Took the leap

Lesley

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I have been reducing my consumption of animal products over the last year, I made it to pescetarian but struggled to cut fish and dairy out completely.
I've spent my time as a pescetarian researching the treatment of animals on dairy and meat farms and within the fishing industry trying to source sustainable and ethical sources. I never found any that sat right with my conscience.
Last week I read 2 articles, 1 was about the myth behind ethical egg production and the other was about the wool industry. I cried myself to sleep on Friday night and took the leap on Saturday morning.
I feel so much better in my heart. I have always read food labels to confirm the origin of my food and ingredients so this has been an easy process for me over the last year.
I am also fortunate to have a partner who supports my decision fully and I, in turn, support his choices.

What hints and tips do you have for a new vegan?
Is there anything I should be aware of during this period of transition?

Thanks for reading.
 
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Plant Muncher

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Congratulations on your new lifestyle. Don't be a purist. If you mistakenly eat something in a restaurant that has meat or dairy, just don't eat that next time. I think of myself as a plant-based food consumer not a vegan. I know that there is no difference but it lessens the teasings you're going to get from people that have never given their own diet much thought and would rather focus on yours. B-12 vitamins are inevitable, you might as well start on them now. I was a vegan for 7 month before I started B-12 vitamins and had no ill effects. Your body doesn't produce it's own B-12 so you have to get it in what you eat or through supplements. Some cereals and breads are fortified with B-12. You'll just have to find out how well you absorb the B-12 from whatever source you choose. Good luck.
 
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Lesley

Lesley

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Thank you. I've done some reading on B-12 and will definitely check my intake.
That's a really useful tip. I'm out for lunch today with colleagues and I have been worrying about it.
 

Emma JC

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My best suggestion is to Keep It Simple. The temptation is to make a ton of complicated meals from great looking recipes and that does have it's place and can be fun, however, if you constantly have to try to "make" things you may get discouraged. Find a few things that you really like, like Burrito Bowls, rice and beans, simple dressings for salads and for potatoes. Awesome pasta dishes etc. We occassionally have some of the vegan junk food like Gardein fish or chicken tenders but try to limit it to once every two weeks so we aren't eating a lot of extra oil. Always have some canned beans and rice and pasta around so that if you are hungry you don't have to look too hard. Making hummus from chick peas or other white beans and keeping it in the fridge is also a good idea for a snack.

Find a few things that you love and gradually add to the list over time.

All the best with your journey and congrats! Emma JC
 
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Jamie in Chile

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Nutrition: start with this very brief summary on my website:
https://whytryveg.wordpress.com/2017/03/25/vegan-nutrition/

If you have more time, this is good for more detail, but no hurry, and quite optional:
http://veganhealth.org/

Keep reading about the ethical issues or watching movies (if you want). Keep learning the truth. Again, no hurry.

Don't panic if the first weeks aren't great. Sometimes there is a transition period in any change.

Remember to eat a slightly greater total amount of food (based on weight or how full the plate looks). This is because vegan foods have less concentrated fat so you need to eat more to get enough calories.

If you are not a great cook, use simple ideas. Breakfast: mushroom+toast+tomato. Or cereal with fruit. Just pasta/noodles with 1-2 vegetables mixed in makes a meal. Burritos. Figure out what works for you.

Good luck!
 

Jamie in Chile

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I thought about being pescatarian for a while, but in the end, it seems no better morally than eating meat. On the one hand, you eat wild animals that at least lived, and they are simple, less intelligent creatures. But on the other hand you need to eat more of them to get the same food amount, and they suffer when they die more than land farm animals. Plus, bycatch is horrific, with so many animals being caught up in the nets for every one actually eaten. Also, just the sheer lack of fish in the oceans (I don't know if the study claiming that there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050 is true....but just the fact that it might be even barely plausible ought to be terrifying).

Still, even if someone gave me a sustainably caught fish caught and killed with no suffering or bycatch, I probably still wouldn't eat it now. The more you think and learn, the less you need to any creatures that can think at feel at all.
 
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Lesley

Lesley

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Thanks, Jamie. I've always been a decent cook, becoming pescatarian has developed my culinary skills and experimentation. I have always tried to focussed on less processed foods and sourcing local producers.

You're right the way fish die is pretty horrific and something that did weigh heavy on my mind that is why I took the leap to becoming a vegan.

I'll visit your site and thanks for the additional link.