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At the moment, ARZone are concentrating on recruiting Vegan Buddy mentors as opposed to making the ARZone Vegan Buddies initiative known to potential vegans. For now, I wonder if Vegan Buddies members can think back to when you were first vegan. Had you a resource like Vegan Buddies back then, what would you as a new vegan have asked of the experienced ones?

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I needed practical advice, like recipes and ideas about what to eat. I really needed nutritional reassurance, because everyone I knew (including my doctor) said I would surely die without eating animals. I found online resources really helpful for those things ... recipe blogs and people like Ginny Messina. And as silly as I see the question to be now, for newbies we do need to answer things like, "Where do you get your protein?"

I agree with Lisa and would send everyone to Vegan for Life. I know far too many vegans who say they don't ever and won't ever use supplements, and that's not often coming from a well-informed place. The nuts and bolts of clothing and personal care and household products are great to know, too. And the various ingredients that people might not think of (gelatin, honey) that aren't obviously non-vegan. There's probably a site or two that already has all of that in one place.

How to order in a restaurant, believe it or not. My husband has been vegan for a handful of years and still struggles with that, which is actually more about other people than about saying, "I don't eat animals. Make me something without animals in it." He'd never say that. I say it all the time if only to get people thinking. Once the content of what to eat, wear, etc. is out of the way, the presentation and the content about Why would be a next step, as it's the people (hence the representation and the content about Why) who make it difficult. I'd also talk about money. Lisa's site is actually great for people who naysay about raw due to money http://www.rawon10.blogspot.com/ . So sites for inexpensive vegan eating as well as niche-y vegan eats (vegan soul food, for instance), would be great. Sites that show the variety of foods and ways of preparing them so it doesn't all look like salad and bowls of fruit (which is actually about 70% of what I eat, but most people don't want to do that).

 " I know far too many vegans who say they don't ever and won't ever use supplements, and that's not often coming from a well-informed place"

The sadness of assumption is in that Vegans need supplementation, withstanding that with that statement promoters are saying in ignorance that the Vegan Diet is inappropriate, when if any error is sure to come from elsewhere as it may also be as appropriate to flesh eaters.
If only one vegan shows not to require supplementation it proves that a vegan diet is not to be held responsible for what someone may say or claim to be necessary for whatever purpose may serve them to say it...
One day it may come to be proven that given to persistence no one would need any particular compound we may have adapted to for our survival, and that in due time we too would come to be better for lacking the bacterium that forced us into having accommodated it...
As clearly physiological herbivores a Vegan Diet is the most appropriate to us (WoMen), and any supplementation comes with outbalancing costs elsewhere, needless to say that to say that we need them (supplements) is tantamount to expounding the view that the Vegan Diet is inadequate, to so many who hardly need any more encouragement...
Being Vegan will never be a cause for the need to take supplements... not all that is edible should be eaten, nor drunk, just as not all that can be said should be spoken, lest we keep on silly treadmills but walk down the shop, feel fundamental solid ground under our feet, for the gooey tar on our(?) spongy tyres... our mouths flapping ahead running by themselves for the constructs we've decidedly allowed onto ourselves...

Saying all this 'Durian" was just on TV (another supplement promoter), encouraging his 30 bananas a day on National TV as if that was Vegan Style but his own spectacle, failing to recognise that giving advice to systemic methodical religious consumption is insanity, without consideration to specific circumstance, time, place... Variety
Just to be sure, once more, if anyone needs supplementation, it will be because they are having something else they shouldn't, and doubtfully because of what they are not having... like meat or any other Animal product

New Vegans... Have courage, look for simplicity, purity, as in; have an Apple over an Apple juice, brown Rice over white, cook or slice/mash the least, have more raw/natural than all else, drink WATER, listen to your heart, get in tune, do your own thing, have faith, you'll be as right as your intention... put yourself in the right places, like Fruit and Vege Markets not Supermarkets,  shun all packaging or as much as you can... Love, Love again, Love more.

I, too, wanted practical advice about recipes and how to handle social situations, but I also struggled with what it means to be vegan.  I felt bombarded with messages about what I should and shouldn't be doing, eating, saying, thinking at a time when what I really wanted was a welcoming pat on the back. Many were not warm and welcoming but rather stridently trying to get me over to their side.  I would like to help new vegans maneuver through those often mixed messages from other vegans.  I am also very prepared to help with recipes, health advice, handling relatives and friends who think we're crazy, etc.  Having just participated in our area Vegan Pledge as a mentor, I'm aware of the questions and concerns of people interested in becoming vegan.  I'm also very interested in sharing the joy of being vegan!  That is something I wished people had talked about when I was merely vegetarian.  People talked too often and too much about the problems, but in my experience the lightness of being I've achieved by becoming vegan more than makes up for the problems.  Also, the problems come from outside after a time.  The practical concerns with how to live day to day as a vegan dissipate pretty quickly.  I've been amazed at how readily our pledges have taken to the day to day vegan life.  I would like to help new vegans gain strategies for dealing with the moral, psychological, social, and political issues that will be ongoing in this very non vegan world.  

