Generally speaking I call myself „flexigan“ 😂 - as I am vegetarian, living with a vegan daughter ( makes me eating vegan at home ) - I don’t drink (cow)milk anymore and reduced dairy in general a lot. I just sometimes „cheat“ when getting cravings - mostly for a sausage or cakes ( sweet tooth)
So - I realized , that most vegans I know, do not really eat that much of the „vegan alternatives“ that much if ever. Fact is, when you start eating a vegan diet , in the beginning, you are just so used to the „traditional meat dishes“ that it seems impossible to go without „alternative meat products „ however after a while - and when really looking I to your diet a bit more profound, I must say, we do not need these products any more, there are so many vegan recipes that a vegan „by nature“ and actually the variety of dishes increases tremendously, so I can only recommend. I have the impression these „alternatives“ you need them only for a transitioning phase to adjust your diet - and - fun fact - I used them mich more often when being vegetarian then now.
On the other hand, I totally agree with you Jess, that it is absolutely depending on where your meat comes from, and how it was „made“ - it is a shame, that some farmers trying to raise there lifestock in ethically correct ways are being bullied by vegans and factory farming not that much, as it apparently is too big and powerful