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JESSICAMAS's Photo JESSICAMAS SparkPoints: (6,042)
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3/18/13 7:31 A

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I became a strict dietary vegan after watching forks over knives and a few others. With the rate of heart disease, obesity(including myself, although after making the change I now have a normal Bmi and weight for the first time ever!!!!)
and cancers in my family it looked to me as the only sensible decision. I cook, a lot, and stay away from processed foods. I've never felt better in my life and i don't miss the meat, dairy, or junk at all! In fact I've got recipes that rival anything I've had in restaurants!! I have very little leather and such ( hell I couldn't have afforded it for quite some time anyway lol) and will not buy it and i am educating myself on cosmetics and other products. Label reading has become an obsession as well as advocating animal rights.

The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat are really good friends. ~Author Unknown~


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ICARE4THEM's Photo ICARE4THEM Posts: 8
3/16/13 1:33 P

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I am vegetarian since 98 now an aspiring vegan. I gave up wearing leather, suede, fur, wool and down before I gave up meat. I read the labels on EVERYTHING I buy and will only donate to charities that have the PCRM Humane Seal of Approval. Many don't know that tons of well-known organizations secretly FUND animal testing. humaneseal.org

Edited by: ICARE4THEM at: 3/16/2013 (13:34)
DESERTJULZ's Photo DESERTJULZ SparkPoints: (76,434)
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2/14/13 10:23 P

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Hey JUSTAGRRL, glad you're having fun with it and making the transition with your daughter. You can challenge and help each other!

Julia
Sonoran Desert
Joyfully owned by two retired racing greyhounds.
Happily vegetarian for 40 years.

Team Co-Leader: SP Class of May 6-12, 2012


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SWEETYOUNGTHING's Photo SWEETYOUNGTHING SparkPoints: (130,254)
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2/14/13 8:00 P

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Justagrrl - it does take a lot of time and research to make the transition. It's all such a learning process!

Edited by: SWEETYOUNGTHING at: 2/14/2013 (20:00)
I believe in myself, I am a strong woman. I will reach my goals, NOTHING & NOBODY will hold me down. I will live my life with integrity and intention. I will set a good example for my daughters and my son. I will be a woman that makes my grand children proud when they look at pictures of me long after I've left this earth.
JUSTAGRRL's Photo JUSTAGRRL Posts: 522
2/11/13 12:15 P

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My daughter and I have chosen to be vegan very recently. I have leather belts and shoes, which I will replace with vegan items when they wear out. We do our best everywhere we go. She called me just last night to ask if she can still have fries at Dairy Queen. Now I know that they fry everything together, but I want to support her efforts, not crush them. I told her to go ahead and enjoy the fries. We're practicing being mindful, not perfect. She picked the best black bean soup for dinner last night. It was awesome! Can't wait to make the basil pesto pasta tonight. We read labels yesterday at the grocery store and settled on smart pasta. She even picked the spinach one! I can't tell you how proud I am of her for embracing this change.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't...You're right!

Inside me lives a skinny woman...but I can usually shut the b*tch up with cookies! :o)


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ASPIRINGVEGAN's Photo ASPIRINGVEGAN SparkPoints: (2,484)
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1/30/13 3:55 P

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Thanks!! ME too!!!!

Oh! And in my novella below I forgot to mention that my bad cholesterol levels plummeted to fantastically low levels after a few weeks of vegan unprocessed!

Edited by: ASPIRINGVEGAN at: 1/30/2013 (16:00)
K8

Some people think the “plant-based whole foods diet” is extreme. Half a million a year will have their chests opened up and a vein taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery. Some people would call that extreme.
- Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, “Forks Over Knives”
SASSY-NAK's Photo SASSY-NAK SparkPoints: (28,500)
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1/28/13 7:51 A

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KB Thanks for sharing your story. Very interesting and so glad you beat the breast cancer. emoticon

"If there is no STRUGGLE, there is no PROGRESS."
Frederick Douglass


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CENOLA's Photo CENOLA Posts: 322
1/27/13 3:51 P

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vegataran..not planning on going vegan.

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IMASAGE06's Photo IMASAGE06 SparkPoints: (19,786)
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1/27/13 11:42 A

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I am plant based for health reasons primarily, and I do eat dairy rarely and maybe once a year, I'll eat meat. I always end up regretting it the following day though because of the number it does to my stomach!



