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Is anyone vegan?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
(Please note, this isn't meant to be a debate about vegan/vegetariansim )

I have been vegetarian for almost seven years and the 'worst' I have lapsed is to eat pepperoni pizza after I took the pepperoni off once and Jello when I had the flu... so I am pretty good at that.

I am considering being vegan, although I'm not sure I could do it for life (I do plan on being vegetarian forever, meat does not even remotely appeal to me). Currently I do not drink milk or eat eggs, though I will use either as an ingredient. The biggest change would be cheese I also don't think I could do the living vegan thing, as I'm on medicine that was tested on animals... anyway.

I guess what I'm aiming at is more of an unofficial vegan-type diet. Do people do that, like can you not eat eggs/milk/cheese except occasionally as an ingredient in, say, bread or something?

Do people have problems with this? I know vegetarians don't have much concern with diet (by which I mean, no more or less likely to have a vitamin deficiency or malnourishment or whatever than anyone else) but vegans can have these problems, what do you do to counteract that, specifically B vitamins, I think I am very susceptible to these and do the Emergen-C thing already.

Any suggestions? I am lucky enough to have a Sunflower Market closer than a normal grocery, so many things that are hard to find in some areas aren't so difficult here.

Oh, and I don't know if I could live without my Morningstar Farms... are they vegan?
post #2 of 23
My brother has been vegan for years, and is very healthy, the thing with cutting so much out of your diet is that you have to become a bit of a nutritionist to make sure you are getting the right balance of proteins and vitamins/minerals. My brother knows various good websites, bulletin boards, and e-lists where you can pick up good information and health tips, so I will ask him for some links and forward them on to you
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
My sister is a practicing MS/RD, and also was a vegetarian (well, she didn't eat meat, but didn't call herself vegetarian because sometimes she would eat fish) for 14 years until my nephew. I guess I should probably talk to her, huh? I've absorbed some knowledge from her, and also randomly reading her old textbooks (I really am a special kind of geek...)

I would love it so much if you'd ask your brother!

Actually I'd like to ask you a question then too, since you're likely to give me a different answer than he might. When you guys go out to eat together, is it hard to find something? Do you have to plan where you go to eat around whether he can eat there? I know it can be hard for me unless I want a fricking grilled cheese sandwich every time I go out... I mean there are some GREAT restaurants here, including one where ordering it with meat is the strange way, but most people I know aren't even vegetarian.
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
My sister is a practicing MS/RD, and also was a vegetarian (well, she didn't eat meat, but didn't call herself vegetarian because sometimes she would eat fish) for 14 years until my nephew. I guess I should probably talk to her, huh? I've absorbed some knowledge from her, and also randomly reading her old textbooks (I really am a special kind of geek...)

I would love it so much if you'd ask your brother!

Actually I'd like to ask you a question then too, since you're likely to give me a different answer than he might. When you guys go out to eat together, is it hard to find something? Do you have to plan where you go to eat around whether he can eat there? I know it can be hard for me unless I want a fricking grilled cheese sandwich every time I go out... I mean there are some GREAT restaurants here, including one where ordering it with meat is the strange way, but most people I know aren't even vegetarian.
I will e-mail him tomorrow

I was vegetarian (but not vegan, too fond of eggs!) for 6 or so years but am now pescatarian (fish but no other meat), my brother is vegan and fatally allergic (as in anaphylaxis) to egg products, my mum is vegetarian, my dad is vegetarian but can't eat cow derived dairy products or wheat gluten due to allergies - so yep when we go out as a family it is not the easiest thing in the world - but that is largely because of my family's various allergies.

I am not sure I will be much help answering your question in a more general sense - simply because at least 10-20% of the population here is vegetarian so every restaurant caters for that. It isn't an unusual or uncommon choice to be vegetarian, and no-one ever has a grilled cheese sandwich as the only option when they eat out.

