I am sooo glad you expressed your feelings on this matter.....I feel the same. I have been a vegetarian for 27 years but added some fish in the last 10 so I guess I am a Pescatarian. I am a lover of all Gods creatures and too alarmed by the treatment of animals. I felt Veganism is for me. It wasn't...it's has been a roller coaster. Its about a month I felt sooo weak , sick and I had gotten Broncitis I can't fully shake it. Apparentely my immune system is lagging. So I broke down and had some salmon this past Sunday and the next day Monday felt better. I added back salmon and eggs still limiting cheese/dairy. I do feel cutting dairy made my digestive system work better, so i will limit dairy. I read how vegans eat a slice of pizza and feel ill. I don't want my body to be sensative and not be able to enjoy food. I LOVE FOOD. I think I need to find out what works well for me as you are doing. RIGHT ON!!! & Praise the vegans that can do it!!!!
Bex, your post makes me really sad. I'm sorry that you are having such a hard time! Food is NOT the enemy. Food should be a source of so much happiness.
You said that you don't want to spend your entire life carting your own food around. But I think I can go out on a limb and say that you don't want to spend your whole life feeling sick and dizzy. And I know plenty of people who aren't even vegetarian who cart their own food around, because eating out all the time just isn't good for us or our wallets. There must be some way you can encorporate making your own food and bringing it to work with you. Maybe your partner or roommate could help you out? If you don't have time to get sick, then you have to make time to stay well, right?
You can of course still share food with people. Share vegan food with them. Other situations like the ones you listed, they are probably going to be inconveniences until you get used to them, or until other people get used to veganism. But an inconvenience is not the same as a mugging. I hope that doesn't sound unsupportive, I'm trying to put these things into perspective.
It sounds like you've loaded a lot of stress and baggage onto food. I hope you can find a way to relax and have fun with your new diet.
I know how you feel! I decided to add eggs back into my diet a month ago and feel like myself again. I think being completely vegan is great, but that I wasn't getting all the nutrients I needed. My brain literally couldn't form thoughts (which as a teacher is especially bad) and although I was super hesitant I couldn't avoid it anymore. I will try to go egg free again soon, when I have time to figure out how to get all the nutrients I need on a daily basis.
My point is that the vegan police aren't going to come and take your license away. Eat a piece of cheese if you want. Have an omelet. I personally avoid dairy like the plague due to health reasons and the fact that is is addictive, and the non dairy cheeses are not super pleasant, but give it a go if that is what you want.
Anyway, try it and figure out what is best for you. You won't succeed at a vegan lifestyle if you resent it all the time. Also, try to think of all the awesome stuff you do get to eat instead of what you are lacking. Explore a new cookbook. I even found one at the library with a whole section on pizza. Good luck!
This is such an interesting thread! This is what I think:
Ultimately, it's more helpful to come up with a lifestyle that you will maintain than one that will drive you crazy! Being vegan saves lots more animals it's true, but not if you only keep it up for 3 months. Being vegetarian for a lifetime - and veganish as possible, to be sure - will save many more and can be more accessible for everyone else you know.
This is what I do - I eat vegan when I'm by myself, with my family, or in restaurants where I can mix sides etc. But when I'm with my friends and they're cooking then I eat vegetarian (I've been vegetarian since I was ten so they're pretty used to that) and say 'can I bring the cheese to go on that pasta bake, etc.?' and bring the best-choice cheese I can find.
I don't like the dairy industry at all, but that way my friends don't feel threatened or judged, I've shown my appreciation for their efforts to eat vegetarian when I'm around and I've educated them a little bit about the better choices they can make even within a dairy consuming lifestyle. A lot of my friends have switched cheeses and only eat meat one meal a day now, which is great!
Vegetarianism is still a great thing to do, so you have to be happy and proud with that!
Well, I have decided to be 90% vegetarian, 80% vegan at this point. I just can't do it anymore. I have gained a tremendous amount of weight and I think the only way I can lose at this point is to allow myself some feta on my salad, or an occassional hard boiled egg with toast for breakfast. I am still going to mainly only cook vegan at home, with the occassional sprinkle of feta or parmesan to help keep me satisfied. As far as meat, I have occassonaly had some when out, I can't prepare it myself. I know, hypocritical. I'm just sick and tired of going everywhere and trying to exist on raw veggies, and plain salad. I end of eating tons of chips and salsa, or other vegan junk to avoid meat and dairy!!In the midwest, raw veggies are the vegan options. The restaurants sometimes have vegetarian options that are usually gross, but never vegan. I am just not satisfied being vegan anymore and find myself eating vegan junk food, which has now given me about 50 lbs of extra weight, and is causing more health problems. At this point, I need to find a way that works for me to lose this weight!!!! I think we all do our best, and even if we eat occassional meat and dairy, we are still doing better than most. Maybe once my weight is under control I could try again, but for now, that has to be my priority! Good luck everyone.
This is great I love everyones point of view. What it comes down to is listen to your body get in touch with your body. Once you do you won't have insane cravings if you listen your body will ask for what it needs and once it gets it , its amazing how you will feel. This might be vegan only diets or vegetarian diets be as kind as possible. Be true to ourselves, our body, our temple.
Thanks for the responses. I won't pretend that this will be an easy decision for me regardless of the outcome. Herbie, your way in particular seems like something I could possibly live with. It may just take some time to get out of my own emotional way. But at the same time, I feel sick all the time, and it has been too long to chalk it up to just getting things out of my system. I went veg 2.5 years ago and never felt any such weakness.
I just don't want to feel dizzy all the time (I got the flu last week for the first time since I was a kid!) and I don't want to continue to be such a wreck about this. But I have found myself eating things I would have turned my nose up at a month ago (white bread with sugary-fake peanut butter or *shudder* taco bell) becauase I was on the road and had no other vegan options. I want to start looking forward to eating again, and enjoying my fruits and greens rather than looking at them as components ("I need more B12, I need more A." vs "Oh, yum! Roasted Kale!")
I don't think there is an easy answer for me. I feel that, for now, I need to back off at least a little until I can figure out why I feel so ill; I just don't know how I am going to do it. The thought of eating dairy and eggs makes me feel ill. Of course, most foods do that right now...that's my whole issue =)
Oh man, do I resent this issue, too. I actually do believe that it is possible to use certain animal products (milk, eggs, wool) in a non-cruel fashion, and the fact that almost no one does purely for convenience's sake just offends me as a human.
My name is Becky too! You're right, it is hard to get out of your own emotional way. But you'll never feel healthy physically until you do emotionally so you have to do whatever it takes to get yourself feeling ok.
My feeling is that there are lots of things you could do to make yourself feel better and keep up with the lifestyle a lot, even if you're eating dairy and eggs. You could do research into what the very best choice eggs and cheese are (here in England I think it's Yo Valley) and make sure you get that.
Or, I know that often I'm guilty of thinking so much about what I put into my body that I neglect other aspects of the lifestyle, letting them slide a bit. But you could look into what making sure all your consumer purchases are good (like shampoo, or mascara or glue), or making a bird box, recycling everything you can or changing one of your car journeys to a walk.
Maybe focusing on those thing of things for a while would make you feel better about going back to vegetarian and feel how great the efforts you're making are! Also, my dad is 'vegan+eggs' because he feels stronger on it, and there are lots of lactose intolerant products which have a bit of egg in but are otherwise good. He just makes sure to buy from happy hens!