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Thread: Why weren't you vegan before you became vegan?

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    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Question Why weren't you vegan before you became vegan?

    We have 'why r u vegan', so i thought we might like to speculate on the other side of the coin?

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    Default my thoughts

    i've been vegan for eight years (i'm 24.) i do not have any other friends who are vegan. quite a few veggies but no vegan.

    sometimes i ask myself the question you've asked above - Why aren't these people vegan? They're intelligent, educated, opinionated. What is happening?

    But then i have one other friend who reminds me, People are never going to be all the same.

    So over the time i found that if i can educate others of where their food comes from and what is in it - then that is enough for me. If they *still* decide to eat it, then that is their own perogative. I can not force feed the world.

    What irritates me most as a vegan, is not that other people aren't vegan, it is those people who scream at me 'Don't tell me what's in this!!' as they are eating. I find that incomprehensible.

    People who actively decide to be uneducated. They make an effort to be uneducated. That is what gets to me. By all means, learn the facts then make your own decision, but to refuse them in the first place... crikey.

    anyways, that's my two cents

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    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    I have had numerous people tell me that they "tired to be vegetarian" or "tried to be vegan" but it was "too hard".

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    some ppl jus think that animals are inferior and were "put" here for them...

    and some believe that vegans are nutritionally deficient... and these ppl are also the ones that have no clue about nutrition or follow Weston Price and NT....
    Vegan-pagan-homeschooling momma to Khaila (5) and felines Gamma (3) and Mickey (3 mnths) and new foster cat Holly (2)

  5. #5

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    I think it has to do with conditioning.From the time people are born they are taught that food is just some plastic wrapped stuff you buy to stay alive.You are also taught that you NEED meat and dairy from the time you get to school.Old habits die very hard especially those that are deepy ingrained into your head and reinforced by daily life.

    Then there are those who just dont care.Thats perhaps beyond our comprehension but sadly its how most people are.The #1 thing that bugs me is when, and i hear this a lot,i explain in a conversation that pigs have roughly the same mental capacity as a 3 year old human and how badly they are treated I get the response "but dude bacon taste so good!".

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    I think many people are like cows or sheep in the sense that they follow the herd, or flock.

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    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    I think actually it can be quite hard to eat a 100% vegan diet, depending on your lifestyle. My other half eats vegan food at home but when he's at work he sometimes has business lunches etc where it's difficult to get anything vegetarian to eat, never mind vegan. I work from home myself and only have to go to lunch-time meetings occasionally and when I do I just take my own food along, but I can see it could get awkward in a more conventional job.

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    True. But part of the reason it can be tricky to get vegan food at cafe's etc, is that some of people who were vegans 10 or 20 or 30 years ago were thinking the same way; they didn't insist on getting vegan food but brought their own, took a salad or did like your better half....
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  9. #9
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    It can be difficult to insist on a certain type of food when you're having lunch at a client's place. It's easier when you are the client

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Also true. But I never insist on certain types of food, if I am a place where there's nothing I eat, I tell them something a la 'I don't eat *****, but no problem, I'm totally happy with skipping a meal. Fasting is supposed to be healthy anyway!'
    One reason some people are not vegan could be that they have never met one or even heard of one, which makes the process of going vegan much more unlikely to happen.

    If person A (client or not) offers person B meal and person B in a friendly way would respond with 'no thanks, I don't eat animal products', MAYBE this could cause person A not to take it for granted that everybody eats animal products next time a similar situation pops up.

    There are even lacto-vegetarian restaurants that take it for granted that all vegetarians eat dairy products. If they realize that some do and some don't, and offer more vegan meals, they will get more customers, since vegan meals can be sold to both vegans and lacto-vegetarians, but lacto-veg food can't.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Yes, I certainly agree it's a good idea for vegans politely to let people know why we aren't eating their food.

    My point was really just that I just don't think one should assume that non-vegans are non-vegan because they are less principled, less caring, more conformist etc. than vegans are: another consideration is that it's easier for some people to be vegan than it is for others.

    I also don't think it's productive to make people feel bad for not being vegan 100% of the time, because they might get the feeling that it's not worth doing unless they're 100%. After all, two people both eating vegan 95% of the time probably consume less animal products overall than one vegan and one typical omnivore added together.

