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The reluctant (and grumpy) vegan!

Hi folks!
I am considering becoming a vegan, and it's pissing me off! lol.
I'm reading the book "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell. It is making an incredible case for a vegan lifestyle, and has in the last week really changed my attitude toward food. I haven't eaten any meat or dairy since I started the book... I think that I'm becoming a vegan. This is a really incredible statement, because if you had talked to me a week ago I'd tell you that vegans and vegetarians were crazy (sorry, no offense!!). My husband is a total meat and potatoes guy, and I've been right there with him. He hates all fruit, and most vegetables, and basically refused to eat them. I would choke them down to be healthy out of obligation. The concept of a diet built around fruit and vegis, with no cheese (NO CHEESE?!!!) is just incredible to me. But at the same time, now that I have begun to think of meat and dairy as almost poison, in a way, that creates an environment in my body where all sorts of diseases grow...it's hard to imagine going back to my former lifestyle.

You should have seen me reading this book. It seriously threw me into a funk for 2 days straight. The better his case became, the more grumpy I got! lol.

I posted on my facebook that I was considering becoming a vegan. Wow, I had no clue how violent people were about it. It was like I was talking about religion or politics. Flames galore, with people getting very worked up about the whole thing. "Our very healthy ancestors have been eating meat since the beginning of time!!" (My question is, are we talking about the same cavemen and ancestors that had life expectancies of like 45? How do we know that cavemen were so healthy? Who are these super healthy people we're comparing ourselves to? lol.)

Anyway, I just wanted to reach out and connect with some other people who have already made this lifestyle choice, and aren't going to flame me. Are any of you reluctant and/or grumpy vegans like me? What made you decide to take the plunge?
- CJ =)

I'm a bit sad about the not liking fruit and veggies.  If you stick with it, I am confident you'll branch out.  For now, what fruit and veggies are the least offensive?  Maybe we can think of recipes you may like.  (Think of it this way:  regardless of being vegan, vegetarian, or omni, you should be eating fruits and vegetables.)

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/27/95516793_479bcfece8_m.jpg

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congrats on making the (reluctant) decision on veganism.

It may sound corny, but it really will get easier.  I think I talk for loads of people on vegwe when I say that being vegan will open up your taste buds.  Before I was vegan there wasn't a huge amount of different veggies that I liked.  Now I can't really think of any veggies that I don't like.

Stick with it,  it WILL get easier.

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Welcome to VegWeb and congrats!

shelloid is right. Going veg does get easier.
I've been a vegetarian (mostly vegan) for a few weeks now and it's easier then I thought it would be. I slowly took the plunge after watching 'Earthlings'.
I'm soooooo glad I've gone veg. It's an amazing feeling. I was on a natural high for the first week.
This really feels like the right way to live.

It's easy and cheap to throw meals together too.
Have a look around at all the awesome recipes on this site.
Going veg*n does not mean missing out on anything. Most stores have plenty of vegan options including mock meats, biscuits, pasta sauces, cereals, etc.
Just be sure to check the labels. Easy.

I know what you mean about the violence toward veg*ns. Some people are insanely against it. It's best to avoid those nut bags.

Here's a list of Non-Animal Sources of Nutrients. Hope it helps!
http://whyveg.com/nutrition.php
:)

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So glad to meet you! It sounds like this is a big change for you, and I think it's great that you're now aware enough to consider it (even if it makes you cranky, lol!)... What did it for me -- tho I'm from a veg-friendly family (my dad's veg), and was raised in a soy-and-broccoli-friendly kitchen environment, so it didn't seem like that big a reach -- was the realization that (a) to quote Darwin, the difference between us & other animals is 'one of degree, and not of kind'; and (b) it's hypocritical of me to say one thing and do another. I value kindness and nonviolence; I value environmental conservation; I value natural health vs gimme-a-pill-for-it medical props. So, if I eat in a way that is NOT reflective of those values, I'm not being true to myself; if I say I value these things, but act like I don't, then I'm a hypocrite. And I DON'T value hypocrisy... so: I'm a happy planteater! I think the folks who get so rabid & defensive about veg*nism have a seriously guilty conscience, and an enormous emotional investment in denial. They *know* it's not right, what they're doing; but don't wanna change longstanding comfort-food habits, and are scared to death that if they're made to think about it they will be uncomfortable... that creates cognitive dissonance that makes 'em come out swinging. At least that's my take on the phenomena... I'd rather talk to omnis about religion or politics anytime, lol! Every now & then there's someone who's authentically interested/ curious/ receptive... but mostly: hugely defensive! just state your position and walk away (or invest in some good pepper spray for self protection, haha)!

