'obsessive' veganism? (opinions wanted)

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'obsessive' veganism? (opinions wanted)

Postby muchluv » Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:38 pm

Wondered if people could give me their opinion.
Yesterday me and my mum went to a family meet up which has a lot of people. The food is communal, people bring different things and it's all put onto one table at 2 different times, lunch and tea. There's a range of vegetarian and omni food. I can eat the salad etc, and this time round my mum brought some things along for me to eat.

My aunt also makes a nut roast for everone, but she makes it with no egg so I can eat it.

However, this time round I heard my aunt say to someone else that the sauce that goes with it (which I have eaten previously), has red wine. Last time i ate it she said it had onions and one other ingredient (a fruit, I can't remember what).

As you probably know, wine is often not vegan, because it can be 'fined' with isinglass (or gelatine). That's probably something my aunt didn't know. The average person probably doesn't. I was already suspect of the nut roast itself, not knowing exactly what it is but presented as being OK for me to eat with the knowledge I am vegan. This made me even more suspicious because for all I know there could be another ingredient in it added in that my aunt didn't realise. She uses Pure margarine, but I don't know if she always does, for instance, maybe she'll whack a dollop of non-vegan margarine in it if she ran out?

Anyway, questions and information have already passed regarding this dish and I can hardly ask each time about it, asking every single ingredient. My mum said she probably makes it 'as she goes along'. BUT she knows what vegan means,

AARGH, somethings going wrong when i type a message of this length so Im going to carry it on in the next post.......
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Re: 'obsessive' veganism? (opinions wanted)

Postby muchluv » Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:42 pm

OK. Anyway. Because some of the Nut Roast was left over, we took some home and my mum made dinner with roast potatoes veg etc etc, and with the nut roast which I didn't eat due to the red wine in the sauce over the top and the suspiciousness of the nut roast.

Anyway after explaining to my mum she said I was obsessive and other vegans can't be like this, saying if you go to someones house and they offer you wine or beer and asking to see the label or something.

IS this obsessive? What do other people do?
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Re: 'obsessive' veganism? (opinions wanted)

Postby vegan hal » Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:38 pm

everyone is different. but I wouldn't be overly obsessive about it.

you can't know about every single ingredient. I've been vegan for a long time and most people who know me understand what it means, but they won't scrutinize the labels like I would. If I know something is definitely not vegan, I'll stay away from it.

remember this. unless you grow and cultivate your own food, a few animals may suffer even from your vegan diet. even an organic farm who tills and plants acres of vegetables will likely kill a ground mole or other critter. it sucks, but that's the reality. the truck that carts the food to the store or restaurant may run over a crossing animal. just a few grim examples of things that are out of your control.

your heart is pure and in the right place. keep spreading the word and doing what your doing.
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Re: 'obsessive' veganism? (opinions wanted)

Postby dublin dave » Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:44 pm

Yes it is obsessive and you should maybe chill out a bit. Your aunt has made a nut roast and says it is vegan. You either trust her or you don't. Even if it occasionally contains a non-vegan ingredient it is not the end of the world.
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Re: 'obsessive' veganism? (opinions wanted)

Postby VegRugby » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:09 pm

I used to have a problem with this, until I listened to the audio version of Vegetarianism in a Nutshell by Bruce Friedrich.

He says something along the lines of "Obsessing over the little things will turn people away from the cause."

It was powerful to me. I had to remind myself that veganism is not dogmatic. To me, it is no flesh, no eggs, no dairy.

There is always going to be a trace amount of SOMETHING in what you're eating, whether it be crushed insects in the food dye, honey in the bread, or butter flavoring in the non-stick spray used to grill your Boca Original Vegan patty.

Trace amounts of anything are a small price to pay when it comes to turning someone away from the cause. If an omnivore sees a vegan causing a fuss over trace ingredients, chances are when someone tries to talk to them about veganism, they will still have a bad taste in their mouth (pun intended) from your fuss.

In conclusion, focus on the big things and when one day there are more vegans than not, the little things will take care of themselves.

Hope this helps.
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Re: 'obsessive' veganism? (opinions wanted)

Postby thestoatyone » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:33 pm

Yeah, I'da just nailed it. Everyone has their own line in the sand; I check beer/wine if I'm buying it myself but don't turn it away if it's a gift for example.
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Re: 'obsessive' veganism? (opinions wanted)

Postby Goob » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:09 am

If I thought someone would put butter or eggs in something and tell me it's okay to eat, then I'd never eat anything they offered me and probably wouldn't associate with them. But, if they don't know whether the wine in a sauce was okay then it isn't really a problem. I don't think most wine is non-vegan though, at least not here in the states.

I do ask to read labels though.
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Re: 'obsessive' veganism? (opinions wanted)

Postby Talyn » Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:32 am

Yeah, you are.

Choose your battles.

It seems like an effort was made to make it vegan. She may have overlooked the wine, but to be fair in the UK wine is regularly labelled if it is suitable for vegans. You may be distrusting of her when she did everything right.

