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Societal perceptions of vegans

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Millie_eee Millie_eee VIC Posts: 2
1 28 Jan 2012
I've been vegetarian for about 8 months, and this summer decided to upgrade to veganism. I committed to a vegan diet about a month ago, and have no intentions of turning back. When uni goes back in a month, I have plans to make an appointment at the health centre to get a blood test to check nutrient levels, and hope to discuss managing a vegan diet healthily with the GP there. However, I am a bit concerned that the GP will advise me not to pursue a vegan diet or will tell me there's no way it can be done healthily and refuse to help. My experience with people's perceptions is that vegetarianism seems to be well tolerated by most non-vegetarians (although I have copped my fair share of criticism for this choice), but veganism is considered stupid, reckless and many people do just not understand it. So I guess my question is, has anyone ever had an experience where they've been medically advised not to be a vegan, or has anyone felt that their friends or family have not supported their choice?
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ok ok NSW Posts: 232
2 28 Jan 2012
Loo for a GP who is open to a vegan lifestyle, they are the only ones who will be informed enough to give you advice you can use. I found some in Sydney but they are expensive! So im turning to just giving blood because apparently they give you a quick test beforehand to see if your bloods ok, I figure if they turn me away look into it? I may be wrong though.
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Michelle 2.0 Michelle 2.0 QLD Posts: 42
3 28 Jan 2012
My family weren't so supportive when I went vegetarian, but they only made fun of me, they didn't actively stop me or tell me it was stupid. By the time I went vegan after being vegetarian for four years, they knew I was serious and that I knew more about nutrition than they did, so it's been all good, and everyone always tells me when they find a vegan food or restaurant that I didn't know about.
Doctors on the other hand... I had a doctor who almost refused to show me my blood-test results after he prescribed me iron supplements, and I was like, 'Really? Can I see the results to prove it?' He was reluctant to show me them, because, guess what, my iron was really f**king high. I have a friend studying medicine, and according to him, he's already been told that if he decides to become a GP, it's considered common practice/it's heavily suggested that you automatically prescribe iron supplements to vegetarians and vegans regardless of whether or not they need it. They'll also automatically suggest an STI check if you're a gay male, or they'll check for diabetes if you're Indigenous.
I see the reasoning behind it all on a general level, but it's like, sheesh, my iron is fine man! But yeah, I'm with the comment above mine. I'm going to go give blood in April, and just get a free blood test thrown into the mix, without telling the nurses I'm vegan first, haha.
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Mordechai Mordechai WA Posts: 51
4 28 Jan 2012
Millie_eee said:
I've been vegetarian for about 8 months, and this summer decided to upgrade to veganism. I committed to a vegan diet about a month ago, and have no intentions of turning back. When uni goes back in a month, I have plans to make an appointment at the health centre to get a blood test to check nutrient levels, and hope to discuss managing a vegan diet healthily with the GP there. However, I am a bit concerned that the GP will advise me not to pursue a vegan diet or will tell me there's no way it can be done healthily and refuse to help. My experience with people's perceptions is that vegetarianism seems to be well tolerated by most non-vegetarians (although I have copped my fair share of criticism for this choice), but veganism is considered stupid, reckless and many people do just not understand it. So I guess my question is, has anyone ever had an experience where they've been medically advised not to be a vegan, or has anyone felt that their friends or family have not supported their choice?
This is the beauty of the internet, now almost the entire world can speak!
check out nutritionfacts.org namely Michael Greger, he provides some fascinating information on a plant-based diet that you can present to your GP. Dr Greger provide the research papers underneath each video that you can view and print off to show your family and your doctor as evidence if necessary. There are people here, and also there is something within you, that will offer all the support you could ever need.
Be at peace. we are here to support.

M
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Neenzi Neenzi WA Posts: 94
5 28 Jan 2012
My Mum said I've gone all weird now I'm Vegan. My sister told me that "this Vegan thing is a joke.. You've never even owned a pet". I actually have but don't see how that is relevant. They seem annoyed that I wont eat what they do. Even a biscuit that had egg in it. My sister got all annoyed and said "come on are you serious?" in a real bitchy tone.
My Doctor thinks it's great that I am Vegan now so I'm lucky in that way.
I don't worry about what others think because I know it's a great thing for the animals and for my bodyI happy
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Casper.s2 Casper.s2 SA Posts: 1640
6 28 Jan 2012
When you go to the GP it is as simple as knowing you are Vegan... not looking at them like "am I doing the wrong thing here"... ... then you shouldn't hear anything about it.

If you are going to the Nutrition then you don't need to bother asking anything about Veganism to your GP, like "what should I eat to get sufficient nutrients" to them is like "what do I eat to make up for meat lol" ,,, they aren't going to know really. Maybe the odd GP might have a few bits of advice.

But... you are just going "for a blood check-up", mainly for the simple fe studies and B12, but also if they are a good GP they will know a few other good tests to cover all bases from immune system function, live, kidneys and indicators for virsuses (really just immune system function).

