The Vegan Thread!

(Simon B) #1

I was just wondering how many folks on here might also be vegan?

I became vegan in the autumn of 2009, so it’s now been 9 years and I never looked back. Back then, it wasn’t super common here in the UK, but at the time I was living in Portland, Oregon, which is a very green, super liberal, massively vegan friendly city.

I guess you could say living there gave me a vision of what the future might be like, and the insane rise of veganism in the last few years here in the UK has seen that prediction come true!

Back at that time, it was a struggle to get vegan products in a lot of UK supermarkets. Nowadays, most of them have their own in-house vegan product ranges! Here in Birmingham, there’s several vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants now, most of which opened over the last 2-3 years, and even non-vegan chains now have lots of vegan options.

I’m always a bit wary of coming across as preachy (although get a few drinks in me and I’ll have a good old rant!) but essentially back in 2006 I realised that I could no longer eat animals, and that I’d never actually made the choice to eat them in the first place. Like everyone else, we are conditioned by how we grow up and whatever diets our parents follow. So at that time I became vegetarian, and 3 years after that I became vegan after realising that many of the reasons why I wasn’t eating meat also applied to animal by-products.

If anyone has been considering it, I would highly recommend a documentary called “Forks Over Knives”, which follows the research into curing disease with a plant-based diet. I’d also recommend Gary Yourofsky’s “Best Speech You’ll Ever Hear” on YouTube :slight_smile:

Anyway, I thought if there’s a few of us here we could share some good tips. Favourite vegan restaurants? Any new products showing up at your regular supermarket, etc :slight_smile:


Were you vegetarian before going #fullvegan, Simon?

(I’m conscious of the health and environmental benefits, but think I’d struggle with balancing my diet…)

(Simon B) #3

Yes, for almost 3 years! It wasn’t a huge transition since eggs and milk weren’t a huge part of my diet anyway.

There’s been a huge rise in people moving towards veganism also, by slowly cutting various things out of their diet, and I suspect many of those people eventually do become vegan, but even if they don’t I think it’s still a hugely positive step. It’s all about awareness, really. People think we just do it for the animals, but as you mentioned, it’s also about saving the environment and the personal health benefits.

Health wise I noticed a huge difference within months of becoming vegan - more energy, more stamina, improved immune system, etc!


So I tend to do around half the week as vegetarian (without really thinking about it - it’s not a conscious thing), but if I’m ill I tend to turn to things like red meat to perk me up. I’m also doing much more exercise and end up eating protein sources like chicken much more.

Nutrition is really on my to-do list. I’d like to couple that with veganism (is that a word?) maybe for a month or so, just to see if it’s doable for me, and to see what the impact is. I worry, though, that I’d end up with the wrong macros or something and feel shit…


I tried a vegan menu for two weeks back in July.

Weight-wise, I lost 3lb :+1:, however, there was also an unfortunate by-product as it reacted with my mild IBS.

Week three, I tried just being vegetarian. Wasn’t too bad, however, I still could not settle on a milk that I liked.

Almond, yuk, Soya, bland, Oat, different, favourite was Alpro Coconut. Tastier than Koko, however, I even got bored of that. Just couldn’t get plant-based milk to make decent porridge!

Would I try it again? Possibly.

Just need to find enough menu choice so I don’t feel like I’m living on beans and pulses :grin:

(P Burrows) #6

I’m vegan as well. I watched a documentary around January 2016 on Netflix called vedguacated?? something like that and it completely opened my eyes. I don’t miss meat and dairy as there as LOADS of options out there. i also eat a far more varied diet now than I ever did before as I tend to try lots of new recipes and anything vegan I tend to buy and try once.

(P Burrows) #7

in terms of milk, i would recommend Alpro Sweetened or Tesco branded Soy milk. for coffees, teas and porridge I found it to be amazing! what brands of soy milk did you try?

(#savetheseabass) #8

I’ve tried them and they still taste of soy. Can’t find any milk substitute that doesn’t taste awful in tea


The unsweetened one from Aldi. 59p/litre

So, sweetened is best? I drink black coffee and peppermint tea, so milk for those drinks is irrelevant for me, and no-one bothers to visit lol

It’s mainly milk for cereal because I am a breakfast person. Cornflakes, shreeded wheat, porridge.

Don’t take sugar, hence why I went for the unsweetened milk. Cannot even stand Frosties!


I’m a Brummie.

Are you specifically talking about the City Centre, or restaurant chains in Birmingham?

(P Burrows) #11

Not quite sure how the Aldi one tastes but i swear by the Tesco branded one, costs 85p and i love it in my morning bran flakes!

(Simon B) #12

100% this!

That’s why I laugh when people say that infamous patronising “What do you even eat?” question that I’m sure most vegans have heard before.

My diet is massively more varied now. And it’s crazy because there’s nothing to stop non-vegans from eating these things - I’m thinking of some of the delicious meals I’ve had that are tofu based, seitan based, tempeh based etc. But I guess the marketing for a lot of these products labels them as “meat substitutes” and that kinda annoys me because nothing I eat is a “substitute” for something else - it’s just what I choose to eat. It’s also quite patronising to the cultures where these things have been part of their diet for centuries.

(Simon B) #13

Mostly the city centre, yeah, although I live in Moseley and we are very vegan friendly here too.

In the city there’s places like 3 Threes, Not Dogs, Fressh, Natural Bar and Kitchen, Warehouse Cafe.

(Simon B) #14

For soy milk we tend to buy the long life from Morrisons. Both sweetened and unsweetened.

I do quite like oat milk, and I had some hemp milk before which I recall enjoying! Rice milk is OK but a bit too sweet.

(P Burrows) #15

yes this frustrates me as well. People have said to me. “why bother pretending with meat substitutes just eat the real thing.” eyeroll this launches into a whole other explanation!

To answer people who ask me “what do you eat?” I now show them photos of the meals that I make. This tends to get a better reaction as they become curious and there is proof that I don’t just live of grass! :rofl:

(Simon B) #16

I think people in China and Japan would be very confused by the idea that tofu is considered a “meat substitute” by some folks over here! It’s just a part of their diet.

I’m biracial and half Punjabi, so the concept of speciesism has been apparent in me my whole life - by that I mean, my white family on one side would think nothing of cooking up a steak or going to McDonalds for a Big Mac etc, whereas my brown family - well, cows are massively sacred in India… You don’t kill them and you definitely don’t eat them even if you’re not vegetarian! Once you start considering speciesism and what different countries and cultures find acceptable to eat and not eat… Well… That’s a road that pretty much leads to veganism right there haha.


Can anyone recommend any alternatives to cows milk that can be bought in small, long life portions? I have a coffee probably 3 or 4 times a week and feel it needs milk. My only other sin is cheese now and again but I feel I could drop that quite easily.

I’ve been veggie since the BSE crisis made my mum ban meat in our house over 20 years ago, but only recently thought I might be the problem after following a few vegan militants on twitter.

(Simon B) #18

I buy long life soy milk from Morrison’s. Sometimes it sits for weeks in the cupboard before I open it, and even when opened you can easily get 10-14 days out of it, even though they obviously recommend you use it quicker, in my experience it doesn’t tend to go bad.

(Liam) #19

I didn’t keep track of when I started, but I’ve been vegan for a solid year and a bit now. I was vegetarian for a year previous.

Being vegan seems to get easier month by month at the moment, with more and more restaurants and shops catching on.

Unfortunetly, this hasn’t spread to my small Highland hometown but it should only be a matter of time!


I thought it was all bollocks until I read this article:

Now it turns out that by eating vegan I can get the body of Thor. I’m two thirds there. Same first name, same height.