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To become a vegan?

(166 Posts)
MissDallas Sat 23-Apr-16 06:02:00

OK, I am not your typical hippy type, I have hair extensions and I like fake tans and I have a corporate job. Not sure what that's got to do with it, but wanted to paint a picture.

I have been thinking about becoming a vegan for some time. I hate the way animals are treated in factory farming, it is so cruel. Also in my line of work I have come to know several facts about how meat is produced, mutated chickens, etc and it's awful. I used to think they were urban myths but sadly not. The horse in the ready meals scandal got me thinking as well. We can't even be sure what animal we are eating. Also the hormones, ammonia and other shit used in food... it's all horrible.

On a personal level, I would like to be healthier. I'm always stressed and tired, I'm also overweight.

I keep reading lately about the benefits of a plant-based diet. And people who do 42 day juice fasts and complete my change their health and become happier as a result. It's got me thinking... should I become a vegan?

Is anybody else considering it? Is anybody here a vegan? What do I need to know? Can a vegan diet give you all the nutrients you need? AIBU? Thanks.

MissDallas Sat 23-Apr-16 06:03:04

*complete my = completely

scaredofthecity Sat 23-Apr-16 06:09:30

I was vegan for similar reasons and lasted about a year. I have a fairly physical job and was not very healthy in the end and craving meat so badly as I was just not getting enough protein in my diet.
It can obviously be done but I think it takes careful planning and a real awareness of what you put in your mouth.
Saying that when I first started I did feel very healthy, and I really enjoyed it for the first 6 months or so. It's definitely a way of life rather than just a diet.
I am planning to adopt a more vegan way of life soon, was thinking about trying just eating organic free range eggs and see how I got on with that.
Good luck, I think it's definitely worth a try!

curren Sat 23-Apr-16 06:09:41

Yanbu to be vegan.

It's up to you.

I eat very little meat. I live rurally and so have farms that butcher their own animals and sell it their farm shops, and we eat very little processed food.

I decided to cut down on meat and buy buy ethically.

We also try to eat mostly locally sourced veg and fruit etc and grow a lot of our own. I am concerned about the impact on the environment of mass importing of foods. I know some people in RL think I am weird or fussy but I don't care. It's my choice.

I wouldn't, personally, do a juice plan to lose weight. They don't work long term and are difficult. I have lost almost 8 stone eating foot including meat. But that's just my choice.

I wouldn't bet on being a vegan means that you will be slim either. There are over weight vegans. Again it depends on what you eat and how much. The same as any other eating choices.

curren Sat 23-Apr-16 06:14:26

Oh and watch what you eat at first.

My Sil was admitted to hospital after adopting a vegan diet. She had awful stomach pains. My dbro told me that the doctor said it was actually an upset stomach because she was eating bags of nuts each day. But she was in pain.

I didn't speak to the doctor so can't verify this.

But I have to say she didn't do the diet healthily. She lived on potatoes (chips, roasted potatoes etc) and snacked on nuts all day. So just make sure you don't just concentrate on vegan food. Concentrate on health, whatever you decide.

It may take your digestive system a while to get used to the change.

MrsPickwick Sat 23-Apr-16 06:46:06

Obviously it's not U to be vegan. It makes perfect logical sense ethically and is proven to be healthy 'at every stage of life' according to the NHS.

My husband and I both went vegan about five years ago. We've had no health problems in that time and are both fit. I'm currently pregnant and am passing all my routine health checks with flying colours.

You wouldn't take us for hippies either if you saw us on the street.

My advice is to join some vegan groups in Facebook for advice about getting started. You'll see we're a very varied bunch smile

MissDallas Sat 23-Apr-16 06:51:34

Thanks for all the replies. May I ask the vegans if you take any supplements?

Darrowisred Sat 23-Apr-16 07:02:33

YANBU!! I went vegan five years ago and have never regretted it. I take a b12 supplement. If done properly and carefully as with any diet you'll get everything you need from a vegan diet. Go on Pinterest and Google vegan food for inspiration!! Your body does not need meat or dairy, go for it!

