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Trying to decide if I should go Vegan

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Old 10-22-2009, 10:51 AM   #1
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Default Trying to decide if I should go Vegan

Hi, all. I am a past lacto-ovo veg then went back to eating meat because of pressure from friends and family. No am I am veg again, but considering veganism. I just dont know if the path is right for me. I don't see anything ethically wrong with eating cheese and eggs, I do, however have a problem with the way the egg and dairy industry treats the animals. I also worry about how eggs and dairy effect our health. Anyway, I feel that since we can't get b vitimins from plant sources them maybe humans were meant to eat some animal products. Right now it just seems really hard to eat vegan with hidden ingredients in foods etc. Any advice or help for me to help me reach my decision?
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Old 10-22-2009, 05:02 PM   #2
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I followed a vegan diet for the first half of this year. It's very doable, but you have to be prepared to eat a lot of fruit and veg. The mistake I made was leaning on processed foods for convenience. My health then really began to suffer. My hair became brittle and thin, and my skin really suffered too. It became rough and pale. I was constantly tired too. This is NOT because of the vegan lifestyle. I believe it can be a very healthy way to live. It was because I wasn't eating enough whole foods. Give it a try for a couple of weeks and see how you feel. If it's a moral decision then I've found out that dairy animals go through much worse torture than animals that are killed for meat. At the moment I'm mostly vegetarian (I eat fish the odd time) and I follow the Mediterranean diet. It's based on lots of veg and whole foods and I feel a million times better. I steer away from dairy. I get calcium from green leafy veg. Skin and hair are much better and I've tons more energy.
Good luck! Let me know how you get on!
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:11 PM   #3
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In regards to B12, there are vegan societies and there are natural herbivores and they get their B12 the same way, from the soil. By the fact that we wash our veggies so much and are so dirt phobic, means that getting B12 naturally is a bit harder. Although really the people I have heard with B12 deficiencies were actually meat eaters.

And I think there are a lot of ethical issues with how dairy cows are treated and how chickens are treated. I actually think dairy cows have it worse than beef cows because they are basically tortured before they are eventually cut up for meat. Of course egg laying hens don't have it much better either.

I started following a vegan diet a couple years ago and I love it. I'd recommend reading things like The China Study, Eat to Live and looking at Vegan with a Vengeance cookbook
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:36 PM   #4
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go vegan! =)
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:48 PM   #5
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I went veggie almost a month ago now and feel it was totally worth it. I can definitely see myself becoming vegan in the near future. The reason I became veggie is for health reasons, but now it's much more than that for me. I'm becoming an animal activist as well. That being so, I am slowly giving up dairy (I'm already lactose intolerant, so giving up dairy is best for me anyway) and eggs so I can transition to being a vegan at some point.

My thought is that vegan is the way to go. But, veggie is also a great lifestyle, and while I'd never tell anyone they should give up meat, I would definitely recommend it highly. If you can deal with giving up dairy and eggs, I say take the leap and go vegan!
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:52 PM   #6
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I went vegan last October, after being veg for about 6 months. For me, the hardest part about going vegan was deciding to do it. The rest was totally do-able.

I think I did a few things right, though: I did give myself lots of time to transition, so I wouldn't feel overwhelmed by change; and wouldn't feel that I was "forbidding" myself any foods, even though I ate about 99% vegan even during my transition; and I didn't tell people I was vegan, just that I was trying to eat vegan, so there would be no pressure from people watching what I ate and judging. For example, I love sushi, and I continued to eat tempura at the sushi place right next to work, even though I was fairly sure their tempura batter had eggs in it. And it worked--one day about 3 months in, I went down to the sushi place and said, "Can you check if your tempura batter has eggs in it?" It did. No more tempura for me! Not from there anyway, since other places make tempura with no eggs--I just have to ask.