The main thing I would suggest is that if you do decide on veganism and want to eat out, telephone the restaurant in advance and see what they can offer you - if they are half decent then they will be able to come up with something. I don't know how much of an option it is in your part of the world, but here Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi food has great options for vegetarians and, as long as it's cooked in vegetable oil rather than ghee (which a phone call to the restaurant would confirm) is great for vegans too. Plenty of Italian dishes are also naturally vegan, based on olive oil and tomatoes, just check whether anchovies or parmesan have been used in the sauce.
post #5 of 23
Can i ask a question? Why do vegetarians/vegans not eat milk/cheese/eggs? etc (i understand the whole not wearing leather/suede etc). You don't kill the animals to take any of these products for them. The eggs are unfertilised (in most cases), the cheese is made from their milk which isn't a physical part of their body. Ive tried being vegetarian once or twice, i had the cheese/milk/eggs but not any sort of meat including fish. I just dont quite understand it. Cows are vegetarians or even vegans. The baby cows drink the milk, so what does that make them?
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoriana View Post
Can i ask a question? Why do vegetarians/vegans not eat milk/cheese/eggs? etc (i understand the whole not wearing leather/suede etc). You don't kill the animals to take any of these products for them. The eggs are unfertilised (in most cases), the cheese is made from their milk which isn't a physical part of their body. Ive tried being vegetarian once or twice, i had the cheese/milk/eggs but not any sort of meat including fish. I just dont quite understand it. Cows are vegetarians or even vegans. The baby cows drink the milk, so what does that make them?
It is the use of animals full stop that vegans objects to - not just whether the animal has been killed for that product. Death is a part of farming. If you farm chickens for eggs, most of the male offspring are killed. Ditto if you farm cows or goats for milk, the milk is for the feeding of offspring, and in order to get the milk for human consumption, those babies die. It is not whether you are eating the dead animal, it is whether animals suffer at all to provide the produce.

ETA: There is also the environmental issue of how many acres of land are required to provide the same amount of protein/nutrition - land used for purely crop production, to be fed direct to humans, is far more ecologically sound, and far more efficient, than the same amount of land used to provide animal feed which in turn produces far less dairy produce (in terms of kg of protein by area of land) and even less again in terms of meat products.

ETA Again! : Vegetarians do not eat meat or fish, but they do eat milk, cheese and eggs, anything that does not mean the death of an animal. They (generally speaking) also do not wear fur or leather, since it directly involves the death of an animal. Vegans do not eat any animal products, including dairy, eggs, or honey, and they do not wear wool, because although those products do not result in the direct death of an animal, the farming of them results in an unnatural existence and generally speaking maltreatment on a large scale for the creatures involved.
post #7 of 23
I think if your going to eat those things on occassion then you are not really a vegan, just a more strict vegetarian. Veganism is really a lifestyle, it's more than just what you can eat and not eat. I have a friend who's a very strict vegan and he goes so far as to make sure his tooth paste is not tested on animals.
post #8 of 23
I'm not, but I have wanted to be for some years. Unfortunately I'm prone to anemia and have no idea how to cook and eat strictly vegetarian. Other than just eating salads and raw or cooked veggies, I'm totally lost when it comes to vegarianism (is that even a word?! hehe) I need to have a "square" meal, but sitting down to a plate of raw veggies for dinner does absolutely nothing for me. I don't even consider that a whole meal.
post #9 of 23
I was vegan for 18 months. I stopped because I was having intestinal issues and needed bacterial fauna, and pills were not doing the job.

I don't drink milk, use cream or eat eggs...I'm actually mostly lactose-intolerant. I eat yogurt and cheese, and don't worry about casein or whey anymore (although, I do NOT eat cheese that has animal rennet in it). Plus, you have to eat A LOT of soy, and that was not agreeing with my tummy, other digestive issues not withstanding.

