In need of advice/support

Hello my wonderful veggies.

I started my vegan transition at the end of October. I was already vegetarian, and the dairy and eggs were sworn off overnight. No issue. I have since been getting stricter and more mindful, such as no more honey, alcohol must be vegan, refined sugars are no-nos, looking up every and all ingredients online to see if it could be animal derived, etc. The only remaining non- vegan things I have are products I had before and have not yet used up ( I do not want to be wasteful by just throwing it away). However, I need advice. I’m starting to get the “trust no one” attitude, and I am finding myself constantly worrying or scrutinizing over the smallest possibility that an animal byproduct was used in stuff… This is not exactly a bad thing, but yesterday my partner told me he thinks I may be obsessing too much. He doesn’t want to see me stress and worry, but he is very supportive and is in no way trying to coax me into straying from veganism.

So my question: how far is too far? Is there such a thing? I’m feeling the " this isn’t good enough, and I’m not trying hard enough" feelings, and I’m not sure if that is good. Veganism should be a celebration, not a burden or stressor. Has anyone else gone through this? Anyone have advice as to where you draw your lines? I try my best to cook whole foods as often as possible, but those times where I don’t have the ability to are really getting to me… It’s making me feel overwhelmed, to be honest. :frowning:

I feel your pain. While I am concerned for and saddend by, the exploitation and use of animals the world over, it’s difficult to be vegan purist. So I don’t try. I do the best I can. I don’t stress over a tiny amount of diary, for example, casein, in some vegan foods. In a perfect world, it’d be easy to follow a vegan lifestyle, but, well, it isn’t a perfect world…

I recall reading a book in asimov’s foundation series wherein he posited that people obtained protein from manufactured yeasts. I found this facinating. He imagined a world 50,000 years from now, and probably felt that the use of animals in any form was considered to be barbaric.

Most days, I eat fully vegan, but when eating out or invited to people’s homes, I will consume dairy/ eggs if they’re present in food. And, if I crave icecream or milk chocolate, I do give in. For me personally, the stress involved in avoidance of dairy isn’t worth it. But that’s just me. I also know vegans who buy preowned wool and leather. One friend will eat dairy and eggs when he’s on a road trip.

Hey all (newbie delurking, hehe),

I avoid all the usual obvious ingredients, but a couple of places I inevitably stumble: process veganism and vitamin fortification/“hidden” ingredients.

Can I track down every instance where a stearic acid may or may not be vegan? No.

Can I confirm that everything in my cupboard with Vitamin D added is D2 and not D3? Again, no. I do the best I can, allowing that there will be places I’ll screw up. When I get new information that a given product is definitely using something animal derived, I buy something else next time. I try to keep informed, but I can’t let it become a 24-hour obsession.

The point (for me) is to reduce the amount of animal exploitation I’m responsible for, not to ensure that no molecule of animal traces ever passes my lips.

Thank you a lot guys, this really helps me a lot. It’s so strange, because I do tell myself it’s not about being 100% vegan. I know no one is able to do it. The simple fact that I own a car and a computer alone makes it impossible. I guess I just have a tendency to get carried away and be very hard on myself.

Also, I sometimes worry that other vegans will look down on me if they see me eating something with refined sugar or something. It’s not like this is a competition, and I certainly don’t see it that way… but I get nervous that other veggies are going to judge me more than omnis! How silly is that? I know it is, but it still worries me. Probably because I really don’t have any vegan friends, so I feel alone and like I’m doing something “wrong.” Even while I’m typing this, though, I understand how ridiculous that sounds.

All my craziness aside, thank you so much again for the support. I think we all need to be reassured like this some time. <3 <3 <3

I gotta wonder about the refined sugar deal. I may well be wrong, but I find it hard to believe that bone char is used to whiten it. Honestly, I wont give up sugar. Hey, foxy, no one has the right to stand in judgement of you. Vegans who do so are just as intolerant as those carnivores who like to make fun of us.

