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Vegan for Health Reasons

All right people of vegweb here is my deal. I am vegan for health reasons. I don’t want the hormones that are being pumped into animals in my system. But I personally don't agree with the political rhetoric behind “PETA” and other animal rights organization. Yes the way corporate farms treat animals is appalling. But  I have no problem with people eating local meat or dairy products. Also I feel hunting when done in moderation is good for the local ecosystem. Being vegan is one of the best decisions I have ever made but I’m tired of always being but into the corner of “animal rights extremist” does any one else feel this way?

I'm not vegan solely for health reasons (though that certainly plays a large role!), but I think that what all vegans know is this: people will ALWAYS put you into a box, it's how people deal with differences and they are just going to assume a lot about you based upon your food preferences. You get really really used to it and people start to understand you better if they get to know you. And will realize not all vegans are the same.

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Harve, I totally understand where you are coming from.  I started exploring vegan cooking for health reasons.  I love to cook and I enjoy eating but needed new ideas that were healthy.  My DD was dared to give up meat for a month by a friend when she was in junior high.  She did and has refused to eat meat since.  The problem is she is not a big veggie eater so her idea of vegetarianism was eating mac and cheese most of the time although both of us are lactose intolerant.  Not a pretty picture.  Family health history says "watch the sat. fats" so there goes the eggs for me.  I am fortunate to have fairly easy but expensive access to 100% grass fed, no antibiotic/hormone beef and organic chickens.  Those suckers cost so much they need to be severly rationed so the bean recipies are a major budget stretcher.  Even whe I do buy meat, it is my husband and son who eat the vast majority of it.  I will probibly never call myself a vegetarian/vegan because I respect those who are those for moral reasons and I am not willing at this time to adopt the standard regarding animal products in processing of other foods even though on the surface I may eat/cook the same things most of the time.

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Lotta folks here who ARE veg*n for ethical (as well as health/ environmental) reasons ALSO don't identify with/ support PETA!  ;) Hespedal's right: humans love to (over)simplify the world via categorization, and WILL assume stuff about you like crazy in order to fit you into the categories the already have going, if you are not just like them. WHATEVER you think or eat, they will usually guess wrong-- that's true for everyone here, i think! (shrug) So at least you're not alone-- whether we eat the same things for the same reasons or different ones, we're puttin' up with the same silliness...

Solidarity, brethren & sistren!  ;)b

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People do this with all sorts of things. For example, I live in ky, and I'm a Christan...so people automatically associate me with the militant southern baptist fire and brimstone "you gotta get right with GAWD, preach it brotha" sort of christian, and I'm probably one of the most liberal people you will ever meet. I think people associate you with what they've been exposed to, and unfortunately what they get exposed to is often the loudest group...and the loudest group is often the fanatics and outliers, not the norm. The norm usually doesn't see a reason to yell and try to "win" people.

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I believe vegans should be united always.

I think Peta deserves a little scolding in private but not in front of the meat industry.

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Harve, you would probably better identify yourself as a strict vegetarian ( one who doesn't eat any animal products but doesn't follow the vegan lifestyle or ethics) Then you wouldn't be confusing to those who might see you use products containing or being tested on animals, or wearing leather, etc..

I know labels can be a pain, but you don't want to give the wrong impression or cause confusion to others either.  OR, just call yourself a dietary vegan. I think that term is picking up in popularity too.

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Strict vegetarian is a somewhat confusing phrase, in my opinion. I suppose it probably originates from using vegetarian as an encompassing term under which lacto-ovo-vegetarian, lacto-vegetarian, ovo-vegetarian, and strict vegetarian (neither lacto- nor ovo-; aka vegan) are the four basic sub-types. However, there are other ways to measure the strictness of a vegetarian. For example, a "strict" vegetarian might be one who resolutely rejects food if its vegetarian status is unclear or debatable (e.g. vegetables that touched meat during preparation and therefore contain traces of meat). Furthermore, an ethical (lacto-ovo-)vegetarian who is strict probably would avoid leather (strongly analogous to meat) even if they accept wool (more similar to dairy / eggs).

Dietary vegan, on the other hand, seems sufficiently intuitive that probably anyone who knows what the two words mean independently can figure out what the phrase means. I'd go with that. Or just frequently injecting "for health reasons" in the conversation.

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... just here to say, the "corporate" farms aren't necessarily treating their animals any worse than "local" ones (I have quite a few corporate farms locally, haha). Organizations tend to go after the giant farms to set standards for the other ones, but there have been abuse cases in all sizes of farms, and insufficient and unsanitary conditions found in all of them.

I agree with kuzu though. "strict vegetarian" is also confusing. If it were me I'd probably say "I eat vegan" versus "I'm vegan." I guess it's because I've heard people say that, as a clarification, and I get what they mean. "Vegan for health reasons" is probably easy to say too.

But no matter what label one chooses, there are bound to be people who lump you in with others. Even an animal shelter can get lumped in with PETA sometimes for no real reason. I'd just say "I'm not a part of PETA/an activist; I eat vegan for health reasons" or something.

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I agree with kuzu though. "strict vegetarian" is also confusing. If it were me I'd probably say "I eat vegan" versus "I'm vegan." I guess it's because I've heard people say that, as a clarification, and I get what they mean. "Vegan for health reasons" is probably easy to say too.

But no matter what label one chooses, there are bound to be people who lump you in with others. Even an animal shelter can get lumped in with PETA sometimes for no real reason. I'd just say "I'm not a part of PETA/an activist; I eat vegan for health reasons" or something.