I have vegan days in the week...it feels good to balance and detoxify in that way, and cutting back on dairy is a really good thing to consider for its ethical and environmental benefits (just like cutting back meat, if you don't want to go fully vegetarian). I'd recommend cycling veganism to anyONE, but only go fully vegan if you're healthy and very committed to getting everything you need in a healthy, balanced way (well, you should be that way, no matter what your dietary guidelines are!)
post #10 of 23
I'm not a vegan, but comming from someone with a lot of GI issues- it might be a good idea to consult a good dietician in your area before you start a new dietary change/lifestyle so you make sure you include all of the supplements/ things you need in your new diet and don't develop any nutritional problems. Good luck whatever you decide!
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoriana View Post
Can i ask a question? Why do vegetarians/vegans not eat milk/cheese/eggs? etc (i understand the whole not wearing leather/suede etc). You don't kill the animals to take any of these products for them. The eggs are unfertilised (in most cases), the cheese is made from their milk which isn't a physical part of their body. Ive tried being vegetarian once or twice, i had the cheese/milk/eggs but not any sort of meat including fish. I just dont quite understand it. Cows are vegetarians or even vegans. The baby cows drink the milk, so what does that make them?
Well, we aren't baby cows! I would never object to breastfeeding either. I know for me its totally unnatural to drink baby cow food... But another main reason is that I am not vegetarian because of the death of the cow, but because of the life of an average cow being raised for human food. There isn't much difference between the life of a dairy cow and a meat cow, and often meat cows are just old/sick dairy cows...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaireBear View Post
I think if your going to eat those things on occassion then you are not really a vegan, just a more strict vegetarian. Veganism is really a lifestyle, it's more than just what you can eat and not eat. I have a friend who's a very strict vegan and he goes so far as to make sure his tooth paste is not tested on animals.
I think I actually said that myself in my first post, that I was aiming towards a vegan-style diet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant View Post
I have vegan days in the week...it feels good to balance and detoxify in that way, and cutting back on dairy is a really good thing to consider for its ethical and environmental benefits (just like cutting back meat, if you don't want to go fully vegetarian). I'd recommend cycling veganism to anyONE, but only go fully vegan if you're healthy and very committed to getting everything you need in a healthy, balanced way (well, you should be that way, no matter what your dietary guidelines are!)
Actually I like your idea, I could myself sticking to something like that. I am going to try it tommorrow and see how it goes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryEyedTiGeR View Post
I'm not a vegan, but comming from someone with a lot of GI issues- it might be a good idea to consult a good dietician in your area before you start a new dietary change/lifestyle so you make sure you include all of the supplements/ things you need in your new diet and don't develop any nutritional problems. Good luck whatever you decide!
I just realized that normal people don't know that an MS/RD is a dietitian... so yes, I agree with you on that, if I decide to try it I'll talk to my sister. Although she did a huge paper on my very bad eating habits in college. A long time ago, when I ate hot dogs all the time and wouldn't try anything new.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
I just realized that normal people don't know that an MS/RD is a dietitian... so yes, I agree with you on that, if I decide to try it I'll talk to my sister. Although she did a huge paper on my very bad eating habits in college. A long time ago, when I ate hot dogs all the time and wouldn't try anything new.
Nope! I didn't know! But i'm glad you're going to talk to a dietician! That way if you do decide to make that choice- you will be well informed on what you should take/include to avoid certain problems!
post #13 of 23
I know a gal who calls herself a "vegan-tarian". She is a vegetarian, but as she says "I follow some vegan rules, too." She hasn't had meat in over 10 years.
post #14 of 23
I'm just a very strict vegetarian, but I lean toward vegan attitudes. I try to avoid products that exploit animals, but it's almost impossible to do... as I understand it, even the tires on my bike involve animal products in some way!

I became a vegetarian when I was about four or five years old. I've never used eggs per se -- but they're okay as a minor ingredient in things I buy ready-made. When I bake at home, though, I don't add eggs at all! Instead, I put a little extra liquid and sometimes a little natural applesauce (if it's appropriate to the flavor) to compensate. My cakes are a little crumbly, but they're egg-free, by golly!

I wish I could give up dairy altogether. I would no doubt lose weight drastically, and I'm sure I'd be healthier. But I love cheese! So much that when we were in Scotland in 2001, I bought a big slab of ultra-super-sharp cheddar that's famous in the area... and after sharing it with my family that evening, I rewrapped the leftover piece and tried to set it outside on the slate roof of the bed-and-breakfast we stayed in to keep it cold. But the wind was blowing so hard that the cheese wouldn't stay put -- so I had to leave the window open a little and wedge the cheese in the crack! It was a colllllld night in my room!

The things we do for cheese...
post #15 of 23
I was a vegan for about 7 years. The only reason I'm not a vegan now is because I got so fed up of not being able to eat out and having problems when I visited other people's houses that I just gave up (I even eat meat now but I don't eat much dairy and generally use soya milk instead of cow's milk).

The only vitamin that's hard to get in a vegan diet is B12, but many vegan foods have added B12 or you can take a supplement. Otherwise the only advice I'd give is the same as I'd give to anyone becoming a vegetarian - don't just drop foods from your diet, think about what nutrients you get from those foods and then find alternatives. The vegan society over here has a website which has useful information about vegan sources of vitamins and minerals.

Over here you can get lots of vegan food - eg vegan butter substitute, vegan cheese etc so it's not that difficult if you know where to shop. The difficulty is the hidden dairy products - so many products contain milk protein or milk sugar that you pretty much have to make most meals from scratch unless you have access to a good health store that sells ready made stuff.

