These testimonials are written by some of the users of the “Lettuce and Tomato” Bulletin, which I publish weekly on the internet. It's comforting and encourages you to keep going.
When I became a vegetarian, a little over a year and a half ago (now I am 17 years old), I suddenly stopped meat and heavy meat, and at first I had a hard time (apart from the little support from my friends, I was tired ). Now, I want to transition to veganism in a slower (and healthier) way.
First, in the morning, I have replaced the glass of milk with a cup of soy milk (at first it took me to get used to it, but in the end I find it good and everything, there are also many brands and you can change).
My diet has hardly changed, I have only increased my consumption of legumes a little. For the "famous" vitamin B12, I take two daily tablets of spirulina. The eggs, which he consumed three a week, now only one, (always from organic farming).
Taking the ideological step towards veganism did not cost me much since I have always admired vegan people a lot.
In addition, on the days that I am tempted to eat some dairy, I go to see a dairy farm / factory (I live in an area with a large pig and beef industry) and I see the state they are in, that encourages me to continue.
In my case, this transition has not yet fully occurred. In my house and when I eat out of it (in restaurants) I do follow a strictly vegan diet; and I only take eggs, (yes, always biological, I even know the chickens they come from because they live near my house) sporadically when a family member or friend invites me to eat, and only to make it easier for them to think about what to do. to eat. But come on, even these cases are less and less because with the passage of time the people around me are realizing the tremendous variety of foods that exist apart from those of animal origin. You just have to show them to them and open their eyes a little so that they realize all the possibilities that this lifestyle offers.
Apart from what is related to food, I also do not use any personal hygiene product that is tested or that contains animal products, as well as I avoid taking any type of medicine (unless it is strictly necessary, and I will touch wood because it has not yet been given the case).
Another point where I still cannot consider myself completely vegan is on the subject of footwear. The rest of the clothing is completely vegan, but unfortunately I still use leather for footwear, which I quite dislike, but I have not yet found an alternative to stop using it. I know of some pages on the Internet where you can buy vegan footwear in England, but in Spain I don't know any place where I can do it, thank goodness I also use a lot of fabric sports shoes.
When I decided to go vegetarian, I thought about radically stopping consuming animal products. But since I had no precedent and considering the difficulties that I would encounter, and how important it was for me to be successful in the task I had set myself, I decided to do it in stages.
First, she had to learn to appreciate milder flavors, and other textures that she wasn't used to, learn to cook and be creative with vegetables.
First I stopped eating meat, after a few months fish. Now after eight years of being a vegetarian and taking as a starting point a 40-day grape cure that I am doing, I am considering getting to get what I had wanted from the first moment: a diet of non-animal origin (vegan or vegetable).
I think the new challenge of stopping consuming eggs, milk and honey is going to be a bit expensive at first, especially because of the eggs.
So far, when I went with other people to a non-vegetarian restaurant, I had no problems. From now on it will be more complicated, and I think I will have to be more selective with the places that are chosen to eat and perhaps more demanding, but on the other hand I think it will also be a form of "protest" and that the people around me know of my respect, concern and sensitivity towards beings that most people treat as objects of use and enjoyment.
Another problem that I am going to find is my family, who even when I consume milk, eggs and honey, they do not agree at all with my diet. Now it will be even more complicated when I go to eat at my parents' house. The force of habit and social and commercial support mean that no matter how much I want to explain to them, they do not agree and do not understand that she can be perfectly fed without consuming animal products, and that they also do not understand why one of their daughters has left them "so weird".
It is not pleasant to feel different from the people around you, "outside the group", it is not pleasant that a happy and vital act such as eating, turns into the horror and sadness of having to sit at a table where see your friends the animals fallen, humiliated, beheaded, dismembered, cooked and eaten happily by the people you love and appreciate.
It is not pleasant having to put up with jokes from meat eaters, or having to accept everything with a smile.
