There and back again: a vegan's tale

probablybirdie

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Hey everyone. My name's Hannah. I joined this forum about 6 months ago but I don't think I ever posted. 6 months ago, I decided to drastically reduce my animal product intake. I became a sort of reducetarian/flexitarian/whatever-a-tarian. Anyway, I've made the plunge to becoming a full vegan a few days ago and thought I should join a vegan forum. I went to join this one and saw I already had, so here we are.

Now I should be clear, I've been a vegan before. Ten years ago. I was vegan for about a year back then, but had some health problems and started eating animal products again (the story's been told a billion times so I won't go into the details). As you can imagine, eating animal products has always bothered me, so last June I decided to finally line up my values with my actions. I did the transition super slowly because I have a history of eating disorders and I wanted to make sure it stuck this time.

So I'm here for support and to give support, if I can. I struggle the most with social situations. When it comes to being home and cooking my own food and buying my own beauty products, I'm fine, but when I eat out with friends or go to people's houses, I really struggle. If anyone could give advice or point me to a thread on this topic, I'd be very grateful. Thanks. I look forward to interacting with you all.
 

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but when I eat out with friends or go to people's houses, I really struggle. If anyone could give advice or point me to a thread on this topic, I'd be very grateful. Thanks. I look forward to interacting with you all.

Welcome aboard.

My best advice is to do what you have found worked - take it slow, gradually, and incrementally.
If you can't be vegan outside your house that is ok. For now. Maybe when your friends go out to a pizza place you get a vegetarian pizza but with cheese. that is ok. Maybe next time you ask to go to an Asian restaurant. Or if you do end up at the pizza place just have one slice and then head over to the salad bar.
Just take it one step at a time. I think you will find it just gets easier as you go on.
 

Emma JC

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welcome Hannah - so happy to have you here, it has been a journey for many of us, most of don't ever get it right, right away or even after trying two or three or seven times

Two quick suggestions: take some great food with you, eat before you go

Emma JC
 

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Hi Hannah!
Pizza with dairy cheese was the last thing I gave up. In the beginnings I always would tell friends I really just wasn't hungry, that I had already ate. Once I got a handle on it, as in, what I wanted to eat became second nature, I started suggesting things, or bringing my own.
People still have trouble with what vegan means. With the whole plant based, whole foods thing, and gluten-free everywhere I'm asked if I eat bread, or they're shocked I eat cookies! 😄
 

Nekodaiden

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So I'm here for support and to give support, if I can. I struggle the most with social situations. When it comes to being home and cooking my own food and buying my own beauty products, I'm fine, but when I eat out with friends or go to people's houses, I really struggle. If anyone could give advice or point me to a thread on this topic, I'd be very grateful. Thanks. I look forward to interacting with you all.

For what it's worth, I eat the majority of meals alone, but I do see friends on occasion, especially during the holidays. This was my 3rd year doing so, going vegan in October 2017, I visited with friends that year as a new vegan (for Xmas), and these friends are all meat eaters.

First year - I filled up before I went. There were very few vegan options, so I'm glad I did. I told them I had gone vegan but this was largely treated with the seriousness of doing something for only a few months - like o k, we'll see how long you last.

Second year - I brought vegan food. None of it was touched, and it was fairly well prepared. Questions were asked about what it meant to be vegan...and oh "do you want to try this fish/crab/prawn etc". No. Vegans don't eat those things. Mostly well received but for one friend who was seriously taken aback by it.

This, the 3rd year. I didn't bring any food, as I couldn't be bothered this year, but I filled up beforehand, leaving enough room for the few vegan options offered. Again, I was offered animal food, and again I politely declined pointing out that I was a vegan and we do not eat these things. No preaching, and no judgement. Afterward, I was offered prawns, and again I politely declined. I'm sure at this point those suffering some cognitive dissonance would identify with the "you'll know who the vegan is, because they'll tell you" and would probably laugh, not realizing that I have had to tell them 3 times (actually more if one counts the multiple times during single gatherings) in response to the offering of animal products over the course of 3 Xmas gatherings in 3 years.

Edit: This 3rd year I also packed a few sandwiches in a bag just in case the food I mostly filled up on beforehand wasn't enough, and left it in my car. This was unnecessary in the end, but it was there if I needed it.


My advice is, plan ahead. Never ever put yourself in a situation where you are hungry and non-vegan food is in no short supply. Either bring your own food, fill up beforehand, or know where the nearest place is to get enough vegan food to satisfy yourself.
 
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probablybirdie

probablybirdie

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Welcome aboard.

My best advice is to do what you have found worked - take it slow, gradually, and incrementally.
If you can't be vegan outside your house that is ok. For now. Maybe when your friends go out to a pizza place you get a vegetarian pizza but with cheese. that is ok. Maybe next time you ask to go to an Asian restaurant. Or if you do end up at the pizza place just have one slice and then head over to the salad bar.
Just take it one step at a time. I think you will find it just gets easier as you go on.