I know a good one in Adelaide to go to, but that might not help tongue

Just say you are looking for a thorough range of tests and if you have any particular concerns it is a good chance to ask from referrals and specialised tests to be added to this. They charge a standard fee, so get your moneys worth. Also maybe see if they can mail you the results for later reference or get a copy some how.. after.. or ask the GP to let you know if they are fine so you don't have to do what I did... go in to hear "all good, seeya"..BAM 80$~! Well tbh a year ago I think... when I wasn't Vegan.. or 1 1/2.. I got a letter sent to me saying "follow up check for thyroid needed"... so I guess they.. if you make them your new GP that has all your records etc... will let you know if you need another appointment, but don't make one by default, waste of money.

haha. but anyway.. don't be nervous, you aren't getting a test to prove anything, but reassurances and your results don't prove Veganism or not, they are for your information only to aid your unique ability to learn (some people lack this).. so you are just seeing whether you have left anything out of your diet really... I think with a dietitian you'd best spend some time just talking about when to eat.. not what.. because the net is full of great ideas.

Also there are some Forums where you can raise issues and professionals who are voluntary members really, give lots of nice advice and input.

Anywhoo, have fun.. I find blood test results fun. Even if they aren't perfect. People trash their bodies, you should be nervous about going to a GP when you actually care about yours... they probably see some useless patients.



~ p.s.~

So in summary... just be open with them. You are there because you were Vego but you're Vegan now and need some tests to help you in future to benefit that transition / a future reference for maintaining your positive diet.

Positivity being a personal state of mind, they can't really argue it being positive or negative when it is your choice and you're the one whose mind will feel rewarded or burdened, they can't dictate that tongue

It should never be a debate and if it is you're making them defensive for a reason, so just be open and seeking knowledge and they should be open and sharing. Don't contest what they say directly and don't make it a debate, you should look for perspective not right and wrong.
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Casper.s2 Casper.s2 SA Posts: 1640
7 28 Jan 2012
Neens said:
My Mum said I've gone all weird now I'm Vegan. My sister told me that "this Vegan thing is a joke.. You've never even owned a pet". I actually have but don't see how that is relevant. They seem annoyed that I wont eat what they do. Even a biscuit that had egg in it. My sister got all annoyed and said "come on are you serious?" in a real bitchy tone.
My Doctor thinks it's great that I am Vegan now so I'm lucky in that way.
I don't worry about what others think because I know it's a great thing for the animals and for my bodyI happy
Lol Neens are you even allowed on the vegan forum without owning a pet... how irresponsible of you.. I thought you cared about animals  : < !!!

Your family sounds funny... to an extent I bet.
It is either secretly hilarious or MORE annoying when their logic is vaguely coherent.
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PurpleFae PurpleFae NSW Posts: 283
8 28 Jan 2012
If the GP is doing their job right, they WON'T push the you shouldn't be vegan. I think there's a bit of a over-hype that GPs are 'out to stop you'. GPs that have the attitude of veganism is so wrong, usually apply that attitude to other areas they don't deal with on a regular basis (i.e. mental health issues). If they don't get it, they can't be bothered. It's a bad GP, not the profession's attitude as a whole.

So please try out the 'regular' GPs at your uni or community health centres first to see if you can get the 'right fit' with one. Finding a doctor that suits you is the trick and can be a real pain in the neck! There's a lot of scammers out there that claim to be health professionals so will charge a bucket load just to tell you want you know already/want to hear and that's really not of any use to you in the long run.
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PurpleFae PurpleFae NSW Posts: 283
9 28 Jan 2012
Mordechai said:
Millie_eee said:
I've been vegetarian for about 8 months, and this summer decided to upgrade to veganism. I committed to a vegan diet about a month ago, and have no intentions of turning back. When uni goes back in a month, I have plans to make an appointment at the health centre to get a blood test to check nutrient levels, and hope to discuss managing a vegan diet healthily with the GP there. However, I am a bit concerned that the GP will advise me not to pursue a vegan diet or will tell me there's no way it can be done healthily and refuse to help. My experience with people's perceptions is that vegetarianism seems to be well tolerated by most non-vegetarians (although I have copped my fair share of criticism for this choice), but veganism is considered stupid, reckless and many people do just not understand it. So I guess my question is, has anyone ever had an experience where they've been medically advised not to be a vegan, or has anyone felt that their friends or family have not supported their choice?
This is the beauty of the internet, now almost the entire world can speak!
check out nutritionfacts.org namely Michael Greger, he provides some fascinating information on a plant-based diet that you can present to your GP. Dr Greger provide the research papers underneath each video that you can view and print off to show your family and your doctor as evidence if necessary. There are people here, and also there is something within you, that will offer all the support you could ever need.
Be at peace. we are here to support.

M
I will have to check out that website - haven't come across it before.

One I can recommend is http://veganhealth.org/.

All the claims on this website are properly referenced so you can double check the sources and make sure the evidence supporting the claims are legitimate.

Online resources that don't have proper referencing to authoritative sources, be wary of. While the Internet makes access to information easy, not all of it is correct so take everything with a grain of salt, build a bigger picture with multiple sources then make the best decision you can on the information you have.
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KirstyGirl KirstyGirl TAS Posts: 754
10 28 Jan 2012
I recently had a trip to the hospital and they wrote down that I was vegan on my chart. They never said anything about it and the doctor told me that my blood work was "PERFECT!"
Really depends on the doctor. Some people are just dumb and we unfortunately have to live with that. If this happens with your GP just find another one!
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