Hi. I'm new to this site and had some questions, I guess for Freelee but anyone leading a committed vegan life may answer. I found it easy to give up all meat and dairy as the connection to consuming meat or dairy products and animal suffering is black and white. For me, there is no grey area. I love animals and am against any animal suffering so it's not been difficult to do whatsoever. However, I l currently ive on the coast in the U.K and local fishermen go out and catch fish in the open waters at night and I have until now eaten fish occasionally, as I have struggled with health issues and believed that small amounts of fish were beneficial and honestly do not find it to me the same as animals that are reared for meat and then slaughtered, which must be terrifying. However, now I have strictly cut out all meat, dairy and eggs, I am questioning eating fish. I believe in life, people should keep their beliefs open to change and I am now seriously thinking whether to eat fish occasionally is o.k with me. Would I myself, catch and kill a fish. Unlikely. There are no doubt many vegans who will be critical of me for thus far having continued to eat fish. What I am asking, is please explain to me rationally why fish is considered unacceptable to eat. It is the best source of omega 3 fats, essential to health. I guess, my instinct is now telling me I don't want to eat it any longer and I'm looking for insight for reasons why it is wrong. Any comments would be appreciated.
The amount of environmental damage that has already been done with over fishing is reason enough to stop eating it. If you are still worried about getting your omega 3's then you can get high amounts of omega 3 from flax and chia seeds, I have a tbsp of flax seeds most days just to make sure :)
Thanks, maybe I could blend some flax into a smoothie in the morning. Not tried chia but heard a lot about them recently. I know nuts are high fat but I think walnuts are high in omega 3. I'm a personal trainer and do a lot of intensive exercise so I think I can handle the fat from some walnuts now and then. Thanks for the advice :)
This: "Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose."
Fish ARE animals. https://www.vegansociety.com/society/key-facts
and finally, see my added pic.
Hope that helps.
Thanks for all your replies. I appreciate all the information and I will check it all out when I next have some spare time. When I lived in Australia, I used to run along a coastal path and it would make me sad when I saw the fisherman sat on the rocks catching fish and killing them or leaving them to die, so I guess I am being hypocritical having eaten fish thus far. It is the dis-connection thing, buying a can of tuna and not visualising the process of it getting to that end product. Part of the problem for me, has been because it was a sudden decision to cut out all meat and dairy overnight, I have been struggling to come up with decent meals to eat. I'm busy and exercise a lot for my job as a personal trainer and so need to eat enough. I've been eating all the wrong things, happy at least, that they've been vegan. I realise now, I have to plan my meals and also get creative and start cooking decent vegetarian foods like vegetable curry and rice, soups etc. I find dried fruit and most nuts make me feel ill so I'll stick to fresh fruit from now on. I am emotionally much happier that I've made this decision but for me, it's not enough, in that I want to help create the change needed to end animal suffering as everyday I feel sad to think about all the millions of animals being mis-treated and slaughtered or imprisoned throughout the world. I am trying to think of the ways I can actively help. I think, the first step, is to lead by example and educate myself. Each day, I drive past free-range pigs, who currently have their piglets with them. They are well looked after as I live in a rural part of England where animal welfare whilst they are alive is good. These pigs have mud to bathe in and vast amounts of land to roam if they choose. I often see them sun-bathing after having taken a mud bath ;) However, my pleasure at seeing them is always tainted by overwhelming sadness, that their lives will be cut short and they will face the trauma of an abattoir. I almost can't bear the thought of it and times feel that I am too sensitive for this world and the realities that exist when it comes to the treatment of animals. The human race is not worthy of all the animals on this planet and I will make sure that the rest of my life has a positive effect in creating awareness and actively doing things that will help animals. Thanks again for all your replies and information and being non-judgmental :)
taken from your last post; " I will make sure that the rest of my life has a positive effect in creating awareness and actively doing things that will help animals"
I just checked out your profile and noticed you said you RIDE horses? Could I suggest you think about what it is to be vegan, as it seems like you need to spend more time contemplating this, as party of your journey. You Ride Horses and still eat fish. Think of it from the animals point of view. Horse Riders get pleasure from riding horses, but the horses are slaves and are forced to carry grown adults on their SPINE, they have no say in it, they are BROKEN in - i.e they are traumatised to such an extent they no longer put up their natural fight to break FREE from the torture.