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    meat= yummy and addictive (even though can't really imagine eating it now). same with candy bars..

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    Quote Themightyzero
    The #1 thing that bugs me is when, and i hear this a lot,i explain in a conversation that pigs have roughly the same mental capacity as a 3 year old human and how badly they are treated I get the response "but dude bacon taste so good!".
    my response to that would be "does that mean its okay to kill a three year old child and then eat it?" because apparently they think thats fine! poor pigs. one day i will own a little pig.

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    I tried being vegan once but it sent my OCD into overdrive so I went back to being vegetarian. It was the best thing I ever did for myself. The only thing that changed was my lable but it was enough and it really helped me.

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    Smile Ocd

    You have OCD? So do I!! But fortunately being vegan did not change my OCD or make it more annoying. Hmm...maybe you could try again?

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    No.... no... too afraid of that. I'm vegetarian and that's good enough for me.

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    Quote gertvegan
    I think many people are like cows or sheep in the sense that they follow the herd, or flock.
    Haha, that's my thoughts as well!
    Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they're only animals.
    -Theodor Adorno (1903-1969), German Jewish philosopher forced into exile by the Nazis

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    Quote Korn
    One reason some people are not vegan could be that they have never met one or even heard of one, which makes the process of going vegan much more unlikely to happen.
    True..That's why I was a meat eater once, because I had no idea what a vegetarian was, I never heard of it...
    Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they're only animals.
    -Theodor Adorno (1903-1969), German Jewish philosopher forced into exile by the Nazis

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    Quote Unregistered
    It's expensive!!!! It's hard to afford specialy vegan foods when you're on a college student budget....

    You donīt really need to eat the specialty foods - I had a blast shopping for food when I first went vegan - but actually, all you need is fruit, veggies, beans and grains - dried or canned beans are very cheap, as is brown rice and whole wheat pasta -


    Of course, it is still more fun to buy all the specialty items - but it isnīt a necessity!


    regards,
    globesetter
    Last edited by globesetter; Jun 12th, 2004 at 07:28 AM. Reason: spelling

  20. #20
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    There are a few web sites and books with tips for veganism on a limited budget, e.g. http://www.vegsandiego.com/veg/8/Veg...n_a_Budget.htm

    I agree with globesetter though that it is cheaper if you use legumes, vegetables and so on rather than buying prepared foods. Healthier and probably tastier too, though some will disagree.

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    Quote Unregistered
    i've been vegan for eight years (i'm 24.) i do not have any other friends who are vegan. quite a few veggies but no vegan.

    sometimes i ask myself the question you've asked above - Why aren't these people vegan? They're intelligent, educated, opinionated. What is happening?

    But then i have one other friend who reminds me, People are never going to be all the same.

    So over the time i found that if i can educate others of where their food comes from and what is in it - then that is enough for me. If they *still* decide to eat it, then that is their own perogative. I can not force feed the world.

    What irritates me most as a vegan, is not that other people aren't vegan, it is those people who scream at me 'Don't tell me what's in this!!' as they are eating. I find that incomprehensible.

    People who actively decide to be uneducated. They make an effort to be uneducated. That is what gets to me. By all means, learn the facts then make your own decision, but to refuse them in the first place... crikey.

    anyways, that's my two cents
    i completely agree/can relate to that. they should be able to take responsibility for what they eat and not pretend like it doesn't happen or just to be completely ignorant to the pain and suffering they are contributing to by THEIR actions. when you sit down for a meal you can make the choice: to add to all the pain and suffering in the world or to try and make at least a positive difference to it even though, alone, it may seem small. ''i don't want to hear about that''- if they don't want to hear about 'that' then they shouldn't contribute to it, because it is the money they put into those horrible murdering people's pockets that makes 'that' happen!
    and i have to accept that people make their own decisions, and i do, but i will never understand how someone who is intelligent and, supposedly a good person (minus that lack of compassion) and knows what happens can consciously CHOOSE to contribute to this pain, or how a person can be so selfish that they think it is bad but it just ''tastes too good'' to stop eating it! i was telling one of my friends about KFC, about how cruel they were and she just said ''yeah but it tastes really good''- as if that makes it ok and these kind of responses just shock me and i feel completely sick when i hear them

