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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-05-2014, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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Any other vegan members?

(While cruelty-free living could hardly be defined as a 'hobby', I couldn't find a more appropriate place to post my query.)

I'm curious if there are any other vegans on the board. I've noticed a distinct flavor of pet care perspective from my fellow non-speciest folk during my time on earth, and would be delighted to discover if there are any like-minded individuals lurking about in the ether of Talk Parrots.

Feel free to PM me if you want to remain label-free (I completely understand). I would simply enjoy knowing there might be someone out there on this site who can relate from a certain vantage and might be willing to share ideas on how best to balance the nuances, conflicts, and ethics of captive parrot care from a philosophical viewpoint.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 07:32 PM
 
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I am not vegan by any means, but I don't eat that much meat any more. And I have to say, I feel much better.
I am curious though - what do you take for calcium then? And protein?

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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what do you take for calcium then? And protein?
I have been vegan for such a long time (19 years) that I find it difficult to answer this question directly. I guess we just eat 'well'. I eat tons of calcium-rich vegetables and consume a lot of legumes. I see a trend with people who become vegans where the whole 'three meals a day' thing is abandoned. We graze. We snack on nuts and fruit, our meals are usually beautiful, large, (vegans also tend to become extraordinary cooks) and gloriously nutritious. Leftovers are common (no animal products leaves less problems in re: rot) as we tend to cook in batches (much the same way we make our bird food).

It is just a completely different way of eating and viewing the process of consuming food. Luckily, there is a lot of 'fake' animal-type-things these days which makes the transition easier for folks (though this stuff will be abandoned after any significant time being cruelty-free, simply because of how expensive it is).

The real problem, in my experience, comes with leather and other things not diet-related. People seem to 'hate fur' but fail to see the hypocrisy in their leather shoes. Once that ethical conundrum is processed, you are well on your way to being a friend.

Edit: In re: Diet: Getting a good Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Indian, and/or any random vegetarian East Asian cookbook usually sets one up for an astonishingly good place to begin eating healthy without animal products. While substitutions are usually necessary if the book isn't declared 'vegan' (a Korean vegetarian cookbook is a favorite of mine, and ground flax substitutes eggs, rice milk substitutes milk, etc., and everything is lovely) such books are a good place to discover the possibility of astonishing dishes that do not require an animal to make them delicious, beneficial, and fulfilling.

It's worth noting that once vegan: Your birds can literally eat everything you eat and you can eat everything your bird eats. This is a huge step in creating a fun, family dynamic if living with free birds (it has proved monumental in doing what I am doing over here).

Last edited by Deresy; 03-06-2014 at 09:35 PM. Reason: Reality check, Bonus bits
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-09-2014, 08:35 PM
 
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Not a vegan, but I am working my way there. Right now, I am still dependent on eggs from my neighbor's free-range hens who love to forage in my yard. I also eat cheese, made with microbial rennet. I understand exactly what you mean about grazing...I love raw fruits, nuts and veggies. I am also gluten-free (don't tolerate gluten very well, but don't have celiacs).

I agree that being cruelty-free means much more than just not eating critters. You really have to look at your whole lifestyle and ask yourself: what is my lifestyle costing the other beings I share the planet with. For example, if you are a vegan, but living in a huge house and consuming a lot of fossil fuels, what good is that? So there is a lot to think about and consider.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-09-2014, 10:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eduardo View Post
I am not vegan by any means, but I don't eat that much meat any more. And I have to say, I feel much better.
I am curious though - what do you take for calcium then? And protein?
We lean to a more vegetarian way of eating, lots of fresh fruit and veggies, some nuts like walnuts. And yes we do feel a lot better There are really good tasting meat substitutes high in protein. Once in a while we eat fish like salmon and cod.We drink Silk soymilk for me I like the taste better than milk also a good source of calcium and protein. We include egg substitute to eggs. I spent some time shopping because I read labels. Comparing ingredients like sodium for one, which I find alarmingly high in some foods. There is a lot of health benefits from eating some great tasting spices in our cooking too.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 08:32 AM
 
