Merry Meet From North East England

FatDadUK

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I'm presently a very strong omnivore and I love my meat, seafood and dairy (meat, seafood and milk chocolate are HUGE passions of mine). I enjoy these items more than most but I find myself waging a daily war with my conscience over the effects my food choices have on animals, the environment and my own ever-increasing waistline. I am however, looking into taking up the vegan lifestyle.

In the late 1990's I was vegetarian for 2 years on ethical grounds and vegan for 12 months after that as I began to realise the evil side of the food industry reached far beyond the most obvious things like meat, fur and leather etc.

My meat free days were amongst my happiest and healthiest times, before being lured back into the world of the omnivore once again due to my growing boredom with food and missing my meat, dairy and seafood so much.

Sadly, The omnivorous table is where I have dined and supped heartily, some would say gluttonously, ever since.

Now I'm well into the exciting journey that is middle-age (I was born in 1967) I find concerns about my mortality are figuring more in my thoughts but more importantly I find it more and more difficult to equate my deep love of animals with my ability to allow the food industry to torture and kill them on my behalf.

I'm unsure where this journey will take me but I'm getting my bags packed, checking the maps and planning my route and I'm keen to head out into the unknown, if anyone would care to guide me along the rocky path ahead I would love your company.

While I know what I am about to do is the right thing and will bring so many rewards I know there will come times of weakness and half a century of meat eating will not be erased from my life and my psyche without some kind of resistance.

I have joined this forum for information, advice and encouragement along the way (I would like to abundantly give and receive such things) so buckle up for what's going to be an interesting journey.

- Peace & Love FatDadUK
 
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Jamie in Chile

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I can help you.

I suggest you eliminate all meat from your diet since none of them (at least in 99% of cases) are morally defensible. If you can't get to 100% reduction just get as low as you can, or make a rule no meat except for special occassions, or no meat at your home but you will accept it from others at their homes. Try this for a while and you should have a better feel about where you are.

To ease your transition, I suggest you carry on eating seafood occassionally and milk chocolate whenever.

Seafood is less sentient and less associated with intensive animal cruelty and environmental destruction than meat, so is more of a morally grey area. However, this depends heavily on which type of seafood since it some cases this is not true at all. Oysters for example might be more defensible than prawns/shrimps/lobsters.

Milk chocolate I would carry on eating, since you don't seem ready for the full vegan diet and the amount of animal cruelty in milk chocolate is probably less than eggs, meat or fish.

I think everyone will be full vegan eventually, but some people are not ready to be 100% vegan in a non-vegan world. However once you have reduced your animal products you may one day reassess and go full vegan after all, but there is no need to worry about that right now if you aren't ready.

For some people it's more about a steady transition than a sudden change. For others it's about where to draw a line between ethics and convenience rather than trying to be perfect. At least you are willing to reduce.

Try and discover new vegan foods as well. For example I have been savouring dark chocolate ths year, and was surprised to find a lentil burger is as good as a meat one. Nuts and dried fruit make a healthy and tasty snack etc.
 

gab

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Hi FatDadUK,

One of the reasons why I turned vegan after a lifetime of omnivore was to do with my mortality, I have a young kid so I want to be around in healthy and fit shape for many years to come. So then looking at ways to achieve what I wanted, in my research diet came up as playing an important part, and from diet specifically veganism had the best results (best bmi, best health).

Once I turned vegan for the above mentioned reasons, I found that other more ethical and ecological parts of me woke up to what was going on. The three layers: my own health, ethical for the animals well being and ecological for our planet are ensuring that I will never want to try eating non-vegan again. I went cold turkey in March, have not had any cravings.

If I understand correctly, Jamie is suggesting a gradual transition, I would have to say cold-turkey might work best for the following reasons:

1) Being half and half in both sides (vegan and omnivore) is not a very defendable position, as in today the meat eating friends call you out for dinner yeah it's ok to eat meat, you are not quite vegan. If you would choose a side straight away that would be on your mind 'guys, jacket potato and beans for me. no butter'.

2) Without choosing a side, the slimmer waistline and health benefits that you want would either appear with delay causing you frustration that 'it's not working' or would not appear at all depending on how much meat/dairy you are eating. Dairy causes inflammation in the body and contains puss, so not very good from a health perspective.

3) For a foodie that loves meat and cheese it will be tough going vegan, so you just have to decide what you want most: is it all those unhealthy foods, or is it more quality time with your family. By quality I mean being in shape, healthy, having energy to run around - it is hard to have quality time otherwise. Do you just want a presence in your family life or you want a quality presence ?

You can engineer your future, it is all in your hands and I hope that you make the best choices for your life.
 
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Sally

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I think you should go completely vegan, but not by living on meat substitutes, that will be depressing and boring. Try a month eating only vegetables in lots of exciting and new ways. Get a really good selection of herbs and spices and vinegars and oils and purees, jars of peppers and olives and brown rice and tins of tomatoes and legumes, frozen veg. garlic, as well as fresh veg including potatoes and mushrooms, beansprouts, etc. Then go to some site like ww.viva.org.uk and you can go to their recipe site and put in foodstuff you have and they will show you recipes. For one month only eat veg, roasted, stews, stir fried, soups, salads, with rice or pasta or potatoes and don't let anything you eat resemble meat. I bet you won't want to go back.
 
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gab

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Sally that's a cool website, thank you for sharing.
 

Sally

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When I was thinking of going vegan I went to a roadshow put on by Viva! and I went in a vegetarian and came out a vegan. I have not looked back. They are so inspiring and helpful. If you can get to any of their roadshows or vegfests they put on then go. The speakers are really interesting and the whole event is eye-opening.
 
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FatDadUK

FatDadUK

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Hi everyone

Thanks for the kind and thoughtful replies; I appreciate the time you all took to write them.

I’m going ‘cold turkey’ this coming week and to be honest the term ‘cold turkey’ sounds like I will be missing something but I can’t wait to start and having been through this in the past I know some of the pitfalls to be wary of.

Since discussing my reasons for going vegan my wife, who has been veggie for about a year, she is joining me as a vegan. Since I explained how I cannot equate being veggie with supporting the dairy and fishing trades she has found herself agreeing with me. I was actually surprised how much she had got into this and she has already spent ages going through our kitchen cupboards and wardrobes weeding out offending items – she has been amazing (as usual).

At Christmas I received a lot of designer aftershaves as I requested (not being a man of means designer fragrances were somewhat of a dream of mine for a loooooooooong time) and I have ditched these and went out today for vegan options from the Body Shop today. Like I said to my wife, it ‘hurt’ me to lose something I have always wanted but I know any ‘hurt’ I may feel is nothing compared to the real hurt felt by any animals my other fragrances may have caused innocent animals during the testing progress.

So mid week I will be going vegan and I can’t wait.

P.S. Sally, thanks for the link it was very useful and very informative. No doubt Viva! will be a site I will visit often as animal rights is a huge incentive for me to stick to a vegan way of life. :)
 

UK Chap in Q8

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Hi Fat Dad

I'm a very recent returnee to WFPB (2 weeks in, 7lb lost) after 7 months of falling off the wagon due to injury, so more than happy to accompany you on your journey.

I'm 51 in March and instigated my change to a more heath lifestyle back in 2014. We all have our reasons for adopting this better way of living, for me it was about being healthy in my future years.

Aim for the stars no going back!