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When you can't go vegan, but want to make some kind of change: here are a few ideas.

(75 Posts)
LaContessaDiPlump Thu 27-Apr-17 08:04:46

I know that there are a lot of people out there who aren't ready to take the plunge into plant-based eating, or who simply can't do so due to allergies/intolerances/family preferences/finances etc. If this is you but you'd like to make some changes anyway, then you might find some of the ideas on this thread useful (that's the plan in any case)!

I'll kick it off with honey.

My DH and DC are omni, and they do like honey. The vegan alternatives are maple syrup and agave nectar; both fine in themselves, but I admit that I wince at the thought of all the airmiles/distance travelled to my shelf. Therefore, I like to buy honey from local beekeepers - the ones which are such a small operation that they have one hive in the garden which they tend with obsessive care grin I like the local aspect, and hopefully it's helping British bees. People selling their own honey can be found on FB using local sites (parent groups are helpful) or maybe ask a gardener friend with an allotment if they have spotted any hives up there.

Further tricks and tips for a not-exactly-vegan lifestyle are welcomed grin

staffy777 Thu 27-Apr-17 08:13:38

Interesting. Just at the cutting back on meat stage here...

LaContessaDiPlump Thu 27-Apr-17 08:24:41

That's great!

Next option, if feasible, would be to find a local butcher who sources meat from local farms. You can reduce the stress of transportation that way, and the meat is likely to be less processed/better quality too.

Alternatively, try to buy organic meat rather than generic as animals reared organically are required to have different (i.e. better) welfare standards. I need to fact-check that though as it's a while since I last looked....

In any case, good going smile

Sparklingbrook Thu 27-Apr-17 08:28:40

I am on the brink of going meat free here. In fact my whole diet could do with an overhaul.

LaContessaDiPlump Thu 27-Apr-17 09:25:23

Just meat, Sparkling, or are you considering cutting out other animal products down the line?

I ask because I went directly from omni to vegan; I was concerned that I'd get stuck at cheese otherwise blush

SleepWhatSleep1 Thu 27-Apr-17 09:30:43

It's dairy i really struggle with. Nothing is quite the same in tea, and dairy free "cheese" is just vile.

I have to have some meat in our diet due to anaemia and soya allergies so compromise with organic local chicken - have actually visited the chickens to check they are kept well - just once every fortnight.

We also do the local honey thing although it is very VERY expensive here!

LaContessaDiPlump Thu 27-Apr-17 09:34:33

Yeah, unfortunately both local honey and local/organic meat are a fair bit more expensive sad however if you're not buying that much of it then hopefully the overall layout is the same; it's more of a treat than a staple.

It took me a while to adapt to soy milk in tea but I got there! Dairy milk tastes odd to me now grin good-tasting vegan 'cheese' is the holy grail, in truth. I used to LOVE cheese. I'm sure I still would, if you could produce it in a lab and do away with the cow element.....

SleepWhatSleep1 Thu 27-Apr-17 09:38:42

I'm currently dairy and soya free anyway due to breastfed baby being allergic. Once i can have soy again I'm sure it will be easier. Currently using almond milk in tea, but it's just not the same sad

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Thu 27-Apr-17 09:40:12

I buy local honey for a completely different reason - there is a theory it helps prevent hay fever by exposing you to local pollens.

LaContessaDiPlump Thu 27-Apr-17 09:42:15

Ouch sad you have my sympathy Sleep - a friend of mine bf through that and she said it was hell on earth!

I couldn't get on with nut 'milks' in tea, but oat milk came closest to dairy or soy in my opinion. Maybe try that?

Good point Countess!

Sparklingbrook Thu 27-Apr-17 09:43:19

I am not sure LaContessa. TBH I I am open to a whole new way of eating. I don't eat Beef, lamb or pork-everything seems to revolve around chicken currently.
DS1 has a Vegan friend and I have been looking online and reading around the whole subject a bit.
I think the dairy thing might be a hurdle.

PollytheDolly Thu 27-Apr-17 09:44:06

Cutting down on meat stage here too.

Tried almond milk but need something else? Nice in porridge though!