It is not pleasant to have to face the people you love so that they accept you as you are, and I suppose that we have lived this struggle, we live it and we will continue to live it people who, born in a hostile environment towards animals , we feel that we live in an unjust, violent and cruel world, especially towards these beings who all want to live in peace, without human interference and manipulation, without this animal that one day stood on its two legs, calls himself a human being, appropriates the life and death of the rest of the beings with whom he shares this planet.
I would love that one day when the years I have lived have crossed my skin, I open my eyes and I can see and know that women and men are fairer, more sensitive, more consistent, more humble, more peaceful, more respectful, more aware of the importance of education and example before the new generations, and the great value and importance of the natural world that surrounds them and all the beings that inhabit it.
Despite all the anger, sadness, inconveniences, problems, confrontations, controversy and the struggle that animal rights entails, the cause of vegetarians is really worth living from the strength of our convictions and the example of our lives.
A hug to everyone, congratulations on your choice, strength and courage to continue defending something as basic as the lives of the weak, those who have no voice, those who cannot defend themselves.
I've been a vegetarian for almost 5 years. I have always thought that the most consistent thing is veganism, because it encompasses all aspects of animal exploitation. However, I must admit that it is more difficult for me to stop eating dairy, eggs and honey than meat and fish.
In general, I tend to consume these products as little as possible, but when I eat outside the home, in restaurants or at the homes of friends and family, I am not so strict. The reason is that there are certain products that, although it is proven that they are not healthy (both for the exploited and for the exploited), I do not consider them equally harmful. This worries me because it is a sign that my conscience is not in harmony with my reasoning. I also feel (can't help it) that I'm causing problems for people who aren't used to a cruelty-free diet.
On one occasion I made a firm resolve to be vegan, even when I saw a piece of cheese, in my mind I was seeing coagulated blood. But the external pressure was greater than when I became a vegetarian and I was not able to bear it.
Now I have become independent and I am the one who cooks. I have more decision-making power, but also more responsibilities. What I do is eat one or two free-range eggs per week, reduce my cheese intake to the maximum, and make my own yogurt with soy milk. I hardly ever taste honey and I don't buy leather, leather, wool clothes… I only bought some good hiking boots, which will last me. There are "vegan" footwear, but it is very expensive for me and you have to order it by mail from England.
I know that someone who wants something costs something, but in my case my commitment goes this far. Beyond that, it would be too problematic, I would not take him convinced, but forced and reluctant.
I hope that the fight for animal liberation continues, that more and more of us will be able to change the habits and prejudices of so many people, which is actually what slows down or advances any social change.
I've only been transitioning from vegetarianism to veganism for a week and so far I hadn't told anyone, because I was doing it more as an experiment to see what would happen.
I am 45 years old and I have been lacto-ovo-vegetarian for 25. The first 5 years completely strict, the following not so much because I have given more importance to the relationship with people than to food, not caring on certain occasions to adapt to the circumstances and commit the odd "culinary sin".
Last week, when I decided not to consume anything that came from animal suffering, I was concerned about health, habits and all that. I would have to stop taking Pollen, Honey, Kefir, Yogurt, Cottage cheese, Queso Fresco and the delicious eggs, which from time to time the neighbor in the country gave us, from his chickens that he has running around there and whose taste reminded me of those eggs with the strong orange bud of childhood.
But the truth is, I'm really freaked out, because now I don't feel any worries at all. I feel good about myself. I eat more at ease, with more pleasure and more appetite. I have felt a peace, a serenity and in turn an affection, a sensitivity and a compassion for animals that I had not felt before. I no longer care if one day I will catch any disease due to a certain deficiency, it is like what certain smokers say, who prefer to live x years at ease than many more at dislike.
It seems incredible to me that in just 6 or 7 days I have felt so many emotions and so much energy. I feel like running, going up the stairs two at a time, and I feel younger, happier and much happier.
I think it has been a great start and I thank all of you who collaborate with the weekly newsletter and the website and especially Ana Moreno for being a valuable instrument of that great love and respect for all living beings. F.M.H. www.EcoPortal.net
Excerpted from "Survival Manual for Novice Vegans" http://www.mundovegetariano.com