I don't post here very often, but I do lurk a fair bit
I've noticed that the 'new vegan' section is fairly empty, so I thought I'd post some of my experiences as a relatively new vegan!
I made the decision to go vegan about 9 months ago (roughly, I can't really remember when exactly it was) and it was the best decision I've ever made. Anyway, I think I owe this forum a big thankyou, because reading it has helped me with a lot of the practical side of things, particularly being heavily into cycling.
In fact, I reckon I remember reading a post on here at some point (can't remember who by) that said something along the lines of "to all you almost-vegans, vegetarians, etc just do it, go vegan, for the animals". Funnily enough, I think reading that post played a big part in me making the commitment to go vegan, having been an 'almost-vegan' vegetarian for quite a while beforehand.
Some of my experiences/thoughts as a new vegan:
* The actual diet side of things has been easy! I dunno... I just eat normal food: fruits, vegetables, bread, pasta, rice, etc. Occasionally I'll have fake meat stuff or soy yoghurt... that sort of thing. It doesn't seem too complicated. I drink a soy milk that has b12, so I think I'm taken care of in that respect.
* Family/friends have, in general, been great. My family are fairly receptive to this sort of thing and my mum's been an on-and-off vegetarian for a while. I think I can make her come round.... she's reading my copy of "becoming vegan" atm
My dad might be a bit tougher though.
* The one thing I don't think I did well at first, was giving people a clear and consistent reason for veganism. I think because it wasn't really clear in my brain at the time, I just knew it was the right thing to do. Now, when asked, I basically say something along the lines of "we don't need any of these animal products, so what moral justification do we have for producing them?".
I *still* wish that I better at pushing the vegan 'message'. There's a part of me that is very hesitant because I'm a pretty non-confrontational person, and I really wish I was better at speaking my mind when I want to. I don't know what the best way to do this is without losing friends or just alienating people.
* Being asked if I was vegan "just to be cool"!? I didn't know it was cool, but hey I'll take that!
* Actually having someone seriously tell me the whole "what about plants? aren't they a living creature too?" argument. I thought they were joking... but they were serious!
* Going to a fine dining restaurant for a work function. Checked website, nothing vegan on their menu. Hmmm. I rang in advance, told them I was vegan and asked if they could make me anything. No problem... the chef ended up making me an entree with 3 little separate "tasting" dishes, a main course, and a vegan sorbet thing for dessert - none of which were on the menu! It actually tasted really good and they seemed very happy to accommodate me. So that was a good experience.
Anyway, in conclusion, thanks veganfitness.net and goodnight!
PS: I live in the same city as ha (Harley) and have chatted to him on a few occasions at bike races. Top guy!