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Old 10-03-2005, 06:37 PM   #1
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So recently me and my sister have decided to try out veganism, and it's going out to a great start. Our family's really supportive of it and all, and we've been learning some new cooking skills (who knew you could have eggless tex-mex omlettes?!).

Well, I was searching on some vegan food sites and all of them repeat the same things: veganism opens up new doors to foods from different cultures. So maybe this makes it slightly easier to be a vegan than I once thought. Is meat so heavily consumed in the U.S. that I'll have hardly any trouble keeping meat/cheeses/eggs etc. out of my diet if I go to other countries?

Has anyone gone to a country where you can not possibly survive as a vegan, or where it will come as second nature?

Just out of curiousity, any other tpunkers here vegans or vegetarians? Anyone have any meal ideas (we're quickly getting sick of tofu and salads, lol).
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Old 10-03-2005, 07:04 PM   #2
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I'm a vegetarian. There's not enough tofu in southern california to convince me to give up my eggs and dairy. No sir. There's a big hot thread about this in the food board from a while ago. travelling with a strict vegetarian is hell. I opt for flexibility.

Out of interest, why did you and your sis decide to change your eating habits? I sort of unintentionally quit eating meat (cheaper) and then realized I felt better so stuck to it.
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Old 10-03-2005, 07:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
veganism opens up new doors to foods from different cultures.
they lie. unless you'd never heard of hummus before you went vegan....
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Old 10-03-2005, 08:46 PM   #4
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Traveling with a strict vegetarian can be difficult, and with a vegan even more so. However, vegetarianism is so widespread nowadays - even in more "exotic" countries, that vegetarian establishments can be found in the most remote of locations. There are, of course, some cultures who absolutely will not understand what vegetarianism is or why one would do it, but overall, it can be handled. I'll admit, though, I've heard horror stories from people who've traveled to the middle east, Africa and... the midwest! If worst comes to worst, you just do your own grocery shopping and cooking.

What's tougher than traveling with a veg, though, is traveling with someone with an EXTREMELY limited palate. During a business trip to New Orleans (a culinary capital, for sure!) I had to deal with 2 people who refuse to eat anything other than burgers or pizza or potatoes. All that great food there and all they wanted was a damn hot dog. Anything else was too "weird" for them. I dated a girl like that once and it nearly drove me batty. At least vegetarianism has health/moral benefits. Oh, and the last 2 girls I went out with had to eat gluten-free diets, and lemme tell you, that's a bitch and a half and then some!
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Old 10-03-2005, 11:05 PM   #5
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I won't tell you its because of my occupation, but I regard vegans in a dim light to say the least. Vegetarians only are slightly above that.


Fact is that humans by their very design are omnivores, and need certain proteins found in meats that otherwise cannot be substituted through highly processed (emphasis on the p-word) soy-based products. The very design of your teeth are testament to that, not withstanding the design of your intestinal tract as well as necesities of your body to continue to live. Suplement them how you prefer, but at the end of the day, it is only natural to eat both meat and vegetables.


This being said and done, good luck on you for trying it. It ain't easy, especially in other countries that aren't as "enlightened" as the West is. Your choice actually makes me happy-

Leaves me with more burgers, veal chops, foie gras, and bacon and eggs! :D
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Old 10-03-2005, 11:29 PM   #6
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You should consult a nutritionist or a doctor before you take the plunge into veganism. I personally don't recommend it. As a human you do require certain vitamins and proteins that do not occur in the vegetable kingdom. B12 for instance is very important for the nervous system and must be supplemented calcium as well. As far as vegetarianism is concerned there's nothing wrong with this particular diet if it's handled properly,just the same with a diet consisting of meat,dairy,etc. Complete proteins can be found in soy and red meats are very complex for the digestive system. It can go either way. Please consult someone before making such a major change in diet. For your health and others!
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Old 10-04-2005, 12:08 AM   #7
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ACT-tually, everything your body needs can be found in other sources other than meat. you can totally live a healthly (maybe even more healthy) life being a vegan, you just have to get creative...and be highly knowledged in the nutritional value of all the different vegetables, grains, oils ect. do a whole lot of reading about this. i'm sure there are a ton of books out there.

