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    • dandy-candy
    • By dandy-candy 26th Sep 17, 9:49 PM
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    dandy-candy
    Anyone here vegan?
    • #1
    • 26th Sep 17, 9:49 PM
    Anyone here vegan? 26th Sep 17 at 9:49 PM
    I've been vegetarian before, the longest was for a year. I'm planning on starting again but was wondering how hard it is to go vegan? It seems a bit extreme on paper, but I am uncomfortable about animal welfare in this country. I only eat organic eggs and dairy already, but I still don't know if there welfare is much better.
Page 1
    • Carrot007
    • By Carrot007 26th Sep 17, 9:52 PM
    • 618 Posts
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    Carrot007
    • #2
    • 26th Sep 17, 9:52 PM
    • #2
    • 26th Sep 17, 9:52 PM
    I would not dare go vegan. Cheese is life! But I too am concerned about animal welfare.

    You can often get local eggs chicken or duck which are very nice and you can see them in their environment and know they are well kept. Also a lot of supermerket eggs do show extra info as the official bands are not very well planned.
    • Doom_and_Gloom
    • By Doom_and_Gloom 26th Sep 17, 11:35 PM
    • 3,405 Posts
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    Doom_and_Gloom
    • #3
    • 26th Sep 17, 11:35 PM
    • #3
    • 26th Sep 17, 11:35 PM
    Yep I'm a vegan; years in the double digits. It's a lot easier than it was over a decade ago, that much is certain. I even have to avoid gluten now, that makes it interesting, it's not difficult though.
    There are lots of alternative products for vegans.
    Milks; soya, hazelnut, almond, rice, oat, hemp etc.
    Yogurts made of soya or coconut are easy to find and tasty too.
    Vegan sausages, burgers, 'chicken' style pieces etc
    There are vegan cheeses. Some good and some aren't.
    Vegan ice creams are in most supermarkets and there are quite a lot of different kinds now. Not just made of soya but coconut.
    Seiten, tofu.
    You don't even need to eat alternatives. A whole food approach can easily sustain you, while also usually being the cheaper way to be vegan. Grains, pseudo grains (such as quinoa), pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruit.

    Welfare of an animal that is certified organic isn't necessarily better no. It's mostly the food they eat is organic and when it comes to medication, antibiotics etc if an animal needs it there are very strict guidelines that have to be followed as to what is and is not allowed. It could be said that they have better conditions etc usually than non organic farmed animals but better when the conditions are that bad are still bad. There is no good there. The only way to not have animals go through those conditions are to hunt it yourself or keep them yourself. People who really think about animal welfare as an issue shouldn't be consuming animal products of any kind.

    If it's something you are passionate about it won't be difficult. Even when I went vegan when yes products were harder to find, ie not as mainstream, and when there weren't certain products, I still managed it with ease. It was and still is something that I believe strongly about.
    Last edited by Doom_and_Gloom; 27-09-2017 at 8:07 AM. Reason: typo
    28 year old vegan woman. My OH is a lovely omni guy
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 27th Sep 17, 7:11 AM
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    Spendless
    • #4
    • 27th Sep 17, 7:11 AM
    • #4
    • 27th Sep 17, 7:11 AM
    We eat on the hoof quite a bit, mostly due to my vegetarian daughter's extra curriciculum activities. Though veggie stuff is limited at lest there's a choice. I often browse the menu/ sandwich selection wondering what she'd do if she was vegan instead as there's sometimes no choice at all. I thought I'd mention this, in case you have a lifestyle where you need to eat out fairly frequently, as it would take more planning. You might also live in an area where there's a lot more choice. We don't even have a veggie restaurant here. Eating vegan at home would certainly be do-able.
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 27th Sep 17, 9:44 AM
    • 1,150 Posts
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    Wednesday2000
    • #5
    • 27th Sep 17, 9:44 AM
    • #5
    • 27th Sep 17, 9:44 AM
    Yep I'm a vegan; years in the double digits. It's a lot easier than it was over a decade ago, that much is certain.
    Originally posted by Doom_and_Gloom
    Agreed. 11 years vegan here and it is unbelievable how much easier it is today since I first went vegan.

    There are new products being brought out all the time, Quorn has a vegan range as well and the food labels are so much better these days. Supermarkets offer vegan lists too which makes shopping easier.

    PetaUK is good and I'm not on Facebook, but that is meant to be great for talking with vegans and finding new information.

    There are loads of online recipes if you want to cook from scratch. I don't cook from scratch all the time but I use Pinterest quite a lot for finding new vegan recipes.
    "It doesn't cost any more to dream big."
    • Caterina
    • By Caterina 27th Sep 17, 9:51 AM
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    Caterina
    • #6
    • 27th Sep 17, 9:51 AM
    • #6
    • 27th Sep 17, 9:51 AM
    Hi, I am moving towards vegan after 30 odd years of being vegetarian. I had short spells of veganism in those years when it was much harder, even on a family holiday in France (desperate attempt!). In later years I started eating some fish and even occasional meat again but felt terribly uncomfortable about the ethics of it all.

