Interested, but Hesitant

Sapostropheez

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I have been thinking about going vegan or at least vegetarian for quite a while now. I am already dairy free after developing an allergy it. The health benefits of this type of dietary change are really attractive to me. The main issue for me is that I LOVE meat. I am quite a good cook and make a wonderful variety of dishes that include meat and animal products. I am just wondering what other people's experiences are with this. How do you get over missing something you have eaten your whole life and love so much? How has it been altering your stable foods to such a degree?
 
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Gaspard

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I liked the taste of meat too but I feel much better not eating it anymore.
I love cooking too. I learned and created many vegan recipes. I'm very creative with cooking. When I began this journey, I wasn't always successful but now I would say I make very few mistakes.
 

Sapostropheez

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I liked the taste of meat too but I feel much better not eating it anymore.
I love cooking too. I learned and created many vegan recipes. I'm very creative with cooking. When I began this journey, I wasn't always successful but now I would say I make very few mistakes.

Do you ever regret switching or find yourself craving meat? I don't worry so much about animal products as a whole. Sometimes I just feel like I want nothing more than a big 'ole steak.
 

Gaspard

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Do you ever regret switching or find yourself craving meat? I don't worry so much about animal products as a whole. Sometimes I just feel like I want nothing more than a big 'ole steak.
Actually it is a bit disturbing:

Sometimes the sight of meat disgusts me. I hate to see butchers at the market, for example. And I never envy people eating meat. Some may express pity towards me because of a cake I cant’ eat as a vegan. But I don’t care, really. For me it’s not food. I’m not jealous, and in a way, I feel a bit sorry for them because I love to be vegan.

In most cases the sight of meat on an anti-vegan videos offends me. But once in a while I salivate. And that’s disturbing. Because while rejecting all the anti-vegan discourse, I have a Pavlov reflex looking at meat… like a conditioned dog has! I know it’s normal: I used to eat meat so I still respond to the sight of it.

However, as long as I cook amazing food and ensure I bring my own deliciousness to parties, as I said, I have zero temptation towards meat. I think the key to be successful as a plant-based dieter is to enjoy what you eat. As long as you consider your food is the best, you have no desire to eat meat.

And also it feels so good to have no guilt about what you eat! You can feast on plants and it’s all right. I must say I’m a big eater: I know that as long as I eat healthy foods, I can eat as much as I want.
 

TofuRobot

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Do you ever regret switching or find yourself craving meat? I don't worry so much about animal products as a whole. Sometimes I just feel like I want nothing more than a big 'ole steak.
I can answer this.
I stopped eating animals with legs in 1990. Not only do not not miss eating animal flesh, the smell of it is, for lack of a better word, disgusting to me. However, even though I grew up in a heavy meat-eating household, I never really liked it. What I did like was fish, cheese, and eggs. I honestly admired vegans for years, thinking it would be "too hard," until I watched the film What The Health, which completely turned me off of all of it (along with several other documentaries, but that one pushed me into veganism as no longer believed those "food" to be essential for good health - after that, it was clear that there was no justification whatsoever not to be vegan). Taste is largely governed by knowledge, perception, habits, and how something makes me feel. I became pescatarian 29 yrs ago after eating a hamburger and hating the feeling that it was sitting in my stomach like a rock for hours following and wishing I had never done that. With fish, eggs, and cheese, I no longer associate those things with health and nourishment, but for what they are, which is quite the opposite.

If you change your diet to include only health-promoting foods for long enough to feel the benefit of it - both physically, emotionally, and spiritually - your tastes will change. If you cut out processed foods, excessive sugar and salt, you will suddenly be able to taste food the way nature made it, and you'll discover how perfect it is on its own and you will lose the constant cravings you have for those things.

This might sound overly simplified or glorious, but that is exactly what has happened in my case. If you can't stomach the thought of eating the flank of a cow raw with no salt or spices after killing the cow yourself, I challenge you to question yourself how much you really want it. I also guarantee you that lentils and avocados taste hugely better than cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. And while a vegan diet is no guarantee you won't develop these illnesses, you're risk factor as a vegan is dramatically lower.

You need to give it a chance. Do the 30-day vegan challenge, either on your own, or sign up for it. If you don't give it a chance, you're not going to know.

Welcome to the group and good luck! Cheers!
 
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Lou

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Going vegan is not like jumping off a cliff. Or trying to cross the Atlantic in a rowboat (during a storm).
It's more like going out on a lake in a rowboat (on a nice sunny day). You can always turn back.

Sure turning back isn't so cool. And I can think of some parallels with AA.
But except for the "identifying as a vegan" thing, it isn't really a problem.*

Switching metaphors midstream, how about it is like swimming. Why not start with just putting your big toe in the water? Then maybe you can start wading in and see how you like the water before you reach the deep end.

Colleen Patrick Goudreaux in the Thirty Day Vegan Challenge describes a strategy that might actually fit into the "wading in " metaphor**.

This strategy doesn't have you go completely vegan for 4 weeks (or longer - there is nothing wrong with being 90% vegan.)