What would you do today if you knew you could not fail?


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ASPIRINGVEGAN's Photo ASPIRINGVEGAN SparkPoints: (2,484)
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1/27/13 8:26 A

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As for vegan or vegetarian, I am vegan, unprocessed, no oils. And all organic to avoid GMOs.

It's actually turning out to be easier than I thought. Oh, not eating out, of course, but I'm ok with not eating out much. I flirted with this lifestyle back when Diet for a Small Planet came out. In those days vegetarian was the same thing vegan is now, and anyone who added animal products to their diet added prefixes, such as ovo-lacto-vegetarian. Nowadays the term vegetarian has come to mean dairy & sometimes eggs as a given.

Anywho, I had massive gastrointestinal upheavals when I tried switching back in the day, because there was no internet to help me understand I had to ease into it. So I abandoned vegetarianism then, but still believed it was the right thing to do. Then in the late 90s I took whole foods classes and learned a lot more. Over the years since then I had, for the most part, stopped eating animals because of how they were raised and slaughtered, but although I used milk alternatives, I still ate eggs and dairy. Then in June I had surgery for Stage 0 breast cancer. Caught so early I didn't need chemo or radiation. That motivated me to be as healthy as possible, so by the beginning of Sept I had transitioned to vegan, and that October I took the Unprocessed Challenge and learned that that's really where our biggest dangers lie - processed foods. GMOs, oils, foods stripped of any nutritional value, the list goes on. Really bad stuff. And, IMO, the major reason some vegans can still be unhealthy, overweight, etc. Processed foods.

So this non-cook has learned to make some tasty dishes from scratch, with no oils, but with organic produce, beans, spices, etc. In going so basic I've also been able to discover I'm sensitive to gluten. I found it to be the source of my gastrointestinal upheavals, not the beans, as one might assume. LOL! And because of the breast cancer scare, I stay away from most soy products. Now, I know that sounds like a very limited diet, but I've never been more satisfied. I'm used to fighting my weight, feeling deprived, being hungry all the time. But not anymore! In fact, there are many evenings I feel like a pig, I'm so stuffed and satisfied, but my weight doesn't go up. I'm eating really satisfying food - satisfying emotionally & nutritionally. It takes planning, and cooking on the weekend if you're employed outside the home, but in my 5th month I've gotten into a rhythm, and am even starting to enjoy food prep - which, believe me, I never did before.

Sorry for the long-winded reply, but I want to encourage people like me who never enjoyed cooking, never wanted to be bothered. If I can do it, anyone can! And I want to encourage eating unprocessed foods as much as possible. So, that's my story...

emoticon

K8

Some people think the “plant-based whole foods diet” is extreme. Half a million a year will have their chests opened up and a vein taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery. Some people would call that extreme.
- Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, “Forks Over Knives”
SWEETYOUNGTHING's Photo SWEETYOUNGTHING SparkPoints: (130,254)
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1/23/13 9:31 A

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It is certainly disturbing. The bottom line is always money/greed. We can only make individual changes until more people are educated correctly.

I believe in myself, I am a strong woman. I will reach my goals, NOTHING & NOBODY will hold me down. I will live my life with integrity and intention. I will set a good example for my daughters and my son. I will be a woman that makes my grand children proud when they look at pictures of me long after I've left this earth.
SASSY-NAK's Photo SASSY-NAK SparkPoints: (28,500)
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1/23/13 9:23 A

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Interesting and disturbing study that Jeff Novick posted on his Facebook page about Big Food companies undermining the work done by professionals to promote healthy eating.
www.appetiteforprofit.com/2013/01/22
/a
nd-now-a-word-from-our-sponsors-new-R>report-from-eat-drink-politics/

Remember these companies when you are shopping.

"If there is no STRUGGLE, there is no PROGRESS."
Frederick Douglass


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SWEETYOUNGTHING's Photo SWEETYOUNGTHING SparkPoints: (130,254)
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1/23/13 5:54 A

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The more I research and look into the vegan lifestyle and the more I decide to adhere to a 'friendly' lifestyle, the more I see I need to make changes in my life. I too have some leather goods that I'm going to work on selling and cosmetics that, unfortunately, aren't animal friendly, that I will use up and then replace with kinder makeup.