If you love animals, and I am sure you do, observe horses as they are meant to be 'FREE', to do what they want, eat what they want, as they want, with no OWNER.
If you were forced to bend over, and allow a human to sit on your SPINE, whenever they want, no matter how you were feeling, and I am pretty sure you would question their love for you, and instead, you would conclude they are putting their own pleasure/needs at the expense of you.
Hopefully you become the person you want to be, and lead by example. Cooking and eating healthy as a personal trainer I would assume is important.
Some stuff you might want to check out, as I am fully aware it is difficult to break habits and when you unplug yourself from the matrix, so many false ideas have light shed upon them. The horse/pony relationship with caring sweet innocent girls seems a loving and caring one, but unfortunately this is a fallacy. Yet another 'Santa Clause' bubble popped. Sorry :(
From one of our resident 30 badders 'Bitesize Vegan'; check out her vids (and a few other posts)
"I almost can't bear the thought of it and times feel that I am too sensitive for this world and the realities that exist when it comes to the treatment of animals" - this is what makes you more beautiful than you probably will ever realise. :)
Thanks for your reply. I haven't had a chance to check the links you posted as I have to leave for work again soon but will do so tonight when I get home.
Just so you know, after reading all the posts re fish and questioning myself on why I would wish to continue buying fish, I decided I really don't. So there is no fish in my house and there won't be again. I had not made the same connection with fish that I so easily had with meat and dairy and when I thought about it, realised I don't want to be responsible for any living creature suffering on my account.
It's such a complex subject being vegan and bear with me whilst I air my thoughts to you, which you can respond to if you want. I studied yoga in Hawaii a few years ago and read a lot on ayurvedic philosophy and their approach to diet, health and well-being. Obviously in India cows are sacred and never killed for meat. I assume they live out their days naturally and die at the end of their natural life. However, the Indians revere milk as a food as they consider it comes from the heart of the cow and as such is an amazing substance to drink/make ghee, paneer etc from. Now, from my perspective, if an individual was to have a small-holding, growing their own vegetables/crops etc and also kept a cow or cows, there are ways in which you can have the milk from a cow without harming it or it's offspring. There are cultures or individuals who are self-sufficient growing their own produce etc and they keep a cow; when that cow gives birth to a calf, the calf has priority to the milk and has all it needs. Any surplus is then used for human consumption. This does not harm the cow or it's calf. The calf remains with the mother until it naturally weans. It then continues to live it's natural life. The cow also does not go through the trauma of losing her calf and is not intensively milked. Now, I'm just putting this out there as an example of how on a very small scale it is possible to keep an animal, allow it to graze land as it would naturally and care for it without harming it in any way. It also is able to provide small quantities of milk, only that are surplus.
I guess, I considered the riding horses issue that you mentioned, and it got me thinking. I learnt to ride when I was two, so rode all my life. Yes, the term 'breaking a horse in' does indicate you are breaking its' spirit to an extent so that it is tame enough to ride. However, there are ways to break a horse in that are more gentle and time and care is taken to ensure the well-being of the horse. From my point of view, I don't agree with horse-racing but I have to disagree with you about riding. I have owned several ponies and horses and they enjoyed competing. I know this as they would trot over to me when I would go to fetch them from the paddock and one of them would sulk if I didn't get him!! You may not agree or believe me but many horses enjoy being groomed and ridden and they are highly intelligent animals. I had one pony that would regularly buck me off if he was in a bad mood. He knew if he didn't want to be ridden he didn't have to be!! All our horses we kept until they died naturally. Once they were older, we would no longer ride them but retire them to pasture, bringing them in when the weather was bad and to give them extra feed. I formed an incredibly close bond with all of them. I would sit on the ground and they would lay their head in my lap to be stroked. Given that they weigh over a tonne, it's not something I would have risked had I not known how strong the trust was between them and myself. I agree, some people keep horses and over-use them or push them too hard and use harsh training methods. I would call people out if I ever witnessed anyone mis-treating their pony/horse and still would. There is exploitation whenever it comes to the human relationship with animals as unfortunately that is the sad reality; many people do not respect animals enough and think their feelings are less important, which obviously is not the case.
