consider that raising and slaughtering them for their meat is just as abusive as any other practice. There is no way to ethically source a corpse.
 

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I personally would not identify as a vegan if I made those kinds of exceptions. It might be different if I were in a hospital, or homeless, or in jail, or had to be on a life saving medication that was tested on animals, etc and had NO CHOICE. To me, veganism goes beyond avoiding the large scale suffering of animals in factory farms. Exploitation of animals for any reason is unnacceptable. I simply do not see animals as food, or a source of clothing, or flavoring for my soup, any more than I view my family or friends or my companion dog that way.

That said, I do appreciate that you are at least making some effort to live a more ethical lifestyle. That's way beyond most people.

Out of curiosity, what are your reasonings for eating nonvegan food at the family Christmas meal?

When I do family get togethers, especially with the inlaws who are huge meat/dairy eaters, I make all my own food and bring it along, and also bring vegan dishes to share with them. Over the years, they have not only warmed up to my being vegan, but my MIL makes fresh vegetable dishes from her garden and sets some aside for me before adding butter and other stuff to them.

I also traveled to a poor part of south Texas several years ago to visit my inlaws who were down there helping the community. I stayed in an old historic hotel but had meals with them in their tiny trailer, and it was an interesting week as far as meals but I still managed to stay vegan. I had to travel twenty miles to find a decent grocery store for produce, plain oats, canned beans, instant rice, sunflower seeds to snack on, and Mexican tortillas (thankfully many Mexicans make their tortillas without animal lard). I had little access to a microwave and no refrigerator access, but by keeping it simple I was able to get by. Usually when I travel I stay in motels/hotels with microwaves and refrigerators, or I bring along dried foods and a single burner portable camp stove (often I stay in campgrounds in a tent) in summer. Cliff bars are a godsend, and HappyCow.net or Vegdining are great sites for researching ahead on what grocery stores and restaurants are available in areas you are traveling to around the world. Heck, even major airports are becoming more vegan friendly. On that trip, I spend almost all day in airports, from Milwaukee to Chicago to Houston to Corpus Christi. I could not bring my own food aboard the planes except small prepackaged cliff bars and raisins, but all of the airports had something I could eat.

It may take a little more effort to be vegan in some social and other situations, but it is well worth it in my opinion. Making exceptions where one doesn't really need to erodes one's sense of commitment and value (for whatever reason you are vegan) and tends to confuse the omnivores. They will often think being vegan is too difficult. Living by positive example is a very powerful tool.
 

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Imho, it depends on your audience. Certainly here or with a gathering of vegans in person, I'd be honest and up-front about "exceptions" because keeping the definition of being "vegan" is very important to some people and it's just better to be honest. That being said, I personally would have no problem with you saying to a waiter in a restaurant "I'm vegan, what can you make for me?" or at a shoe store - "I'm vegan, what are my options here?" I don't think you need to get into the nitty gritty of rare exceptions with people in passing.
 

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Correct me if I am wrong, but would the pizza dough or burrito tortilla not have eggs or milk in it, thus making it non-vegan?
Papa John's crust is vegan. The tortillas at Chipotle and Taco Bell are vegan. I look online, most restaurants have online menus, and many have nutrition facts/allergy warnings for each dish.
 

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I'm about 90% vegan at this point. While I completely respect anyone's personal reason for going vegan, I do it not because I believe consuming animal bi-products is innately wrong but because the abuse the food/other industries inflict on these creatures is disgusting and has encouraged me to try my best to be a more ethical consumer.

Now, this holiday I did join my family in our traditional non-vegan Christmas dinner as an exception to my new lifestyle. I'm not overly concerned about labels but I want to respect the "vegan" title and identify with it only if it's appropriate. Can someone who makes the occasional exception in their food choices (Christmas meal, when it's absolutely impossible during travel, etc) still identify as vegan?

Thanks!
OK, harsh response here, don't read if you're really sensitive. Well, vegans don't eat meat, even on Christmas. Your Christmas dinner was tortured just as much as any other animal that people eat.

Why do you want to use the vegan label? You might want to think about this.

Also realize that your family is going to tell everyone that vegans can eat meat on holidays. And they are going to expect you to do so at all the special occasions, and even if they want to go to a restaurant that doesn't have vegan options. Because you can make exceptions. Slippery slope, my friend.
 

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Correct me if I am wrong, but would the pizza dough or burrito tortilla not have eggs or milk in it, thus making it non-vegan?
Tortillas are made from flour, fat*, water and a bit of salt. *Traditionally, the fat was lard, but every commercially prepared tortilla I've encountered has used some form of vegetable shortening or oil.

Pizza dough consists of flour, oil, water, salt, yeast and a sugar of some kind for the yeast to feed on. Commercially prepared pizza dough may or may not contain a dough "conditioner" which may not be vegan. Also, some chains put cheese in their pizza dough.
 