And I'll tell you this honestly-- not just as veg-glam to the new recruit, but sworn truth -- I enjoy what I eat now more than I ever did as an omni! My diet EXPANDED when I went veg... there are so many scrumptious things I never tried before: kale chips, lentil curry, nutritional yeast, cashew cheese, quinoa, tempeh, etc etc etc!

Don't be afraid to try new things; taste is habit, to large degree, and part of the reason you start out missing foods is just plain old habit. Set new ones, and those old foods start to seem gross... I use to be a huge fan of expensive cheeses; now, it seems so nasty to me to consume the breast milk of a mother cow, I wouldn't eat it if you paid me! (ew!)

When habits change, tastes change... going veg can be a very tasty and satisfying culinary adventure! After it's a habit, it's THAT food you crave.

There's a discussion group I follow on shelfari.com (book/ reading website) that has some links in the news thread about making the change, in the context of a 30-day (or whatever) 'vegan challenge'... and there's an article called 'Brave New Food' that has some suggestions on changing from a SAD to a happy-vegan kitchen!...might be interesting reading/ give you some ideas as to how other folks have made the changeover:

http://www.shelfari.com/groups/59543/discussions/249314/VegNews (recent post/ scroll down)
http://www.shelfari.com/groups/59543/discussions/227068/Article-Brave-New-Food

VW is definitely a wondrous resource... Use the forums to shout for help as needed! And keep reading... the more you know about the grim reality of what happens to get meat/ dairy/ battery eggs on your plate, the more they will gross you out and make you hungry for other things! I recommend Diet For A New America (John Robbins) and Eating Animals (Jonathan Safran Foer)... anyone who can read these and keep eating SAD... well, some kind of brain injury would be indicated, it seems to me.

Anyway: welcome! Much luck on your food journeys... I look forward to seeing you around!

:)

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Nice to meet you.  Welcome to Life Among the Vegan Freaks of the world where you're welcome to be who you are.

Keep your self motivated by reading books like Skinny Bitch, stuff by John Robinson just to name a few.  Google "Meet Your Meet" and watch that video.  Watch "Earthlings" and "Food, Inc."....being vegan rocks and this will help keep you pissed off and grumpy.

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Hi CJveg!

First off, that's the best thread title ever! Hehe...

I think you'll find VegWeb the BEST for helping you transition to a healthier, more compassionate life style. Plus, we're a mostly nonjudgmental crew so if you are ever faltering or need help in any way, we are here for you!

Good luck and have fun on the site!
Laura

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hey! and welcome! i'm glad that the book is having an affect on you! and im sorry about people being mean to you about making this choice. we've ALL gone through it. people just don't understand/refuse to accept our way of living. many people know it's wrong to eat meat, but they turn the other cheek because it's what they've known their whole lives.

i became i vegetarian as a challenge to myself to see if i could do it (the ONLY things i ate before were mcdonalds, pizza, and my dad's cheeseburgers) i couldnt stand fruits and vegetables. once i began my trial i started reading about veganism and vegetarianism and realized that it was completely the right thing to do. then on valentines day (i hadn't become vegan yet) i ate WAY too much chocolate, cookies, etc and decided i was gonna become a vegan for 2 weeks to clean out my system but then it just stuck. it felt right. i really felt happier and more at peace.

so yes, you're gonna deal with people who don't have a clue about what they're talking about but like to pretend they do who are gonna try and talk you out of it. but you know in your heart and in your mind that it's the best thing for you and other people can just suck it.