Cut right back on cheese.

Use extra virgin coconut oil for cooking.

It's a start and DH is feeling better for it (less windy and bloated)

Sparklingbrook Thu 27-Apr-17 09:45:09

If I wanted to try a dairy free milk in hot drinks where to start?

Joinourclub Thu 27-Apr-17 09:45:50

sleep I read that as you VISIT the chickens every fortnight!

Joinourclub Thu 27-Apr-17 09:47:51

I'm meat free. I've just started on local organic milk, thinking organic is better for the cows, local better for the environment and bypassing the supermarket means more money for the farmer.

thisisyourtape Thu 27-Apr-17 09:51:13

Not to do with diet or anything but would using cruelty free make up/ hair or skin products count? It's not too expensive either as what I've found, it's usually the cheaper brands of make up that don't test on animals and the higher end ones do! smile

LaContessaDiPlump Thu 27-Apr-17 10:01:16

organic is better for the cows, local better for the environment and bypassing the supermarket means more money for the farmer.

I'd agree with all of that - it's definitely the best of dairy!

Join I bet the chickens would like that sleep turning up with her DD and plying them with treats every 2 weeks - pampered chickens grin

Sparkling maybe one thing at a time - keep chicken in your diet and consider alternatives to dairy in the meantime. Otherwise it has a tendency to overwhelm you and you end up panicking for fear that you might starve in the city centre been there

Polly and Sparkling hazelnut milk is glorious (and to me, very chocolatey)! DS1 adores it. As I said upthread though, I'd recommend soy or oat in hot drinks - they don't seem to taste as astringent and don't separate out as much. I think you need a special 'fixed' type to not separate in coffee though (or just keep stirring it).

thisisyourtape that definitely counts, in my opinion grin there are loads of websites out there listing vegan-friendly cosmetics, I think? Not investigated too much myself tbh but I know they are out there - I think Superdrug own brand is supposed to be suitable?

cherrytree63 Thu 27-Apr-17 10:07:36

Good thread!
I stopped eating meat about 5 years ago, still eat fish occasionally though.
I have my own chickens so have plenty of (unfertilised) eggs.
I would like to be dairy free but all the alternatives I've tried so far taste vile to me!
However, there is a dairy in North London that keeps all the calves and has a retirement home for the old cows, and they've just started a mail order service so I'm looking into that.

LaContessaDiPlump Thu 27-Apr-17 10:09:48

Ooh, is that Ahimsa cherry? I've heard of that! A nice idea smile

IamWendy Thu 27-Apr-17 11:30:30

I've been massively reducing our meat intake, I think I could manage being vegetarian, but honestly.....dairy would be just too much to give up.
I also couldn't be a label checker, so, would eat gelatine etc.

LaContessaDiPlump Thu 27-Apr-17 16:17:36

Every little helps, Wendy; you might surprise yourself with dairy though. I felt the same!!

Rockaby Thu 27-Apr-17 16:36:34

sleep, have you tried oat or cashew milk? I like them so much more than almond.

PersisFord Thu 27-Apr-17 16:40:38

We have started eating organic meat only after I had a major wobbly about it. It is expensive, so we eat much less! We also have organic UHT milk - less waste.

Oat milk is nice, especially the chocolate one!

carnationlilyrose Thu 27-Apr-17 16:45:38

For those who can't give up dairy, you could try the calf-at-foot dairy? They allow the cows to keep their calves until they wean naturally and they just share the milk with the calves. I think there are only two in this country but they deliver milk all over the UK so I'm going to start buying from them, I feel like just going organic isn't much of a change unless it's from a properly small local farm, so much organic is mass-produced nowadays.

The website is here if anyone's interested. I've heard of the Ahimsa dairy a PP mentioned, will definitely check them out too!

My other recommendation is scrambled tofu instead of scrambled eggs - it's especially good if you cook it up with smoked paprika and some mushrooms and peppers for a mexican-style breakfast!

SleepWhatSleep1 Thu 27-Apr-17 18:11:49

Will try milk thanks. Cashew tastes a bit weird to me. Hazelnut is lovely on its own, but not in tea

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