View Full Version : Your personal vegan story

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Apr 25th, 2008, 12:39 AM
That is so cool!

thank you, VeganDaze. it's been amazingly fun so-far

Apr 27th, 2008, 03:59 AM
I was certainly not raised vegan, but made a conscious decision to become one after reading Green for Life just over a year ago. It made so much sense and I stated to implement what she taught, but within a month I had a massive stroke and spent the next two and a half months in four different hospitals! When I finally was released last June. I started thinking again and shortly thereafter began eating a raw vegan diet. I am doing very well except I am still unable to walk without my walker and sometimes a cane. But, finally my mind is clear and I am doing so much better now.

Stress was the main reason for my problems which began with all the excess cortisol. It caused me to gain weight even though I had never had a problem due to overeating. The weight caused sleep apnea which eventually caused the stroke. When I had my stroke my weight was 224 and I averaged about 1800-1900 calories a day of good nutritional foods. I was going for walks three times a week or exercise, practicing EFT for relaxation, and doing other calming activities but it just did not help!

I had studied nutrition for many years and according to everything I read I had an excellent diet. So, it was enlightening for me when I read Green for Life and realized that everything I had been taught about nutrition was terribly wrong and very inaccurate!

Now that I am eating healthy, organic and raw foods, I have finally been able to lose weight that absolutely would not leave prior to eating this way. Also, as I am no longer eating meat or dairy, my stress level has gone down even though the other circumstances have not changed all that much!

My family does keep me somewhat busy, but the kids are all grown up now. The twins are now 22 years old, still living at home and attending college part time. My oldest son is the web master for our local newspaper. Two of my 3 daughters drive taxis, but both are attempting to get jobs driving big rigs! The other daughter is very busy keeping the city's paperwork in order. I have 6 children ranging in ages 22-41! Then, at last count, there are 14 grandchildren!

All three boys are Eagle Scouts! I homeschooled the twins from fourth grade through high school and my eldest son through high school! Now that they are not in school per se, things have indeed settled down and I am only really busy doing volunteer work such as Crimestoppers.

Several years ago I became a Master Gardener but have not done much gardening lately. Sure hope to be able to get back into that soon. Alaska's weather is not very easy to deal with weather-wise, as it rarely cooperates!

Apr 27th, 2008, 07:20 AM
I'm sorry you have had a tough time northernstars. It takes a very strong person to get through something like that and come out the other side still positive. I'm glad to hear your veganism is helping your health and welcome to the forum.

Apr 27th, 2008, 07:45 PM
Thank you for your reply. I do and always have considered myself to be very mentally strong and extremely determined. The stroke sure has managed to make things more difficult, but I intend to overcome this too.

I am finding that people involved with healthful eating and good health practices are very supportive. I imagine a lot of that comes from all the determination it takes to buck the normal system as to what is considered "normal".