It certainly is a process. Have a great day all, Pat

I believe in myself, I am a strong woman. I will reach my goals, NOTHING & NOBODY will hold me down. I will live my life with integrity and intention. I will set a good example for my daughters and my son. I will be a woman that makes my grand children proud when they look at pictures of me long after I've left this earth.
LOOLAH's Photo LOOLAH Posts: 888
1/22/13 8:17 P

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Strict vegetarian for a few years and mostly vegan right now but working towards becoming a strict vegan.

I have been phasing out animal products for a little while now. I try really hard to only purchase vegan beauty products/bath products but I am still using the leather that I bought previously to this decision. It is an ongoing process but SO fun to find awesome vegan products/clothes!

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RNEUMEYER5 SparkPoints: (982)
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1/21/13 11:36 A

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I have been a ovo-lacto vegetarian for over 20 years

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1/20/13 6:24 P

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finally got the movie "forks over knives" from Netflix. So glad I've made the choice to go Vegan. Pat

I believe in myself, I am a strong woman. I will reach my goals, NOTHING & NOBODY will hold me down. I will live my life with integrity and intention. I will set a good example for my daughters and my son. I will be a woman that makes my grand children proud when they look at pictures of me long after I've left this earth.
ABERKSON's Photo ABERKSON SparkPoints: (6,116)
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1/20/13 1:25 P

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Vegan and loving it! Taking a class this afternoon on making artisan vegan cheeses. Need to hone my technique! :)

Abra


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LIBBYL1 Posts: 5,822
1/19/13 11:58 P

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So interesting reading through this post - such a deep range of information and issues covered.
i am vegetarian and have been for over 25 years. I don't like much dairy - but I do love natural yogurt both plain and in cooking. I have on and off thought about trying a vegan diet but more because I think that it would promote mindful eating given how much planning and reading of ingredients etc I would have to do as it would be new to me.
I love spinach and eat it regularly. Raw in baby spinach salad and cooked.

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SEXYONE4's Photo SEXYONE4 Posts: 213
1/19/13 9:26 P

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I follow a plant base diet mostly. I do eat eggs, cheese, and at times I will eat seafood. I don't eat seafood often though. I just keep it as an option when I dine out. I don't cook, or prepare it myself.

I don't like the cruelty in the food industry toward animals. It is disheartening and I cannot consume meat knowing how animals are slaughtered that way.

God before everything. Peace above anything.


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BILBY4's Photo BILBY4 SparkPoints: (45,839)
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1/9/13 7:34 P

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Dr Weil says:
"I certainly wouldn't avoid spinach or other leafy greens because of the oxalic acid effect. Spinach has a lot to offer nutritionally: it's an excellent source of folic acid, potassium and magnesium, as well as vitamin K, carotenes, vitamin C and lutein, important for healthy eyes."
In any case the main issue with oxalic acid is that it can lead to the formation of kidney stones. I can't find any evidence that suggests this is a major issue for vegetarians and vegans, in fact it appears the reverse is true: animal protein is the main culprit. Unless you already have kidney stones or other renal issues I don't believe there is much to worry about. In any case if you do have ongoing kidney issues you should be seeking specific medical advice about a kidney friendly diet.
As the DesertJulz said, spinach in moderation is fine and it's a good idea to eat a varied range of greens anyway. Nom-nom!

Edited by: BILBY4 at: 1/9/2013 (19:37)
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BARBARAWEBSTER's Photo BARBARAWEBSTER Posts: 1,728
1/9/13 6:43 P

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This spinach business makes me very sad. My first love is kale, but my go-to green for smoothies has always been frozen spinach since it is so mild tasting, cheap, and readily available.

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DESERTJULZ's Photo DESERTJULZ SparkPoints: (76,434)
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1/9/13 4:47 P

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Heya, HikingGal... the info I read listed kale as a good sub for spinach. I'm going to check, I think also arugula. I *adore* spinach, and will still eat it; however I am cutting back and subbing in greens that don't have high oxalic acid!

I only just learned this through reading Clean Foods by Terry Walters. Interestingly, it was correlated less than a week later by a friend sending me a separate article and asking if I drank green smoothies and what I did to avoid the oxalic acid problems!