I do agree though that if you're prepared to eat things as ingredients then you're still eating them and aren't a vegan/vegetarian! Not having a go - but it makes no difference whether you eat an egg straight or eat it in a cake - you're still eating it! Nothing wrong with eating it, but it causes problems for others when people who eat eggs call themselves vegan, people eating fish call themselves vegetarians etc. I've been served tuna sandwiches many a time as a vegatarian option and when I point out that tuna isn't vegetarian often the response is along the lines of "My daughter in law is a vegetarian and she eats tuna..." which is really annoying!
post #16 of 23
You don't have to go to one extreme or the other, certainly not immediately. You can simply think about what you feel is ethical and nutritious, and gradually alter your diet to suit your lifestyle. Suddenly saying 'I am now a vegan' without very carefully and slowly changing things, is, in my opinion, a bit like joining a religious cult. Many people I know are vegetarian but look for vegan options when they can. We can't all do everything at once.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers View Post
I do agree though that if you're prepared to eat things as ingredients then you're still eating them and aren't a vegan/vegetarian! Not having a go - but it makes no difference whether you eat an egg straight or eat it in a cake - you're still eating it! Nothing wrong with eating it, but it causes problems for others when people who eat eggs call themselves vegan, people eating fish call themselves vegetarians etc. I've been served tuna sandwiches many a time as a vegatarian option and when I point out that tuna isn't vegetarian often the response is along the lines of "My daughter in law is a vegetarian and she eats tuna..." which is really annoying!
Which is what I said... I hate when people call themselves vegetarian and aren't too. To make it clear, if I did do as I said I would, I wouldn't call myself vegan. I hope people read these posts before bringing this up again.
post #18 of 23
I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian. I need the protein.
Here is a forum:
www.veggieboards.com/boards
scroll down and there is vegan, vegetarian, raw food, new to vegetarian, raising vegetarian children, etc.
post #19 of 23
I don't understand how someone could not like some type of meat/fish/eggs, but to each their own.

I know someone in here that is I guess vegan, and glad I know it, cause when she comes to visit, we can be prepared to accomodate her (and not make the extra hamburger on the grill)
post #20 of 23
<<Oh, and I don't know if I could live without my Morningstar Farms... are they vegan?>>

I believe they have egg whites in them. I sure miss their hot dogs and breakfest paddies.

I've was vegetarian for 40 years and vegan for the last 7 years. (Yes, I'm an old fart.) For me it was a very hard to make the change. Cheese and sugar was the hardest things for me to give up and and I don't think a day has gone by that I don't think about Pizza or a Hersey milk chocolate almond bar.

Here's a site that you might find helpful, it has sections for both vegetarians and vegans and receipes:

http://www.vegsource.com/
post #21 of 23
Not all Morning Star products are vegan, but some are--the ground "burger" for example. And some frozen "burgers" say vegan on the package. Also, Tofurkey and Light life make some good slices for sandwiches and "Chick" and "beef" strips for stir frys, etc.

I too would like to be more vegan some day--maybe when my kids are out of the house. I have done it for periods of time and make vegan meals sometimes, but not always. (Milk chocolate would probably be the hardest thing for me to give up forever)

I know everyone hates PETA, but they have some really good vegan recipes--"Beefless" Stew, Szechuan Noodles, and Chickpea Curry, and pina colada bread are favorites of mine. Some vegan cookbooks rely on Tahini a lot, and though I like it in moderation, when everything has it in it, it gets tiring fast.

Also, if you drink fortified soy milk, I don't think you have to worry about B12. There is 50% of what you need in 1 glass of Silk Soy milk.

And you don't have to be a total vegan either. Its very difficult to avoid every kind of animal product or product tested on animals, but you just do what you can. Its better than nothing.

I think there are a fair number of vegetarians here. Maybe we could share some favorite vegetarian/vegan recipes. I'm always looking for new ones.

Oh and someone mentioned not wanting to just eat a plate of vegetables. Vegans eat other things too--nuts, beans, tofu. There are lots of things available in health stores now too, even in your regular grocery store.

Good Luck!
post #22 of 23
I wouldn't mind being a vegan. I find the range of vegan foods these days tasty just as much a real meat.
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the advice! I've been reading through the links and everything trying to get a little better acquainted. I did try to do a one-day trial and realized that I had like no food in my house that was vegan aside from fruits and veggies

I LOVE tahini. I've been a fan of falafel since before I was even vegetarian and have some in the fridge right now. I also like soy milk. And my mom was always very into health-food stuff so even when I was young I was used to applesauce in recipes instead of egg, even carob instead of chocolate, and when she made burgers they were half oatmeal...

Snuzy you're so right about the number of vegetarians here. It's weird, I think the population on America is estimated at 2 or 3 percent vegetarian, and Canada at 4 (by the ADA) so it's strange that a site dedicated to obligate carnivores would have such a fair few. But very cool!
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