Is a slow transition selfish?

hmj97

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Hi all! I've been considering going vegan for a while now for ethical reasons, but after doing some research, I think it'll be a slow transition for me. My problem is I feel selfish for not immediately quitting animal products cold turkey. I suppose slowly transitioning, no matter how slow, is much better than not transitioning at all, but I still can't help but feel selfish for wanting to take a slow transition. I suspect it will be considerably easier to adjust to a mostly vegan diet once I move out later this year, though. But 'mostly vegan diet' is the key phrase. It must sound incredibly selfish, but I can't imagine giving up all seafood *yet*.

Pescetarian would be the term for that, but even that sounds a bit hypocritical - caring about animals 'but not fish'. Is it okay to seek out ethical seafood? Is ethical seafood even a thing?

I think I'll start by simply reducing my meat intake (which shouldn't be hard since I don't eat that much meat anyway), then work toward a pescetarian diet, then eventually transition to a vegetarian or vegan diet/lifestyle.

I'm very new to all of this but I guess my overall question is am I selfish for wanting to take a slow transition?
 
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Veganite

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Hi hmj97, and welcome to the forum.

I can't speak for everyone, but I personally have not been vegan since birth. I transitioned to vegetarian first, and then to veganism later on. If transitioning slowly works for you, great. In my humble opinion, as long as you get there, that's what matters. I would be curious to know about this research you did that makes you wish to go slowly though.

I'm not sure what you mean by ethical seafood. You are sort of missing the entire point of veganism if you leave out any animal, fish included. The vegan philosophy is to not have any animals harmed or exploited for human needs or desires. So ethically speaking, fish have lives too. There's no such thing as ethical killing of animals - fish or otherwise.


We can define veganism as a "philosophy of life", guided by a core of values and principles:

• A vegan sees life as a phenomenon to be treasured, revered and respected. We do not see animals as either 'the enemy' to be subdued, or the materials for food, fabric or fun that were put on Earth for human use.

• Vegans see themselves as a part of the natural world, rather than its owners or its masters.

• Veganism recognizes no expendable or superfluous species that humans are free to hurt or destroy. Species of life-forms need not justify their existence to vegans, nor plead for protection from extinction on the grounds of their potential usefulness as food or medicine for humans. We continue to be burdened and misguided by adages such as "a weed is a plant we have not yet found a use for".

• Veganism acknowledges the intrinsic legitimacy of all life. It rejects any hierarchy of acceptable suffering among sentient creatures. It is no more acceptable to torment or kill creatures with "primitive nervous systems" than those with "highly developed nervous systems". The value of life to its possessor is the same, whether it be the life of a clam, a crayfish, a carp, a cockroach, a cow, a chicken, or a child.

• Veganism understands that gentleness cannot be a product of violence, harmony cannot be a product of strife, and peace cannot be a product of contention and conflict.

• Vegan ideals encompass much more than advocacy of a diet free of animal products, or a fervent defence of animal rights. Veganism excludes no sentient being, animal or human, from its commitment to compassionate, gentle benevolence. To show tender regard for the suffering of animals, yet treat humans with callous contempt, is a disheartening contradiction of vegan principles.

• "Every time I bend down to pick something up, I find it is connected to something else". There is an equivalent ecology to our behavior. Everything we do connects to something else; every action touches on the world around us, either close at hand and noticeable, or far away and unperceived, immediate in its effect or distant in time.

• If veganism has a primary value, it is simply that life-respecting compassion overrides individual issues of custom, convenience, comfort or cuisine.

• If there is a single article of faith, it is that commitment to vegan values will bring us closer to a world in which the fate and fortune of a planet and all its life forms do not hang on the judgment or the generosity of one species.

• If there is one single concept that both generates and sustains the meaning and the power of the vegan world-view, it is found in the word 'mindfulness'. As vegans, we strive to be thoughtful, aware and concerned about the impact of our choices, our actions and our decisions. The fruit of this awareness is inner peace, the quiet strength of ethical confidence, and an uplifting sense of fulfillment.

Source
 

Nekodaiden

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Many people transition to a Vegan diet.

Some people are in a continual transition, which means they have never gone Vegan and they are likely to stay in "transition" phase (now with appropriate quotation marks) indefinitely. I think transitioning is fine, if the goal is to stop eating animal/animal by-products completely...and to do this you eventually have to severe the tie and just stop eating them full stop.

There seems to be more people I've seen on media (or even in my own family) that laud a vegan diet, and some even call themselves Vegan but never really do it (ie: they are always "in transition") and may even call themselves Vegan. Don't do that.
 
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Sax

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If a slow transition is what you need to do to make the change that isn't selfish. There isn't a correct order to cutting out animal products...most people go vegetarian first then cut out dairy, but IMO dairy is ethically worse than meat. If you feel the same maybe eliminate the dairy before the fish.

Keep yourself honest though...you'll know when you're ready to cut out the fish. Listen to your conscience when the time comes and don't look back.

Good luck!
 
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Forest Nymph

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It depends on what you mean by that. I think vegan promotion of "flexitarians" is harmful. This is because there's no definition of flex other than "reduction" of meat... For one person this could mean only eating meat one day a week... For another it could mean eating meat twice instead of three times a day which helps no one in any way, it's a cop out and a first world BS "let me feel good about myself so I can carry on my selfish destruction"..another example of that is people buying "greenwashed" products which don't help the environment in any major appreciable way (I don't mean organics or plant plastic, I'm talking about major corporations touting a product as vaguely "natural" etc).

But many people go vegetarian first. Cutting flesh out is absolutely paramount to even beginning to see the world without "dominion." However if you go from vegetarian to vegan you might stay vegan longer than someone who tried a restrictive diet overnight without researching vegan recipes and nutrition, some of those people give up entirely.

So it depends.
 
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Lou

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I would never use the word selfish in this context.

I took 10 years to transition from vegetarian to vegan. A lot of that on my part was that I never really made as big of an effort as I could/should have. I think I was just being lazy. And I was procrastinating to a large degree.

If I had to do it all over again, knowing what I know now, I would transition in just a few weeks. One of the things that I learned is that the less meat you eat - the less meat you want to eat. So the faster a person transitions - the easier it is.

For me, seafood was the last thing I eliminated from my diet. Having not done enough research I was under the impression that it would be easier nutrition-wise to include some fish in my diet. What eventually changed my mind was not my own personal health or even ethical concerns, but the environmental issues. Oh, there are probably some exceptions but the more I learned about fishing and the fishing industry, the more I was convinced that fishing has severe negative impacts on the Earth. I've also learned that there are no health benefits to eating fish. Fish are just not necessary. so I've decided to just leave them alone.

Veganism has been described to me as not a goal, or a destination. Its the process or the technique or the journey. Compassion is the goal. Veganism is just the way of life that is compassionate. But there are no rewards or medals for the most compassionate. It's just that once we know better we want to do better.
 

veganDreama

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Hello and welcome!

Yes, a slow transaction is ok. Just so long as you get there is the end. I was already pescatarian when I decided to go vegan. I gave up fish almost immediately. Then I gave up dairy. Most dairy was easy to give up as I never really liked milk anyway. Just cheese and yogurt. Luckily vegan yogurt is lovely. Cheese though was an acquired taste which I didn't acquire until later. In order to get used to vegan cheese I mixed goat cheese and vegan cheese out. Gradually phasing out the goat cheese. Don't know why I thought goat cheese was more ethnical then cow cheese. Don't think their is all that much difference.

I had most problem giving up eggs. I had major cravings for fried egg. So I allowed myself egg every 6 weeks until the craving's eventually stopped.
 
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