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Congratulations on your decision!  I totally concur with a previous commenter who recommended reading additional books on the subject (Skinny Bitch, John Robbins) to keep yourself motivated, and also to build your knowledge so that when people challenge you (and they will!) you will be able to respond to their questions and criticisms.  When I first went vegan a couple years ago and told my co-workers, I was shocked at the hostility.  I've been told that I hate people and only care about animals and that I am hypocrite because I wear clothes made in sweatshops and buy vegetables grown on farms that killed insects.  Looking back these reactions are pretty comical, but at the time I was really really upset. 

But now I am sooooo glad that I stuck with it.  I definitely eat better now than I ever did before.  I was a total cheese-aholic and I do not miss it one bit anymore.  A lot of stuff was easy to change--I just buy soy yogurt instead of dairy yogurt, make my own salad dressing with oil or vinegar bases instead of buy ranch dressing, etc.  And I've tried so many great things I would never have tried back in my days of dousing all my meals in cheese.  Kale, chard, seitan, tempeh, nutritional yeast...the list could go on and on!!

Oh and one more recommendation is to check out the podcast Vegetarian Food for Thought.  Just start at the first episode and work your way through them.  This has been my favorite resource and was to me what The China Study is to you! 

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I'm glad that book enlightened you so much, reading it may be one of the best decisions you made. When I was educated on the danger of meat and dairy, I too began to look at it for what it was, poison. Don't let criticisms of meat eaters sway or falter your ambition. If you've seen the Matrix before, think of all the agents that came after Neil after he was unplugged from the matrix, they saw him as a threat to their way of life. That's the scenario with anybody being hostile with you because of your decision. Either they are ignorant and stuck in their brainwashed ways of thinking or they are the ones that mis-lead the masses and profit from poison carnivore and omnivore diets, the meat and dairy industry, exercise & weight loss industry, health care and pharmaceutical industry, politicians, etc.

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I feel for you, my friends and family have attacked my lifestyle change quite vehemently so I have learned to just not discuss it with them. I feel alienated from them because of it but I'm happy to have these forums to discuss issues with like-minded peoples. I'm hoping that in time my vibrant health will show them that getting rid of animal products can be delicious and healthy.  Keep reading books on the subject and discover all of the awesome cookbooks there are to stay motivated. Monotony is a diet killer.

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I don't have much to add except that I have read that taste buds change.

I've heard other desribe their changing to a plant based diet, others who had no love for fruit, all of the sudden love it and wondered why they didn't like it for so many years.

I think it has to do with changing your body chemistry...perhaps getting some of the gunk or animal products out of your system that makes it so you can taste things more and foods that were not appealing before all of the sudden wonderful.

Please keep posting your experiences and thoughts.  I find it interesting.

Maybe you should start a blog. A blog of a true carnvivore turned vegan.  That would get a lot of interest from both sides because you were a die hard meat eater.  It could be a great read! You could post about the changes to your body, your thoughts, how others react to you, all the things you are discovering about food, etc.

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It's a little ironic that most people believe that vegans are making a dietary sacrifice.

One thing that is certain is that vegans have a passion for food. We love to cook and we love to eat. I'll bet that CarnWeb doesn't have 13,000 meat recipes. One can only evaluate a vegan diet if they have lived as both a vegan and a hard core meat eater. At 48 years old  my heart rate and blood pressure are lower than it has ever been. I'm energized after a meal rather than lethargic. You will lose all desire to eat meat, dairy and eggs after a while. Until then it is like kicking any addiction. :)

I never knew I could feel this good.

As for the healthy caveman. . . HA! Neanderthals got nearly all their dietary protein from meat. . . before they died out 25,000 years ago. (http://www.pnas.org/content/97/13/7663.full)

Modern humans survived because they were more omnivorous.

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