Dealing with non-vegan cravings, part one

October 5, 2010

Some people might be dropping veganism because they’re still craving non-vegan foods, so they figure there’s something wrong with what they’re doing.  I think they just need to realize what’s happening and take the right steps to deal with it.  Here’s part one on how to handle non-vegan cravings:

This one came from a question from Mo, but it’s too big to fit into one video (still trying to get under 3 minutes, argh!) so tune in tomorrow for part two.  In the meantime, let me know what you think in the comments: how do you react when you smell meat cooking – not mentally, but physiologically?  Is this something you’ve been able to change over time?

Update: Part two is online!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin October 5, 2010 at 11:25 pm

So funny! After I read Eating Animals, I was really DEPROGRAMMED! I remember walking through Costco and being so disgusted because I could smell meat cooking, and I actually gagged a bit. My husband rolled his eyes and said, “Just a few months ago you would have said how good that smells, you’re just doing that to be a smart ass.” I told him that when I read Eating Animals, I had a physical gagging response while reading and now when I smell meat I have that same response. He said, “It’s all in your head.” I agree. Just like your description of why we crave meat is all in your head, so can your reaction to meat be now. It doesn’t always happen, especially when I’m hungry, but my new normal response to the smell of meat is repulsion.

On a related note, this is exactly why I am so glad to be raising my daughter vegan. She won’t have those reactions!

Jason October 6, 2010 at 12:13 am

Haha, it’s like in the Matrix where people born outside of the Matrix don’t have those sockets in the backs of their necks! I hadn’t thought about how Dax won’t have these associations either, but I figure it’ll be about 15 more years before he can really tell me what that’s like…

Glad to know you managed to get deprogrammed – like I said, I’ve heard of some success, but it hasn’t happened for me yet so I figure it’s a case-by-case thing.

Monique October 6, 2010 at 11:09 am

When I smell raw food from a BBQ I instantly think of the smell of a Burn Ward in a hospital. So I was shocked when my first response was salivating when I smelled most neighbourhood BBQs. Then I realised I was reacting to the smell of the spices and herbs in the sauce or marinade as well as the aroma of sugar turning to caramel. It’s hard for my brain to discriminate instantly, I guess, so I’m glad that my reaction is more in line with my vegan views these days.

Erin October 6, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Monique, you are so right! I was eating some vegan sausages while having dinner with my in-laws and my father-in-law tasted the sausage and said, “Why not just eat meat, it tastes like meat.” I had to think about it, but then I realized that it doesn’t taste like meat. It tastes like all those great spices that are traditionally used in sausage. I can appreciate good spices. Just those words “sugar turning to caramel” makes me salivate!

Colleen October 6, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I do sometimes find myself attracted to the smell of cooking meat, even after many years of being vegan. I don’t worry about it because I know that no matter how good it smells, I won’t eat it – as an adult, I don’t have to act on all my impulses, after all.

That said, in the early days, I did have to go through the mental process of thinking of where the meat came from before it was easy to turn away without thinking twice. Thinking bacon through from beginning to end sure makes it less appealing.

Patabugen October 6, 2010 at 6:27 pm

There are some (non vegan) food smells that I do like, even though mentally I don’t like them physically they appeal. I couldn’t eat eggs or cheese any more, because the thought of eating them sickens me. But if it wasn’t for the _thought_, I know my tongue would still love a hunk of old mature chedder rolling about on it.

But in the same way I know I shouldn’t clobber that noisy fool on the bus, because it’s simply the wrong thing to do. I know I’ll wont eat cheese, however tempting.

Rochelle October 6, 2010 at 10:56 pm

you are so right! i have only been vegan for a couple of days now. i wanted to go vegan for years but put it off because i was afraid i would not be “good” at it. i am so glad i went ahead with it and i appreciate this message to reassure us all that a lot of vegans have cravings.

Jason October 6, 2010 at 11:20 pm

Rochelle, congratulations on being a new vegan! Remember, if you have ANY questions at all, be sure to ask!

Kari October 11, 2010 at 2:08 pm

After almost 6 years of being vegan and more of being vegetarian, I still like the smell of grilled burgers. This smell reminds me of my child hood and of fun days in the summer. It’s not so much the taste of the meat that I’m remembering but the memories that the smell invokes.

What I find really interesting is that my son who has been vegan his whole life finds those smells (bbq’s, meat cooking in stores, etc) rather intense and doesn’t seem to like them and he doesn’t really know that it’s meat cooking because we don’t point it out. I wonder what his memory smell will be as he gets older, perhaps onions and garlic sauteing in olive oil!

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