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    yes i understand what u r saying, andi am sure we have all done similar things- but the things is i wasn't talking about the meat industry in general i was specifically saying about how KFC had completely ignored the people they hired in regards to the welfare of the animals they used, and she is supposedly an animal lover and also one of my best friends, and when i asked her, and my other best friend, if they would do an anti kfc protest (just handing out leaflets) they both said no- they siad it would be hypicritical because they both eat meat- i tried to explain to them that it didn't matter that they ate meat because the protest was about KFC specifically and the way their animals were treated, but no no no, no support from them oh well, ramble over

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    I think most people make eating decisions based on what's acceptable in their culture. We live in a meat-eating society, therefore people will eat meat. (kind of cyclical, isn't it?)

    I always seem to think of it the other way around: Why am I vegan? Why do I have these views and ideas that no one else seems to have?

    I'm super-proud of my veganism, but I feel so unusual sometimes. I've never personally met any other vegans --- you guys rock! Thanks for being there, now I know I'm not alone!

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    hello marlene, you are quite right that most people base their eating decisions on what's acceptable in their culture. This is obviously why most western people eat meat. Not only cyclical, but rather lazy, and if the topic is raised in conversation, they just don't want to know. It's rather disappointing when one's own family and friends don't want to know. But it is good that vegans who don't live in cities can keep in touch via the net. You have every right to feel super-proud of your veganism as you've never met personally any other vegans. I live in a regional town, but occasionally have been to Brisbane, and there I've met other vegans. Some years back I lived in Sydney where there were quite a few vegans. I wish you all the best, and isn't it good that we have this forum?

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    Default Habit

    We are creatures of habit. We tend to continue doing what we've always done. It's so much easier that way. But the key point of optimism is that new habits can replace old. That's why I have little quarrel with meat analogs. Whatever it takes. If someone needs to be weaned in such a way, go for it! I still consider myself a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy even though flesh no longer enters my mouth.

    As for enjoying food, those who enjoy eating will enjoy it just as much minus the meat/dairy/eggs. My son-in-law makes a mean apple pie I could die for. My wife occasionally whips up a chocolate cream pie (minus the whipped cream). The word tofu takes on a whole new meaning for vegans. I seldom feel deprived. Habits are malleable.

    -- germaine

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    This is from "The Silent Ark" by Juliet Gellatley.

    Many adults appear to be frightened by emotion. Anything which challenges, disturbs or upsets them is pushed into the darker recesses of the mind and they pretend there is nothing that can be done about it. Part of the reason is that if they accept something is wrong and should be changed, it automatically requires something of them, some action, some change in their lifestyle. And that is simply too demanding.

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    Why are others not vegan?

    It starts with a name: we don't hear about pigs, but pork; not cow meat, but hamburger; words designed to make people forget the origins of their food. The supermarket packaging is the same. You can rarely recognise the source. All of this is designed to keep people from making the imaginative leap from animal suffering to the choices they make in food.

    This is also from "The pig who sang to the moon" by Jeffrey Masson. Apologies if this has already been mentioned.

  28. #28
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    Yes, I've always felt that way about names - they're misleading!!
    If 'milk' was called 'Bovine Breast Milk', for example, it might put people off a bit, or if 'Eggs' were called 'Chicken's Menstrual Waste Matter Ovoids' or some such, the truth might out!!

  29. #29

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    When I was 13 I wanted to become vegetarian but I didnít last more than 6-12months and even then I wasnít really a vegetarian. I ate gelatine, occasionally fish and only knows what else. If my mum and others around me supported me then I would have stayed veggie but when you are 13, you havenít got a clue about what to eat and you have everyone constantly making you feel bad for being veggie it is near impossible. Thatís unless you are very outspoken which I was not and you have someone to turn to for support!

    Then when I was 16 I started to give up meat and become veggie. Then when I was 21 I found out about the dairy industry but I didnít have the support I needed so I changed to Soya milk but still consumed eggs, cheese and yogurt. If I had someone who really knew about the issues then I think that I would have become vegan long before I did.

    We should defiantly let people know that there are such things as vegans and that the dairy industry isnít ok!

