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Topic: Are there any vegans here?

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Subject: Are there any vegans here?
Date Posted: 8/3/2008 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,502
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If you're a vegan, check in and say "Hi".  I know there are several.  Just curious whose here.

Date Posted: 8/3/2008 10:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,502
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I'll start by saying I went vegetarian in the late 1980s for ethical reasons.  But stomach problems screwed up my health (not caused by vegetarianism, but lack of good nutrition).  My lactose intolerance was worsening and the helper products were working inconsistently.  My IBS was getting to be a nightmare. 

A coincidence around 1990...Dr. John McDougall was on Oprah, which I rarely watched.  His vegan health plan (not a diet!) struck a chord with me.  It just made sense. I decided to buy his book and see just what he had to say.

I haven't turned back since.  It wasn't easy at first.  I gave up alot of food (well, I had already because I couldn't eat them anyway with out stomach upset).  My family wasn't all that supportive, but as I started to see results it was all worth it. 

Then I learned about all these other foods I had never tried before.  Grains I'd never heard of, vegetables I never had seen before.  

I was amazed at how my IBS reacted to a fiber filled, healthy diet.  All the pills and things my doctor gave me never helped for long.  I pretty much have had no trouble with IBS.  I eat good and am never wanting.

I can say it's easier today.  There are so many dairy free/egg free desserts, energy bars, cookies, snacks, etc., that you only need to find things you like to replace what you gave up.

That's my story.  How about you?

Date Posted: 8/4/2008 4:43 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2006
Posts: 2,819
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Melody,

I've been thinking we should ask for a Vegan/Vegetarian forum if there was enough interest.   We could also discuss animal rights, if desired.  But also recipes and whatnot.  I read a fair share of books about factory farming and local sourcing of food.

I'm a vegetarian, but I try to be a vegan a good 3-4 days a week.  I don't think I'll ever become a F/T vegan, but it makes me feel better to at least do it halfway!

 

Date Posted: 8/4/2008 10:59 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,502
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Hey you're half way there Suzanne.  At first my goal was to become vegetarian.  I would cheat sometimes.  Then I slowly stopped eating meat, then dairy.  Of course, I had the extra incentive that my digestive tract exploded whenever I ate animal products.  It makes it alot easier to switch when you find yourself living in the bathroom.

I think doing it step by step might be the best way.  It gives you time to adapt and find alternatives.  You don't get so intimidated by the change.

Let's see how others feel about a vegan/vegetarian forum....

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 8:06 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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I have a combo of lactose intolerance and IBS. It hasn't driven me to veganism, yet, but I do end up "stealing" a lot of ideas for dairy free stuff from vegan cookbooks and such.

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 8/6/2008 3:07 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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I was vegan for about 4 years.  I was a bad vegan - ate way too many carbs.  I am mainly ovo-lacto now but do eat meat on occasions, so am technically semi-vegetarian.  We still keep a vegan lifestyle expect for honey, which I take for my asthma.

Personally, I don't think veganism is a "natural" diet for humans.  We have canine teeth for a reason (omnivorous) and we need vitamin B12 which isn't made in plant materials in a form that is usable.  Foods fortified with vitamin B12 aren't vegan by default, as they contain  B12 made from non-vegan sources.

 

 

 

Date Posted: 8/6/2008 10:11 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,502
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LG--Whether it's the natural human diet or not doesn't matter to me.  All I know is it's a perfect fit for my body.  The meat eaters diet made me sick most of my life.

I ate the typical American diet (my Mom was a typical 1950s/1960s housewife.  She cooked everything.  No fast food for us) up until I was 25 or so.  And, I was one of the most unhealthy kids you ever knew.  I always had colds and stomach problems. 

I had IBS by the time I was 12 or 13 (though I didn't know it until I was 17)  I was anemic as a kid, and borderline through most of my 20s.  I added hyperthyroid in my early 20s and inflammatory arthritis sometime in my mid 20s (my rheumy says I probably had it for about 10 years before my diagnosis)  Were all those problems related to diet?  Who knows?  My rheumatologist did say that the inflammatory arthritis is definitely an offshoot of IBS and hyperthyroidsim.  All I know is I feel a heck of alot better since I went vegan. 

 

 

Date Posted: 8/7/2008 10:12 AM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2006
Posts: 2,819
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I fully support the "we're omnivores" aspect of the discussion - I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't, as I'm always mouthing off about most cat food not being species-appropriate.  There's no denying our nutritional past.

But homo sapiens were also given a lovely, highly developed brain, and with that veganism was born, after learning so much about what modern factory practices are, and the illogical use of another animal's milk for sustenance, when no other animal needs the same.   We are usually more in tune with our thoughts than our bodies. 

I'm sure there are unhealthy vegans out there.  Who knows the statistics.  I just know I've never met one.  A co-worker who is vegan is probably the healthiest person I know.  There are a good number of vegan professional athletes out there, too.

Anybody with common nutritional sense can make vegetarianism or veganism work if they desire it.  As for me, I have a history of heart disease from both parents.  My brother and sister, both slim and in great physical shape, battle hypertension and high cholesterol - and both eat a good amount of meat.  I'm less active and overweight, but don't face those same issues.  I think it's mainly due to my diet.

 

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 8/7/2008 10:40 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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I don't argue the animals rights aspect of veganism - in fact, I support it whole heartedly.  I just don't think veganism is the most natural diet (nor appropriate) for a species that is omnivorous by nature.

Anybody with common nutritional sense can make vegetarianism or veganism work if they desire it.

Only if they have the willpower and fortitude to ensure they get a balanced vegan diet all the time.  I didn't.  After 4 years I finally decided I should quit fooling myself and eat some meat again.  Started out with cheese, then added eggs.  Finally, meat, a bit at a time.  I still don't like meat much and don't eat red meat.

I have seen a number of unhealthy-looking vegans in my days as an animals right activist - very thin, pale, and pasty-looking with dark circles under their eyes.  Whether or not they were truly unhealthy, I don't know.  But they sure looked like cr*p warmed over.

Mel, I have a friend who cured her IBS by taking probiotics.  She bascially just replaced all of her gut flora.

Personally, if I could hack it, I'd be a fruitarian.

 

 



Last Edited on: 8/7/08 10:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: vegan
Date Posted: 8/25/2008 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 9/28/2007
Posts: 1
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i am a vegan part of the year, for religious purposes (fasts), so yes, i would like to join this discussion. Thanks!