    Recently this feeling of unease about cruelty to animals has pushed me more and more towards a plant-based lifestyle. I'm not quite there yet. Although my food is 99% plant based, on occasions such as outings, or dinners with friends who didn't know I was going vegan, I eat vegetarian. I have completely stopped eating fish, let alone meat.

    Yesterday I ate eggs for the first time in months. Because they came from the beloved pet hens of a friend from church, who rescues battery hens, I feel that the occasional omelette will provide me with some much needed iron and b12 (On top of the supplements) . But I don't intend making a habit of it. Another friend keeps bees naturally, never kills his hive , leaves them plenty of honey for the winter. He gave me a jar and I'm using it, because I am totally convinced it's cruelty free.

    I still have leather shoes and bags, and woollen jumpers. I'm not about to chuck those away but am conscious about any future purchases, not that I need any atm because I'm well stocked. I will wear out what I have and then will (I hope) make different purchase choices.

    So, as you see, I can't really call myself vegan, but that's the aspiration.

    I am reading an amazing book, Vegan Freak, by Bob and Jenna Torres. You can get it on Amazon because it's an American book. It's great but it has the limitation of being American, so all the resources are US based. But the contents are great. Very factual, not preachy.

    My biggest obstacle to a vegan lifestyle in the past has been a gut reaction to the stereotype preachy, ranty vegan young people with growling dogs. I have met many of those and I felt really threatened, in many ways, even though the philosophy was sound, the attitude was abhorrent to me.

    Now in my older age I no longer move in those circles (festivals, hippy camps etc) and vegan is almost mainstream (at least in London and the South Coast), I hope to get to know more and more older, moderate (in words, not ethics!) vegans. Still principled, still active, still angry at the exploitation and cruelty against other species, but with a better understanding of how to communicate the ideas, so valid. How aggression just puts people's hackles up.

    Oh dear, what an essay. I look forward to reading other responses. Thank you for starting this interesting and important thread.
    Last edited by Caterina; 27-09-2017 at 9:55 AM.
    Finally I'm an OAP and can travel free (in London at least!).
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 27th Sep 17, 10:05 AM
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    Mojisola
    • #7
    • 27th Sep 17, 10:05 AM
    • #7
    • 27th Sep 17, 10:05 AM
    Welfare of an animal that is certified organic isn't necessarily better no.
    Originally posted by Doom_and_Gloom
    Welfare standards are built-in to the EU Organic Standards - you can't get registered unless you're meeting those standards and you will lose registration if the standards slip.

    The higher welfare standards mean that fewer veterinary drugs are used but, if an animal needs treatment, of course it has to receive whatever drugs the vet prescribes.
    • jackyann
    • By jackyann 27th Sep 17, 11:58 AM
    • 3,163 Posts
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    jackyann
    • #8
    • 27th Sep 17, 11:58 AM
    • #8
    • 27th Sep 17, 11:58 AM
    We have considered this carefully, especially as when we retired we did our budgets and decided that we could do as much ethical shopping as possible.
    I have 2 issues with vegans: one is purely practical, it is harder to feed them! The other is that they seem to rely a lot on imported food, which brings another ethical issue into play.

    We buy (nearly, because we're not perfect!)) all of our animal products very carefully, from farms and shops with high standards. Sure, it means we eat less of them because they are dearer, they are also nicer.
    We also try to eat food that has travelled as little as possible.

    Our family comprises a lot of people who take an ethical stance on things, and we know that we arrive at our decisions by different routes, depending on what we feel strongly about; and we all recognise that we don't always attain the high standards we aim to set ourselves.
    It is complicated, for instance: vegans don't eat honey, and will often talk about the poor welfare standards of commercial honey suppliers. But bees are essential to our ecological systems, and buying honey from the beekeeper up the road, whose bees love my lavender, feels like a good ethical choice.

    I would suggest that you consider what your aims are, then try to live by them as far as you can, forgiving yourself the odd lapse, and changing your mind sometimes as you learn about different things. Good luck!
    • Mabr
    • By Mabr 27th Sep 17, 12:17 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Mabr
    • #9
    • 27th Sep 17, 12:17 PM
    Vegan in the house
    • #9
    • 27th Sep 17, 12:17 PM
    One of my sons is a strict vegan, one daughter vegetarian, another son a total omnivore and there's a very picky daughter who only picks rubbish food with no veg! As my husband says, it's easier to be a vegan when someone else is making your food but I'm finding it easier all the time (he's been vegan for two years now). As previous posters have said, you don't need substitutes all the time but they can be useful. I find I make two meals at a time eg meatballs and pasta for some, vegetarian 'meatballs' and pasta for the others (I tend to give the vegetarian and vegan the same food). The sauce is the same, the onions etc are the same and the pasta is the same - there's just a bit of extra washing up. I admire anyone who can take this stance and I fully support my kids in their choices but personally I would find it difficult, though I do find, as a household we eat much less meat than previously as many of the vegan choices are tasty for everyone. Good luck!
    • alec eiffel
    • By alec eiffel 27th Sep 17, 2:11 PM
    • 1,301 Posts
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    alec eiffel
    I agree with Doom and Gloom, it's never been easier to be vegan/ eat a plant based diet both at home and out and about.
    • Northerntide
    • By Northerntide 27th Sep 17, 2:35 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Northerntide
    I dont know if i would be able to handle being vegan! Like others said, i wouldnt be able to give up cheese! Though, I was following some money saving advice from awhile back and have been pretty well vegetarian in the name of saving money.
    • lovelovinghorses
    • By lovelovinghorses 27th Sep 17, 5:01 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    lovelovinghorses
    Very happy Vegan here, nearly 10 years And I am a Coeliac to.
    Last edited by lovelovinghorses; 05-10-2017 at 11:03 PM.
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 27th Sep 17, 5:14 PM
    • 2,270 Posts
    • 3,219 Thanks
    trailingspouse
    My step-daughter was vegan for quite a few years. We supported her in this choice, but we worried that she wasn't getting all the vitamins and minerals that she needed (especially as she was pregnant/breastfeeding for part of this time).