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    kriz's Avatar
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    Default progressives put off by vegans.

    Why are some progressive, non-racist, feminist, organic friendly, down to earth, educated, peace loving people so opposed to veganism?? Why is veganism not part their"open" minded views? I don't understand why meat eating is so separate from their anti-violence preaching...Help me understand this.

    I think all of us on the board at one point were ignorant about vegan issues. Something or somebody caught or interest, showed us the reality and we decided to take a stand. But what makes others just refuse any information and instead make sarcastic remarks? Not a very progressive attitude. I'm talking out of really bad experiences here...


    "Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends". ~ George Bernhard Shaw.

  31. #31
    PinkFluffyCloud
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    I never understand this - I guess they are just people orientated - or not as progressive as they think they are?

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    ConsciousCuisine
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    Bingo! They are "Selective Progressives"

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    They may be progressive, non-racist, non-sexist, but are they non-speciesist?
    Eve

  34. #34

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    Quote kriz
    Why are some progressive, non-racist, feminist, organic friendly, down to earth, educated, peace loving people so opposed to veganism??
    Because they're not progressive / educated enough.

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    Quote kriz
    Why are some progressive, non-racist, feminist, organic friendly, down to earth, educated, peace loving people so opposed to veganism?? Why is veganism not part their"open" minded views? I don't understand why meat eating is so separate from their anti- violence preaching...Help me understand this.
    DontJustDoSomething... , not sure about their not being progressive/educated enough. Not long ago I dissociated myself from Greenpeace, as I'd assumed its volunteers were progressive and educated. But try to find a veg*an among them! I had several discussions, but gave up. Same applies to many of the Animal Lib organisations in Australia. I was a member of AL-NSW, and AL-Qld, but why would I support an organisation of volunteers who purport to be for the liberation of animals, yet eats them! At least AL-Vic members are all vegans, and proclaim that on their website. Same applied to when I was a volunteer with the Wilderness Society.

    kriz, I believe that these people just enjoy eating animal body parts so much that they prefer to avoid thinking it through, so they can continue with their bbqs and sausage sizzles.
    Eve

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    Some people say they don't like to label themselves. Maybe these people are scared of failing. Maybe thats why some aren't vegan.

  37. #37

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    Quote tricia
    some ppl jus think that animals are inferior and were "put" here for them...

    and some believe that vegans are nutritionally deficient... and these ppl are also the ones that have no clue about nutrition or follow Weston Price and NT....

    Actually alot of NT people are ex-veg*ns. I'm on another board that is pretty much half veg/half NT, it can get pretty interesting.

  38. #38

    Default Re: Why are you vegan! Or is it 'Why AREN'T you vegan?'

    Selfishness

    Misconceptions regarding healthy diet

    Not caring for animals

    Thinking it would be "too hard" to "give up" _______

    Don't think about food choices

  39. #39
    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are you vegan! Or is it 'Why AREN'T you vegan?'

    "I love meat too much" is something I hear all too often. To be quite honest, it makes me sick.

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Why are you vegan! Or is it 'Why AREN'T you vegan?'

    Ignorance

    Because they care more about their own whimsical pleasure or conforming to others' expectations, than about innocents' suffering and lives.

    They can't be bothered

    They're addicted to the chemicals in the flesh or bodily fluids of animals

    They're semi- or fully sociopathic

    They don;t respect themselves, the world or animals' lives

    They're unwilling to remove themselves from being part of the generic flock by being WEIRD (ie vegan)

    There are bound to be others, but those seem to be the most obvious ones

    What are your thoughts ?

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Why are you vegan! Or is it 'Why AREN'T you vegan?'

    1, Ignorance - organic meat and dairy is okay.

    2, Moderation is good. A few veggies and some chicken or fish is a well
    balanced meal. No fancy complicated vegan diet for me.

    3, A vegan diet is for the middle class - only. It's too expensive for
    students and the working class


    4, Vegansism is an extreme type of vegetarianism. It's an idealististic
    and utopian diet no one is able to follow for a long period of time
    without facing serious health problems.


    5, I was a vegetarian for a few years... I didn't feel good... and my
    doctor told me to start eating fish.