For me, once I decided it was something I wanted, and something I felt strongly about, and something I was committed to, implementing that decision was easy. I've learned what parts about bein vegan are more challenging (eating at restaurants, visiting family, potlucks) and how to overcome them (plan ahead/call ahead, bring vegan snacks and ask for a trip to the grocery store, and bring two things so I have enought to eat). Everything is do-able now.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:12 AM   #7
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I've been a vegetarian on and off for my whole life. My dad's a lacto-ovo vegetarian since I can remember. I just 'became' vegan on Monday My first priority is my health, but since I started I've read so much bad stuff about animal cruelty in the food business that the thought of anything that came cut or squeezed from an animal actually repulses me. I enjoy veggies, fruits, grains, beans and tofu thank you very much
I also don't know what I'm going to eat for lunch from now on.. This week I'm at home so it's easier.. Do you guys eat out or bring lunch from home? Everyone I know goes out for some pizza or pasta for lunch. At those restaurants nothing is really vegan accept the salad which can't fill me up for the whole day.
Don't expect people to understand. I was just recently at a family dinner and my boyfriends cousin said she was vegan and everyone was like 'OMG.. what about your protein, what about your health..' And they were saying that while stuffing their mouth with three different kinds of cake.. Of course cake is known for being a great source of health giving nutrition.. I haven't told any of my friends yet. My boyfriend knows and my parents. They understand but they are annoyed if something has to be prepared just for me. Which is also annoying for me. I wish I lived alone so I can eat without these ignorant comments.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:12 AM   #8
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I bring my food to work but Chipotle is one of my favorite quick lunch stops. It really depends where you live. Happycow.net lists a bunch of restaurants all over the world, so if you really want to eat out, it might be a place to look at as options.
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:07 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by khat View Post
I also don't know what I'm going to eat for lunch from now on.. This week I'm at home so it's easier.. Do you guys eat out or bring lunch from home?
I often eat the previous night's leftovers for lunch. I like chickpea salad in pita bread (there are some without whey) a lot.
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:43 AM   #10
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I have been both vegan and lacto ovo vegetarian, and I am back to being lacto ovo vegetarian for many reasons. The following are just my personal opinions and observations - the bottom line is you have to do what's best for you.

Here are the reasons veganism just wasn't for me:

1. Too hard to follow. For me anyway. Made me neurotic!

2. I just didn't feel well. My body needs animal protein. Period. But it doesn't have to come from meat, fish, or poultry. I eat a lot of dairy and eggs and feel great again.

3. I know this is controversial, but dairy has been found to help with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and weight loss. Just this past August 2009, another study came out that when you reduce your calories, dairy products facilitate weight loss. This is a very new study (not the older ones that were bashed by vegan groups - and which I still believe).

I cannot post links because I don't have enough posts, but if you google "The Role of Dairy Foods and Dietary Calcium in Weight Management" by Marta Van Loan, Phd, you will find the study. And the study found it's the calcium in dairy, not supplements that really work. Some scientists feel there are some yet unfound compounds in dairy that facilitate weight loss.

Another study from June 2009 (google nutraingredients+science supports dairy calcium for weight loss) was published as well. This found that dairy calcium can increase excretion of fat in the feces. Sounds disgusting, but a very informative study which shows dairy helps release fat from our bodies, by some as yet undiscovered mechanism.

4. There are no true vegan cultures in this world. Not one. I am sorry, but it is true. Anthropologists have stated this over and over again. I do believe we need some animal products to sustain our immune system for the long term. But there are cultures in the world who have subsisted on milk (reindeer milk, etc.) and eggs and thrived.

Lastly, I am reading a book by world famous anthropologist Jane Goodell. She is a vegetarian (lacto ovo), not a vegan, and makes no excuses for it. The book is called Harvest for Hope - a guide to mindful eating, and it is just awesome for all kinds of vegetarians. I think the important bottom line for me is not to kill animals.

So I say do what is right for you. I came to my own conclusions and feel great on a lacto ovo vegetarian diet. Studies on Seventh Day Adventists who are largely lacto ovo show they are healthier than the rest of society, so hopefully I'm on the right track.

