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 Post subject: Vegans in the military?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:23 pm 
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Tofu Pup

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Any vegans in the military? Would love to hear how you do it!


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 Post subject: Re: Vegans in the military?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:35 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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I'm not, but I'm interested as well. I was literally just thinking about this yesterday. Someone gave us a bunch of MRE's and while they do have vegetarian one's there's no such thing as a vegan MRE.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegans in the military?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:55 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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I'm actually surprised there are vegetarian MREs...

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 Post subject: Re: Vegans in the military?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:00 pm 
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Should Write a Goddam Book Already
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Maybe ask dragonsister since she is in the military right now? I would imagine it would depend on what type of military assignment you are in at the time, as it would probably be more limited as to what you can eat when deployed, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegans in the military?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:51 pm 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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Feel free to PM me. I've been veg or vegan for 14 years and in the military for 11 years.

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Mal: We're still flying.
Simon: That's not much.
Mal: It's enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegans in the military?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:08 pm 
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Should Write a Goddam Book Already
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I have wondered about this too. I would be interested to hear how it works.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegans in the military?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:19 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Sounds like its an "experience may vary" thing. My boyfriend is a cavalry scout and told me when he deployed to Afghanistan (he was in the middle of nowhere), there wasn't anything vegan there. The cook was kinda bad and made the same things over and over until he ran out of that thing, like one month they'd eat mostly hotdogs. His brother was at a bigger base with lots more options.

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 Post subject: Re: Vegans in the military?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:08 pm 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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Where to start? Your experience in the military and being a vegetarian or vegan is highly dependant upon:

a. Your branch of service
b. Your current location (east coast vs. west coast or overseas locations)
c. Deployments
d. Your individual command
e. Whether or not your dietary restrictions are religiously based
f. Whether or not you are an officer

I will address each of these individually.

a. Your branch of service. Your experience will vary GREATLY depending on your branch of service, and your rating or MOS. In the Army, you may spend a lot of time in the field if you are artillary for example. You may need to rely on MRE's and the food and snacks you can carry with you in your pack. You may be gone for a month or so doing field exercises. MRE's come in boxes of assortments (Assortment A, B, C, D) and each assortment has a vegetarian option. There will be several vegetarian MRE's in each box. The vegetarian MRE's are NOT vegan friendly. In fact, in most of the vegetarian friendly options the only thing a vegan can eat is the crackers and peanut butter because there is butter and eggs in almost everything included in the vegetarian MRE. You could however, eat vegetarian somewhat easily and the vegan police will not come knocking. You do what you have to.

Deployments are currently to the Middle East mostly, and depending on whether you are on a major base or a small detachment your eating options will be much different. At a big base such as Kandahar (where I was deployed) you will have many options at your disposal. I happily ate fruits, vegetables, breads, curry and rice, almost on a daily basis and if you are in Kuwait (Camp Arifjan) the choices are even better. They had 3 kinds of soy milk last time I was there and Clif Bars and build your own burritos, etc.

Small detachments will be relying on MRE's if they go "outside the wire" or whatever their galley/DFAC provides for them.

IF you are in the Navy, like me, you will find it is not very vegan friendly and being vegan on a ship is nearly impossible. My ship the USS Mustin, which I was stationed on a couple of years ago had veggie burger Thursday's but they were Morningstar brand which likely had egg in them. I did not beat myself up over eating them because it was probably my only reliable source of protein the entire time I was deployed other than what I ordered for myself from Vegan Essentials. Who, by the way, SHIPS EVERYWHERE! They were a lifesaver.

Bootcamp veganism is not advisable. I did the best I could but given the amount of physical activity you are likely to be engaging in, it is in your best interest to keep yourself fed rather than be a martyr for the animals.

b. Obviously, your duty station location is going to make it easier or harder even if you are not deployed based on what is available there. I am in Japan now and I don't read Japanese, for instance. It is hard for me to tell what is in everything.

c. Deployments, addressed above.

d. Your command might be more accomidating, I gave the example of veggie burgers on the Mustin. The USS George Washington doesn't have anything like this. Your ship's galley will have their own supply chain and way of doing things, including what gets served on the mess decks. You can put in comment cards though. I have found Navy gallies to be frusterating at times when they serve bacon for breakfast and have leftover, and put it in the vegetable soup at lunch time. They don't change the label for the vegetable soup. They also sneak it into rice pilaf. You can ask the server, but they didn't make the food so they will often give you a shrug or humor you.

e. If your dietary restrictions are religiously based, by policy, the command will have to accomidate you. If you are vegan for the animals, or the planet, or for your health (like most vegans) it is not covered by policy in any way.

f. Officers get better food. On the ship they have meals cooked for them and more options than the enlisted crew.

I'm sure there's more to this that I haven't gone over. I think the theme here is: "Do your best".

Feel free to ask questions. I have been a dependant (dad was Air Force), an army wife (ex was Army) and I am currently active duty Navy. I have been on a deployment at sea, and a deployment in the middle east.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegans in the military?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:18 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Oh, I was just talking to Boyfriend and he pointed out that you'll be using leather equipment and gear, and things like goatskin gloves.

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I was really surprised the first time I saw a penis. After those banana tutorials, I was expecting something so different. -Tofulish


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 Post subject: Re: Vegans in the military?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:21 pm 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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Shy Mox wrote:
Oh, I was just talking to Boyfriend and he pointed out that you'll be using leather equipment and gear, and things like goatskin gloves.


I didn't really think about addressing this, it's kind of obvious you will have to wear your prescribed uniform items. You can't really conscienciously object to wearing stuff that is mandated that you wear.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegans in the military?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:22 pm 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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Right, but a lot of vegans have to use non-vegan safety gear at work (like boots or gloves). I don't worry about that part at all, and when I can control it I don't use it (i.e. I don't wear the leather flight jacket).

Not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

( just saw ds's post. ditto)

_________________
Mal: We're still flying.
Simon: That's not much.
Mal: It's enough.


"forking vegans" ~~linanil


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 Post subject: Re: Vegans in the military?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:24 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Oh not saying that makes you not vegan or anything! Just thought its worth pointing out to someone considering joining lest they have hopes of being able to be completely perfectly level seven vegan in the army.

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I was really surprised the first time I saw a penis. After those banana tutorials, I was expecting something so different. -Tofulish


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 Post subject: Re: Vegans in the military?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:30 pm 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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Oh yeah, good idea. I find being vegan in the military a worthwhile challenge that has occasionally meant compromises I would not have to make in the civilian world. I think I'm a good example to people, though.

_________________
Mal: We're still flying.
Simon: That's not much.
Mal: It's enough.


"forking vegans" ~~linanil


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