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Well, if nobody else is gonna eat it....

During the two years I've been vegan, I have rarely made exceptions for myself. But sometimes I find myself eating breakfast omelettes, pies or leftover cakes.

Why do I do this? Because I simply hate for food to go to waste. Occasionally in my family, somebody will have ordered an unsatisfying meal, or there are leftovers in the fridge they're certain they won't finish. In these cases, I'll finish the food off for them, animal products and all (although we could give some of this to our pet rats/birds, it would probably be too much for them and not very healthy).

I know this is likely going to be controversial, but what's your stance on leftovers like this? Is it better to fully stick to your principles, or to eat what's there?

I used to hoover up leftovers, having been raised in a poor family where waste=sin of the deepest dye. I would struggle to eat a dish that I didn't like or that hadn't come out right, just because you don't.throw.away.food. and because my bottomless brothers were no longer around to take up the slack (those boys ate like vengeance!).
I no longer do this, having topped out at over 210 pounds due to my "saving" habit. Just recently I made an "uncheese" recipe that simply didn't work. It wasn't pleasant to eat. I had eaten 2 servings of it and the thought of eating more was not a happy one.  I stopped and thought: How much did I actually spend on the ingredients? Is it worth it to put myself through the punishment of forcing unpleasant, unwanted food down my gullet just so "it won't be wasted"? And is it worth the calories? No.
If you want to eat something, eat it without feeling the need for excuses. If you don't want it, don't think you should eat it, or know that it goes against your health needs or principles, toss it. Particularly if it's someone else's food that even they don't want.

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I eat the leftovers from my own cooking whether I like them or not because I don't like wasting the ingredients. This has made me learn to only cook one or two portions so it doesn't happen very often.  However, I will NEVER do it for food containing animal products no matter how expensive the ingredients or if it'll be wastefull.  First, I don't think I could choke it down and second, I'm not compromising my beliefs because of food someone else doesn't care about might mold in the refrigerator.  I have been known to take in my sister's leftovers for lunch to a few of my co-workers who I know don't have a lot of money and would otherwise skip lunch.

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Can't do it, myself... 'ew ew ew' is what my stomach says, at this point, about animal junk!... and on a spiritual level, i do think that the physical & the metaphysical are intertwined: i don't want to take the product of such suffering into my body, & make it part of me. I also roll my eyes frequently at omni misconceptions about veg*ns secretly pining for bacon (blech/ heave!), and would hate to reinforce this nonsense by gobbling up animal foods whenever (to omni eyes) i could find a way to rationalize doing so...

I hate wasting stuff too... but... maybe there's a *reason* no one else is gonna eat it: it's nasty! I say toss it.  ;)

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Yes, sometimes you have to just take a bad dish as a learning experiment, toss it, move on, and try to do better the next time. But by now the thought of eggs  or milk make me heave. My body does not like it and it tells me so if ever get tempted. I just stick to soup, that never fails as far as the good to eat/ not having leftovers to worry about.

But if it's a takeout meal leftover, why not divide it into containers, let whoever wants it have some and take the rest to maybe friends, co-workers or neighbors? I don't know anyone who'll pass up Chinese leftovers...

Oh and I truly do think that sticking to a vegan diet makes me personally feel amazing. Animal products are hard on the body and take so much energy to digest, fast food is crap on your body too. And all that stuff builds in your body and make it react in ways you may think are normal, but once you completely and totally abstain for a good couple of weeks, you will feel a noticeable difference.

And really if I want something like a piece of pie, I will take one bite, realize its really not that good
and not worth it in terms of how I know it will make me feel after, and I'm done with it.

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On the rare occasion that I've been slipped something non-vegan, it's made me sick.  I don't think it's possible to eat non-vegan food "occasionally", I think it'd have to be done more often than that to make it even possible without the dissuading side-effects.  

I also think it's more about choice than waste.  I have never known a pie or cake to go to waste.  Not eaten all at the same time, yes.  Left on its own to spoil, never.  I think if you left the desserts alone, they'd be eaten.  You could even freeze cake to serve at a later time.  If you made an omelet sandwich on toast or made stir-fry and put crumbled omelet on top for an omni, it wouldn't be wasted.

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I used to think about doing this with my family, but then I realized that by me eating it, it would actually create demand for that item to be in my home. My family members might start ordering things they might not like or wouldn't finish because they knew I would eat it if they  didn't. So in a way it would be creating more demand.

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I don't like wasting food either and used to have the same problem as Yabbit. I would make/order something and either not like it or be too full to eat it but didn't want to waste it so I would eat it all. I gained a lot of weight and stopped doing it because it's not good for my health all around. If it's my food that I've made whether I made too much or I didn't like it, I try to experiment with the leftovers during another meal but sometimes I have to throw it away. If I do, I throw it outside or in the garden to compost. Not everyone is able to compost though or have anywhere to throw it outside so I can see that being a problem. Good thing for me is I have some people in my house who will eat anything and everything. I am not about to eat something non-vegan at all. If it's canned and no one is eating it I try to donate it, give it away to friends or family, if it's a fresh type of food I pawn it off on someone else.

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If they or no other omni's are going to eat it, then why are they putting it in the frige when they know you're vegan?  They are putting it in there because as was said above, you're creating that demand and expectation that you're going to eat it.  Whose to say if you didn't eat it, and didn't nag them to eat that they wouldn't eat it themselves? 

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Your rational for doing this is very understandable.  I understand it, I hate to waste food.  In fact, I routinely eat my bf's leftovers because I can't stand the waste.

So you should applaud yourself for this ethic, it's sort of nice.  I don't judge you for this and I don't understand why it would be so controversial.

