View Full Version : I Have no clue where to start

Aug 24th, 2013, 04:50 PM
Hi, My name is Jay.

I'm not yet Vegan. For years I've had this profound sense of guilt with my diet, basically eating what i want when i want, not giving more than a passing thought as to where the food i eating was sourced.

At this moment in time i am feeling sick, sick with the thought of consuming anything that has come from animals.

I watched a documentary called "Earthlings" today and it has completely thrown my life upside down... I always knew that meats and dairy were produced in ways that would be inhumane, but seeing it on the documentary has made something click inside me.

I spent the last 60 mins in tears watching it.. i'm a grown man sitting at home just weeping like a child. I have never seen something so profound in my life.

I finished the documentary and just sat there staring at the blank screen of my laptop for over 40mins in disbelief.

I decided in that instant that i could no longer eat meats, or dairy.. i just don't think i can do it. i went to my fridge and just stared in disgust and shame. I feel evil.

Emotional issues aside, i find myself in a position of not know what to do, i havent got the faintest idea of where to start at becoming vegan, i know no one who is vegan.

I'm going to be searching this forum for where to go next, but would very much appreciate some beginner advice.

Thanks for taking the time reading this.

Aug 24th, 2013, 07:47 PM
Hello, Jay. Welcome. :)

I had a very similar experience emotionally after my vegan turning point, involving a rational look at the situation for non-human animals. I felt that way too, about consuming animal products. I still do.

Regarding where to start, I'd recommend learning about the broad range of wonderful vegan foods out there. Recipes, products, shops, meal ideas. Enjoy exploring and discovering. Get into the habit of reading labels. It's a good idea to learn a bit about vegan nutrition, although it's really easy to have a balanced and satisfying vegan diet.

I've been happily vegan for over 10 years now, but I'm fairly new to this site myself. It's a good place to start; I'd definitely recommend it to new vegans. The people here are nice - I like them. I'm sure there's useful and supportive advice to come.

Aug 24th, 2013, 08:58 PM
i find myself in a position of not know what to do, i havent got the faintest idea of where to start at becoming vegan, i know no one who is vegan.

Hi Jay. You might start by researching products that are easily obtainable in your area. When I first became vegetarian I began replacing the meat in meals with comparable substitutes (marinated tofu pieces, vege-burgers) before delving into more adventurous recipes. Processed foods are perhaps not as good for you, but they are convenient to have with vegetables when you are starting out. :) It helps to have a variety of things at hand for both your taste buds and health. I make huge batches of homemade veg-soup.

If you like your snacks, there is non-dairy chocolate, potato chips. We have a vegan product here called Cheezly that is a good substitute for (cheesy) pizza topping when it is melted. You can also snack on fruit.

As Egesa suggested, start checking labels. Find suitable replacements for common items (bread, milk) and ingredients. It's really not that hard to change your diet, we are just creatures of habit!

Best of luck,

Aug 24th, 2013, 09:07 PM
Welcome Jay.

It really isn't that difficult once you put your mind to it - but yes, best get used to reading labels asap :-)

There is a wealth of information both on this site and the rest of the interwebs - have fun exploring and learning. Becoming vegan is still the best decision I have ever made, no doubt.

We be here if needed.

Aug 24th, 2013, 11:10 PM
Jay, first, I deeply sympathise with the inside horror that comes from making this realisation. I'm only glad you found somewhere to talk to others right away, there are good people on here who will no doubt steer in the right direction. Please know that most of us were non-vegans once and we know the shock of becoming aware. Like you, I was immediately put off of animal products and thought "sh*t, what will I eat now?" but as has been said, it's not as hard as you may think. :)

Anything that is made from plants is up for grabs - bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit and veg, all sorts of sauces, and some other stuff. You can get into the health and nutrition over time, but for now, does it reassure you that a bags of chips are vegan? LOL...

For facts etc look at www.vegansociety.com (http://www.vegansociety.com), and give yourself a break for now, try to rest your heart and your head tonight, know you are not alone... You've made a commitment - you should pat yourself on the back. Please keep coming back to ask questions and learn and talk and offload. Hugs.

Aug 24th, 2013, 11:15 PM
Buy some carrots, you're going to marry one.

Aug 24th, 2013, 11:17 PM
^ He's one of our resident comedians! ;)

Aug 25th, 2013, 12:34 AM
Thank you all for the warm welcome and advice,

i tried replying earlier on my mobile but it didn't seem to want to work.

I went shopping earlier and noticed a whole section devoted to vegans, I went through my kitchen cupboards and have been reading the labels, it's alarming the amount of stuff that has animal products in! things i would never have thought be associated with animals.

Tired my first ever glass of soya milk, and its great!

Tomorrow I'm setting myself the task of finding as many recipes as possible, for meals and snacks alike.

does it reassure you that a bags of chips are vegan? LOL.. <---- very much so!

I look forward to finding out a whole world of new things from here! :D

Aug 25th, 2013, 01:13 AM
Hi Jay,
I've recently gone vegan as well after a similar experience with the documentary vegucated. I went out and bough the cookbook "Forks over knives" and kind of went from there. I got a lot of ideas from there and it helped me familiarize myself with different beans, veggies etc etc.
Personally I stay away from substitutes because I've eaten the real thing my whole life and they just seem off, if you know what I mean.
Your body may go through some turmoil the first couple of days cutting out dairy and meat, but pull through because the benefits are so worth it!

Good luck my friend!

Aug 25th, 2013, 01:40 AM
Hi Jay. Great decision, well done :thumbsup: I can't bring myself to watch those videos so I take my hat off to you especially as you are acting on what you saw.

