Vegan Deli

Vegan Deli  by Jo Stepaniak

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Raising Vegetarian Children
by Jo Stepaniak, M.S.Ed., & Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.

Raising Vegetarian Children

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Do you have questions about being vegan? Send them to Jo using this easy form. She would be happy to address your individual concerns as well as general inquiries about vegan ethics, philosophy, practical applications, and living compassionately. Jo cannot respond to questions about nutrition or answer questions that have already been addressed in the Archives

Jo will make every attempt to answer each question personally, however, due to her schedule, this may not be possible. If a reply is forthcoming, it could take up to a few weeks, so please be patient. It is also possible that your question will be answered directly in the "Ask Jo!" column rather than an individual response.

If you'd like to view previous questions Jo has answered, visit the Ask Jo! Archives.

Are Vegans Too Picky?

question.gif - 1.4 K I've been vegan (well, "strict vegetarian") for several months and really feel good about my decision. However, whenever I refuse a cookie or a piece of cake because it has eggs or dairy products in it, my friends and family tell me to "stop being so uptight and strict" about what I eat. Am I being too unreasonable? Do vegans occasionally "indulge" and eat desserts with dairy products in them? Lately I feel that my diet is a major inconvenience to others, and I don't know what to do. If I don't eat meat or dairy directly but occasionally eat foods that have dairy in them, am I still vegan? Is it right to refuse a dessert just because it has a smidgen of egg in it, or am I just being picky beyond belief as my nonvegan friends tell me I am and as I'm feeling more and more lately?

answer.gif - 1.3 K Veganism is a choice, not an obligation. This is why it is important that people who become vegan do so voluntarily and with enthusiasm and joy. Otherwise, their veganism will become a chore to maintain, and they easily could be swayed by the nonvegans in their life who grumble that veganism is irritating and difficult.

Vegans follow a consistent ethical practice, so, no, vegans don't "bend the rules" in order to eat desserts or other foods that contain dairy products or eggs, even if it's "just a smidgen." Vegan values are not contingent on being easy. Any ethic that counters mainstream habits is going to take some effort to implement. Consequently, those who do not share our point of view may be unsympathetic or even antagonistic. They may think that veganism threatens their lifestyle, and if they can coax or tempt us away from it, they will feel more secure.

Veganism is less about being "picky" and more about being "selective" and "discriminating." If we perpetually make exceptions to our convictions, how committed could we be and how credible would we appear to others? Few people would take us seriously if our actions contradict our words. Furthermore, it would be confusing to friends and family if we compromise one time and refuse to another. Once the door has been opened, who determines when a "smidgen" becomes too much? What would be the difference between eating "a little" and eating "a lot," and where would we draw the line? Veganism is an ongoing commitment, not something to dabble with only when we can restrain ourselves or when it is convenient.

The longer you are vegan, the more accepting others will be of it and the easier it will be for you to deal with other people's frustration and intolerance. Becoming vegan is as much an adjustment for our family and friends as it is for us. They must learn how to be more flexible and accommodating, without asking us to sacrifice our principles on their behalf. In turn, we must resolve to be more patient and understanding as they determine how to navigate around our newfound ideals.




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Vegan Vittles:
Second Helpings

Vegan Vittles: Second Helpings by Jo Stepaniak

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The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

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Review by Dan Balogh

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The Food Allergy
Survival Guide

The Food Allergy Survival Guide

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