Okay, back to your question.  Do I think it's horribly wrong for you to do this?  NO.  Would I do it?  NO.  I would not do it because my reasons to be veg are more than "let's not support the meat industry".  Not supporting the meat industry is good but if you have reasons beyond this for not eating meat, then don't.

You just have to ask yourself what it means for you.  If you simply do not want to support the meat industry with your dollars (and that is laudable) and are eating only leftovers, then it's OK.  If you are doing it for also other reasons, perhaps spritual or health, then say no.

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I have to agree with previous posters that I think it creates a demand. As previously stated, if you left it there it would probably be eaten by someone else but when you eat their leftovers it shows that they can just pawn it off onto you. Have you ever tried just leaving it there? If not, try it out and see what happens. I know that in my house I have never seen something like cake left to spoil.

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i couldn't eat it... ya it sucks it's going to waste but that's not my problem that's their problem... and why eat food you don't enjoy eating? ya it sucks to throw it out but honestly their leftovers are garbage why put garbage into your body?!

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I very much see the rationale here. One of the reasons I found going vegetarian so easy was that I never much liked most meats: were that not the case then I would probably stretch a point when I'm staying with my family as they are terrible about buying and making too much food. The "creating demand" argument doesn't really work there as I've tried many times to suggest they eat their damn leftovers and they continue to buy way more food than they need. As it is, a lot of what they make is generally not to my taste but were I just a little more flexible, I'd probably do the same thing.

Tweety - not necessarily. My family shove stuff in the fridge and just sort of... leave it. My mum assumes my dad will eat it, my dad assumes my brother will eat it, my brother (who is a little fussier about his food) assumes it's tomorrow night's dinner for my parents. The indecision continues for three or four days until someone finally throws it out.

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Me no. Cause i don't see it as waste I see it as animal products.

And that can go to waste by all means.

Sounds like your family is leaving food like that on purpose.

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Me no. Cause i don't see it as waste I see it as animal products.

Exactly! You already wasted the life of a beautiful being... Why the hell would I want to consume that :(

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I really can't get my head around how many people here think it's an evil omni conspiracy by her family. Sometimes people are lazy with leftovers. As I posted upthread, my family certainly are. She actually clarifies that this situation happens "occasionally".

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I really can't get my head around how many people here think it's an evil omni conspiracy by her family. Sometimes people are lazy with leftovers. As I posted upthread, my family certainly are. She actually clarifies that this situation happens "occasionally".

Fair enough.  I didn't mean to implly that it's an evil conspiracy.  I'm sure it's all innocent and they put the leftoevers in there and never think about it again.

She did say it happens only occasionally.  Still I have to wonder why are they putting something in the fridge they know they don't want and aren't going to eat?  Perhaps becasue in the back of their mind they know it won't go to waste and that the "vegan" will eat it....not the same as an evil conspiracy.  If food constantly went rotten and to waste, or the roommate reminded (or nagged a bit) them to eat it, perhaps it would be a different scenerio that they would eat their own leftovers, or not put it in there in the first place.  

Still the OP wouldn't have posted if they weren't bothered by it and wanted our thoughts.  God knows, I'm the last person to judge another for what they eat, and occasionally not wasting food is no crime.  I'm a clean your plate kid and a don't waste a drop of food kid too.  Rarely, if ever does anything go to waste in my house, so I completely understand.  I also compromise my vegan values from time to time, so I hope I'm not coming across as a "hoiler than thou vegan".

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I really can't get my head around how many people here think it's an evil omni conspiracy by her family. Sometimes people are lazy with leftovers. As I posted upthread, my family certainly are. She actually clarifies that this situation happens "occasionally".

If it was an unsatisfying meal at a restaurant why would you bother to take it home and refrigerate it?

I think the op should not eat any leftovers and just see if they eat it and even ask the op ,"Aren't you going to eat it?".

I think that's the only way to see if it's a conspiracy or not. The op shouldn't say anything to them though.

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I also didn't mean to imply that it's a conspiracy. I don't agree with startaurus because I don't believe it's a sneaky way to get anyone to eat meat, dairy, etc. What I meant was pretty much what Tweety is getting at, that they don't mind leaving it there because they know someone else will always eat it. I don't see how anyone believes it's a conspiracy either considering nothing is being forced, it's her choice to eat it or not.

Startaurus, many people bring home food even if they don't like it so that it doesn't go to waste. They try to see if someone else in the household will want it.

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whats more sad, seeing an animal being killed and eaten, or an animal being killed for nothing and being thrown away?

i dont necessarily do this as a vegan. before i was even vegetarian i would eat out of garbage cans while i was traveling and broke and its something im considering doing again when my band is traveling and i am completely broke. i have plenty of "freegan" friends, i dont look down upon them at all. sometimes i wish i could do it to prevent a beautiful creature from going to waste.

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Hi, harrisonmcclain! 

The original question was, "Is it better to fully stick to your principles, or to eat what's there?".  It's premised on the food going to waste, but there are ways she could incorporate leftovers into meals for her omni family.

You're talking about food that's already considered waste.  We're not, at least I'm not, judgmental about what other people eat.  The major reoccurring argued theme is about creating / not creating confusion about veganism.  Let's say you dumpster dived and scored some cheese, deli slices, or a yogurt drink.  That's fine, but if you called yourself vegan at the same time it would create confusion.  The result is that a band mate, boy/girlfriend, parent, hanger-on, may present food as vegan even though it contains eggs or whatnot because vegans "don't mind if they occasionally eat it," based on what they've seen.

To catch you up on all things vegweb, one camp says it's fine to call yourself vegan as you gnaw on a chicken leg as long as you feel you are vegan.  The other camp (I'm in it) says if you freecycle animal products, call yourself a freecycler instead of a vegan during the time you are doing it.

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