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Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

after much hesitation and 3 dairy free months i just ordered a pizza with cheese - now waiting for the biker and dealing with very mixed feelings - an intense craving for something fatty contrasting with dairy-aversion and guilt. since when i crave, i generally crave stuff like green leafy veg, i i also generally follow my cravings, so i also decided to give in to this dairy fix just because my body seems to think it needs it -needs fat, that is, and lots of it - i know that dairy is bad ethically and in other ways for me -very conflicted -

any other new vegans dealing with similar lapses- advice please

Responses (11)

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    Posted by Tatiana at 12/15/09 11:25:14

    I think it is pretty common for people to have cravings for foods they don't usually eat. Interestingly, lots of research has shown that just because we crave something does not necessarilly mean our bodies need it. A couple things that may help overcome the craving may be to find a vegan alternative (there are plenty of options out there, and if fat is what you want, you can find plenty of vegan goodies to fill that craving) or you can remind yourself of why you are vegan (watch some videos about the dairy industry, write down how icky you feel after eating dairy). I hope that helps!

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    Posted by junglesurfer at 12/16/09 00:58:46

    hey a good alternative is almond or macadamia nut milks creams and yoghurts lots of different textures and adaptations can be made i do banana macadamia date ice cream no sugar or carob mint flavour so many ways its amazing macadamia creme is bomb on pizza just add at very end of cooking to lightly toast it cheers

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    Posted by giddles at 12/21/09 03:04:51

    I find that I also have this dairy craving, and it is a pain because cheese was one the foods that I really liked. (big time!)

    Like yourself I thought that my body was craving fat to make me feel sated. Now I do not think this is the case, I started to look at it like this; Why am I craving animals milk, it did not make sense, then I thought what do the animals that I crave their milk eat, and it came to me that they eat grass and a lot of green food. Then I looked at my recent eating habits and worked out what I was neglecting in my diet. It was greens so I started eating more food like raw spinach and it worked.
    I began to feel better and now I'm looking at reducing the other fats in my diet.
    Hope this is of some help to you,

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    Posted by shearwater at 12/21/09 07:19:50

    I've never bought into the idea that cravings are your body's way of saying you need something whether the craving is for meat, dairy, sweets, alcohol, cigarettes, or heroin. Yes cravings can be strong but we have the ability to think.

    My favorite meals were once seafood. I'm sure I'd still love the taste but my desire (or craving) to NOT cause suffering is greater. My last meal before going veggie 23 years ago was broiled flounder. Of course it was delicious. But it's only a taste. I'm sure some chef could make a delicious meal out of a piece of human thigh or breast but it doesn't mean I'm going cannibal.

    I do have cravings for ice cream but as a vegan I'm not tempted to cause suffering to my bovine friends. Besides, there are plenty of alternatives - soy, rice, hemp...... Same goes for cheese, meat, or any other animal product. Vegan Italian sausages and Tofurkey taste better than the dead animal versions anyway.

    A few years ago while kayaking a salt marsh I stopped and stood in shallow water watching the bottom. After a bit the sand seemed to be moving. Turned out I was in the midst of a school of baby flounders. That was a far more fulfilling experience than the taste of their dead flesh and I was glad I would not be responsible for their deaths.

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    Posted by Sonja and Dirk at 12/21/09 11:49:34

    Dairy was the hardest thing for me to give up and it took me years. I had reduced the consumption, but still had it ocassionally, especially if someone else was serving it to me. I finally decided never again and just stopped as I felt like a hypocrite saying I was being vegetarian for ethics. Now it's been several years and I can't even imagine eating it. Every time I see it now, I visualize the suffering of the cows which is greater than that of "flesh" animals. And as noted above, there are so many alternatives now that you can satify a "craving" without harm. Basically, I guess the thing I'm saying is that the longer you stay away from it, the easier it gets. Good luck!