    6, I eat so little meat that it can't do any harm.
    "Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends". ~ George Bernhard Shaw.

  42. #42
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    Default Re: Why are you vegan! Or is it 'Why AREN'T you vegan?'

    Conditioning. Since birth for some reason, I don't know how this conditioning evolved over the years. From day one it is taught it is fine and good and normal to kill and eat other animals, and their reproductive secretions. For us to go against this such an ingrained in our heads since baby-dom belief makes vegans not "normal", I can't believe it, I feel like I'm living in the Twilight Zone when people are so baffled on why I don't eat animals or their secretions..

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    Default Re: Why are you vegan! Or is it 'Why AREN'T you vegan?'

    Most people, in England at least, are brought up on 'meat & 2 veg', and built their meals around that. It takes a more intelligent person to question. Although I'm not an elitist, yet I consider that vegans per se are more intelligent than other humans, who, even if they are brought up against reality, would rather not know about it.
    Eve

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    Default Re: Why are you vegan! Or is it 'Why AREN'T you vegan?'

    Quote eve
    I consider that vegans per se are more intelligent than other humans, who, even if they are brought up against reality, would rather not know about it.
    Yep, that fits with my experience.
    A bit rattled

  45. #45
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    Default Re: Why aren't other people vegan?

    A lot of people seem to either be ignorant of the suffering involved,

    or they think that killing is an inevitable part of nature (animals kill each other, so it's 'natural' for us to do so too...notice also the prestige accorded to carnivorous animals...it's 'higher' in the food chain to be a carnivore),

    or they just don't think about where food comes from at all,

    or they believe animal produce is essential for health.

    What annoys me is when I explain all this to someone, they acknowledge that veganism is a better way to live, but they just carry on eating meat regardless. (I'm thinking about my mum here). Then I think it's a case of inability to break habitual behaviour.

  46. #46
    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why aren't other people vegan?

    apathy

  47. #47

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    Default Re: Why aren't other people vegan?

    I always get the 'well what have we got these for' (pointing at teeth). I don't get that. Do we have teeth that look like they are supposed to be used for ripping up meat? can somebody tell me. Would like to have an answer to meat eaters when they use this excuse.
    'Never eat more than you can lift' - 'Miss Piggy' :p

  48. #48
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    Default Re: Why aren't other people vegan?

    I think it's a combination of conditioning and ignorance. If you're brought up to believe eating meat and drinking milk is perfectly natural, these beliefs are going to be ingrained on your personality. Also the reality of factory farming and the use of chemicals/antibiotics in food is surpressed. If they let the television cameras into a modern feedlot and followed the process right up to the Tesco shelves, I think a great number of people would renounce meat. Dairy would be much harder probably.

  49. #49
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    Default Re: Why aren't other people vegan?

    I agree coconut, if schoolchildren were taken to slaughterhouses as part of the curriculum, meat-eating would be brought to a speedy end.

    And if people saw the baby male calves being taken away from their distraught crying mothers, fattened up and slaughtered, they'd soon go off milk too. Especially if they got to see the state of the average dairy farm, running with excrement, the snotty-nosed cows limping with shit-coated udders through the grim industrial farmyard, pissing over one another and the quadbike riding dairyman. I just witnessed that scene yet again, this afternoon...milking time.

  50. #50
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    Default Re: Why aren't other people vegan?

    Quote kokopelli
    What annoys me is when I explain all this to someone, they acknowledge that veganism is a better way to live, but they just carry on eating meat regardless. (I'm thinking about my mum here). Then I think it's a case of inability to break habitual behaviour.
    My family can appreciate the vegan perspective but at times I think they're being polite so that I don't tell them any more and therefore don't have to change.

    Educating people seems to be the way. Being approachable and gentle and trustworthy (some people could think that you make this stuff up). I am just as happy that people start thinking about it.

    I met an amazing intelligent and well balanced guy that has said quite clearly from the beginning that he does not consider going vego in the foreseable future. On the other hand he has started thinking about it when he's cooking (noticing all the things that aren't vegan), and has questions he's been mulling over in between times.

    Previously he didn't think about it, now he does. It's a beginning.
    "if compassion is extreme, then call me an extremist"

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