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We lean to a more vegetarian way of eating, lots of fresh fruit and veggies, some nuts like walnuts. And yes we do feel a lot better There are really good tasting meat substitutes high in protein. Once in a while we eat fish like salmon and cod.We drink Silk soymilk for me I like the taste better than milk also a good source of calcium and protein. We include egg substitute to eggs. I spent some time shopping because I read labels. Comparing ingredients like sodium for one, which I find alarmingly high in some foods. There is a lot of health benefits from eating some great tasting spices in our cooking too.
I agree.
I don't think I could ever become a vegan though. But I would like to eliminate red meat out of my diet for sure.
I don't eat that much meat anyway. Some chicken here and there. I don't care for pork anyways. Fish, I do eat sardines and occasionally catfish.
I like beans, greens, whole grains.
Like I said, I just feel generally "lighter" and better eating very little meat.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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Not a vegan, but I am working my way there. Right now, I am still dependent on eggs from my neighbor's free-range hens who love to forage in my yard.
I'll admit to being at odds with a lot of vegans on this one (though these types are usually new, militant, and a bit black-and-white in their arrogance), but I see nothing wrong with this--ethically. If I had access to chickens that I knew--truly knew--were living good lives and would be allowed to live them to their fullest completion, I would have little difficulty enjoying their produce (especially if it would just go to waste otherwise). To take this thought to its logical conclusion: If my parrotlet regularly laid eggs as part of her biological function (menstruation, essentially), it would seem a tad ridiculous to simply throw them away if they had the potential to provide me nutrients.

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You really have to look at your whole lifestyle and ask yourself: what is my lifestyle costing the other beings I share the planet with. For example, if you are a vegan, but living in a huge house and consuming a lot of fossil fuels, what good is that? So there is a lot to think about and consider.
Exactly. My word, this was nice to read. I believe it is worthwhile to consider all of the impacts each of our consumerist/behavioral decisions make beyond convenience or fashion. It is probably not healthy to become obsessive or militant about it, though just a bit of consideration can go a long way over time as we adjust our habits to be a bit more conscientious, ethical, and, well, openly loving beyond simply ourselves and/or those humans directly around us.

Edit: Though, of course, these adjustments and advancements to our awareness are a continuing enlightenment within and about our complicated relationship with the world, and perfection should never be a goal as 'perfect is the enemy of good'. As succinctly stated by Pamela Clark in my personal parrot bible, 'Ethical, Moral & Spiritual Considerations of Companion Parrot Care':

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"Improvement is possible in even the best of homes."

Last edited by Deresy; 03-10-2014 at 09:05 PM. Reason: Specificity, further thought
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-12-2014, 01:41 PM



 
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I am not a vegan, nor am I vegetarian. I occasionally eat meat, mostly when I'm having meals out. However, meat is expensive, it's an animal etc. there's loads of things I dislike about it. I would love to learn more tasty vegan recipes!

Today I had a smoothie for breakfast and for my lunch I had Mediterranean vegetables and spiced potatoes. It was delicious and there was not a trace of meat or animal produce in it

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-12-2014, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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Today I had a smoothie for breakfast and for my lunch I had Mediterranean vegetables and spiced potatoes. It was delicious and there was not a trace of meat or animal produce in it
As veganism and strict-vegetarianism (cruelty-free in diet only) becomes more accepted and found worthy of study by economists, nutritionists, statisticians, sociologists et-cetera: There is likely data to suggest that you may have saved a life or two today in a long-term projection

Thank you for that.

(Sorry to be that person, but how someone can keep birds as companions and eat factory farmed poultry is simply beyond my frame of reason.)

Last edited by Deresy; 03-12-2014 at 06:50 PM. Reason: Semantics
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2014, 12:46 AM


 
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It's worth noting that once vegan: Your birds can literally eat everything you eat and you can eat everything your bird eats.
Except avocado.

I was vegan for a little while, but ended up deciding that it's pretty much just as good (in my book) to be a conscientious omnivore. It is possible to eat a diet free of animal products, yet still support agribusiness and factory farming, if you don't watch the source of your foods. For example, Oreo cookies are "vegan" but really if you buy them you are supporting Nabisco which is by no means a "cruelty free" company. And if you buy Silk soy milk, you are really supporting WhiteWave foods, a major corporation which I would bet a bunch of money is NOT commited to the cruelty-free lifestyle. They are also potentially questonable in other ways (From Wikipedia): "In 2009 the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) called for a boycott of Silk brand products. The OCA reported that a portion of the soy beans used in Silk are sourced from countries with unacceptable labor and certification standards including Brazil and China."

McDonalds french fries are technically not made with animal products. I think you get my point...

To me, buying organic, free-range eggs and dairy (and even meat) from local farmers who provide high standards of living for their animals seems way more cruelty free than simply being "vegan" with no regards to the actual source of the non-animal products you're consuming. Definitely not saying that's the type of vegan you are...but they are out there. I definitely had to call myself out on my own hypocrisy when I was "vegan."