Don't panic, if you have a think you probably eat some things already that are vegan or can easily be adjusted to be made vegan, e.g. baked spuds with a filling, pizza, pasta with sauce, pies, curries, stir-fries, burgers, sushi...whatever you like really.

Some people like vegan versions of "meat" and "cheese" and some don't - they can be a convenient shortcut if you do but if not just think in terms of substituting beans, lentils, nuts and so on where you used to use meat. Hummus is a great standby if you like it and can be used in everything ;)

There are quite a few British forum members so you can get plenty of information about where to find foods etc here if you need it. You might also want to check if there's a vegan group near you for some face-to-face support. This isn't an exhaustive list as there are groups not linked to the Vegan society http://www.vegansociety.com/about/local-contacts.aspx

Aug 25th, 2013, 06:49 PM
Hi Jay, welcome! I can relate to the depression and despair once you 'get it'. But just think, animals need us to be mentally and physically healthy so we can advocate for them. Here is an amazing site that helped me when I turned vegan. They have a great range of vegan cheese. http://www.veganwiz.com/ http://www.veganblog.it/ I found Chef Chloe's book 'Chloe's Kitchen' helped with a basic introduction to vegan cooking, and how to make things like seitan. I also now make my own bread because most shop bought bread contains milk. Use up all your ingredients you have now, even if they contain animal products. No need for the suffering to go in vain. Just start off slowly and ask around on here for advice. I found reading vegan blogs very helpful. This isn't a plug for my blog lol. But I am also British, and I have a vegan shopping list that may be helpful to you http://inmyvegankitchen.wordpress.com/vegan-shopping-list/

Aug 25th, 2013, 07:11 PM
Welcome to the forum Jay. Supermarkets like Sainsburys are good for vegans as they label vegan products. I've personally found most breads to be ok for vegans, I must be shopping in different places to Miso. You can get soya margarine, soya cream and vegan ice cream there. If you go to your local health food store or Holland and Barrett there are lots of stuff for vegans. Where do you live we might be able to recommend places you can eat out. Or try Happy cow http://www.happycow.net/europe/

Aug 25th, 2013, 07:14 PM
Oh really, where do you get your bread from? I mainly shop in Sainsbury's and found I couldn't eat most of them. I asked behind the counter and they said that most of their bread contains a bit of milk, for colour. And yes, Sainsbury's is excellent for labeling.

Aug 25th, 2013, 07:30 PM
Earthlings is absolutely horrible, I admit I had to watch it muted cos I couldn't listen to the cries. I was already vegan and knew a fair deal about most of it but to actually see it, it's soul destroying. I wish every human on Earth had to watch, I'm sure most would be affected and make positive changes in their lives if only they knew.

I hope the transition to vegan goes smoothly, preparation and research is the key to getting it right and sticking with it. It took me three attempts to finally go vegan, and thats because the first two times I knew nothing about vegan diets.

Good luck!! I'm sure you'll reap many benefits from being vegan. I'm full of energy, I'm happy (after years of depression) and generally feel really good.

Aug 25th, 2013, 07:40 PM
Hi Miso, I actually now make most of my own bread but lots of the brands that sainsbury's stock like Hovis, Warburton and Kingsmill are mostly ok for vegans. I don't usually buy the made in store without ingredients but if you look on this list http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/groceries/index.jsp all of the sainsburys breads listed seem to be vegan. Also most of Tesco and Co-op bread used to be ok haven't shopped there for a while. The only place I've found to be really bad was M&S lots of their bread seems to have milk in it.

Aug 25th, 2013, 07:49 PM
Ah ok. Well scrap that, most bread seems to be OK. I actually prefer making my own bread, it's satisfying! I made some nice Italian sourdough the other day.

Clueless Git
Aug 26th, 2013, 12:30 PM
Echoing advice already given ...

'Veganize' as much of what you are used to eating as you feel the need to Jay.

TVP (texturised vegetable protein) is a usefull 'veganizer' to get hold of and learn to cook properly, btw.

Comes as both mince and chunks for replacing mince and chunks in shepherds pie, mince'n'onion, spag-bol, keema curries, stews, casseroles, pies and so forth.

Tricky stuff to get a really nice flavour and texture in the finished dish with though.

Sep 2nd, 2013, 08:49 PM
I could have written your post :)

I watched Earthlings four days ago and am just beginning to feel "normal" again, I felt so depressed and disgusted after watching it I couldn't sleep... I was crying and shaking through the whole film. I haven't eaten meat or an animal product since I watched it and the thought of doing so makes me want to vomit, to the point where I feel physically ill! I feel much better after I went shopping yesterday and filled my kitchen with lots of fruits, veggies and healthy grains :) I am ready to do this! I live in Kentucky and the only other person I know who's a vegetarian is my brother, and he's doing it for the health benefits, not for ethical reasons. Although I am still lucky to have at least one person to relate to :)

Good luck to you Jay, and thanks everyone for all of your advice to new vegans!

Sep 16th, 2013, 10:51 AM
Hi Mymblesdaughter. When I was last in Tescos (about a month ago) I asked if their bakery bread was vegan or not and I was told that most, if not all, contain milk or milk powder.
I'm like you in that I make my own, at least I know what goes into it.

Sep 16th, 2013, 04:31 PM
Tesco Vegan list show that lots of their bread is ok http://realfood.tesco.com/media/docs/Vegan-June-2013-ec29f63d-81f8-402b-85d1-a23a5acfb2d9-0.pdf

I haven't shopped in Tesco for a few years now but seem to remember the bakery products can be different in each store as the instore bakery stuff is cooked in house. There was a debate that seemed to go on for a while about whether their doughnuts were vegan. Some stores said they were, others said not.