Julia
Sonoran Desert
Joyfully owned by two retired racing greyhounds.
Happily vegetarian for 40 years.

Team Co-Leader: SP Class of May 6-12, 2012


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HIKINGGAL11's Photo HIKINGGAL11 SparkPoints: (674)
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1/9/13 2:33 P

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Hi,

I have been out of the SPARK community for a while but thought I would jump back in with you good folks. I adore spinach and have never heard of the research concerning high oxalic acid levels. Good to know. Baby kale has been my latest kick....any research I should know about it?

HealthyLou1 I get you on the squimish remark....I remember sitting in biology in 6th grade and really making the connection of really what a chicken egg and/or dairy really WAS! It still grosses me out think about it.

Edited by: HIKINGGAL11 at: 1/9/2013 (14:37)
"The time will go by no matter what....you might as well have something to show for it."
-My dad


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1/9/13 12:20 P

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Wow! This has turned into a fun thread. Thanks for the compliments, folks.

I'm 54, became vegetarian at age 16, and still I learn something new on a regular basis.

Don't despair, Lissa, about the spinach. There are other lovely dark greens that are not high in oxalic acid. Just google it and you should be able to get a list of greens that you can substitute. Also, you don't need to eliminate spinach, just have it occasionally instead of often.

Julia
Sonoran Desert
Joyfully owned by two retired racing greyhounds.
Happily vegetarian for 40 years.

Team Co-Leader: SP Class of May 6-12, 2012


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SASSY-NAK's Photo SASSY-NAK SparkPoints: (28,500)
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1/9/13 8:52 A

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I really enjoy reading all these posts. Julia, I appreciate your vast knowledge and opinions about this topic.

I am in my 3rd month of "clean eating". I am not 100% successful yet but I feel that I will be. emoticon

"If there is no STRUGGLE, there is no PROGRESS."
Frederick Douglass


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HEALTHYLU1's Photo HEALTHYLU1 SparkPoints: (21,910)
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1/9/13 7:25 A

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Hi after reading these posts, I can admit that one of the reasons I am vegetarian is that I am sort of squeamish. For me, meat is just kind of disgusting.
Just call me a emoticon head!

Edited by: HEALTHYLU1 at: 1/9/2013 (07:25)
SWEETYOUNGTHING's Photo SWEETYOUNGTHING SparkPoints: (130,254)
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1/9/13 6:34 A

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Good morning all: after reading your initial post, Lissa, about humans being designed to eat meat, I went on the internet and googled that very topic. There are arguments for it and against it. A lot of religion was brought into the discussion on one particular blog, as well, which I always find interesting. Thank you for encouraging me to look into it; I learned quite a few things!

I think it is an individual choice and I thank God we live in a country where we can all voice our opinions - meat or no meat. I am surrounded by meat eaters (a few vegans/vegetarians) and I respect their choices and, as far as I can tell, they respect mine.

You also mentioned the cruelty of the meat industry; I AGREE and that is the catalyst that really has me going down this road. I think if more people let themselves know what really goes on, there would be less and less meat eaters in the world.

Have a great day all, Pat

I believe in myself, I am a strong woman. I will reach my goals, NOTHING & NOBODY will hold me down. I will live my life with integrity and intention. I will set a good example for my daughters and my son. I will be a woman that makes my grand children proud when they look at pictures of me long after I've left this earth.
LISSABROOKE92's Photo LISSABROOKE92 Posts: 91
1/9/13 12:18 A

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That really stinks. I LOVE spinach. I eat it all the time. I guess I need to start cutting back then. I've already had to have my gallbladder removed from gallstones. I don't need to make anything worse. Thanks for the info!

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DESERTJULZ's Photo DESERTJULZ SparkPoints: (76,434)
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1/8/13 11:41 P

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Lissa, thanks for your response posts. :D

Nutrition fascinates me. Until recently, I thought spinach was a super food. And how I *love* spinach. However, I've been reading research about the components of various foods and it turns out that spinach and some - not all - dark leafy greens are high in oxalic acid, which impedes calcium absorption and can cause things like kidney stones. Therefore, while some spinach is still probably a good food, it shouldn't be your mainstay for leafy greens, *especially* if you have certain medical issues, such as osteoporosis.

