Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

Hi,

 

I am new to ARZ and am glad it exists. My name is Sean, I live in New England, and work in the mental health field. 

 

For those who are actual or aspiring vegans, I am wondering the following:

 

-How do you maintain veganism for yourself on a daily basis?

 

-How "strict" are you regarding what constitutes veganism for yourself?

 

-How do you respond to people who criticize you about being vegan?

 

Sean

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Hi Sean,

Welcome to ARZone !

I don't think maintaining veganism on a daily basis is as easy as many people would suggest, particularly for those who may live outside big cities or have children. There are also difficulties for those who have families that don't support their lifestyle choices on occasions. I think living vegan is easy for me, as an individual, but it certainly isn't always easy for me as a mother or me as someone living outside a major city. 

I do however think I am kinda consistent with my veganism, if by "strict" you mean being consistent, then I'm strict. I'm against all exploitation of all animals all of the time. 

If people choose to criticise me about my lifestyle, I try to be patient and understand something Tom Regan said in his recent ARZone interview:

 

The last thing other animals need is another reason not to care about them. How we act towards other people can provide just such a reason. Being rude or judgmental doesn’t help any nonhuman. A coping technique I use (to quell my impatience, when I feel it bubbling-up in my throat) is to think of the people who ask questions I’ve been asked hundreds of times as mirrors. Yes, I think of them as mirrors. When I look at them, in other words, what I see is a reflection of who I used to be.

 

Like them, there was a time when I didn’t know how other animals were being treated.

Like them, there was a time when I knew but didn’t care.

Like them, there was a time when I knew and cared but not enough to change how I was living.

Like them, there was a time when I was . . . them!

 

That’s what I try to remind myself. I don’t want to come across as self-righteous or arrogant. That would give the questioner another reason not to care about other animals, and I don’t want to do that—I don’t want to be that reason.

 

Hope that helps! 

 

Carolyn :)

I'd go with what Carolyn says, I'm strict if by strict you mean consistent. Not perfect by any means, for example I still use supermarkets and probably other non-vegan businesses - on the other hand I wouldn't knowingly consume a non-vegan product be it food or otherwise. It is easy enough now, but wasn't at first so I tend not to worry if somebody is taking incremental steps towards veganism - I'd rather they did that then stayed vegan at the end than that they took things full tilt and ended up burning out or quitting.
Thanks so much for these helpful posts! :) They are motivating.

How do I start ???

Do I need to go to a dietician to get daily menus?  

do you remember how you started  

for instance, what can be had for breakfast?

thanks

Eve

Hi Sean,

 

I too work in mental health, I am a newly graduated mental nurse in Sydney. I have been vegan for about 2 years and was vegetarian for about 11 years before that. I think it is suprisngly easy to manintain this lifestyle, your tastebuds quickly become aquired to vegan foods and any inadvertently consumed animals products start to taste awful (milk tastes off and anything containing egg stinks!!?). I think it is best not to be too strict with yourself, especially at first while you are adjusting to the diet. As long as you focus on cutting out dairy, eggs and meat, the rest will come naturally. You will start to prefer the taste of vegan foods and checking ingredients lists etc will come later (that is how it happened for me anyway??). Congratulations on making the switch, look forward to seeing you around ARZone.

 

Caroline

Hi Eve,

I usually have toast for breakfast with either peanut butter, jam or I love corn as well. My son has cereal with oat milk, or a fake "bacon" product with toast when he plays football.

There's so much food that is vegan that I often don't even think about it any more. But I've only been vegan for a short time compared to many others. 

There are loads of great vegan recipes out there, and some great vegan recipe sites as well. There's some wonderful recipes here in ARZone as well: http://arzone.ning.com/group/veganrecipes

I'd be very happy to help further in any way, if I could. Thanks for asking! :)

Carolyn

 

 

 

Hi Sean!

I personally believe its as easy to be vegan as not, I dont "desire Non Veganism" any more than I would desire "to eat dog poop", actually, sometimes walking barefoot outside I've stood in dried Chicken Friend poop, I'd much rather wash that off than touch someones dead body, or skin, wouldnt you? :-)

The smell of flesh in particular makes me feel like being physically sick, of fat, blood, guts...

Whatever Non Vegan products someone might like, I'm sure there are Vegan equivalents :-) IE soy milk (which I truly prefer taste wise, So Good Essential soymilk from Australia, I live in New Zealand), soy ice cream, soy everything really :-) And if for some reason you didnt like soy, ha, then theres rice milks, oat milks... :-)

To help others in my area, I visited some local supermarkets and took photos of vegan products I enjoy myself, so far they are all food items. These would be available to anyone, anywhere in New Zealand, at every national supermarket chain:

http://www.invsoc.org.nz/?page_id=113

If someone knew about my Veganism, its not like you have to advertise it, although its fun to wear a happy t shirt :-) , if someone "gave me a hard time", they really only have so many little jabs. "you think you're better than me", "you're not that vegan, the oil used in everything is really just ka-trillion year old dead bodies broken down...so you might as well indiscriminately kill all who move around you like I do..." etc :-)

I always try to stay positive, and like Carolyn mentioned Tom Regan saying, I too was once Non Vegan, I too once ate " Meat lovers " pizza, I too would probably have looked down at "those vegetarians", I'd never really met many before, and thought of them as hippies and weirdos and people with no sense of reality :-)

And what a strange thing so many of their self described "Non Vegan lusts" (ok, they dont say non vegan!) are for eating other animals... my friends who literally complained about Burger King not yet offering " The Meat Monster " burger yet... as if they were going to die, as if its combination of a Chickens body, a Pigs body, milk taken from a mother Cow and processed etc was somehow any different than ANY OF THE OTHER NEAR IDENTICAL OFFERINGS from the same company! They'd seen an ad over and over on television, they'd heard the announcers voice, the promises that their Best Attributes would grow three sizes larger overnight

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_the_Grinch_Stole_Christmas!

and that they would live forever :-)

Its all marketing, its all created demand, its all "doublethink", that we love other animals, that we are not engaged in Animal Cruelty, that we treat others with respect, but that we supposedly drool and shake and quiver at the thought of their dead bodies, the >56 Billion other animals killed each year! :-)

Only one way to change that, by friendly Vegan education :-)

Best wishes Sean!

Hello Roger

What do you spread on the toast ?

Also, do you eat cooked vegetables as well?

I know if I had to eat only raw, it wouldn't last for me.

Where do you get your B12 from?

Thanks

Eve

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