Thanks again,

Apr 29th, 2008, 07:32 AM
I've been vegetarian my whole life. My parents went vegetarian 10 years or so before I was born, for health reasons. However, I've always loved animals so I was always more into the ethical reasons for not eating meat. (i.e. As a child, I found out what leather was made of and refused to wear leather shoes after that, which my parents did not get at first but finally came to understand...my dad doesn't buy leather shoes anymore either! :)) Since my parents were vegetarian for health reasons, my mom decided that if I ever asked if I could try meat, she'd let me. So when I was about 4, I was playing with a friend one day who was eating a McDonald's hamburger and she offered me a bite. My mom said I could try it if I wanted. I didn't know what meat really is, so I said okay and tried it. I was confused because to me, it tasted just like a veggie burger, except maybe not quite as good. A few years later, when I found out that meat=dead animals, I freaked out, and I felt guilty for many years for taking that one bite of hamburger. I also gave my mom a ton of grief for letting me...I finally realized that I was young and didn't know what I was doing. Sometimes people ask me if I've ever tried meat and when I proudly tell them I've only tried it once and it was only a bite of burger, they act so incredibly shocked. They're always like "Well how do you know you don't like it if you don't eat it? Why not just try a *little*?" And I always say "But I have no desire whatsoever to try it. The very idea disgusts me."
Anyway...when I was 13 I was surfing the internet and found a site on veganism (I think it was on PETA's site, but I'm not sure). I was shocked to discover the suffering that went on for the production of milk and eggs (although I didn't really find out the incredible extent of the suffering until later--I'd only scratched the surface). So I decided I wanted to go vegan, and I worked up all my courage to tell my mother. I've always had a really good relationship with my parents and I've always wanted to make them happy, so when my mom was unhappy I dropped the subject. I'm sad to say I was too scared to pursue it much further and pretty much just gave up. :( However, the next day I decided I was disgusted by the sight of milk and announced that I could no longer drink it. Shortly after that, I stopped eating yogurt, and then cut out cottage cheese, then sour cream, yogurt, etc. Eventually it got to the point where I mostly only ate eggs and dairy that were "invisible" or cooked into a product (i.e. baked goods and desserts mostly) and sometimes ate cheese and ice cream. I thought it was okay as long as it was organic or eggs were free-range, but deep down I think I knew that didn't really mean much. I always told myself that once I went to college I'd go completely vegan, but then when I got here I didn't. I ate pretty much all vegan in the dining hall, but afterwards I'd get really hungry (the quality of the vegan food here is pretty bad, but they do have decent selection at least) and I'd eat ice cream or dessert. I always felt guilty but I couldn't bring myself to go vegan mostly because I was scared of how my family would react (especially my grandparents). Finally, this semester (spring of my sophomore year) I started cooking all my own food and I always cook vegan, so I ate completely vegan...until I got home for spring break. Then my mom fed me lots of lacto-ovo food and I got kind of sick from it... :( When I got back to school I realized I wanted to become completely vegan. I also had a realization earlier this semester when I was cooking in the dorm kitchen (everyone shares) and this guy came in and started making fettucine alfredo and instead of wanting to eat the cheese, I was disgusted by it. So last week I FINALLY got up my courage and called my mom and told her I had decided to go vegan. She was totally okay with it (I think she'd been expecting it to happen sooner or later). My dad was kind of upset when I told him (he was worried about nutrition and sad I couldn't go out for ice cream with him anymore, but I told him I'd buy him soy ice cream from the store instead). So now, at 21, 8 years after I first decided I wanted to go vegan, I finally am one!!
Wow...sorry this is so long (I hope no one reads it all!). It was kind of therapeutic to write it.

May 1st, 2008, 07:59 AM
mariana - Some of us have 12 hours at work to burn so reading cool stories like that is fun. How great to have only tried meat once. I ate meat for 14 years before becomming veggie and vegan at 20. Congratulations on your new found love for all things vegan! :)

May 1st, 2008, 08:21 AM
I really like reading everyone's personal vegan stories! Those were really interesting mariana and northernstars. :)

May 1st, 2008, 06:33 PM
Thanks emzy and holly! And I'm glad to provide you entertainment at work emzy. lol. Yeah, I'm really glad I only tried meat once. A lot of people just don't get it though. They think I'd be really curious to see what a hunk of dead flesh tastes like! Yuck!

Jet City Woman
May 16th, 2008, 10:16 PM
Hi, Everyone!
My name's Amy, and I'm a vegan of about 7 days.
My story goes a little something like this...

When I was younger, I refused to eat meat, even as a little tacker. I just couldn't understand that any person would want to eat what was once a walking, beautiful animal. And my parents fought with me black and blue to eat meat, so I ended up eating it disguised in foods. When I was about 12 I decided to officially say I was vegetarian, because it was ridiculous just going to barbeques and having people try and force you to eat meat. My mum took me to a dietician because she was afraid I would be unhealthy as a result, and although the dietician wasn't worried about me going vege, she certainly didn't do much help.

