Should we go completely vegan?

KenBrace

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I'm all for veganism and plant-based diet but I'm wondering if some vegetarians take it a little too far and turn meat into a "forbidden" food.

I think we more or less focus on having an all around, health-conscious diet rather than creating a taboo.

On the other hand I have heard a few really hardcore vegans say that animal products disgust them. So basically they don't want to eat meat. Plants provide the only substance that interests them. While this is good for health I imagine it would also take some of the joy of life. Steak is one of my favorite foods. I also love a good cheeseburger every once and a while. Do I eat those things very often? No. They are unhealthy. But shouldn't the body be able to handle it if it is being taken care of?

One thing that I have found is that exercise can really create a lot of "diet leeway". I can get away with eating meat, sweets, etc. if I exercise regularly. If I set around all day then not so much.

So what is your take?

Should we strive to go 100% vegan?
 

Connie

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You should eat what you want to eat, end of story.

I am either vegetarian minus all dairy or vegan plus eggs and honey.
I don't miss any meat or fish, never have done but I am glad not to eat ground up insects or have fish in my orange juice (Omega 3&6 come from fish oil which can now be found in orange juice - don't ask). I enjoy a wide ranging diet that never ceases to amaze people who come to visit, especially those who stay. I can easily do without eggs or honey, there are plenty of alternatives available, but I have a free supply of duck eggs from a neighbour with 2 ducks and don't see the point in them going to waste.

Should we all strive to be 100% vegan? It's a free world. Do what you want and what makes you feel happiest because at the end of the day, it is how you feel you have lived your life that is important to you, but sadly to few others.
 

LyraLyra

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It depends on what kind of standpoint you view your diet in I guess, I am 100%vegan all the time, and I don't find it takes any joy out of my life at all, in fact it adds joy to my life knowing that I'm not contributing to the pain and suffering of other beings! I would also advise you to watch a documentary called "cowspiracy", don't worry it's not at all heavy hitting, I don't think it has any images of violence in it, it's just very informative about what the meat and dairy industry is doing regarding environment.

You can get GREAT vegan alternatives for cheeseburgers and steaks, trust me, my partner has been transitioning to a 100% plant based diet now for some time, and he loves vegan junk food, he has a burger most days hahaha! You do have to find what you like though, it's much like getting a cheeseburger at mcdonals vs getting one your partner made you for valentines day, shop around!

I can assure you going vegan does not limit you, you can have vegan cheese (don't settle for the first one you taste, there are MANY great ones, but the community is still experimenting, so there are some really bad ones too), ice cream, sausage, burgers, fries, chips, cola, hotdogs... you name it! And all without harming other living beings.

To me, being vegan is just me simply saying to myself that meat is not necessary, and if I don't have to cause pain and damage to my environment, I wont.
 

Josie

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I think everyone should go vegan, for the simple fact that it's causing suffering and unnecessary slaughter when we don't even need it anymore. Yes, there are groups who do survive from it, but they're also killing it themselves.. surviving just as we did so long ago. That is understandable, completely.. paying someone to do it for us when we can survive on everything else, and more healthfully, not as much. But it's the way it's been so I understand, for the most part.

Us not eating meat is not stealing the joy from our lives, it's stealing YOUR joy from our lives lol. I absolutely detested eating meat. You should have seen me every year stuffing that turkey lol, I was a mess about it because our food just needed it's poor head and feathers back to be what it once was.. I only ate meat because I thought we needed it. Joy is finding out you don't need meat for survival and finally separating yourself from that monstrous industry. I'm much more happy actually enjoying every meal of the foods the earth provides me.. we're all animals, I don't think we should be eating each other. And please don't bring up other animals lol, they don't have grocery stores. Or a choice ;)
 
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I think it should be your choice only, if you feel unhappier not eating meat than eating, I don't think you should restrict yourself(unless, of course, it is an ethical decision not to eat meat).
 
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Ideally, I would go vegan and so would everyone else. Unfortunately, going vegan isn't necessarily easy for people in certain areas so I can understand why people don't. For example, growing up in a small rural town, there weren't a lot of vegan options. You couldn't find a lot of the vegan substitutes at the local store. Honestly, right now, I'd advocate more of the expansion of options and an increase in education than trying to get people to change just yet. We gotta make it possible for people all over to know how to do it before we tell them that they should.
 

nytegeek

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There are plenty of unhealthy people that don't eat meat. I don't think it is a question of health so much as a question of personal ethics. You can eat healthy on various different diet choices.
 

