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Community: Forum: Vegetarian Discussion

Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

For myself as someone who is starting the transition to cutting out meat and dairy from my life, I have trouble getting away from my old habits. Some days I want a huge burger and french fries, even though I know my body won't react well to it, I still want to devour a burger. Or I still have trouble seeing vegetables as something that can fill me up. For my whole life I've looked at protein topped with more protein to make me feel full. No matter how my real life practice of eating a vegan diet keeps me full longer than eating animal protein would. What do other people struggle with?

Responses (7)

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    Posted by pietas at 09/03/15 06:45:56

    For me, it wasn't difficult at all to transition to a completely vegan diet. I already wasn't eating much meat (maybe like once every two weeks or so) to begin with, so I just cut out all animal products entirely.

    My boyfriend also did the same.

    The hardest part of being vegan is the fact that there are animal products in EVERYTHING. My boyfriend dumped out an entire case of New Castle the other night because it had something from fish in it.

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    Posted by ouikouik at 09/03/15 11:33:43

    i'm vegetarian, not vegan, and the hardest part is communal dining with omnivorous friends, as i'm immersed in a mainly meat-based culture where it's common to order lots of dishes to share.

    i started off as an omnivore and gradually weaned off meat and seafood, and well-meaning friends would order dishes with both veg and meat, thinking that i'd be okay with just picking out the veg (which i was initially okay with, but not now). it makes me feel bad knowing that they feel bad that i pay the same price after sharing despite having had only two out of X dishes, so if i have a choice i'd still choose a veg eatery.

    i also find it difficult to travel with omnivorous friends, especially when one of their aims is to suss out the best delicacies (usually seafood/meat) in a particular region.

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    Posted by Thalassa4 at 10/10/15 00:35:05

    Cheese. Thus the term cheegan to describe those of us who can't seem to kick it. It's weird because cashew "cheese" and Daiya are good on certain things, but I honestly think vegan cheese substitutes ruin pizza, and I do love pizza. I have no idea what to do about it. Sounds like learning to cook or going out to veg restaurants might start to solve this savory protein problem, to me that one is quite easy to address with things like veggie dogs, tofurky roasts, and learning to make seitan with mushroom gravy. There are just so so many of these high protein meat substitutes out there. Scrambled tofu for scrambled eggs, etc...it just takes practice and changing little things. I don't think many people just figure it out all at once.

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    Posted by Robinwomb at 10/10/15 03:38:39

    The food aspect was not hard at all. Even as an omnivore I rarely ate out. I had a terrible intolerance to dairy/cheese so I avoided that for years. I think I started drinking soy milk in 2001 and almond milk around 2008. I also was not a huge meat eater and had introduced beans/legumes into my diet as a protein source a very long time ago so by the time I went vegan (overnight from omnivore in February 2011) it was very easy.

    I love being vegan, everything about it. I am very strongly an ethical vegan and that has been my main motivation, but my health also improved getting animal products out of my diet. And not just diet. Toiletries, cleaning supplies, clothing etc. I don't wear makeup or use harsh chemicals. Even my shampoo is natural and everything is much simpler.

    The hard part has been the social aspect, and the fact that most people have not embraced this lifestyle and ethical philosophy. It is frustrating that most people still do not understand what vegan truly means. It is not a weight loss diet. Really. Living in a culture of violence and indifference is hard. I can't avoid some of the conversations among family or coworkers that involves exploiting animals in some way. I am still in a minority, and I can't speak up the way I want to sometimes. It is hard to go to the grocery store and see the rows upon rows of dead meat, fish oil bottles, eggs, and other items and know how those products got there and remember that billions of animals are being born, bred, and processed as if they were commodities. It is truly disheartening.

    I'll also admit that finding totally vegan hiking boots was hard but i have three pairs now that serve me different purposes and all of them have lasted me at least three to five years. They are great shoes.

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    Posted by anahidscv at 10/13/15 16:13:56

    For me it wasn't because my focus was the animals, and if I ate anything made from animals, I contributed to their suffering. I never ever have liked cow's milk, not much of meat eater, so I never at all miss meat. But I did miss cheese and eggs. Hopefully this new product called Veganegg which is coming out end of this month available on Amazon, we will be able to try out scramble and even use to make french toast and etc. Daiya cheese has not been such a bad substitute at all. Above all, I will never go back to eating, using or wearing animal products.