About a year after this, I started getting sick. Only as I look back now do I see the events that unfolded had actually caused me to develop depression, and through this time, I was grieving. Looking back now I know that I was 'sick', because that's what I do when I'm experiencing negative emotions... I literally get sick to the stomach of something. Anyway, I was told I was allergic to a bunch of foods and that's why I was so lethargic and depressed. So, I eliminated those foods [thus, turning vegan, as dairy was a no-no, and I did not consume eggs.] and consequently began dropping weight like there was no tomorrow. All of a sudden everyone jumped to the conclusion that because I was a teenager and I was dropping weight I was just another classic case of a child with an eating disorder, trying to live up to the unrealistic expectations. Truth: I hated myself, but I didn't know what else to do. I was told to avoid those foods, to exercise to get me physically tired to somehow aid my lethargy and to eat 'small' meals frequently. I did just that, and became even more ill.

I ended up being given two weeks to live, because my body was beginning to use my organs to survive, and was admitted into hospital. First meal there: steak. Uh... no thanks. I told them I was vegetarian, was given a councellor and a dietician, and was convinced by the dietician to 'try' meat. I looked at the tuna patties on my plate the following evening and inhaled the smell... cat food. All I could think of was feeding my cat tuna, and why the f*ck would I ever want to eat cat food?

Long story short, I went back on dairy and eggs to my disgust, as they were concerned for my 'protein' and 'calcium'.

Cut to four years later and I was constantly teased by some close friends about the fact that I was a heavy metal musician who didn't eat meat. I don't understand what that has to do with anything, but I was ridiculed and told I was weak-hearted and what-not. And eventually it got to me enough that I began to eat meat properly for the first time in my life.
And boy, what a mistake that was.

After a year and a bit on meat, I gained a whole heap of weight, got severely ill, became extremely depressed [surprisingly more depressed than when I was admitted into hospital] and was a nasty, obnoxious person.

Then one day, about two weeks ago, it hit me; I had to be vegan. I had always wanted to be, and was convinced that it was simply meant to be that way. I was so grateful to not have to consume dairy anymore because of the osteoporosis I developed after getting ill, and not having to force myself to eat meat every night to merely be 'accepted' by my peers.

Looking back now, I feel like a complete idiot. I'd never tried to 'fit the mould' or do what anyone else said, but I decided to become partly carnivorous because I copped sh*t from some mates. I certainly learned my lesson.

I've only been entirely vegan for a few days, but already I am starting to feel empowered. I know things will only go uphill from here on in. I have faith that my depression will lift soon, and that my body will go back to the way that I am happy and comfortable with it.

I look forward to spending a lot of time here with you folks, you're all amazing going by what I've read so far.

So yeah, that's my story :)

May 16th, 2008, 10:55 PM
Thats quite a story :)
Good luck with it :)

May 17th, 2008, 12:28 AM
Wow, Jet City Woman, what a story! Congratulations on becoming vegan again and best of luck to you. :) The part where the dieticians and counselors in the hospital tried to make you eat tuna really gets me -- "let's make her healthier by force feeding her meat?" Yuck! Also, I know about pressure from peers/family too--I let my lacto-ovo family pressure me into not giving up dairy or eggs (and you think they'd understand as vegetarians!) until one day I just got fed up and realized I had to stand up to them. :) Anyway, I hope you enjoy being vegan and finally getting to do what you've always wanted to do.

May 17th, 2008, 01:02 PM
Wow JCW that is a very empowering story. I know what you mean about metal heads and veganism...can be a right bummer. Glad you are feeling good about your choice and I hope to see more of you.

