I wonder if you are similar to the way I am? A friend proudly tells you he likes tofu and is trying to eat less meat by eating more fish, and is trying to lose weight and he is welcome to suggestions, yet you know he will eat anything in sight. Your response is to encourage: "Good for You! Keep it up! Here are some suggestions!"
You have another friend who eats mostly fish because he claims they feel the least amount of pain. He justifies that he does not care if he causes animals pain, however, because it is all about survival, and he will do what is necessary for himself. (Yet he admits a few times that he tried to be vegan for a week several years back and the fact that he eats mostly fish makes it seem like he really wants to help.) Is your response to light into this person because he says he will do what is necessary for his own survival? He is doing much better in his eating than the first person. Yet my tendency is to be more factual and perhaps a bit sarcastic with this last fellow, and be totally kind and encouraging to the first fellow!
(I will ask more questions than I answer here!)
What do we think about those Cheatin' Vegans? Alicia Silverstone wrote a vegan recipe book and is very supportive, yet she admits to eating a piece of cow's cheese now and then. At first, I was angry about this, but then I look at the totality of her help, and realize she is doing so much more good than harm, and she may ditch the occasional cheat as time goes on.
There are those who are vegans, but eat honey. Sometimes they just do not know better. I was one of those for about a month; then I learned about what happens to the bees and the slavery they endure and the killing, and I gave up the honey. I missed it for about three months until I got used to agave syrup and I just discovered brown rice syrup which has the same texture as honey, but is milder. Honey now would seem way too strong and way too sweet. I encourage you to try some brown rice syrup! I had to find it at a health food store, but agave syrup is at stores like Wal-Mart.
The meat industry tries to encourage vegans to cheat. This is their new tactic. They have even gotten on "humane" boards to influence others that they slaughter cows and pigs humanely and that, with their welfare laws, there is no need to be vegan or vegetarian, but you can feel guilt free eating humanely raised meat. What a load of dung! I will post on the subject of "humanely raised" and detail what their conditions are in another blog, but be assured - there is nothing humane about the animals' lives, which are filled with extreme pain, misery, mishandling, fear, anguish and comes to a horrific end. There is no such word as humane in the meat industry. Yet I support any improvement; I just keep my eye on our ultimate goal which is to stop eating meat and dairy all together.
In my own experience, I went vegan about 3 years ago with the idea that I would just try it and if I didn't like it I could switch back. No pressure. It took three days to get used to soy and almond milk because I had a lifetime of guzzling tons of skim milk and at first did not like soy milk. Now I prefer it! About two months in to my vegan lifestyle, there was a banquet I attended where the food was brought in, so there was no kitchen with any more supplies. Absolutely nothing was vegan. I was hungry! I took some macaroni and cheese, a small piece of chocolate cake and some green beans that might have had butter on them. No pressure, right? That was my goal and I didn't want people pointing to my empty plate and saying, "That poor vegan, look how she starves." (Of course, no one knew I was vegan so that scenario was an excuse I made up for myself!) I also did not want my husband to say, "We spent $20 on your plate and it is empty!" I did not want that pressure because I hate face to face confrontation. So I cheated. It was vegetarian though, I justified. The outcome? Under one of Elaine Vignault's videos in the comments section, I admitted my cheat for some crazy reason. Vegans lit into me. One said, "You sit there with that empty plate." I listened to another of Elaine's videos (she has since closed her YouTube account but has web sites), and this video said, "Being vegan is a protest; a protest for life." Yes, it is for my life, and for the life of the animals. I now own a T-shirt I made that has that saying on it. This was one time being hard on someone (me) paid off and I am very grateful they jumped on me! I guarantee you I no longer cheat and I have no desire to cheat either and doubt I ever will. (I have attended two more of these banquets as they are yearly and am proud to say that my plate stays empty.) After time passes, the idea of meat or milk becomes a greasy, putrid, nasty thought and the cheatin' urge is not there! So be encouraged!