Hello group I'm new to this I've been off meat for about a week. I drive a truck over the road and I watch a lot of documentaries on Netflix. After watching my second doc on the health benefits of a vegan diet it all just kind of clicked that this is what I needed to be doing. Now of course it's not easy on the road but I've been making due with a refrigerator in my truck and I can wiggle my big truck into a few big evil Wal Marts that have enough selection for me to get by (but I've gotten burned twice on strawberries for far moldy blech). I will say the immediate uptick is a major loss in indigestion I've had problems digesting dairy for few years now. I know I'm only a week in but so far so good I feel fine. I guess my main concern is I'm fairly pot committed to a couple of non dietary things that wouldn't be considered popular amongst vegan people. First off I'm a biker I ride a Harley and I ride from mid February to mid October sometimes into mid November and I don't know of a better more wind resistant product than leather. Second I pull a refrigerated trailer so I haul meat,cheese,dairy etc. And I'm one year into a three year plan to buy my truck from my company so it wouldn't be a good time to jump ship. I guess I don't expect much support from my friends they still give me crap for quitting smoking 4 years ago. But I wouldn't expect much acceptance from vegans either if I ride up to a vegan cafe with leather coat,chaps,boots and gloves. But anyway these are things I have to get figured out and I'd welcome any feedback thanks.
Hi Michael, Since you are only a week into it, don't worry about the future. Everything will fall into place. For many people they feel so good eating vegan that they never turn back. Dairy is definitely the culprit for a lot of negative health conditions, as it sounds like you have discovered, so as you feel better you will likely be so glad that you took that first step.
As far as the leather, some people are so disconnected, in fact most people are disconnected from the reality of what leather really is (yes they know it comes from an animal intellectually, but somehow are able to disassociate with that reality). After being vegan for awhile you may find yourself becoming repulsed by it, because you really "get" what it is... but if not, you can still wear it without contributing to the suffering of future animals. You can maintain what you already own, and/or you can buy used/vintage items.
When buying new, you tell the industry that the item is in demand, thus contributing to the deaths of future animals, but this is not the case with pre-owned/used/or vintage items. And some of the faux leathers today are hard to discern from the real thing. I realize that biking apparel probably would not hold up if it were not real leather, and probably wouldn't be warm enough either, but I know nothing about biking. There must be other people in your situation, so you should see how they handle this, or if there are some other clothing options.
As far as the refrigerated trailer, you are financially commited to this. I'm sure that there are refrigerated vegan items that need hauling, but seeking them out may not be practical. You have 2 more years to think about and weigh all of your options, and within that time frame you will likely be able to resolve your ethical dilemna and find a solution that works for your life.
I recommend heading over to facebook. There is a large vegan community there and you should be able to find support and friends who can help you navigate through the vegan newness!!
Kit, that was a faaaantastic answer you gave and I could not have said it better! We're all in this journey together and I certainly support ANYone who is striving to become a better vegan, no matter what level you are at or how fast or slow the effort is. Michael you are in a difficult position, but be proud that you are doing what you ARE doing! Every effort you make counts! I find it very soothing to the soul to make efforts that actually support the environment and its inhabitants - rather than destroy it and it is definitely a growth process.
I think it is very sad that your "friends" still "give you crap" for quitting smoking. Maybe some vegans might be a bit judgemental about still wearing leather or driving a dairy/cheese truck, but there are alot of us out there that support you no matter what and commend you greatly for making the effort that you are. I am not a perfect vegan either - not too many are - it is so hard in this world because just about everything from food to clothes to cosmetics to cleaners contain some form of animal products in it. But forums like these on Happy Cow is where we learn and become better vegans. Thanks for joining us Michael and feel free to post any questions you have.
I don't know if you live in a small town or a large town, but I would like to suggest that you try to find a local vegetarian group to join so that you can make new friends that support your new healthy choices. I find them invaluable! Maybe somewhere there's a group of 'biker vegans'!
I agree with the posts above, doing whatever you can is good. I was vegetarian for two years before becoming vegan and now I've been vegan for 11 years. Things will just gradually fall into place for you. I wouldn't worry about your job too much because that is not who you are, it's just how you make your money. I understand how you feel about the leather clothes, because I'm also still worried about what I'm going to do when my leather baseball glove that I've had for twenty years finally falls apart! I'm hoping they'll come up with some good vegan ones by the time it does.
Hi, Michael and everybody above,
It's so good to hear others reiterating the good of making small steps in the direction you want .. I too have a leather problem. I'm slated to buy ice skates (I'm gonna just buy the used ones for a low price, at this rink where they're all in a huge pile and my size is the rarest so they're just going to rot otherwise) for my fiigure skating coaching entrance this year, and then those will wear out and I'll have to pray that tey last long enough to carry along my practice. (wearouts take time out). I think if I get sitting on the bench wrenching breaking-out skates again soon, I will seriously consider this on the bench sit-and-wrench a meditation in the favor of veganism and in hopes that a better option of figure skates will be invented soon.
Good luck all and Michael I have some dehydrator cracker recipes in a pile that are very nutritious, delicious and portable, you probably need to make a bulk of them when you're at home for one time (is there any home time?)
Oh and I might add that, have you ever thought that your friends, if you get really fun with this- like go all-out and it looks really humorous in a good way, might appreciate you for your innovativeness and eccentricity (in a good way)? I know my family and skater friends do (there is a duct tape utube skate video comedy coming out)