Join the conversation

Making the vegetarian to vegan transition

Bellarina19
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!

Responses

savetheanimals
savetheanimals03/17/2014 06:35:05
We both live in Maryland. Are you already a pledge in the vegan living program? If not you should go to the meetings anyway. I don't think they are accepting any new pledges but,all the meetings except pledge graduation is open to the public. You should not just stay vegetarian. You should go vegan. Since we live in the same state you can pm me and we can see about getting together in real life. I want to help you go back go being vegan in any way that I can.
Bellarina19
Bellarina1903/17/2014 06:37:17
Thanks! That would be awesome and any help I can get would be great! I have not pledged yet but I will look into it, thanks for the information!
ahimsa32fa
ahimsa32fa03/17/2014 06:44:25
You can benefit from a deeper understanding of the human relationship to the other animals.

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.
BettyIngrid
BettyIngrid03/21/2014 00:44:38
Well, something similar happened to me when I decided to become vegan. I think it was because I was "afraid" of missing some of my favourites. After a few months of veganism I came back to vegetarian diet.
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 :)
opiecat
opiecat03/23/2014 22:26:57
I've been one form or another of vegetarian for ten years....lactose intolerance and compassion for animals being the impetus behind it all. I've wanted to go vegan for some time now, but it wasn't until I picked up a new book by Victoria Moran, Main Street Vegan,that I knew it was my time. It's an awesome book for anyone wanting to make the leap to vegan, or for someone just wanting to understand veganism. What really did it for me was getting a very clear picture of the horrors and inhumanity suffered by every single animal raised to feed humans. And then I watched a very well-done documentary on NetFlix that covered the same horrors of American farming practices in real video. I still weep at the terror in the eyes of a beautiful and very conscious chicken moments before it drops into a vat of boiling water to be literally scalded to death. Or the pig who missed being stunned before rolling down into a barrel of scalding water...very much alive, and then frantically trying to swim and groping for anything to save himself. Since that moment, I have eaten nothing that came from any animal...and never will again.

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.
AndyT
AndyT03/24/2014 00:27:19
Hello Bellarina19,

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.

Best regards,
Andy
AndyT
AndyT03/24/2014 00:33:07
... If you do not have the time to read, here it is in a nutshell:

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 :-)

Best regards,
Andy
Vgan-Slaughterer
Vgan-Slaughterer03/24/2014 05:15:06
Hi dear, first of all I must say your definition "Vegan under Construction" is beautiful and lovely. Your situation isn't easy - basically it's kind of an inner power struggle between what you want-need and what's really out-there.
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.
Good luck!
AndyT
AndyT03/25/2014 02:00:56
Bellarina,

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 :-)
https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/VeganBodybuildingAndFitness/
RayTomes
RayTomes03/25/2014 17:24:07
I agree with AndyT. No point writing it all again.
happycowgirl
happycowgirl03/26/2014 09:04:01
Yes, Andy T nailed it. Agree.

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.
ahimsa32fa
ahimsa32fa03/26/2014 10:54:21
Well said.
As I've stated in my own books...

"Cows do not exist just to serve as wet nurse slaves for un-weaned humans."
DIN8
DIN803/27/2014 08:23:47
I turned vegan more than 20 years ago after being vegetarian for only about a month. Being vegetarian did not feel right. I always said to myself: "This can't be it.". I never looked back and I never missed anything. I consider being vegan as a gain not a abstinence.