NickyEds Sat 23-Apr-16 07:04:53

Of course YANBU. A friend of mine has been vegan all of his adult life and is very fit on it (like cycling the length of the country fit!). He said the two main "problems" are pasta and eating out. Pasta's just so easy and nice and everywhere he goes he ends up with bread and oil/tomatoes!

Eustace2016 Sat 23-Apr-16 07:11:45

I eat paleo (but with not many carbs) but I do eat fish, meat, eggs so not vegan. Two of my children without any contact with the other on it both became vegan in the last 3 weeks - one is adult and has left home. I always say to people there are really two main ways to eat - the standard British diet which is many processed foods and then healthier eating - natural foods which might be 100% good fat./meat like innuit ate or 100% vegan or my mixture of the two. We are all on the same side if we eat naturally even if we differ over what that means.

Anyway my child at home is really enjoying lots of recipes they are looking up. I don't think they are eating as heathily as I eat as on their list is things like oreos (yes they are vegan) and fake invented stuff like vegan cheese etc and the "butter" they use is based on veg oils so do be careful you actually improve your diet. It's like people who say they go paleo and then end up making paleo brownies all the time and packing in the sugar with their dates.

Why not start by only eating veg and fish/eggs for a week and see how that goes? Then cut the fish/eggs out if you think you can.

MrsPickwick Sat 23-Apr-16 07:23:35

Aye I take B12. But, actually, pregnancy vits at the mo of course.

we are all on the same side if we eat naturally even if we differ over what it means Sorry Eustace but I would disagree with this. I'm on the side of animals, not people who eat paleo. There's a distinction for most vegans between a healthy diet and the ethics involved. (Not meaning to start a bun fight! It's just that to most vegans, it doesn't make sense to sideline the animals issue when, for us, it's the central issue).

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 23-Apr-16 07:24:08

YANBU - but you won't necessarily lose weight sad

Re supplements, I take a multivitamin, omegas, joint supplement and vitd3 supplement (everyone in the UK should be supplementing D3)

The only one you have to take is B12 which is in processed foods like cereals and milks anyway.

curren Sat 23-Apr-16 07:26:40

Why does it have to be about sides at all? Surely that's part of why the PP may think she is bu to vegan.

Why should what food you eat, divide people into sides?

WellErrr Sat 23-Apr-16 07:26:49

YANBU to be vegan but YABU to cite cruel farming as your reason.

There are many ways of ensuring you eat only high welfare meat/eggs/dairy. It's a little more expensive but not loads.
Why not support these instead?

MissDallas Sat 23-Apr-16 07:43:10

WellErr, if I lived somewhere where animals were well treated and had wonderful lives, healthy appropriate diets and naturally died of old age and then we ate them, then maybe I would not have an issue with eating meat/dairy. But that's not the reality, is it?

puglife15 Sat 23-Apr-16 07:45:00

WellErr actually, it's not that easy.

If you go to a friend's for dinner and you are a vegan, then it's clear what you will and won't eat.

If you go there and they serve you chicken or eggs which to their mind are OK because the pack in tesco said Free Range, you'd feel a right wanker refusing to eat them...

And even in the highest welfare farms they still have to kill animals. You still hear stories of cows struggling physically with the person about to "humanely" bolt them in the head. Even at humane dairies they still typically send calves to slaughter, albeit at a later date and maybe for food rather than just burn their carcasses.

Eggs from chickens you know eg neighbours are probably a safer bet.

From a health perspective, of course you can get unhealthy vegans, same as you get unhealthy people following any diet, but typically as you are more aware of what you eat you'll probably make healthier choices and eat more veg. When I switched to a veggie diet I lost more than half a stone without trying.