I've probably not made much sense and I am open-minded in my approach to trying to adjust to a vegan lifestyle and if me riding horses means I cannot call myself a vegan, then I'm really not concerned with a label, in fact I'd rather not have one. The ONLY reason I'm doing this is because I care deeply for all animals/creatures of this planet. The last few days, I have craved dairy as I've struggled to find enough to eat as I've not educated myself enough on how to cook vegan meals. My will-power is rock solid though as every time I think of eating any dairy, I immediately think of the cows and the calves and I no longer even want it.
I just think the biggest problem is the way we have developed into a mass consumer society, with intensive farming. When communities had to be self-sufficient and work the land to feed themselves, they farmed in a sustainable way. Even on a small scale, I would never agree with any animal being killed for meat to eat. It's violent and it's wrong. If a lion kills a gazelle that is violent but it is part of the natural eco-system. Rearing an animal for meat or milk is not.
I will check out the links and maybe I will change my view about riding horses. I remember hearing the Dalai Lama said that any belief system or intelligence that is closed-minded or blocked is not a true intelligence. I keep my mind open and am aware I may well change in many more views as I progress in my lifestyle choice. I hope I do and that I can do some good beyond just my own life.
Apologies, if this post is long-winded and incoherent. Written in haste but I wanted to reply. Thank you for taking the time to share your views with me; it's thought-provoking, which is always a good thing ;)
I just posted a long response but wanted to clarify that I am not saying I necessarily agree with someone keeping a cow in the way I explained that meant it lived out it's life naturally and was free to graze and rear it's young undisturbed yet provide small amounts of surplus milk to provide ghee/cheese etc, I'm just interested in your thoughts on that and the Indian belief in so far as they consider the cow sacred so will never kill it, yet still consume milk. How does that work I'm interested to know?, as I'm assuming they have to commercially farm cows to produce milk so that must create a moral dilemma for their cultural beliefs. The more I think about all this, the more questions I have.
It was kind of you to focus on me saying I feel too sensitive for this world. I remember when I was very young, when enquiring what meat actually was to my parents, I immediately declared myself vegetarian as I was distraught that I had been give animals to eat. However, from my twenties I went out with stereo-typical rugby-playing men, whose diet was pretty cave-man like in the amount of meat they would eat. I became a good cook and unfortunately lost site of my own beliefs and began cooking and eating meat again. I always bought free-range, organic believing (deluded now I realise) that it was humane (as if slaughter can ever be humane?). My ex-fiance was a pro rugby player and needed to eat a lot of protein, or so he and I thought, typically in the form of meat and fish. Truthfully, one of the reasons I became increasingly unhappy in that relationship is I felt I'd lost site of who I was and my beliefs and put his needs ahead of my own happiness through no fault of his own. The times I did express my concern at eating meat, he would happily eat a vegetarian meal but meat was his preference. He grew up in a meat/veg/potatoes family. I don't think they'd ever eaten rice or pasta!
I am struggling with what to eat, I'm currently drinking a glass of soy milk with some vegan-friendly bourbon biscuits!!, which is not exactly healthy but I'm about to hit the gym and I don't have time to cook anything. I'm concerned that I will be a junk-food vegan whilst I'm adjusting but I'm determined to find my way through this and come up with a diet that will be healthy, I just need some time to figure it all out.