First week you write down everything you eat for a week. At the end of the week, you look at which meals are already vegan and you make sure to eat those again on week two. If none of your meals are vegan than you skip to the next step. You look at your meals and see which ones you can easily veganize by removing nonvegan ingredients. Not adding ground beef to your pasta sauce or chili is a good example. Or making your bagel sandwich without cream cheese and lox. The next week you look at your meals and see which meals can be veganized with a simple substitution. For instance, using plant milk in your breakfast cereal. Using tofu instead of meat in your stir fry. Using margarine instead of butter. The last week is the toughest and you can make it last longer than a week. The last week is basically throwing out some of your meals in your meal plans and making something new/different that is vegan. Having a bowl of oatmeal instead of bacon and eggs. Having a salad instead of a roast beef sandwich. Lentil stew instead of pork chops.

Transitioning over a period of weeks (or months) has at least two more advantages. It gives you time to use up the nonvegan ingredients in your cupboard, refrigerator, and freezer. And also it gives your gut time to get used to the increase in fiber that a plant-based diet includes.

BTW, You can buy Colleen's book used for like $10 at Amazon. She also has an online course (the book is optional). the online course is like $40.

Another online course ( it's pretty different) is the PCRM 21-day kickstart. That course is kind of fun cause it has a social media element.

Let us know if you need any more help.


* Even the identifying isn't really an issue. There are very few Perfect Vegans. So in a sense we are all transitioning vegans. Most of us just leave out the transitioning adjective. The way I see it is that Intent is an important part of the vegan lifestyle. If you want to be a vegan - POOF - you are a vegan.

** oh wait, is that an analogy? I always get those mixed up.
 

Emma JC

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welcome to the forum @Sapostropheez

@TofuRobot has hit on an important point about eating meat - almost no one eats meat raw or cooked with spices, marinades, sauces and that is the great thing about being vegan is that you can still enjoy all the amazing flavours and tastes associated with your previous cooking habits, without the downsides of health for you and death for the animals and harm to the environment.

Since you are already a great cook then you will likely love the new challenges that come with switching to eating a plant based diet and none of us have any complaints about our food, how filling it, how satisfying it is, how it tastes, looks or feels (in the mouth).

If you feel the need to recreate a "big steak" then using seitan is one way to do it. There are people here who would be happy to share their recipes with you and also if you go to Gaz Oakley's Avante Garden Vegan website and youtube channel (especially his videos from a year ago or so) you will see him (chef) prepare many seitan options that look, feel and taste like meat.

If you decide to tackle it, please share with us here, how it goes and if you decide to eat plant-based for 30 days or more please let us know, we will cheer you on. It definitely helps to make the shift if you have a strong "why". If it is for your own health, perfect, the animal and environmental side of things will likely follow.

Emma JC
 
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I feel like in the beginning of going vegan, it was harder for me because I didn't really know a lot of alternatives for animal products and I still didn't really see that piece of meat as a part of an animal. You know what i mean? I decided to go vegan because I couldn't stand the abuse farm animals are going through anymore (especially after watching the documentary 'Dominion' on YouTube, It's not pretty, but shows you exactly what goes on behind the closed doors of slaughter houses and such.) After being vegan for a while, it felt like my sense of compassion grew, and my brain only then finally REALLY made the connection between meat and animals. Of course I always new meat was a animal product, but now I can't look at a piece of meat anymore without seeing the animal that it has once been, instead of just seeing 'food'. I was pretty surprised about that, because I already saw myself as a really compassionate person. Although it's not always easy, I am really happy that this happened. I feel like I am so much more in touch with nature and myself now. Also, the longer I was vegan, the more I learned about alternatives an different ways to cook. I'm not joking when I say I eat much healthier and more versatile then I ever have, just because is was 'forced' (not really of course) to look at food in a very different way! So for me, it only brought positive vibes into my life, and I wish everyone could experience that. My only advise would be: take your time, look at alternatives, learn about what a balanced vegan diet looks like, just like Lou said, dip your toe in first before you go into the deep end! This really helped me become a healthy and dedicated vegan, without ever having cravings for meat or any other animal products! :) Good luck experimenting!
 

FredVegrox

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For me I gave up meat a long while before going vegan. When I first decided to try doing that, it was at a time that I was not having much meat anymore, and what I did have was usually canned fish. I went to a burger place to have a burger, something I didn't do for a long time, to decide if I was alright with never eating a burger again. I thought about it if it was so desirable as I ate it, and I realized it was condiments on it that I liked, and I could probably enjoy a lot of those, with no burger pattie there. So I started going without meat then. I didn't miss it much after all. But if it is hard for you, there are faux meats that may be good enough. I didn't see any of those when I gave up meat and it may have been before those were really available where I might buy them.
 
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Sylvain M

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I have been thinking about going vegan or at least vegetarian for quite a while now. I am already dairy free after developing an allergy it. The health benefits of this type of dietary change are really attractive to me. The main issue for me is that I LOVE meat. I am quite a good cook and make a wonderful variety of dishes that include meat and animal products. I am just wondering what other people's experiences are with this. How do you get over missing something you have eaten your whole life and love so much? How has it been altering your stable foods to such a degree?
To me, meat looks like an addiction. You may like it, but it's wrong for you and the planet. Many things are very attractive to do, may make you feel better for a while, but in the end [ after years, days or month for exemple ] it provoques hurts.Try to become vegan, slowly, step after step, and you will change your feelings about meat.
 
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