i can atest to the fact that it's hard to live/travel/date a vegetarian/vegan. i dated this guy when i was 19 (for a year) that was a vegan. my god, we couldn't go out to eat anywhere, he wouldn't eat anything at my parents house (which was embarassing..they live in texas) and he even took it as far to sit on the floor at my brother's house because they had just purchased a new leather sofa. although, i guess it was pretty hard on him as well but i think he took things a bit too far sometimes. he was anemic to boot due to the lack of iron in his body. quite a dangerous road if you don't have the facts.

anyhow, good luck! i think what you and your sister are doing is great even though it is a hard road to transverse when you live in a society that caters to meat consumption. for myself, i think that humans aren't suppose to eat meat, but it's hard when that's all you know and that is the tradition you were brought up in.
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Old 10-04-2005, 01:12 AM   #8
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I don't think I could ever do it. I am of the thinking that humans are omnivores as well. On the other hand, we often don't treat animals very well in the process of making them food, which does suck....but that is another can of worms!
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Old 10-04-2005, 08:20 AM   #9
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I went to prague last year with my friend who is a vegetarian and it was really difficult to find places where we could both find things that we liked, because they dont have a huge range of veggie food there and im also a fussy eater and dont really eat veg at all :greenguy:
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Old 10-04-2005, 08:32 AM   #10
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i dont know, why make your life more difficult. being vegan sounds like a lot of work to me.
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Old 10-04-2005, 08:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Joker@Oct 4 2005, 01:05 AM
Fact is that humans by their very design are omnivores, and need certain proteins found in meats that otherwise cannot be substituted through highly processed (emphasis on the p-word) soy-based products. The very design of your teeth are testament to that, not withstanding the design of your intestinal tract as well as necesities of your body to continue to live. Suplement them how you prefer, but at the end of the day, it is only natural to eat both meat and vegetables.
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Old 10-04-2005, 09:04 AM   #12
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I'm a vegetarian also. The absolute hardest place to find veg food was Spain. In any major city, they have a huge variety of restaurants - different ethnicities, more variety on the menus, etc. I still rarely saw anything vegan though. But being in smaller towns definitely makes it more difficult. We purchased a lot of our food from groceries. I also could never go vegan - being the only vegetarian around a bunch of meat eaters is difficult enough. Picking out places to eat, going to other peoples' houses, etc. It's tough.

There is so much to eat besides salads and tofu though. Whenever people think of veg or vegans, they assume that's all there is to it. There are some really great websites like Vegetarian Recipes and vegweb that have lots of recipes for either veganism or vegetarianism. Also, if you look up some raw food diets recipes, most are vegan. Just to get lots of variety.

Anyhow, you really do want to make sure you have enough information to make sure you're still going to be getting all of the vitamins, minerals and protein that you need.
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Old 10-04-2005, 11:25 AM   #13
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Thanks guys! I really do appreciate all the advice (even the ones who disagreed with my choice ) I did a lot of reading before I did this and it has been hard, but I'm working with it.

Jaime, thanks for the websites. I'll make sure to check it out. And thanks to everyone who told me it's hard to eat in different countries as a vegan, but actually, I think that'll just make it even more exciting to go and more of a challenge (anyone who knows me will say that I intentionally make things harder for myself just because I love a challenge ).

Bellelass, I have heard of hummus before (my Uncle's Persian) and my mom actually made a batch the moment I told her that me and Adriele were trying out veganism. We decided more because of the cruelty to animals. Also it's something our dad already sort of does (he doesn't eat red meats or milk--but more for health reasons) so we already didn't eat red meat or milk/cheeses/yogurt. All we really had to cut was eggs and chicken, so it was an easy step to make.

SD, I heard about that a lot too. That's why I was a bit skeptical before I did it, but I also heard that you can get protein and calcium in other foods like vegetables and nuts, without the unsaturated fats. Weirdbeird, my dad called his nutritionist and asked if it was okay for me and my sister to do this (since I'm only 15 and she's 18 and he was afraid this might screw us up in some way...) and she said it was okay so long as we get all our minerals and vitamins in other forms. So it's all covered.