Best way to handle something like that would be to just eat it, then mention it to her quietly afterwards (about the wine). That way she saves face, and you don't come across so negatively.
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Re: 'obsessive' veganism? (opinions wanted)

Postby sergio » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:42 am

I think when non-vegan people made a conscious effort to prepare foods for vegan guests it's important to be grateful. Always. I don't mean that you have been rude with your aunt or that you can't talk about it in any case, but that kind of things happens and personally I don't find them disturbing. I prefer show myself respectful and not suspicious. That kind of things are not relevant, neither in my eating habits, neither in animal liberation. That's how i see it.

And a personal thought, based on my personal experience: all the people I've met carrying this small things as a matter of life and death, have been the first ones to drop veganism or vegetarianism.
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Re: 'obsessive' veganism? (opinions wanted)

Postby xrodolfox » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:53 am

I tend not to be obsessive by eating BEFORE family meals that I know are sketchy.
I also don't live with my folks, so I can accept food as leftovers and then pitch it when I get home. For Christmas, we got a bunch of non-vegan chocolate. I didn't have to eat it at the party, and I don't have to eat it at home. Now I can pitch it or give it away after accepting it gracefully.

The trick is NOT to be forced into eating food due to hunger, and then having the flexibility to do what you will later. It seems to me THAT is your problem: your mom is watching what you do when you get home. That's why you resort to looking through the label when you get gifts.

I *try* never to look at the ingredients list of a product when I get it as a gift (but I still do on occasion). Reading through gifts makes it look like you are "looking a gift horse in the mouth". Never Kosher. Never good manners. Do not do it. I know I do, but I too, have to stop. It is much better to just take the gift, and search it leader.

If you can find a way to take things home, away from prying eyes, you'll be fine. If not, then you have to make sure you aren't needing to feed yourself when you go places. Eat ahead of time. Bring discrete snacks (like fruit).
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Re: 'obsessive' veganism? (opinions wanted)

Postby Gastroplodder » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:45 am

I don't think it's 'obsessive' to consider whether you may be being fed tiny amounts non-vegan ingredients, obviously we want to avoid ANY animal product if it's realistic to, but it can be counter-productive if you end up rejecting someone's well meant attempt to feed you as a vegan. We need to let people know being vegan is easy and while vegans may be strict we are not fanatics.

I don't buy beers or wines I suspect are non-vegan which includes almost all UK draft real ale and most pub wine. But when they offered free hot mulled wine at the end of last weeks parkrun I made the decision not to fuss and enjoyed a 9:30am drink along with the other runners.

Similarly I won't go through my ageing mum's dustbin and check all the ingredients on the vegan New Years Eve meal she's promised us in return for the vegan Xmas dinner I cooked for her. Unless there's obvious evidence to the contrary I'll trust and enjoy, she knows what a vegan is and if she slips up (unlikely) I'm sure it'll be accidental and minor and I'll be no less a vegan.

Veganism is not a religion.

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Re: 'obsessive' veganism? (opinions wanted)

Postby xrodolfox » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:48 am

I guess in my case it helps to never drink any alcohol in the first place. The chances of water not being vegan are quite small. ;)
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Re: 'obsessive' veganism? (opinions wanted)

Postby JS » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:19 pm

I have to admit mates always hand over packets of things to me to check to see that it's vegan or not. I may enquire of them if something is vegan as they just often don't think that way ie I noticed the butter swimming in the sprout bowl on Christmas day or there are crisps put on in a bowl for example.

Interestingly I am a little more slack on the alcohol but that's mainly because lots of wines and beers aren't labelled up in any way. If I was buying wine/beer I'd always buy vegan. I tend to take my own alcohol and if they ask if I want wine I say that I would like a drink from the wine I bought if that's ok as I know it's vegan - then there will be a discussion how they didn't know about wines etc.

It's hard to not obssess sometimes but you just have to trust folk and sometimes they don't do it right but I would try and relax a little. It's no different to making something for yourself and finding out later it wasn't vegan due to a minor ingredient! That's happened to me a few times - honey in a mustard I'd bought and then whey powder in something else.

In Kenya my Auntie had been telling me it was rude not to accept things and they slaughtered goats in our honour and then handed the cooked meat around my Auntie gave me the eye saying I better accept if offered it and luckily I didn't get offered - not too sure what I would have done then! LOL!
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Re: 'obsessive' veganism? (opinions wanted)

Postby Gastroplodder » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:26 pm

JS wrote: ... In Kenya my Auntie had been telling me it was rude not to accept things and they slaughtered goats in our honour and then handed the cooked meat around my Auntie gave me the eye saying I better accept if offered it and luckily I didn't get offered - not too sure what I would have done then! LOL!


I really have no idea how I'd deal with that situation :shock:

(Think I'll just play safe and not go to Keyna.)
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Re: 'obsessive' veganism? (opinions wanted)

Postby xrodolfox » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:24 pm

I think that the whole "eat for culture" thing is over done.

I am from Latin America. It is rude to refuse food. Well, I do it all the darn time. I know that folks put a lot of time and effort into the food they make, often using choice ingredients to show us their care... often ingredients that have animal in them.

The trick is to communicate the respect and attention and reciprocate it, but refuse. There are ways to maintain relationships and to enter communities without eating animals, or participating in rituals that conflict with our values.

What is much worse is to assume the our culture is better and that they are savages. As long as we treat people as worthy of respect and attention and love, then it works out fine.

I'd welcome a trip to Kenya. Especially if you pay. ;)
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