Making the vegetarian to vegan transition
Posted by Bellarina19 at 03/17/2014
I'm what I consider a vegan under construction, although I've been vegetarian for years and years. The idea to become vegan came about when a colleague asked if I have even considered it and encouraged me to try it for at least two weeks. Those two weeks became three months before I went back to vegetarian. I was happy that I could hang in there but I began to miss some of my favorites. Now, I feel a little guilty going back vegetarian and I've kept a lot of my vegan foods in my diet. Should I continue what I'm doing now? Has anyone else had this problem? How should I approach going back vegan? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated thanks!
I recommend books such as Jim Mason's "Unnatural Order" and Jeffrey Masson's, "When Elephants Weep" and "The Pig Who Sang to the Moon".
The other animals are not only our neighbors, but our kin.
The second time I thought in doing it little by little, without forcing myself or without the feeling that I would never be able to eat somethings that I find delicious. I started reading and watching documentaries about animal conditions in farms, etc. And I just went on getting rid of anything coming from our friends by thinking it's not necessary for me to eat diaries or eggs, and I don't contribute to any animal suffering. I love cooking and I always find something delicious to eat, every single day :)
For anyone wanting to make the leap to vegan, but wondering if they'll ever find anything yummy to eat again, watch that video. Look long and hard into the eyes of those animals and you'll find your answer.
I can understand you ... I was also vegetarian for 20 years before going vegan, mainly because I never considered what is connected with eggs and dairy.
So for me, one of the biggest challenges (don't laugh) was to take my cappuccino in the future with soymilk or almond milk instead of dairy milk. Nevertheless, this can be managed, as I found out, and after some time, I actually could not stand the taste of dairy products anymore.
IMO it is important why you make the switch. I guess that you are vegetarian because you do not consider it "right" to torture animals (like any thinking person should be).
Once you hear more about what is connected to egg and dairy industry, my guess is that you will have no problem to find the strength to accept vegan alternatives to longtime vegetarian favourites.
For me, the defining moment was when I read Jonathan Safran Foer's book "Eating animals" - which is a very good book, both stylistically and from its content. Do give it a try!
For me, there is no turning back. And dairy products are actually quite unhealthy (more so than meat and fish), if health is a concern for you as well.
In order to give MILK, dairy cows must get pregnant once a year (through artificial insemination), once the calf is born, it is taken away from the mother and either raised to also become a dairy cow (female calves) or to be slaughetered for veal. No mother likes to have her children taken away, be she human or bovine. So every glass of milk that you drink supports the veal industry in a very direct way.
EGGS can only be produced by female chickens, so the new hatchlings are "sexed" (separated by gender) immediately after their birth, and 50 % (the male chicks) are either suffocated, ground up in meatgrinders or otherwise disposed of in the most cost-effective way. If you eat eggs, you support this (and every other horror that laying hens have to endure day in and out).
Hope that this short explanation did not offend you. Please consider going vegan permanently :-)
I honestly believe once you'll start cutting dairy products off your menu (again) the change will start. Another tip for you is to follow vegan users (facebook, instagram, pinterest and so on) and get your daily dose of inspiration.
from your profile I understand that fitness is important for you - please allow me to suggest to you a Facebook group of Vegan Bodybuilders and athletes, who will certainly be able to answer your questions regarding vegan protein or similar :-)
Bellarina19, I was vegetarian for years before going vegan. I found that it's important to make the connection of why drinking milk and eating eggs is brutally cruel to animals. With milk, the female cow is artificially inseminated (raped - u can be sure this does not happen with her consent). Moments after giving birth, her baby is taken from her. Can you imagine the way that would make her feel? So we have already tortured one animal. Then if her baby is male, he is taken, chained so he can barely move, that is his life until he is slaughtered while still a baby, and is his flesh is made into veal. If her baby is female, she is taken and will be raped like her mother, living on a factory farm, spending her life in an endless cycle of producing milk meant for her calf that humans steal from her, forced to give birth only to have her babies stolen from her, then murdered for her meat. How's that glass of milk tasting now? Do you really want to make a smoothie out of milk now? It's a glass of suffering.
My point is, once you allow your eyes to be opened to the horror that is the milk industry, you won't go back. That said, do not underestimate the addictive nature of milk. For me, giving up dairy was like trying to get off a drug. I had a picture of a mother and baby cow that I carried around with me. When I was tempted to eat a slice of cheese pizza or drink a milkshake, I would look at the picture. I'd remind myself where the dairy came from. Hope this helps.
As I've stated in my own books...
"Cows do not exist just to serve as wet nurse slaves for un-weaned humans."
O.k., maybe this isn't helpful at all. :)
There are so many options to "replace" what you are missing. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to make vegan macaroni and "cheese," vegan buttery mashed potatoes, so on. Tofuti cuties have yummy ice cream sandwiches, and there's a FANTASTIC recipe for vegan friendly cake (and homemade icing!) on PETA's website.
With a little bit of effort at home, you can still have pretty much ALL of the comfort foods you were missing the first time you switched. You don't even have to be super good at cooking! Focusing on cooking at home every once in a while to indulge in treats for yourself made the switch relatively easy for me! I hope this helps!
Vegan croissant recipes:
Vegan cashew cheese recipes:
I recommend watching Gary Yourofsky's speech. I know it is long but, it is worth watching. Hopefully it helps you go 100% vegan. I think it is the best speech on veganism: