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From: NYCVeg (
Subject: Re: Intersted in becoming vegan.
Date: October 19, 2004 at 12:01 pm PST

In Reply to: Intersted in becoming vegan. posted by Vickie Lee on October 19, 2004 at 3:56 am:

There are many reasons: health reasons, environmental reasons, ethical reasons, etc. In the US, dairy products often contain high levels of pesticides, hormones, and antiobiotics, while egg products are often contaminated with bacteria. The dairy and egg industries also feed directly into the meat industry (male dairy calves are used for veal, etc.). I don't know what the situation is in the UK--my understanding is that farming practices there are somewhat more humane.

I would suggest doing some reading so that you can make an informed decision. The book that compelled me to switch from a dairy-heavy vegetarian diet to a vegan one was John Robbins *The Food Revolution*, which goes pretty thoroughly into the health and environmental impact of meat-eating (his first book, *Diet for a New America* deals more with animal rights). I also enjoyed Joanne Stepaniak's *Vegan Sourcebook*.

I don't take a multivitamin everyday, although you do need to be aware of certain nutrients. B12 is a big one--I get it from fortified soy milk or cereal, energy bars, or nutritional yeast. I also eat plenty of flaxseed and walnuts for omega-3 fatty acids. You can calculate your nutrient intake on, in order to make sure you're getting most of what you need.

Personally, I feel healthier and happier as a vegan. The first week was dreadful--I went through some pretty serious dairy withdrawal and my body had a hard time adjusting to the increase in fiber, but I haven't had any problems since, and I have much more energy and rely much less on processed or convenience foods.

Good luck!

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