(And thanks to whoever moved this to Foods and Drinks! I was looking for it like crazy and I guess I forgot there's more forums than just those in the Member's Lounge )

Anyhow thanks all!
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Old 10-04-2005, 02:43 PM   #14
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i'd say Tibet and Mongolia, kazakstan, big on meat there, india is pretty good for vegitarians (i don't know about vegans)

personally, i couldn't do it, really really like bits of animal,
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Old 10-04-2005, 02:45 PM   #15
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There are a hell of a lot of vegan/vegetarians in Tibet-- Buddhism, ya know. And it's easy to eat vegan in India-- vegetarian is pretty much the rule rather than the exception. Dairy is used a little bit in the north but it's a lot more rare in the rest of the country.
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Old 10-04-2005, 03:58 PM   #16
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Can't do that; I like food too much.



No, seriously, that is awesome. Good luck to you.
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Old 10-04-2005, 04:31 PM   #17
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All the best of luck!!!

Personally, there's nothing I like more then a thick steak done medium rare...but I won't give you anymore details
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Old 10-04-2005, 05:25 PM   #18
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Julia, sounds more like you are a non-egg/dairy vegetarian than vegan. I can't remember the specific name for it (something like ovolactic IIRC), but vegan would be cutting out any and all animal products period. Simply cutting out meats, milk, and cheese does not a vegan make.


Cut out butter. Cut out many different types of candies, since they use gelatins, which are animal based. Cut out any baked goods that may have used butters, dairy, eggs, or partially hydrogenated soybean, since there are animal products there. Gum, too. Gum has gelatin typically. Even lactose-free products often have an animal sugar involved.


Vegan means that you become very picky about what you can and can't eat because to remain a vegan you lose much of what you may already like to eat. And much of what is out there is going to contain an animal product at many points in the creation/manufacture of it.


Additionally, if it so pleases you at a later date to go from vegetarianism (which is what I'd refer to your choice as being) BE VERY CAREFUL re-introducing animal proteins into your system. The toxic shock your body then goes through is akin to shitting razor blades. Believe me, friends that have just said to hell with it and had a steak after several years of being veg got VERY sick (mostly the trots) because their bodies were not used to the enzymes/proteins any longer. However, once they reintroduced, it wasn't a problem after a couple weeks.

Oh, and forgot something: These animals that people are so concerned for: Modern animal husbandry allows for them to be raised and eventually slaughtered in a fashion that is mostly painless for the animal in question. It also prevents the spread of disease far better than folks realize. Pork, for instance, was easy to get sick from. (Trichinosis, specifically, which is caused by undercooking thus not killing a parasite that is sometimes present in pigs.) Modern husbandry maintains that they no longer be fed slop, but grains and corn which thus reduced the possibility of the Trichinella worm to be present. Additionally, they are kept far cleaner and killed more humanely (typically an airgun to the head, severing the spine and rendering an immediate, painless death). Frankly, these animals have no life but to be raised to be slaughtered. Ever see the videos of the "evil" foie gras farmers feeding the ducks/geese, and the ducks coming to them to have their tubes inserted?

So much so, that the incidents in the US of trichinosis last year were less than 10. 10 people. And they all got it from eating wild deer.

And pinion, you fool, its s'posed to be RARE! :D

/end rant
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Old 10-04-2005, 08:26 PM   #19
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Thanks Joker, I've already heard the rant (from friends and enemies alike) and I do realize what I'm giving up (including gelatin and butter). I'm telling you, I didn't just go "hey! how bout I become a vegan?" I researched. I considered my options. And personally I believe this is best for me. And it's lacto-ovo vegetarianism, but that means you do eat dairy and eggs. Technically a vegetarian by definition doesn't eat eggs or milk at all. By that's all technicalities. Anyway, I appreciate the time you probably took to advise me of all that but frankly I already knew.
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Old 10-04-2005, 09:12 PM   #20
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I play hacky sack, does that count?
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