    I was also worried that I would give her something non-vegan by accident. Who knew pesto was off limits!! There are a lot of hidden animal products - chip shops normally cook in veg oil but occasionally we would come across one that used traditional beef dripping for example.

    We ate a lot of jacket potatoes...
    • debtfreeforlife
    • By debtfreeforlife 28th Sep 17, 10:35 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 210 Thanks
    debtfreeforlife
    I'm vegan most of the time - vegetarian when I'm staying away from home and someone else is doing the cooking for me. My brother-in-law is gluten-free and accommodating both of us is just impossible! I eat a mostly whole food diet with some replacement foods - I love Alpro Go Ahead and use the almond milks. I'm going to try and make my own almond milk at some point soon though...

    Cheese isn't an issue for me. Partly because I hate the dairy industry practices that result in cheese, partly because I'm slightly dairy intolerant anyway so lots of cheese isn't great for me anyway, and partly because I just feel much healthier without it.

    Dandy-candy - I would say do what you feel is best for you. How about trying to switch just one thing? Maybe every now and again other than buying cow's milk, you buy rice milk/almond milk/soy milk. You might find the switch easier than you think. I didn't find dropping dairy from my ceral/tea difficult at all, and I didn't find it hard to stop eating eggs. The hard thing about veganism is that you then miss out on all of the processed foods that have milk/eggs in! But it doesn't need to be all or nothing. Transitioning slowly was key for me.
    Last edited by debtfreeforlife; 28-09-2017 at 10:47 PM.
    • dandy-candy
    • By dandy-candy 29th Sep 17, 7:48 AM
    • 1,682 Posts
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    dandy-candy
    Thank you for all the replies

    I absolutely agree about the aggressive stance being off putting, I've looked into veganism a couple of times in the past 20 years and could never get through the website/literature because it was so vitriolic that I just stopped reading. Now that it's more mainstream I have found there are actually lots of helpful friendly websites.

    I did a beekeeping course a few years back and would love to keep my own at some point, until then I buy my honey from one of the course teachers who leaves plenty for the bees. It didn't make any sense to me that people take it and then feed the bees sugar water, especially as honey is more than food, its medicine too.

    I'm lucky being in London as there's lots of choices to explore, I still need to decide what to do about b12. I've seen vegan supplements but I assume they are synthetic? I eat organic eggs at the moment and part of me does prefer the idea of keeping to natural sources but I don't think there is a vegan natural one?
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 29th Sep 17, 10:14 AM
    • 28,380 Posts
    • 72,232 Thanks
    Mojisola
    I did a beekeeping course a few years back and would love to keep my own at some point, until then I buy my honey from one of the course teachers who leaves plenty for the bees. It didn't make any sense to me that people take it and then feed the bees sugar water, especially as honey is more than food, its medicine too.
    Originally posted by dandy-candy
    If you fancy beekeeping, learn about Warre and Top Bar hives and natural beekeeping.
    • drinkupretty
    • By drinkupretty 5th Oct 17, 8:41 PM
    • 2,645 Posts
    • 6,628 Thanks
    drinkupretty
    I am transitioning. I gave up eggs no problem. I use almond milk in drinks. Cheese is more of an issue, though vegan cheeses are getting better than they were.
    "I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes"
    • dandy-candy
    • By dandy-candy 5th Oct 17, 8:53 PM
    • 1,682 Posts
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    dandy-candy
    My son and I have made the change now, we're on day 3 and it's been fine so far. I've bought a milk that's coconut and rice and it's the nicest one we've tried.
    • robin58
    • By robin58 5th Oct 17, 9:00 PM
    • 1,868 Posts
    • 1,887 Thanks
    robin58
    Considering you are Vegans, what are your moral views on killing plants to live?
    The more I live, the more I learn.
    The more I learn, the more I grow.
    The more I grow, the more I see.
    The more I see, the more I know.
    The more I know, the more I see,
    How little I know.!!
    • lovelovinghorses
    • By lovelovinghorses 5th Oct 17, 11:05 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    lovelovinghorses
    Animals eat way more plant matter to convert to muscle tissue for humans to consume
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