Andy_T

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Ken, it depends on your motivation.

If you are going vegan "for health", then sure, nothing wrong (from a physiological standpoint) with eating a little meat now and then.

If you are going vegan because you believe that animals matter morally, and that (ab)useing them is wrong, then it is a different story.

So, if a rapist asks you if you think that he should completely stop to rape women, or rather just reduce it to, say, raping only one woman per month, what advice would you give him?

My hope is that many of the people who try to go vegan for selfish (i.e. health) reasons, will at some point have broken their addiction to animal products, and then be able to look at the moral issues surrounding the use of animals with unclouded eyes and an open mind.

Best regards,
Andy
 

Sally

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I agree Andy. People are interested in veganism, but only want to talk about what they can have instead of meat. I try to explain that it is a completely different way of eating. You don't look for meat or dairy substitutes, but eat as if they never existed. I eat meat substitutes occasionally so that I can fit in with my husband's meat eating diet, but otherwise I try to eat vegan meals based on quinoa, beans, rice, etc. It means cooking two completely different meals sometime, and a lot of washing up. No-one wants to talk about the animals, the only reason I'm vegan. They keep harping on about health, it's very frustrating. Has no-one considered making a sacrifice for what they believe in? There are foodstuffs I'll never taste again. So what. Sometimes you can't have your cake and eat it too, literally.
 
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winter.frost

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I've been vegan for over a year and a half, vegetarian for longer. Honestly I've never even entertained the concept of 'taboo diets', versus veganism, and I rather think that it's usually omnivores who are in some way uncomfortable with themselves and what they already eat that they have to say 'hey, vegans are creating a taboo! We don't need more taboos!' I'm getting tired of raking over this old ground. For me, the battle isn't about veganism - it's about anti-speciesism. I'd much rather spend my time convincing a person to be animist than vegan, because it's the attitude and ignorance that I mostly take issue with. Speciesism is a prejudice just like racism and sexism which we could really do without.

Also there are vegans who don't refuse vaccinations and blood transfusions/transplants on the basis of being vegan. Honestly, within the vegan community, each person decides what is RIGHT for them - not what is generally taboo. I, for one, have found myself using medications with dairy products in them.

You have to return to the original definition of veganism. See my postings on this forum, because I've already covered this, but to be vegan does not mean to necessarily be militant or ascetic etc.. it means

a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

Also, you are applying your own point-of-view as a lens on the vegan lifestyle: 'I imagine it would also take some of the joy of life'. Have you not considered that the very act of eating this way, knowing what they are doing, gives people joy? That any other way would feel oppressive to said person? And, yes, vegans can have burgers too. They can also choose to be fruitarian and thrive quite happily.

Only today the WHO has said that red meats cause cancer. 'But shouldn't the body be able to handle it if it is being taken care of?' is just wishful thinking. We know that meats cause between 3-20+% of all cancers (depending on the study you read) as it is a carcinogen. We know that whilst you might be fortunate to live a life that is unimpeded by meat-related illness, you will have a lower risk of such an impediment and probably - indeed - be more healthy if you adopted a plant-based diet as the status quo (building from it, as my other posts have said) than the other way around.

Exercise can provide muscle tone (therefore improved cardiac function), fat loss and helps to regulate serotonin levels in the brain. But you can be looking trim and still hide a lot of disease inside you, in your arteries. You can still have deficiencies, and an issue with acidic environments (whereas as plant-based diet is alkalising, and therefore does not need to draw minerals out of the marrow to counter this effect). A strong heart is no good if the plumbing is whacked. Indeed, you might not be very healthy at all. Hypertension is also more common in meat-eaters.

Knowledge is power, and with empowerment we can reclaim our health, our awareness, and help to regain a sustainable balance for our planet. I hope you will read the topic further but I can't be having this conversation over and over any more - I'll let other vegans take up the baton. It's a headache.

Other useful posts:
https://veganforum.co.uk/threads/veganism-what-if-you-keep-getting-ill.331/
https://veganforum.co.uk/threads/a-question-of-ethics-foraged-shells.337/
https://veganforum.co.uk/threads/are-you-an-animist.315/

PS - There is no such thing as 'vegan plus eggs and honey'. Such a diet is called 'ovo vegetarian' and is not vegan.
 
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cheapopete

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If you want to make a statement with your lifestyle and say, "I care more about the fate of an animal than I do about my emotional stomach" then you already have the answer. ;)
 
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sharla86

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If you are so into eating meat why are you on a vegan forum?