I'd say, "who gives a f*** what other people think of what I call myself; it's none o' their dang business anyhow-- screw 'em!" ... & then I'd go have some hummus & lentil curry, with vegan chocolate cake for dessert, and be happy & healthy & well, while (perhaps coincidentally, through no extra effort on my part) not supporting hideously cruel treatment of living things...that sounds like a win, to me, regardless of other factors! 'They' can go fly a kite, in confused &/or wrongheaded fashion.  :)

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I agree with hcm above, who cares what people think.  If they are narrow minded enough to lump me in with PETA or whatever stereotypes they have I don't care.

I'm vegan primarily for health reasons.  I've lost weight, have great skin, am on no medications.  A robust 52 year old.

Still in the original post he states  "Yes the way corporate farms treat animals is appalling."  That's motivation for me to stay vegan.  I've gotten that knowledge now after learning about it from other vegans, so it's expanded my lifestyle to include cruelty free products and I can say I'm vegan for ethical reasons now as well.  Some of what the animal rights people say isn't "political rhetoric" at all, but truth.

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I like FB's "I eat vegan".  I often use "I eat mostly vegan" a lot  when trying to find things on a menu that I want to eat.  I prefer meatless although I occasionally still eat meat but I avoid dairy unless disparate.  It came in handy yesterday while trying to figure out what to eat from the menu at the asst. living home my MIL lives at.  I did not question the ingredient list for the refried beans (although most here would for good reasons) because my choices were limited to the beans, corn and PBJ for supper.  I did better at lunch with a baked potato, zucchini, yellow squash and dinner roll.

It also helps diffuse some of the "are you one of THOSE people" comments that I sometimes get when choosing to eat meatless around people whom I have just met

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I like FB's "I eat vegan".  I often use "I eat mostly vegan" a lot  when trying to find things on a menu that I want to eat.  I prefer meatless although I occasionally still eat meat but I avoid dairy unless disparate.  It came in handy yesterday while trying to figure out what to eat from the menu at the asst. living home my MIL lives at.  I did not question the ingredient list for the refried beans (although most here would for good reasons) because my choices were limited to the beans, corn and PBJ for supper.  I did better at lunch with a baked potato, zucchini, yellow squash and dinner roll.

Rehab & assisted living facilities are NOT purveyors of healthy or veg*n food, grr!... sounds like you did ok, despite menu-adversity!  :)

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Rehab & assisted living facilities are NOT purveyors of healthy or veg*n food, grr!... sounds like you did ok, despite menu-adversity!  :)

When you concider what Rehab and Asst. living facilities have to deal with when planning what their residents will eat, they do well for what they have to work with, especially in the case I was dealing with.  They need foods that the majority of the residents will not hate.  It would be impossible to come up with good food that meets the taste preferences of such a wide variety of people so they try to hit the middle ground of not offensive.  Then you have the health requirements of significant percentage of diabetics, salt restricted diets, low cholesterol, etc.  What percent need foods that are easy to chew and not hard and crunchy?  Actually, the meat choices were on the fairly good side nutritionally and the rest of the family was happy with them.  In this specific case, there are not widely promoted later meals for residents who do not come to the dining room  for the main meals.  My sis-in-law had a Jewish vegetarian friend who always ate at this later time when they operated more like a restaurant than cafeteria and would custom cook from a list of foods.  It will be interesting to see how the menus change with an aging vegetarian/vegan population.

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When you concider what Rehab and Asst. living facilities have to deal with when planning what their residents will eat, they do well for what they have to work with, especially in the case I was dealing with.  They need foods that the majority of the residents will not hate.  It would be impossible to come up with good food that meets the taste preferences of such a wide variety of people so they try to hit the middle ground of not offensive.  Then you have the health requirements of significant percentage of diabetics, salt restricted diets, low cholesterol, etc.  What percent need foods that are easy to chew and not hard and crunchy? 

I'm glad your family has had a good experience with it, in my experience that's not the norm... what places decide to serve is based on cost, not preference or texture... Texture is malleable, and patients with trouble chewing or swallowing are typically on mechanical-soft or pureed diet, regardless of *what* the diet consists of; and sugar/ salt/ cholesterol restrictions are followed less in SNFs than anywhere else I've seen-- usually the nursing staff just adjusts their insulin... I'm only speaking from experience in the south, though, so maybe it's different elsewhere -- but as long as we're subsidizing cheap/ unhealthy foods, those will be cheaper; and every cut to Medicare/ Medicaid leaves facilities scrambling to bring in required care for a lower dollar amount: so they contract with the cheapest bidder. Which will usually be the more processed/ less fresh/ higher cholesterol (from subsidized meat & dairy) foods... Veg*n or not, residents should have access to food that won't make them sicker... 90% of the time, diet played a role in whatever debility brought them their-- diabetes, hypertension, alzheimer's, stroke, heart disease, etc-- and caused their debility in the first place; it irritates me when facilities continue the recipe for decline by only offering the same diet that got them there in the first place... But enough of that soapbox-- glad you guys are happy with *that* facility's meals, at least!

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well semi veg does live in portland so....

vegan mecca <3 and people who actually give a damn...

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I initially switched from ovo-lacto (after 13 years) to vegan (almost 7 years now!) for health reasons, though I was OL for animal welfare reasons.  It wasn't until I began to seek vegan recipes that I started to read about the horrors of the dairy and egg industries. 

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You make a good point Harve. Many people will stereotype you by your diet and lifestyle just as they do people by race, religion, political party, and so on. I am a vegan that is far more concerned about the prevalent inhumane treatment of humans before I could begin to fathom inhumane treatment of animals. I don't agree with the mis-treatment of animals but it did not influence my decision to go vegan, that was self-preservation. Don't be concerned about the ignorance of others and educate those you can when the opportunity arise.

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