May 17th, 2008, 04:10 PM
Here we go .. :)
I guess I'll start right at 'the beginning' when I was omni , we were staying down with these people in wales ( I was about 10 at the time IIRC) who kept sheep and they slaughtered one there .. so I saw it being hung up, its throat slit while the blood collected and it thrashing around, being dismembered and having its head cut off, body opened up and organs taken out, then having it in burgers that night .. I dont think it really had much of an effect on me at the time but I'm sure it had some effect on me becoming vegetarian about a year later when I was in the last year of primary school ..
Fast-forward two years to the second year of secondary school, we were staying with people up in Oban for new years and had lots of free time, was on the computer and looking around on wikipedia about info on vegetarianism and what to avoid, as I was really just getting to understand it properly .. I came across veganism then and showed that people can live without it .. it just stayed in the back of my mind for ages.
I just always saw it as something I 'would' do sometime, and sort of shoved it to the back of my mind, but thought about it every so often..
A year later I finally made the decision to do something about it, so I went online to lots of different sites;wikipedia, the vegan society, peta etc etc .. and got more information - now I really did understand what it was all about and made the decision to go vegan .. So I had that in my mind for a couple of days but was afraid of telling my parents unless they had a bad reaction etc .. I finally brought it up with my mum and she said absolutely not at first, but within a few hours of me showing that I wasnt going to back down she eventually said ok, and that was fine .. we just had to come up with stuff I'd eat and since then that's been ever expanding as I find nice new vegan food :)
When I went to my dads house the next day, we mentioned it and he was pretty fine with it, he's a pretty spiritual person and he does understand why, I think he's gone veggie recently - dont want to pressure him ;-) ..
The first few days I didnt really hold it strongly as I agreed to compromise, I remember going out for a meal to a restaurant and having cream on the dessert, but as time went on I got stronger with my convictions and decided not to have anything ...
Since then my veganism hadnt really been a big part of me, just how it was I guess, then at the start of this year I came upon the vegan forum and started thinking about it all, its definitely made me stronger in my beliefs and made veganism a bigger part of me, its great to have people to talk to :)

May 17th, 2008, 06:20 PM
I just always saw it as something I 'would' do sometime, and sort of shoved it to the back of my mind, but thought about it every so often..

That is exactly what I was like Fungus. I wish I hadn't shoved it to the back of my mind as long as I did.

Interesting stories everyone.:)

May 17th, 2008, 06:40 PM
my story is pretty simple, punk!
a band called flux of pink indians released a 7" in 1980 of which two songs on the bside were about eating meat. that opened my eyes. a year later i went vegan, wasnt totally sure the reasons for doing it, i just knew that if veganism existed, it was for the benefit of animals, so i did it.
that was when i was 16/17, im now 41 and feeling even stronger than ever .

pat sommer
Sep 24th, 2008, 07:02 AM
great stories!
I'd like to hear a few more to cheer me up as I am having a bummer week :(

Aug 20th, 2009, 10:02 PM
being vegan is incredible and has changed my life. i had been vegetarian on and off since fifth grade after making friends with a goose on a farm and finding out he had been cooked for supper the week after i left the farm. i made the choice to be vegan august of 2005 because i was sick of contributed to suffering. i have seen a dramatic transformation in my body and outlook on life. veganism is incredible and so great! :D