Oh, and I guess it's only fair to mention that for me anyway, if I don't lower those calories nothing works!
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:10 PM   #11
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Wow, your posts kinda makes my head hurt. Your decision is yours but I think it's insane to try to deter someone with inaccuracies.

1 - It's not hard, can be quite varied. I'd say it's somewhat hard for the first two weeks-month while you get used to some foods and what you're going to eat.

2 - Everyone needs protein. Everyone can get the same protein you do from animal products by a combination of plant based foods. There is no magic protein in animals, where exactly do you think they get it from - plants.

3 - Humans are the only animals the consume the milk of another species. Think about what milk is designed for -BABIES, not grown animals. Modern dairy practices have introduced steroids, hormones, and pollutants into the milk on top of that. Animal milk has been linked to juvenile diabetes, asthma, and cancers.

4 - So? Are we not always evolving?
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:35 PM   #12
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I've never been vegan. I was vegetarian (nearly vegan) for 8 years and ended up with a b12 deficiency. The only vegetarian source that I know of that is absorbed by the body is nutritional yeast flakes. I also have vegetarian daughters and my oldest has low vitamin D, which is surprising since she got plenty of sunshine over the summer.

Anyway, my advice is to make sure to get your vitamin levels checked once in awhile. That's probably a good idea for vegetarians and meat eaters, too.
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Old 11-02-2009, 02:26 PM   #13
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I would recommend you read the China study. There are societies who learn towards veganism and eat very very little animal products. In Asia and from what I understand, some parts of Africa as well. I figure if you are a society eat animal products less than a couple times per year or even less than once per year, you can qualify for vegan.

Wanted to add that last year, I was looking at special types of vacation trips and there are some research type vacation trips you can take. There was an interesting one in remote China and they specifically said you would be eating what the locals ate, a vegan diet. Depending where you were in the world, they would give various notes about the type of environment you would encounter. Some said a vegetarian diet would be difficult, others said the diet would be vegetarian and that one I saw said you would be eating a vegan diet.

The studies done on dairy that I read were done by the Dairy council and they only showed weight loss with a restricted diet and didn't show any difference versus other calorie restricted diets without dairy. There may be new ones but I haven't seen them. Although honestly, I think the effects of dairy, even if they did help with weight loss, aren't worth the risks.

Dairy has been shown to play a part in the development of Type I diabetes in kids as well as various sorts of cancers.

From what I've read of the Seventh day adventist diet is that it is mostly vegan, some choose to consume dairy but quite a few do not.

For me, I love following a vegan diet. I feel great. I love the food (love, love, love the food) and don't miss dairy or eggs at all. My PCOS/insulin issues have actually improved since going vegan and I haven't had another gall bladder attack since either.

For me, a vegan diet is only full of positives and I don't have any negative results.

Oh and although I started veganism due to health reasons, I personally think dairy is worst for the animals than meat production. Dairy cows are basically tortured for their short life (much shorter than a cows normal life) and then they are slaughtered for meat. Their calves either become dairy cows or they become veal. Similar thing for chickens in that the hens live horrid lives, any male chicks that are offspring are killed and female chicks became egg laying hens. Of course you can buy better sources for both dairy and eggs but labeling is very deceptive for these 2 industries so there is no real standard. I've even read 'pastured' animals can still be confined to a very small space.
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Old 11-05-2009, 02:00 AM   #14
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I love being vegan. I'm healthier and feel better. However, I don't think it is about me (or about you)--it is about animals. We don't have a right to take their lives for a taste that we enjoy (or even for B-12, since there are multiple ways in which we can get it) and eliminating meat while continuing to eat dairy and eggs is not effective, given the cruelty to animals in production of dairy and eggs. If you can do it, then you should do it.
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Old 11-05-2009, 02:03 AM   #15
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Quote:
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I think the important bottom line for me is not to kill animals.
Using animals to produce dairy and eggs for our consumption kills them. And if they manage to survive until they're used up, they're sent to the slaughterhouse anyway.
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