OP YANBU. There are very compelling environmental reasons to switch as well.

araiba Sat 23-Apr-16 08:10:14

up to you

but you couldnt pay me to be vegan

WellErrr Sat 23-Apr-16 08:12:03

had wonderful lives, healthy appropriate diets and naturally died of old age and then we ate them,

It wouldn't be very healthy for you or the flock as a whole to just let animals die of old age (ie, disease) and then eat them.

doleritedinosaur Sat 23-Apr-16 08:16:49

I'm a lacto intolerant vegetarian so I eat a mostly vegan diet. & veggie because of how animals are treated & I had a friend who just recently turned vegan.

Just make sure you get your vitamin supplements right, I take a multi vitamin & iron plus extra b12 twice a week.
& I looked at what vegetables are high in certain vitamins & minerals & what aids that uptake.
Iron rich foods with vitamin c helps iron be absorbed.
There's more calcium in tofu than in milk. Kale, broccoli & spinach also contain high amounts of calcium.

I do feel healthier when I have a more vegan day & ive found ways to make certain favourite meals dairy free including cakes.

Go for it.

harshbuttrue1980 Sat 23-Apr-16 08:18:02

I'm a vegan, and have been for years. Even "high welfare meat" animals have to come to the same end in a slaughterhouse and, after seeing lots of videoclips on Youtube about what happens in those places, its not something I really want to put my money towards. Even milk cows and chickens raised for eggs end up in the slaughterhouse, and the male newborn calves (born because milk = pregnancy!) end up getting shipped off to the continent to become veal. I just don't like anything about it. Healthwise I'm great, although I do take a B12 supplement to be on the safe side. I'm not thin (just normal size), but lots of people say I look younger than I am - my skin really improved.

LionsLedge Sat 23-Apr-16 08:22:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

andintothefire Sat 23-Apr-16 08:29:28

Why don't you do it in stages? You could start by becoming vegetarian (or pescatarian, which is what I am and is very easy indeed). Then, if you want to, you could introduce a few vegan days a week or have one vegan week a month. Once you get used to vegan cooking and planning for meals you can become fully vegan if you want to.

There is nothing wrong with becoming part-vegan if that works for you. For example, you could be vegan when out but have ethically sourced eggs etc at home if you are sure of their source. Morals around food are a personal choice, and you may find that you are comfortable with some things and not others.

StiickEmUp Sat 23-Apr-16 08:39:39


Mousefinkle Sat 23-Apr-16 08:40:17

I was vegan for a year and have been on/off with it since. I've been vegetarian since I was 12 so the transition was easier than going from omni to vegan. A lot of vegans do advice you cut one product out at a time rather than going full whack straight away which can feel extreme and make you less inclined to stick to it.

Eating at restaurants is a challenge. You can ask the waiter to alter veggie dishes to not include cheese but I'm a typical Brit that doesn't want to seem fussy or step on anyone's toes so always felt rude. Ended up often with a plain salad, plate of chips or tomato pasta. Exciting!

I gained weight rather than lost btw. But I was NOT a plant based vegan, more of a junk food vegan. I really got into vegan baking for example and still make that delicious vegan chocolate cake for anyone who's anyone now grin, I still bake pretty much 100% vegan because I find it easier and get better results than with eggs. There's a lot more readily available vegan products on the market now, when I was vegan three years ago most things were Holland&barrett or online only or didn't exist. So in three years it's come a long way, there's obviously more call for it.

Prepare for debates! If your friends and family are anything like mine were anyway. It starts with questioning why you've turned vegan and when you give your answers prepare for battle. Omnivores can be incredibly defensive.

Oh and take a B12 supplement. You can get it from dairy free alternatives but low-ish levels.

Mousefinkle Sat 23-Apr-16 08:42:46

I find being vegetarian easier TBH. I don't like feeling restricted and I love cheese. How people are with bacon, that's me with cheese. So I really really struggled staying away from that. Christmas was a bastard, that's when I stopped. Chocolate and cheese everywhere.

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