View Full Version : I have a problem.
02-06-2005, 09:57 PM
Hi, im new here, but i came to ask advice. I'm Ryan and I am 15. I have been a vegetarian for about 7 months. Tonight though, i was eating Ramen noodles, which i have been eating since a month or 2 after i became vegetarian, and i had the intuition that they had no meat in them. I have eaten atleast 2 a month of these noodles. But tonight i read the ingredients and found they had chicken broth. I was upset and i felt like i betrayed myself and my stand on animal cruelty. My consience was driving me insane. So i went and forced vomited the noodles up. This made me feel clean but, i still felt unsure. My question is, would i still be able to call myself a dedicated vegetarian after about 7 months of eating an unknown meat product? I would never have touched it if i had known that was in there. So could someone please inform me on how to deal with this situation.
02-07-2005, 05:41 AM
Every vegetarian and vegan I know has accidentally eaten foods that contain animal products. It's part of living in a world that is not totally vegan. Mistakes are going to happen. It's inevitable. How we deal with it when it happens is what's important.
I was at a mexican restaurant once and ordered their vegetarian tostada. I grilled them about every ingredients. I ate the food, the beans tasted funny, and before I could leave the restaurant I was stuck in the bathroom for about 30 minutes if you get my drift. We found out that the beans had pork lard in them. I was really upset since I asked him if there was any lard in the beans and he told me no.
When I was vegetarian I was eating all kinds of things that had chicken or meat broth in it. I had no idea at the time that a twinkie might have beef fat in it, or that many chinese rices had chicken broth or fish broth. You live, you learn, you move on. Don't beat yourself up.
If you're seeking perfection as a vegetarian, it will be difficult to find. you could grow your own food, only eat at home, etc, but do you really want to do that?
02-07-2005, 07:41 AM
First of all, congratulations on your 7 months as a vegetarian.
Secondly, in my opinion, you've just got to use this as a learning experience. I'm sure that, unfortunately, this isn't the last time you will mistakenly consume an animal product. You just have to learn from it....now you know not to eat Ramen Noodles again. Now you know to check the ingredients more closely.
When I first became a vegetarian, I used to go to the Olive Garden all the time. I loved their salad...until I found out years later that there are anchovies (or something like that) in the dressing! I was so disgusted. Two years ago I was at an Itallian Restaurant and ate their vegetarian pasta with marinara sauce. Then, a few weeks later my sister-in-law told me she found out that the pasta is cooked in chicken broth. To make me feel even worse, I'd given the pasta to my son, who was 2 at that time. And, there are other examples but I don't want to write you a book!
You can't get upset with yourself in these situations though. Had you known, you wouldn't have eaten it. It's your intentions that count. You live, you learn.
I hope you're feeling better about this now!
02-07-2005, 09:00 AM
I agree with the others - you have to chalk it up as a learning experience and move on, with the idea that you'll find another cheap food to take the place of your ramen noodles! I've made plenty of mistakes in the 12 years I've been a vegetarian (still working on being vegan) and keep educating my friends on where some of meat/animal products hide. Marshmallows (and rice krispie treats) always surprise them.
So - forgive yourself for the oversight. It's not easy to forgive yourself when you take animal rights so seriously, but it takes a while to find out all the places where animal products hide. As a rule of thumb, I NEVER order soup at a restaurant now. No one ever seems to know exactly what is in them. I am also suspicious of all sour-cream based dips - most of them have gelatin in them. (My advice is to buy Breakstone's and make your own dips.)
You might also like to take a look at The Student's Vegetarian Cookbook (I found mine at Barnes and Noble). They had some easy, quick, and cheap recipes that might keep your conscience happy and you from starving.
Contragulations on 7 months as a vegetarian! It sounds like you're doing fine.
02-07-2005, 04:42 PM
i went vegetarian in 7th grade, and for a few years i had no clue where gelatin came from. i used to eat jell-o and lucky charms all the time! plus, i also didnt always check the labels. if something looked vegetarian (like boxed rice or something), i ate it. however, as i got older, i got stricter with reading labels. and now that i'm vegan (which i've been for almost 4 years), i check the label on EVERYTHING and play 20 questions with the server at unfamiliar restaurants.
if you're missing your ramen noodles, i think that its nissen top ramen brand oriental flavor (in the blue package) that doenst have any beef/chicken/shrimp in it. of course, there's all that other garbage in ramen noodles, but what do you expect from something that costs 7 for $1? (haha, all my husband wanted when he had the flu was ramen noodles! i had to go to 2 different stores to find the vegan ones!) nissen brand isnt as common as maruchan (which has some kind of non-vegan thing in all their flavors), so you may have to try a couple stores. i *think* there might be another flavor/brand of ramen noodles that has whey (a milk derivative) in it, but i dont remember exactly what it is.
congrats on being vegetarian for 7 months!
02-07-2005, 08:10 PM
Thanks, it makes me feel so much better. Since i am the only vegetarian in my family and friends, i felt in a lost situation. Thank you for helping me feel better and take it as a learning situation instead of a failure. It feels nice to have some support for once. Its hard explaining and learning all by myself. Thanks very much for all of your help.
02-08-2005, 05:42 AM
You're welcome. And if you have any other questions or just some thoughts you want to share, we're here for ya.
02-08-2005, 05:53 AM
My local HFS has a couple of kinds of baked, vegan Ramen. It's much better for you than the fried kind (especially if you add some veggies to the soup), although it is more expensive. Something to be on the look-out for...
02-08-2005, 03:29 PM
Our Wal-Mart's store brand ramen noodles has an oriental flavor that is vegan...go figure!
02-09-2005, 08:19 AM
Don't beat yourself up over the situation, it happens to everybody once and a while.
PETA.org has a list of foods that are vegan that you can get in regular grocery stores. I think its called "I can't believe its vegan". Its a good list to have. Did you know that most Duncan Heins cake mixes are vegan? All you have to do is use egg replacer (like Ener-G brand). I know its frustrating when you find out that one of your staples isn't vegan, but there are others out there. I think someone else mention that the Oriental flavored ramen are vegan, I noticed the same thing at the grocery store as well.
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