There's always something new to learn.

Welcome again, to this forum. Hopefully we can learn from each other.

Julia
Sonoran Desert
Joyfully owned by two retired racing greyhounds.
Happily vegetarian for 40 years.

Team Co-Leader: SP Class of May 6-12, 2012


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LISSABROOKE92's Photo LISSABROOKE92 Posts: 91
1/8/13 9:45 P

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It appears after more research that I was incorrect in my post. I guess you really do learn something new every day. : )

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LISSABROOKE92's Photo LISSABROOKE92 Posts: 91
1/8/13 9:30 P

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I appreciate that you shared your differing view from mine without being nasty about it. To be honest, I've always been taught about humans are meant to eat meat. Having said that, I am just a 21 year old music major so I certainly cannot speak for science. You may be correct in what you say. I only know what I have been taught but I am always open to learning new things.

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1/8/13 9:23 P

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It is very interesting to see the different views and beliefs posted here. For example, Lissa believes that our bodies are made to digest meat. I don't agree. However, Lissa, I respect your views and believe we should all make our own informed decisions about how to eat and live.

Why I don't agree is twofold: our teeth and the length of our digestive tract. Our teeth are not similar to carnivores teeth; we don't have long sharp fangs to tear into meat. In fact, many people go to great lengths to tenderize or even grind their meat to make it edible. Second, if you compare the length of our digestive tract to various animals, you'll see if most closely matches that of herbivores, not carnivores.

However, I don't disagree that if you feel it is right, then you should eat fish (as you do) or even eat meat. Peaceable co-existence is my mantra (smile).

Julia
Sonoran Desert
Joyfully owned by two retired racing greyhounds.
Happily vegetarian for 40 years.

Team Co-Leader: SP Class of May 6-12, 2012


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LISSABROOKE92's Photo LISSABROOKE92 Posts: 91
1/8/13 8:14 P

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I am a pescatarian. I go back and forth because on the one hand I am well aware that humans are made to eat meat. Plain and simple. It doesn't matter what diet we choose, our bodies are made to digest meat. However, I don't like the practices in slaughterhouses. I am not against killing animals for food but I do disagree with abusing them just for the heck of it before a very painful death.

I do have a few things made from animals but I don't use them often and since becoming a vegetarian three years ago, I make an effort now to buy things that don't come from animals.

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1/7/13 8:19 A

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If it is hard to eat out as a Vegan, try eating out as a Raw Foodist Vegan! I followed the raw foods vegan lifestyle for a year... and gave up altogether on restaurants.

Julia
Sonoran Desert
Joyfully owned by two retired racing greyhounds.
Happily vegetarian for 40 years.

Team Co-Leader: SP Class of May 6-12, 2012


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1/7/13 5:17 A

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I decided to take a Vegan 30-day challenge as of January 1st. I've been doing a lot of research on Veganism for well over a month in preparation for the challenge. Luckily my son and daughter in law are Vegans so I've learned a lot just by listening to and observing them.

I find a vegan diet harder to stick to when I go out to eat - a problem I knew I was going to have. My husband and I went out to breakfast Sunday morning and found the menu to be very limited as far as my needs are. I ordered a fruit salad and some raisin toast (dry). I'm sure the raisin toast had dairy of some kind in it.

I've come to the conclusion that although I will strive for a Vegan diet, there may be times when dairy may sneak it's way in and I'll have to be okay with that. We live in a very conservative - even red neck - area of Pennsylvania and the word 'Vegan' conjures up all kinds of unfavorable thoughts so there are very few restaurants around here that would have Vegan friendly meals. I do what I can! Pat

I believe in myself, I am a strong woman. I will reach my goals, NOTHING & NOBODY will hold me down. I will live my life with integrity and intention. I will set a good example for my daughters and my son. I will be a woman that makes my grand children proud when they look at pictures of me long after I've left this earth.
CYPHER7 SparkPoints: (30,517)
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11/8/12 1:29 A

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I think it's a spectrum. If I were to label myself, I would be an almost-vegan vegetarian -- no meat, dairy or eggs at home (though I do do honey), some dairy and eggs (but still no meat) out in the world, trying to reduce my purchase of leather goods (who would have thought that would be harder than the others).