Thank you for your thoughts. This is good advice.
 
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probablybirdie

probablybirdie

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[...]
My advice is, plan ahead. Never ever put yourself in a situation where you are hungry and non-vegan food is in no short supply. Either bring your own food, fill up beforehand, or know where the nearest place is to get enough vegan food to satisfy yourself.

Thank you for your advice! I appreciate the detail about your experience. Being prepared is a good idea. I usually have a vegan protein bar with me at all times. I could pack something more substantial in the future.
 
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PTree15

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Welcome, Hannah! The social situations can be tricky, and I agree that preparation is key. I have friends who don't invite me to dinner anymore, but then there are others who have fully embraced it and make sure I have something to eat.

I often bring desserts, and I've yet to have anyone complain about them. Desserts are pretty easy to veganize, IMHO, and they are always welcome. It also guarantees me something to have for dessert because if I don't bring it, I won't eat the non-vegan stuff. I also try to bring "accidentally vegan" foods that people normally eat and don't realize are vegan, things like fruit salad, pasta salad, veggie soup or chili, hummus and veggies, etc.
 

Forest Nymph

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Hello and welcome. I know the social aspect of veganism is harder for some people. I would suggest bringing vegan food to share at other people's houses (a holiday roast on special occasions, a different dish you enjoy otherwise) outside of just having snacks. When you go out, try to suggest your friends or family members go to a place where they have vegan options that you are aware of through experience or research. Good luck. I know some people get very emotional. One of my friends cries if her family mocks her or makes rude comments.
 
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probablybirdie

probablybirdie

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Hello and welcome. I know the social aspect of veganism is harder for some people. I would suggest bringing vegan food to share at other people's houses (a holiday roast on special occasions, a different dish you enjoy otherwise) outside of just having snacks. When you go out, try to suggest your friends or family members go to a place where they have vegan options that you are aware of through experience or research. Good luck. I know some people get very emotional. One of my friends cries if her family mocks her or makes rude comments.
Great idea. I have a weekly gathering of friends from my church and we do a potluck. I always bring the bean dish so I can have something to eat lol. But I tend to shy away from bring vegan foods to other gathering, however I think I can challenge myself to do that. Thank you.
 

Amy SF

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View attachment 23125

here it is. Ironically it has a gray vein going through it. It’s a little more tolerable with the white cabinets than it was with the old and broken brown ones. But it always looks dirty because the gray looks like dirt even when it’s clean.
I believe you posted this in the wrong thread. 😁
 
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Ahimsa

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Hey everyone. My name's Hannah. I joined this forum about 6 months ago but I don't think I ever posted. 6 months ago, I decided to drastically reduce my animal product intake. I became a sort of reducetarian/flexitarian/whatever-a-tarian. Anyway, I've made the plunge to becoming a full vegan a few days ago and thought I should join a vegan forum. I went to join this one and saw I already had, so here we are.

Now I should be clear, I've been a vegan before. Ten years ago. I was vegan for about a year back then, but had some health problems and started eating animal products again (the story's been told a billion times so I won't go into the details). As you can imagine, eating animal products has always bothered me, so last June I decided to finally line up my values with my actions. I did the transition super slowly because I have a history of eating disorders and I wanted to make sure it stuck this time.

So I'm here for support and to give support, if I can. I struggle the most with social situations. When it comes to being home and cooking my own food and buying my own beauty products, I'm fine, but when I eat out with friends or go to people's houses, I really struggle. If anyone could give advice or point me to a thread on this topic, I'd be very grateful. Thanks. I look forward to interacting with you all.
Do you know why you struggle with social situations Hannah? It may be that you're on the Aspberger's spectrum, undiagnosed or not. In which case it may be wise to consult a professional about this possibility and obtain their expert advice. Surprisingly, there are many women with this disorder but have no formal diagnosis, they don't even know they have it. 🤔
 
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KLS52

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View attachment 23125

here it is. Ironically it has a gray vein going through it. It’s a little more tolerable with the white cabinets than it was with the old and broken brown ones. But it always looks dirty because the gray looks like dirt even when it’s clean.
How the heck did that happen lol 😂
Thanks for the heads up!
 
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NYC Gardener

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Do you know why you struggle with social situations Hannah? It may be that you're on the Aspberger's spectrum, undiagnosed or not. In which case it may be wise to consult a professional about this possibility and obtain their expert advice. Surprisingly, there are many women with this disorder but have no formal diagnosis, they don't even know they have it. 🤔

I think she meant that she struggles with the social aspects of being a new vegan, as opposed to struggling with social situations in general.

When I went veg, I already knew a few long-time veggers and had heard about their strategies for social situations. I imagine it would be harder to navigate if you were completely on your own.