I haven't been a vegan for that long and I think this is a great idea. I live in Spain, where it is still not too easy being a vegan and I have been thinking of ways to promote veganism, to show people it is not that hard, but it is, if you go to a restaurant that is not vegetarian or vegan there's basically nothing to eat except for maybe potatoes or if you are lucky some grilled veggies, they barely understand the concept a lot of the time.

I am learning how to eat but sometimes am not too sure if I am doing it right and getting everything I need. Especially I would like advice on how to eat using faux meat as little as posible.

How to survive at work and in other social situations.  I couldn't wait to tell everyone what was happening to the animals, and was so frustrated when others didn't respond the same way I did.  How to handle it when met with the inevitable hostility.

How to stay focused and do what you can and not become so depressed about the animal cruelty.   

Hi Natalia,

Dino Sarma is a published author who advocates for fresh produce and doesn't use any "weird vegan ingredients" like the faux meats etc. This is an ARZone group with some of Dino's recipes:

http://arzone.ning.com/group/dino-sarma-recipes

And here are some more really useful links to Dino's work: 

http://altveg.blogspot.com.au/

http://arzone.ning.com/profiles/blogs/transcript-of-dino-sarma-s-li...

http://arzonepodcasts.blogspot.com.au/2011/12/arzone-podcast-24-its...

Hope that helps a little! :) 



Natalia said:

I haven't been a vegan for that long and I think this is a great idea. I live in Spain, where it is still not too easy being a vegan and I have been thinking of ways to promote veganism, to show people it is not that hard, but it is, if you go to a restaurant that is not vegetarian or vegan there's basically nothing to eat except for maybe potatoes or if you are lucky some grilled veggies, they barely understand the concept a lot of the time.

I am learning how to eat but sometimes am not too sure if I am doing it right and getting everything I need. Especially I would like advice on how to eat using faux meat as little as posible.

I became a vegan 28 years ago.  It was purely an ethical decision, reached after months of combing through the library and at that time the concept was considered to be an esoteric cult.    I didn't know any vegetarians much less vegans...just what I had read.    I think many of the questions I would have asked are the ones that have been posted here, and it surely would have saved a lot of time.  With the internet and the increase in numbers of vegans there are so many available resources.  I highly recommend Vegan Outreach (www.veganoutreach.org).  They will send you a free "Vegan Starter Pack" which is a brochure that addresses so many of the questions new vegans face. You can also print it right from their website.  

As far as supplementation, when I first became a vegan I felt that my concern was saving animals and everything else would fall into place.  Unfortunately our food is so degraded that we don't get what nature would normally have provided.  So now it is recommended that B12 and D be taken.  Since I was anemic before I became a vegan, and that cleared up after becoming vegan, I guess I'm not the poster child for taking B12, although I do take a tab occasionally.  Also I recently had a vitamin D shortage,  BUT I honestly don't think either condition is necessarily related to veganism.  Many meat eaters are anemic (as I was), and since I live in a sunny climate I've spent time talking to others about why I would be vit. D deficient.  I found that many others here have experienced that deficiency and not one of them were vegan. 

The perception that vegans are unhealthy may be true for those vegans who eat an unhealthy vegan diet (yes it can be done), just as many people are eating an unhealthy meat-inclusive diet.  Of course eating dead animals is conclusively linked to so many illnesses it amazes me that doctors still try to blame health problem on the lack of it.  I think the key is to eat a variety of unprocessed food.  Fresh veggies, fruits, legumes, some grains.  Now there are many vegan options even in mainstream stores and restaurants.  

 

"Vegan Buddies" is a great concept.  Also, if there is a local vegetarian/vegan group, join it.  If not, start your own.  It is comforting to be around like-minded people and to help and be helped on this  journey.

Hi Kay,

In our ARZone podcasts, we have something that has become known as the "Ronnie Question". Ronnie Lee has been asking each of our podcast guests to recount the story of why and how they had become vegan. In your case, did you become vegan because of the things you read in the library, or do you think that you were bound to become vegan anyway and were just looking for information that would support you on that journey?

Kay Sievers said:

I became a vegan 28 years ago.  It was purely an ethical decision, reached after months of combing through the library and at that time the concept was considered to be an esoteric cult.    I didn't know any vegetarians much less vegans...just what I had read.    I think many of the questions I would have asked are the ones that have been posted here, and it surely would have saved a lot of time.  

Hi Jeanne,

I think that's a really important question. When I first started to live vegan, I found the same problems. I couldn't understand why, once I showed people what I had seen, they were at all hesitant to instantly remove any trace of exploitation and commodification of others from their lives. It just didn't make sense to me. It's a little like the quote "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we'd all be vegetarian".

