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From: earthfriend ( -
Subject: I want to go vegan - have issues with additives and family
Date: October 28, 2008 at 3:43 pm PST

Hi all,

I'm vegetarian and I want to become vegan. (I hate the taste of all animal products, which will probably make things easier.) I've heard it said that because you can never be perfectly vegan (ie. things like camera films and car tyres include animal products) it is up to each individual to draw their own line. What do people think about minute amounts of additives, for instance? In "The China Study", T. Colin Campbell advises to "try to eliminate all animal based products from your diet, but (do) not obsess over it. If a tasty vegetable soup has a chicken stock base, or if a hearty loaf of whole wheat bread includes a tiny amount of egg, don't worry about it." I would not want to be quite this permissive, I know that this is purely from a nutritional point of view rather than an ethical one, but it almost seems like it's less important to be reading ingredient lists for additives than to be able to be relaxed about eating and save the energy to put into spreading the vegan message.

I am also sometimes drawn into circles where even vegetarianism is frowned upon - at Xmas dinners I am with my extended family who are all meat farmers of some sort - they are really nice people and I don't get much more than a little friendly bantering, but I'm a bit of a people pleaser and find it hard to rock the boat, especially when the message I'm passively giving out is "What you have spent your life doing is bad". Right now I am about to go overseas and my grandparents will be funding me, they have given me a lot of support in the past, and it's important to stay on good terms. What do you think, is it ever appropriate to pretend that you're lactose intolerant, or that you're vegan for religious reasons?

Would be interested to know other peoples' thoughts on these things!

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