I love my family and have some great friends but none of them are even vegetarian and it can feel like I'm the only one who feels any of the animal rights stuff matters so this site has been really positive for me in knowing that lots of others believe strongly in the rights of animals and 'get it'. It's encouraging to know that there is a growing community who are actively campaigning to change the way animals are treated and that gives me hope as at times I just want to walk into the ocean as I find it all so upsetting....then I think what good would that do all the animals? Best tough it out and do some good. I'll keep learning and keep changing I hope.
Hey, great replies, at last, I've found someone who writes more than me, yippee :)
I'll try not to say much more myself, you are on your own journey, and the direction of travel is wonderful. Since creating this post alone, it sounds like fish have become your friends, rather than your supper.
Re cows, for me, I hold the view, that only do to others (others including all animals) that one would reasonably expect to be done to them. This way, the world would be at peace. If you were pregnant, and had children, I am sure 1) you wouldn't want to be owned by anyone 2) you wouldn't want your child to be owned by anyone 3) you wouldn't want your breasts pumped by anyone and have your milk taken away (regardless of whether they think there was 'surplus'). If you think of the actions you are supporting, being carried out on yourself and/or your closest and dearest, you can tell pretty quick whether it's nice or bad, fun or sad, good or evil. Also assume a greater intelligence does exist, if this appeared on earth and viewed how we treated less intelligent beings, they could justifiably treat us the way we treat cows, horses etc. I am sure, if we were born into the slavery of aliens, and knew nothing more, and knew they would exercise us and feed us, we would become affectionate to them (Stockholm synodrome think this is), but it doesn't;t mean it's right.
As far as Indians saying milk comes from their heart, 1) if that was the case, then it is their (the cows) heart milk 2) it doesn't comes from their heart, so it's a bit ludicrous to justify stealing breast milk on that basis.
Protein - yeh right, did you know Elephants have to eat 50 chickens a day to get their protein... haha and Rhino's eat 2 pigs a day and Gorillas eat 3 lambs, because they can't get enough protein in herbivorous diets.
Food - well, the hint is 30 Bananas a day. Seriously, start with just eating loads and loads of bananas. You never really have to think about it, it's cheap, super healthy, no cooking, no shopping lists, no washing, no prep, perfect diet. You never really need to change much. You can just start adding other fruits, a lovely salad in the evening. Couldn't be simpler. People over complicate the whole food thing.
"It's encouraging to know that there is a growing community who are actively campaigning to change the way animals are treated and that gives me hope as at times I just want to walk into the ocean as I find it all so upsetting" - don't think like this. The only time to walk into the ocean is for a play, swim or romantic kiss and cuddle. If you were one the animals, you prey every day for someone to free you, imagine you found out all the heroes, the goodies, caring people gave up. So, use your emotions to help them, kick some but, don't give up on them.
You're right and I was only saying the sadness I feel when I see what is going on, makes me want to walk into the ocean but the over-riding feeling to do some good with the life I have on this earth means I never actually would...for the very reason you say; the animals need all the help they can get and I'm going to make sure I help them any way I can.
I agree on the cow front; it makes no sense to "steal" the milk from another animal, which nature designed purely for that animals offspring.
I am slowly figuring out the diet. Honestly, eating that much fruit is a bit of an adjustment for me, so I'm slowly finding my way. In the evenings, I have just been making a big salad, with advocado, peppers and some beans for protein. As I exercise so hard, I need to eat enough and I find I feel like I need some fat right now. Honestly, I'm just happy to be emotionally at peace that I'm not eating any animal products and that I'm doing my bit. If my diet is not perfect or the odd unhealthy food is in it then at least it's still vegan. Since I have such a strong connection with the ethical issue surrounding the treatment of animals, I'm 100% positive this is for life now. My will-power is rock-solid as it's not about me, it's about them and their well-being.
Thanks for your insight. It's good to get another perspective and it's cool to find people who are living life right and want to kick some butt on behalf of the animals :)
"In the evenings, I have just been making a big salad, with advocado, peppers and some beans" - sounds lovely, right up my street, invite me for dinner anytime :)