Aug 25th, 2009, 02:59 AM
Hi all,
I began eating a vegan diet at the beg of June this year. My husband and I had just returned home from India where we had lived for the past eight months. In India, where we lived, it was very rural. I got my chicken from a chicken slaughterer and my beef from the beef slaughterer. I had a hard time getting the meat at first because of language blocks and also because I just didn't want to deal with it, so I sent our houseboy. The one time that I went to the beef stall, they had hunks of cow hanging on hooks in the open market (flys and everything else swarming on them). They also displayed the cow tails, heads, hoofs (all the remains) so that you knew it was cow and not buffalo that you were getting. It was disgusting. Yet when I got my hunk of beef from the houseboy I dutifully cut the fat off and cooked it. When it came to getting chicken first I got it all cut up where you couldn't differentiate the parts, then I got savvy and got them to only give me the breasts. I began to ride with our houseboy on the chicken runs because then I would do the rest of my shopping and it was easier to have him. So I watched him go into the huts and pick out the chickens. To get 2KG of chicken breasts that means they killed four chickens, and I usually went twice a week because I made meals for our help as well as my husband. My chicken was always so fresh it was still warm. I never really thought about not eating the meat, even though there were tons of vegetarians in India. I just ate it. We didn't however have cheese or cows milk there, and I lost my taste for those things. Also our diet was a lot more simple and based on lots of veggies, Indian dishes, so I totally lost my need to use processed boxed items in my cooking. Everything was done homemade and fresh.
The entire time we were in India we thought about all the foods we did want to eat when we got home, but strange enough, when we came home, I didn't want any of it. I searched to find my masala ingredients and spices. I also just stopped eating meat, not sure what it was, but I just didn't want it. Then within the next few weeks I cut fish out of my diet and stopped eating eggs and cheese.I read Skinny Bitch and then Fast Food Nation and kept getting more and more informed on the reality of the meat and dairy industries, the effects they have on our environment and our health and just got more supercharged to continue on my vegan journey. Coming onto the vegan forum also helped me see the light on the concept of being vegan and is a constant reinforcement to my ideals. Thats how it happened.....I guess it was an awakening.

pat sommer
Aug 28th, 2009, 12:08 PM
Cool. Glad you are wide awake now!

...and what are the masala spices spicing up these days?

Eat Y'self Fitter
Sep 2nd, 2009, 02:44 AM
I can't really explain why I went vegan. I knew several vegetarians and a few vegans and never got it. A meat eating culture is what were raised in. We're never exposed to it so you think its just the way it is. Well knowing veggies/vegans makes you curious, so I started doing my research through reading and such. I've always advocated anti-war and non-violence, but somehow a year and a half ago it just clicked with me. You cannot be non-violent and eat meat its just stupid. So I gave up the meat and flirted with the idea of becoming vegan. It was about the time when I was visiting my grand-parents in Oklahoma. Its a farm friendly community and a not very vegan friendly community.

I just looked around me and nothing was vegan friendly or even vegetarian friendly. I went back to the hotel and watched animal rights documentaries. Especially Peaceable Kingdom. I just looked at the love people were giving these animals and it made me cry. And just then and there I said to myself I cannot eat animal products anymore. And I haven't since January 1st or so. I feel a bit of a hypocrit being a full vegan advocate now being an omni for so long, but veganism is amazing thing. Its really something that makes me proud and why not veganism is health, environmentalism, compassion and love all in one! Now that I know its so easy I get kinda mad at people for not giving it a chance, but I was there once.

Nov 12th, 2009, 06:00 PM
hello all ,

Im a proud 2nd generation vegan and my children are 3rd generation vegans and we are all very very healthy so i dont have much of a story to say except that my whole family, sister, brothers , father and mother are vegans as well.

if anybody needs any tips advice , im sure that i can help.

Nov 12th, 2009, 06:47 PM
That's very impressive onfiregirl! I don't think I've come across any 3rd generation vegans before.

Presumably you don't get any problems with friends and relations predicting dire consequences from your veganism. :D

Nov 12th, 2009, 06:57 PM
That's very impressive onfiregirl! I don't think I've come across any 3rd generation vegans before.

Presumably you don't get any problems with friends and relations predicting dire consequences from your veganism. :D

thank you as for my family their all vegans too, so i dont have a problem with them but we do have problems with cps , lawyers , and the likes .
do not aprove of our diet. i say screw em.

Nov 12th, 2009, 07:03 PM
cps? :confused:

I'm surprised people still bother you; usually they're worried that it's unhealthy but if all of your family is thriving on it I would have thought that would shut them up!

Nov 12th, 2009, 07:22 PM
not in norway and their blaming her low b12 level on her adhd but she wasnt low on b12 intil last year and shes always had adhd .