VGNRNR3's Photo VGNRNR3 Posts: 529
11/6/12 3:26 P

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I was a vegetarian for a decade before slowly transitioning to a vegan diet. I feel like I kept the vegan lifestyle for many years prior to incorporating the diet with the exception of two wool coats.

I've been a strict vegan (to the best of my knowledge and/or ability) for about three years.

Yaara

Israel Team Leader


Time Zone: GST + 2 (Jerusalem)

bayittevoni.blogspot.com


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11/6/12 10:42 A

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I'm vegetarian with a strong lean toward vegan. Vegan most days, use very little cheese on occasion. Will never be a *real* vegan, because I have leather belts & shoes, and believe honey is okay to eat and silk is okay to wear.

Julia
Sonoran Desert
Joyfully owned by two retired racing greyhounds.
Happily vegetarian for 40 years.

Team Co-Leader: SP Class of May 6-12, 2012


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DS9KIE's Photo DS9KIE SparkPoints: (243,154)
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11/5/12 8:39 P

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veggie, almost vegan, plant based, take your pick

Leader of Eat to live www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=1024

Co-leader of Torture Chambers!! www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=44365

Eating got me into this mess and eating is going to get me out of this mess
THE SALAD IS THE MAIN DISH
The greatest act can be one little victory ...Celebrate the moment as it turns into one more Just one little victory, a spirit breakin' free.One little victory-Rush


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INDYENNE's Photo INDYENNE Posts: 570
11/5/12 7:08 P

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I'm vegan, i do eat a plant based diet but would never wear any kind of animal skin.

Edited by: INDYENNE at: 11/5/2012 (19:10)
You're worth so much more


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NOMORENOMORE's Photo NOMORENOMORE SparkPoints: (2,534)
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11/5/12 6:57 P

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I'm like you!

I don't eat meat/fish/eggs but do wear leather. I try not to call myself anything as I don't like to draw attention to myself. I find when people learn I'm a "vegetarian", they get nosy and sometimes downright rude!

Your post made me think about what leather is and how it's made. I'm actually feeling queasy. Might be time for me to rethink what I'm wearing.



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11/5/12 5:44 P

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I've heard the term 'non-ethical vegan' used recently to describe your situation. You can call yourself what you want I suppose; I'm not sure how it matters. If you go into a restaurant you call yourself a vegan and the context is very clear, but outside that you don't have a badge to wear.

I don't knowingly use any animal products. I believe animals exist for their own sake, not for the convenience of homo sapiens.

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IMVEGAN's Photo IMVEGAN Posts: 2,886
11/5/12 3:29 P

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I eat only plant foods. I have leather shoes and belts and things from before I changed my diet that have a lot of good wear left in them that I will continue to wear until they are worn out. But then I will replace them with vegan items.

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11/5/12 3:24 P

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plant-based, but stray occasionally.

NW Indiana
Central Time


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CRAGNCRUDE Posts: 243
11/5/12 3:03 P

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the same with me and my child.

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BONIDALE's Photo BONIDALE SparkPoints: (23,549)
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11/5/12 1:00 P

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I'm like you. Like the Happy Herbivore, I prefer the term "plant-strong."

Boni
Co-Leader Vegan Fitness and Nutrition

"There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going." Anon
"Finishing is winning."
"Treat everone you meet as if they have a sign around their neck, "Make me feel important."


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JENAE954 Posts: 7,020
11/5/12 12:47 P

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Working on being a vegetarian.
Right now I am a flexitarian.

Jenae


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LOIS263's Photo LOIS263 SparkPoints: (43,779)
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11/5/12 10:41 A

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Thanks Sweet Magnolia2!!!



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11/5/12 10:14 A

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Yes, I am like you. I don't eat meat, eggs or dairy for health reasons, but I eat honey and have some leather assessories. We are eating a vegan diet so I do consider us vegans.

Edited by: SWEETMAGNOLIA2 at: 11/5/2012 (10:15)
Time Zone: CST
Tennessee


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LOIS263's Photo LOIS263 SparkPoints: (43,779)
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11/5/12 9:33 A

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I eat Vegan for my health, not because of animals and it is definitely not my lifestyle, such as not wearing any products made from animals.
So am I really a Dietary Vegan or a Vegetarian that doesn't eat any animal products?
Are there others like me here?






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