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    Posted by Thalassa4 at 10/13/15 16:53:44

    I never liked meat either. My parents had to "make" me eat my meat.

    I really admire that some people are less controlled by their body though. I'm a more physical person, though I'm also somewhat of a thinker, I really have challenges with cravings.

    However last time I had a coffee with milk I couldn't finish it because I didn't want the milk. I think this is a good sign. I believe I eventually can be vegan, like really.

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    Posted by Robinwomb at 10/14/15 03:09:51

    Thalassa4,

    Eating disorders run in my family. Several members are binge eaters. Both my Mom and sister have tried to go fully vegan and last for a while and then slip up and binge on animal foods. I understand that food can be a physical addiction and dairy especially has properties in it that make it physically addicting. It is a feel good comfort kind of food. I think it was easy for me to go vegan because I was intolerant to dairy for many years. It made me sick with horrid cramps, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and I had mucus and phlegm from it. So I avoided it long before discovering veganism. In the years of being vegan, I have been involved in many online and community veg*n groups and I have heard from many that dairy was the most difficult to give up. My husband is still omnivore but mostly vegetarian. He used to be a hunter and worked on a dairy farm. He even says meat is not much of an issue for giving up for him, nor are eggs, but dairy is a struggle. It is a cultural staple in his world and not easy for him to avoid. I am happy that at least he tries, and he has at least cut down on his dairy consumption. It is still difficult to live in a household that is not fully vegan, but we have been together and built a relationship over 17 years and it is not something I would walk away from because he is not vegan. I think he has taught me to be more compassionate and understanding of others struggles. I understand that some people live in areas that make it hard to find quality plant food. I actually visited such an area in south Texas once, and couldn't even find dried beans or plain peanut butter or oats, I kid you not. There was nothing but junk food even in the tiny grocery stores around there and the produce sections were smaller than closets. I also understand that food is expensive.

    I have struggled with periods of anorexia nervosa with binge/purge subtype. Veganism actually helped me in my recovery and I reached a normal weight range (from severely underweight) for the first time in six years as a vegan. I struggled for many years as an omnivore with an eating disorder. Even as a vegan I went through periods of instability with my eating disorder and I would occasionally binge but always on vegan food...peanut butter, hummus, dark chocolate, homemade bread, vegan mayo, oats, homemade vegan cakes etc. My binges were wild out of control grab at the nearest thing and cram as much in as possible in mere minutes kind of bingeing. Never planned. Most of what we have in our house is vegan food and since dairy made me so ill as an omni years ago, I never grabbed at my husband's dairy products even in a wild binge. It's strange how even in my worst of my eating disorder, or at least the periods of bingeing/starving/purging, as a vegan I would still not consume animal products of any kind because my ethics were so strong in this regard. On an emotional level I literally could not eat an animal product. I remember when I was at a very very low bmi early on as a vegan and I thought maybe I needed eggs because I was struggling with health issues. I remember standing at the grocery store staring at the "humanely raised" egg cartons and thinking I should try some but I just couldn't do it. I couldn't buy them. Eventually I recovered and put on over 20 lbs to get healthy, all as a vegan. It is sometimes hard for me to understand how my Mom and sister can not do this too, why they give in to fast food and cheese and meat. But on some level I do understand the power that eating disorders have on a person. It has little to do with will power. Even cultural beliefs ingrained in us are strong and hard to break. Sometimes it takes small steps, and a gradual process, to change. For me personally, I wanted to embrace an entirely different way of looking at food and eating when I went vegan. I didn't go for the meat and dairy substitutes. In fact I avoided them religiously for my first few years. I wanted vegetables and grains and beans to be the center of the plate and focus. The less processed stuff the better. Ironically it was only in recovery from my eating disorder that I have gradually allowed for some processed foods here and there, such as Daiya vegan cheese or Field Roast vegan sausage or coconut milk yogurts. They are not staples, they are treats, but I am not as strict as I once was. We each have to arrive at veganism in our own way and improving our health, mind, and spirit is no different. Veganism is a lifelong learning process and not something you stop thinking about once you "arrive" there. I still consciously strive to live an ethical life daily, but I understand that I fall short on many levels. I could smile at others more, and stop using so much plastic, and be kinder to myself. It's not just about the avoidance of animal products. That's the biggest one though.

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