It seems to me, that many humans decide what they want and how they will act, and then find any way they can to justify their actions.

This is the link to the free downloadable (PDF file) book, Plant Peace Daily: Every Day Outreach For People who Care,  from Rae Sikora and JC Corcoran in which they speak about effective activism, communication tools, and loads more! Below that is also the link to their ARZone podcast from yesterday, in which they speak about similar things. 

I hope they are helpful! :) 


Plant Peace Daily: Every Day Outreach For People who Care

 

ARZone Podcast with Rae Sikora and JC Corcoran




Jeanne Kaiser said:

How to survive at work and in other social situations.  I couldn't wait to tell everyone what was happening to the animals, and was so frustrated when others didn't respond the same way I did.  How to handle it when met with the inevitable hostility.

How to stay focused and do what you can and not become so depressed about the animal cruelty.

Looking around at all the problems in society, and having been disappointed in the effectiveness of other volunteer work with human problems and at an animal shelter, I began to hope that there had to be a root cause that if addressed, would actually make a difference.  So I decided to go to the library and begin reading through the Philosophy section.  In the "A's" I found Cleveland Amory's book "Man Kind."  IT WAS A REVELATION!  I started reading everything I could find and realized that human society was based on the blood, suffering and use of non-human animals.  Here was the basis of all that was wrong with society!  Poor health, lack of compassion, indifference to anything that didn't benefit us, destruction of the environment, on and on...all tied to our use and abuse of animals.  I went looking for an animal rights group to find some like-minded people.  Like others have written, I foolishly thought that once people knew the facts and the truth, they would change.  I decided to give 5 years to the movement.  Surely that's all it would take.  Here it is, 28 years later and I'm still president of an A.R. group and still amazed at the ignorance, indifference and cruelty around me.  So to answer the "Ronnie question" in brief, I was concerned with the problems in society but completely ignorant of how animals fit the last piece of the puzzle.  Information, the online community, and years of activism have brought the issues to the forefront so hopefully the "hundredth monkey" theory will kick in at some point.  Hopefully it won't be too late. 

 

 

Tim Gier said:

Hi Kay,

In our ARZone podcasts, we have something that has become known as the "Ronnie Question". Ronnie Lee has been asking each of our podcast guests to recount the story of why and how they had become vegan. In your case, did you become vegan because of the things you read in the library, or do you think that you were bound to become vegan anyway and were just looking for information that would support you on that journey?

Kay Sievers said:

I became a vegan 28 years ago.  It was purely an ethical decision, reached after months of combing through the library and at that time the concept was considered to be an esoteric cult.    I didn't know any vegetarians much less vegans...just what I had read.    I think many of the questions I would have asked are the ones that have been posted here, and it surely would have saved a lot of time.  

I struggled with ordering in restaurants for a long time and this depended a lot on the quality of the establishment and where we were living. I hated asking questions about soup bases, for instance, and I didn't always trust the answers. I think that for new vegans who frequent restaurants for work situations especially may need extra help. However, what caused me the most angst was learning of the extent of animal testing and by-products in personal care and household products. I was shocked and overwhelmed and took lists everywhere I shopped. I began making my own cleaning solutions and obsessed over what company produced the baking soda and vinegar. There are so many more choices now, but not all are available everywhere, and companies change policies and ingredients fairly often. Most omnivores I know are clueless about who dies for their bleach; it seems that cleaning habits are often passed down from one generation to the next and can be as difficult to break as food habits especially given the dirt-chasing mindset most of us grew up with.

Mary Martin, PhD said:

I agree with Lisa and would send everyone to Vegan for Life. I know far too many vegans who say they don't ever and won't ever use supplements, and that's not often coming from a well-informed place. The nuts and bolts of clothing and personal care and household products are great to know, too. And the various ingredients that people might not think of (gelatin, honey) that aren't obviously non-vegan. There's probably a site or two that already has all of that in one place.

How to order in a restaurant, believe it or not. My husband has been vegan for a handful of years and still struggles with that, which is actually more about other people than about saying, "I don't eat animals. Make me something without animals in it." He'd never say that. I say it all the time if only to get people thinking. Once the content of what to eat, wear, etc. is out of the way, the presentation and the content about Why would be a next step, as it's the people (hence the representation and the content about Why) who make it difficult. I'd also talk about money. Lisa's site is actually great for people who naysay about raw due to money http://www.rawon10.blogspot.com/ . So sites for inexpensive vegan eating as well as niche-y vegan eats (vegan soul food, for instance), would be great. Sites that show the variety of foods and ways of preparing them so it doesn't all look like salad and bowls of fruit (which is actually about 70% of what I eat, but most people don't want to do that).

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