I do think people should eat LESS meat than they do (myself included, probably). It would be better for the planet. Ethically sourced meat is expensive, and people in the US have grown accustomed to having readily available, cheap meat. To me, there is a lot wrong with that picture. Meat SHOULDN'T be cheap. I would rather rely more on eggs, beans, grains and dairy to get my protein and reduce my meat intake to a few meals a week while making sure I only buy quality, humanely-sourced stuff.

Oh, and leather can be purchased second-hand without supporting the industry. Problem solved. Fake leather can be pretty tacky...fur creeps me out, though, even used.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2014, 01:31 PM



 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deresy View Post
As veganism and strict-vegetarianism (cruelty-free in diet only) becomes more accepted and found worthy of study by economists, nutritionists, statisticians, sociologists et-cetera: There is likely data to suggest that you may have saved a life or two today in a long-term projection

Thank you for that.

(Sorry to be that person, but how someone can keep birds as companions and eat factory farmed poultry is simply beyond my frame of reason.)
My fiance and my self are thinking of providing a home to ex battery hens. I have seen a few people take them on completely plucked, thin, nervous etc. and can now see them fully feathered, plump and not so shy! It's so great to see the difference in them

This morning I had another smoothie, for my lunch I had a jacket potato (with line caught tuna, I know it's not the same as no meat, but it's better than mass caught fish. Nets and similar cause way too much damage to the environment and the animals in that environment). For my dinner I have had rice, roasted sweet potato and cauliflower topped with colander and a coconut sauce. Everything organic and again, meat free! I think I'm slowly getting somewhere now

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2014, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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Except avocado.
Well, the avocado thing is seriously up for debate currently and many view it as simply another example among numerous examples of folk wisdom within aviculture being passed along as factual advice without any actual science and/or evidence behind it.

The problem is very few, if any, people seem to actually want to test the theory on their pets in an attempt to disprove the potential factoid, and I haven't been able to concretely determine where the skeptics are getting their doubts from (there seems to be an oft-repeated claim of feral conures routinely being seen eating avocados from trees in California).

As for the rest of your arguments, there is far too much there for me to become involved in via this medium on this site with a stranger. People devote a lot of time and energy to debating these things, I am not one of them. I am not an evangelist for any cause or ideology, and I find arguing about them to be counterproductive. I simply came here asking if there were other vegans hanging around on Talk Parrots, not to become involved in a debate or to be put on the defensive.

I will say, though, in re: the differences in theory between the 'Omnivore's Dillemma' and veganism are found more in the aspects of feminism, non-speciesism, altruism, empathy, and philosophies about hierarchy and exploitation which are applied within veganism and not found in anthropocentric consumerist/health movements such as those outlined by thinkers such as Pollan. To compare the two is probably inappropriate at a philosophical level--they are simply two different things. Comparing and contrasting Pollan and vegetarianism is probably more useful of a pursuit... Veganism is just a different thing entirely (which is why I sometimes become frustrated when people focus solely on diet when discussing/questioning veganism).

Last edited by Deresy; 03-13-2014 at 08:38 PM. Reason: Grammar, more
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2014, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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My fiance and my self are thinking of providing a home to ex battery hens. I have seen a few people take them on completely plucked, thin, nervous etc. and can now see them fully feathered, plump and not so shy! It's so great to see the difference in them
Oh, this made me so happy to read! I hope that you have a chance to engage in this pursuit (if it works well with your living situation).

I have always had a fantasy of acquiring enough land to set up a little sanctuary for chickens, injured feral pigeons, crows with broken wings and the like. I have some experience rehabilitating sick city pigeons and I loved it... Though if I could dedicate a portion of my life to the pursuit in the long term I might find myself well and truly content on my little farm.

My word, I am so happy you shared this little story idea... It has made me smile with tenderness.

And it is nice to read that you are enjoying your time with animals only on the outside of your body It can be a very nice feeling. To quote one of my favorite writers, Franz Kafka (supposedly said when visiting an aquarium after becoming a vegetarian):

Quote:
"Now I can look at you in peace; I don't eat you any more."

Last edited by Deresy; 03-13-2014 at 07:03 PM.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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(Nevermind... I am going to walk away from this one.)

Last edited by Deresy; 03-17-2014 at 07:38 AM. Reason: Personality protection.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 03:50 PM
 
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We find veggie Italian sausages, veggie meatless balls, veggie chick strips, etc. that are very tasty. Tofu is soooo good it picks up the taste of sauces and spices mixed with it. Whole grains are good as well.

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