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    Posted by Lucinda_Vienna at 12/22/09 07:13:50

    I became vegetarian at 20 and finally became vegan at 35. Mistakenly i thought i was contributing enough to animal welfare and my health by eliminating meat, fish and foul from my diet. I conveniently forgot to acknowledge the horrendous conditions and the brutal suffering animals went through in order for me to enjoy cows milk in my cornflakes, or sheep cheese on my pizza, or drink dairy milk hot chocolate etc. And to be completely honest my ego was already boosted as most people admired my restraint and dedication living a vegetarian diet! Never was i approached and asked why i didnt make the natural progression to become vegan.
    I was living in blissful ignorance until one evening ..... i was sitting in a bar enjoying my glass of wine and reading a book called "The Perfectly Contented Meat-Eater's Guide to Vegetarianism: A Book for Those Who Really Don't Want to Be Hassled About Their Diet " by Mark Warren Reinhardt. Its a light hearted book with some useful facts and figures to help convince meat eaters becoming vegetarian is the right way forward. I came to the chapter where it described the pain both the mother cow and its calf suffered when they became separated only days after its birth. The cow bellows for weeks calling and searching in vain for her new born. Soon afterwards she is impregnated again (or raped as i see it) only to go though the same suffering ten months later. Meanwhile the calf is shipped off to the slaughter house to be murdered, butchered for veal and its new soft skin sold for shoes, purses and jewelry accessories (the brand Swarovski uses calf hind for their arm bangles).
    I have spent most of my life eating, drinking dairy products and its only natural to miss something that tastes good. BUT since that evening in the bar where i openly cried with frustration, anger and shame i have researched the hard facts about the dairy industry and i have never looked back. To this day when i smell cheese melting on a pizza , or see a steaming cup of hot chocolate the only thought thats crosses my mind is lonely frightened 3 day old calves and their mothers crying for them.

    Im only sorry i didnt see the light many many years ago.

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    Posted by Stephanie394 at 12/23/09 20:30:26

    Hi, reading these posts has been very helpful to me. I am in the position of trying to become vegan. Cheese is definately a weakness for me, but i have switched to rice milk rather than cows. Ive heard that there are vegan cheeses but that most are made with palm oil. Does anyone know of a vegan cheese which doesnt involve using palm oil? If not, no cheese for me.
    At the end of the day - we all do what we can. If you have a lapse its not the greatest but you are a product of how you have been raised. Its hard to throw off many years of conditioning all at once. I am sure many ppl here have never had a lapse, just as I am sure that others have. We all do the best that we can. I think you have done a great job being dairy free for so long. Good luck with it :)

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    Posted by nncaine at 12/24/09 10:38:37

    Thank you guys for posting this issue. I actually just found the Happy Cow site because I was contemplating whether or not I can go fully vegan as I ate pasta with cream sauce. I've been vegetarian for about 6 months and trying to go vegan for about 3 months--but eating out is hard, eating with friends is even harder, and drinking coffee without cream is almost impossible. I wanted to research natural and compassionate dairy products that I could consume, and googled "happy cow" and here I am. Thank you for reaffirming why I wanted to do this in the first place.

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    Posted by Fallopia Tuba at 12/27/09 13:33:06

    Dairy is difficult to quit because the craving is physiological; dairy contains casomorphin, which is nature's own opiate. Casomorphin is present in cows' milk in order to prevent the calf from rejecting its mother's milk.

    Cheese is both a physiological and psychological craving; because it's concentrated milk, you're getting a concentrated wallop of casomorphin with every bite. Most people who say they "looooove cheese" don't even know they're addicted; my sister gets this "junkie" look in her eyes when she talks about how much she loves cheese.

    My sister is in the beginning stages of MS; she's a sometimes-vegetarian (who only eats chicken if she has to) who states that she'll never give up cheese because it's her favorite food. MS—like diabetes—is an autoimmune disease and one cause of it is dairy consumption.

    I agree that preventing animal cruelty is one of the most important benefits of going vegan, but when talking to people about why I'm a vegetarian, I like to emphasize the benefits you can feel within the first week of quitting the dead animal carcasses and secretions.

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    Posted by Fallopia Tuba at 12/27/09 13:40:09

    Oh, and although few dairy substitutes are "dead-on" in replicating the foods they're supposed to substitute, some are better; I honestly like So Delicious Coconut Milk beverage better than anything else in my coffee; they now have a creamer.

    Remind yourself that dairy is "pus with hormones and glue;" in fact, cow's milk is 1) full of white blood cells, 2) a hormone-delivery system—even if it's skimmed—to help baby calves grow into big, fat cows in a short amount of time, and 3) full of glue; casein is the glue you stick the label on the beer bottle with.

    Hope this helps.

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    Posted by veganwholovesfood at 12/28/09 12:48:56

    try daiya to fill the void, it's the best vegan cheese substitute I've tried

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