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I bake bread all the time. Pizza dough is made of flour, yeast, water, olive oil and salt. Tortillas are very much the same, with flour, shortning, water, salt (no yeast). Traditional tortilla recipies use lard (animal fat). I've always made them with vegetable shortning.

I think some vegans may have a question about whether yeast is an animal or a plant. Everything I have read says it is a plant like fungii, or mushrooms. I have no problem eating mushrooms.

I kind of agree that you would be a Flexitarian if you eat meat (only on family holidays). You should still be proud of the lower animal abuse or use you are engaged in. I just would not agree that you should call yourself "vegan."
 

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I think some vegans may have a question about whether yeast is an animal or a plant. Everything I have read says it is a plant like fungii, or mushrooms. I have no problem eating mushrooms.
Yeast is neither an animal nor a plant. Yeast is a type of fungus, like mushrooms. Fungi are not quite plants or animals, though they share certain characteristics of both. They're creepy, if you ask me! 😱
 

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I'm about 90% vegan at this point. While I completely respect anyone's personal reason for going vegan, I do it not because I believe consuming animal bi-products is innately wrong but because the abuse the food/other industries inflict on these creatures is disgusting and has encouraged me to try my best to be a more ethical consumer.

Now, this holiday I did join my family in our traditional non-vegan Christmas dinner as an exception to my new lifestyle. I'm not overly concerned about labels but I want to respect the "vegan" title and identify with it only if it's appropriate. Can someone who makes the occasional exception in their food choices (Christmas meal, when it's absolutely impossible during travel, etc) still identify as vegan?

Thanks!
Congrats on your 90% progress!!! :)

Your "Holiday scenario" leaves me with a question, however. If you know someone who "quit smoking", but has an occasional smoke at the bar...... would he be a smoker?

After quitting meat, we had a TOFURKY Thanksgiving. The taste was lacking, to say the least. Now, we just have a "meat free" Thanksgiving.

It's like being half pregnant. I get your "exception", but will there be other "exceptions" to follow?

I'd say jump in with both feet, or don't. People will either get it, or they won't. That's their problem. Live the life you want to live, and let others deal with it.
 
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I'm about 90% vegan at this point. While I completely respect anyone's personal reason for going vegan, I do it not because I believe consuming animal bi-products is innately wrong but because the abuse the food/other industries inflict on these creatures is disgusting and has encouraged me to try my best to be a more ethical consumer.

Now, this holiday I did join my family in our traditional non-vegan Christmas dinner as an exception to my new lifestyle. I'm not overly concerned about labels but I want to respect the "vegan" title and identify with it only if it's appropriate. Can someone who makes the occasional exception in their food choices (Christmas meal, when it's absolutely impossible during travel, etc) still identify as vegan?

Thanks!
What is so hard about cutting out meat, dairy, and eggs out of your diet for good? Until then, you should not identify as vegan.
 

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My Foreseen Exceptions...

I'm currently transitioning to veganism for health reasons, spiritual reasons, and to strengthen the environment. The animals are a part of why I'm going vegan, but not necessarily the first reason, although I have major respect for people who are vegan strictly for the animals. I'm on hormonal birth control for medical conditions that force me to use it (I don't use it primarily for the birth control properties, those are an added bonus...) and I did not choose to use it as medicine. When I go vegan, I will continue to use birth control, however I also plan on advocating for cruelty and lactose-free birth control from medical companies (I have a somewhat popular tumblr blog where being against animal testing would fit nicely with the theme, so I could use that as a platform...). I have heard of nature-based hormonal treatments, but they would not help in my particular rare condition. Also, I am not sure yet whether I will ever be able to ditch beeswax-based lip balms. I have tried vegan lip-balm, but in my opinion, candelilla wax is not the best for my lips, and while the abuse to bees is real and excessive and should not happen, the abuse to bees is not quite comparable to the abuse to farm animals on factories. I will not know if I will be able to quit the beeswax until I am able to live 99.999% vegan, but I will reevaluate my stance on mainstream lip balm at that point. Another exception that I can see myself having is for wearing items (jewelry, a few pursues) that I already own that were made with animal byproducts, that have some sort of sentimental or otherwise value to me more than just a pretty exterior.
 

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I have tried vegan lip-balm, but in my opinion, candelilla wax is not the best for my lips, and while the abuse to bees is real and excessive and should not happen, the abuse to bees is not quite comparable to the abuse to farm animals on factories..
Coconut oil makes a great lip balm. My wife and I just buy the little jars, and put it on our lips.
 
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Coconut oil makes a great lip balm. My wife and I just buy the little jars, and put it on our lips.
I use an old contact lens case. It's completely sealed and the one side I mixed with some red veg color for a sheer color that kinda stains to last

I've had Merry Hempsters and like the balm a lot, but the cinnamon while tasty, was a bit too much if lips are sensitive or chapped already. Lemon lime was awful and plain smelled. My store didn't have vanilla which I wanted
 

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Thanks! I'll try coconut oil!! BTW I never use any non-vegan lip balm with red coloring bc of the cockroaches and all...
 
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