Bone char can be used; sometimes charcoal will be used. Cane sugar is naturally amber in color, even after refining, and decades of beet sugar processing have convinced us that sugar should be white. Nowadays we place a premium on cane (I can’t taste any difference, but some folks say they can), so we bleach cane to whiten it. Getting the traces of bleach out requires filtering.

The problem is that there’s no food labeling requirement for production processes; you can’t tell by looking at a given package if the cane sugar inside was charcoal or bone char filtered. You may get sugar from the same manufacturer using either process (they’ll go with whatever’s cheapest at the time).

If you can get turbinado or natural sugar, that’s unbleached cane. If you can get beet sugar, that’s not been bleached and is naturally white.

You’re absolutely right not to stress about being a vegan purist. Some people say that “the only perfect vegan is a dead vegan”. You have to remember that the whole point of being vegan is to relieve animal suffering. Just by not eating animals alone you are saving around 87 animals a year! Not to even mention the impact of only eating 99% of the dairy/eggs that “regular” people eat!

I think vegans tend to try to take responsibility for other peoples actions by not using ANY animal products. While this is a great cause, we need to make sure that we are showing non-vegans just how fun and easy it is to be vegan!

new at this . actually been at it for about 2 months now. but know that there is no way possible i am getting enough to eat. how can i ensure that i am getting enough to eat ? seems that i am suppose to eat car loads of veggies and fruits to get enough food but am not wealthy. cant do that ! but want to know what is the reasonable amounts ? what should an average day look like ? also recovering from a total hysterectomy now since being diagnosed with endo.cancer. important that i get enough calcium to aid in bone loss but cannot do estrogen or any forms of it. also, what about b12 ? thanks. :smiley:

Things that can help are - cutting out or removing as much as possible processed food. Learning what products are “ok” and making them part of your routine shopping list.

I recently re-evaluated my new vegan diet. I have only been vegan for a few months and one of the first things I did was to read “Bcoming Vegan” which has a lot of information on what and how much to eat. The first time I read it I guess not everything stayed with me. I ended up gradually cutting out whole grains and ate almost all fruits and veggies with tofu added a few times a week. After dropping 40 pounds in 5 months I decided I had better take another look at my diet. Now I’m eating the recommended 6-11 servings of grain and I pay attention to the amount of calcium and Omega 3 I am getting. I did start taking a B12 supplement just to make sure I’m getting enough. That seems to be more of a problem for me than calcium. My weight loss has slowed and I do not feel hungry any longer.

I am logging everything I eat right now. I want to make sure I’m getting enough of everything. Once I feel more comfortable and confident in my new life I’ll stopping logging my food. But for now it just makes things easier for me and takes out some of the guess work.

Best wishes!

Fresh produce and self made things would make you feel more peaceful. As well for less stress opt for the products labeled Vegan.

I think I’ve been where you’re at. I think you express normal feelings. You are very careful because you have learned that there is so much misinformation and so many outright lies, scams and swindles out there! You realize that the world can be crazy at times and you don’t want to be duped by the insanity of others.

I think that’s good. The best way is to take responsibility for your own life and choose your own path. That’s what I’m doing. But I’ve reached a point where I realize that studying all possible negatives is the hard way to do it. For me, the solutions are as amazingly simple as those explained in “The China Study,” by C. Colin Campbell, Phd. I try to stick to “Plant-based, whole foods.” That’s it! “Keep it simple, Stupid!” That’s what I try to tell myself. I buy fruits and veggies, beans and grains, peas and squash, potatoes, etc. from the fruit stand down the street–and stay out of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, bakeries–even grocery stores and potlucks, when possible. I purchase and prepare my own food–and I don’t trust somebody I don’t know to cook it for me! Least of all, I don’t trust anything packaged, prepared or purveyed by anyone with a profit motive. Those people and institutions don’t seem to care a whit for my health. They care only about my money!

Dont be so hard on yourself! you are a healthy nourished person! It is great your partner is supportive, most of my family and friends tell me I shouldnt be vegan and its very hard to fight through all the negative feedback I get… but I can get through it and you can get through your frustration too! well do it together<3