Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
I've been pretty much vegan for five years. Vegans technically don't use leather or eat honey and I do both. And I've been vegetarian all my life. I became a vegan because I didn't like the idea of eating animals if I liked them, but then I realised the conditions they live in to produce other products is, by my personal beliefs, unethical. And therefore I find it difficult to support. I'm not perfect, but I try to do what I believe in.
I don't think its hard at all. I've met so many people who say that they would have been vegan except the doctor said this or that, or they were lacking etc. The thing is, a lot of people who become vegetarian just remove meat from their diet, but don't change anything else. That's not the way it works. Tofu or other meat "substitutes" aren't things that you just replace meat with. You start eating more grains, legumes, vegetables etc. I hardly eat tofu, and only will have soy if I really need a milk substitute. There is hardly any essential vitamin or mineral that you cannot get from a vegetarian or vegan diet - but people can't be bothered to go to the effort to eat properly. It certainly is much easier for some to just eat meat.
I've never had any problem being vegan, and I've traveled through Europe and Asia. I'm not one of those super strict vegans who freak out over everything, but I'll never deliberately consume meat or dairy.
The thing is, in the end you're accountable only to yourself. If you truly believe something is bad or wrong and you have a reasonable choice to avoid it then I think you should do it.
I have friends that drive me insane, they say they are complete animal lovers and would never, ever hurt an animal etc and yet they eat meat. They think that because they are removed from the process they aren't responsible for it. Yet I believe that, especially in this day and age, our consumer power is some of the strongest influence we can have. I think that unless a person is willing to go and kill, skin and prepare an animal themselves they shouldn't eat it.
Many people are prepared to kill animals. And many people raise animals for meat, hunt etc and while I wouldn't do this, I think this is a much better way to do things. If you can't bring yourself to give up your desire for meat, then perhaps think of some other options. Some places have options where you can buy directly from the farmer, reducing distress for the animal. Or there are free range chicken meats, animals kept in more ethical conditions etc.
Anyway, I hope I don't come off as a crazy person! I've long since accepted that other people are always going to eat meat, but I still like to advocate for veganism! Good luck with whatever you choose to do, and if you need any advice feel free to pm me :)