O.k., maybe this isn't helpful at all. :)
happycowgirl
happycowgirl03/27/2014 11:00:33
Very powerful statement ahimsa32fa. Exactly. Humans drink the breast milk of another species! How messed up is that? And we don't just drink it as infants, we drink the breast milk of another species throughout our lives. What other species does this? I'm afraid only humans are this twisted.
happycowgirl
happycowgirl03/27/2014 11:06:11
DIN8, I think that's totally helpful! : ) And I couldn't agree more. This may sound odd, but I'll tell you one of the things I LOVE about being vegan. It's like my tastebuds have been "cleared" and I taste food new again for the first time. I know that sounds crazy, but it's true. What I mean is, even as a vegetarian, I used to eat an apple and be like "ok, it's an apple". Now when I eat an apple, you'd think I'm having a hot fudge sundae. My body craves it and loves it. My taste buds savor it. Before going vegan, I couldn't have even conceived of such a thing. I crave healthy foods! I find the thought of eating a cheese pizza to be disgusting. This was not always the case when I was vegetarian. There is something special that happens when you go vegan.
Armstrong2Zappa
Armstrong2Zappa04/07/2014 13:00:22
Wow you have many responses! Since you're not vegan I'll assume you're eating dairy. Have you seen this website? www.notmilk.com Also www.vegnews.com and www.pcrm.org
doradeexploora
doradeexploora04/08/2014 16:14:24
If you are already vegetarian, going vegan is simply following the moral beliefs you already have fully. You already feel the compassion necessary to make the switch, and as a few people have said, by being vegan, you are completely rejecting the industry that hurts and destroys animals that you already care about so much.

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!
MountainLightSage
MountainLightSage04/16/2014 23:45:45
I have cravings for cheese all the time and wonder what I can east instead. Cheese and toasted croissants.........ahhh so good I had to cheat the other day.
savetheanimals
savetheanimals04/17/2014 01:08:30
You are not vegan because vegans do not cheat. The term that people on happycow seem to be using for nonvegans who want to be vegan is vegan under construction. The term was coined in the op of this thread. Do not call yourself a vegan though because vegans don't cheat. Words have a meaning and the meaning of veganism is no animal products. I think you should become vegan.

Vegan croissant recipes:

http://www.veganbaking.net/recipes/pastries/croissants

http://vegandad.blogspot.com/2013/11/easy-vegan-croissants.html

http://www.veganappetite.com/2011/01/vegan-croissants-yes-really.html

Vegan cashew cheese recipes:

http://boldvegan.com/cashew-cheese-easy-recipe/

http://luminousvegans.com/2013/09/01/vegan-mofo-cashew-cheese-2/

http://yumuniverse.com/simple-cashew-cheese-spread/

http://vegangela.com/2011/10/15/homemade-vegan-cheese/

http://www.realfood.com/blog/vegan-cashew-cheese-recipe

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:

http://www.adaptt.org/life-changing-speech.html
gillbean40
gillbean4004/17/2014 01:49:01
Hi, new member of only two weeks. I was vegetarian for 15years and fell off the wagon in spectacular style and ate meat again for 5 years. I came to the decision to go vegan a month ago and haven't looked back. It never sat right with my mind or heart when I went back to meat but I was struggling with many health issues and my food choices were so few it felt like an easy option to go back to meat. I have struggled with my concience for approx one year but finally had the balls to listen to my heart and not just go vegetarian but vegan. I couldn't see how I could give up one without giving up the other as even here in Ireland where we have the rosey view of cows in fields and no veal industry you can only hide the truth from yourself for so long. I wholeheartedly believe that no animal deserves to die to feed me or anyone else and cannot describe the peace I have felt the past month since being vegan and how my health has improved already. Looking forward to communicating with everyone in the future.
JckLyzz
JckLyzz04/17/2014 04:44:40
I like following veganism especially raw, but since my family don't follow vegetarianism, sometimes it's kinda hard to resist the temptation of dairy products available..
gillbean40
gillbean4004/17/2014 06:04:43
My husband is a complete carnivore, he couldn't imagine a meal without meat. He is very supportive of my choice though and would never make it hard for me to follow my choice. I have a brother and sister who are vegetarian so it is very normal in our family which makes it easier too. You just have to get it straight in your head that you are vegan and remember your reasons for chosing this lifestyle and think of all the animals your saving by not eating meat or dairy, good luck.
JckLyzz
JckLyzz04/17/2014 22:41:07
I rarely eat meat before, so it's completely easy to ignore them (lol). As for the dairy, during juice fast which I'm on right now, I feel much better for not consuming them, so I'll try my best to completely ditch them in the future. :)

Forum moderated by HappyCowGirl

You need to be logged in or registered to post.