View Full Version : Your personal vegan story

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Mar 27th, 2010, 06:18 PM
My story is rather simple, but before I became vegan, I never would have thought it. In fact, I never heard of the word vegan until I became vegetarian.

I always "loved" animals. In other words, I always had a sweet spot in my heart for all animals, yet I ate meat, dairy and honey, wore leather, silk and angora, went to the Barnum and Bailey Circus, and the list goes on. Well, back in 1997, my husband, who never really liked eating meat, was working overtime. I was alone and watching TV that night. I was clicking through the channels until I passed one channel, and immediately, returned back to it. It was a documentary that was being shown on a new cable channel. It was an undercover exposure of experimentation on animals. I watched it and what I saw not only shocked me, but made me cry, and I don't cry much. I will not go into detail of what I saw, but I actually purchased the video of this documentary because on the bottom of the TV screen they gave you a phone number. It was 9 p.m. when my husband came home from work. He found me upstairs in front of the TV crying, and I said to him: "I never want to eat meat again". And he said: "Good". And the rest is history. It did not take us long at all to find out the rest of the story, and after 3 months, we became vegan in every way. Unfortunately, only recently, my husband gave in to his love of pizza, so he eats cheese, but that is it.

What is odd about my story is that this documentary was not about eating meat, but somehow my brain immediately clicked to not eating animals anymore. I consider myself very lucky that I found out everything, and I feel so much better about my life and now when I say I love animals, I really mean it. And I feel very lucky that my husband said "Good" that night, because he is a very kind person and that is one of the many reasons that I love him.

Has anyone seen the documentary I am talking about? It is called "Lethal Medicine". www.all-creatures.org/book/r-lethalmed.html (http://www.all-creatures.org/book/r-lethalmed.html)

Mar 28th, 2010, 06:06 AM
I spent over 2 hours reading all of the postings and I enjoyed it very much. So many stories, many different, many alike. I am pleasantly surprised at how many of you turned vegan because of PETA's "Meet You Meat" video. To all of you - CONGRATULATIONS!

Mar 28th, 2010, 10:38 PM
In 1986 I became a Buddhist and similar to the 10 Commandments we have 5 Precepts as our basic moral guide, now the very first Precept is to refrain from harming all living creatures intentionally and I just could not do this and eat animals or know that they had been harmed in any way for my benefit, at the same time, so I became a vegetarian overnight. I am sorry to say it took a lot more years before I realised there was so much more I could do, eventually I became a vegan 10 years ago and my only regret is that I did not do this much earlier. I made sure I read all the advice on vegan healthy eating and watched dvds, the best one I have seen to really show what goes on behind closed doors is 'Earthlings' it makes me cry every time I watch it and my meat eating husband says to me, 'why on earth do you watch it if it upsets you so much?' but for me it is a way of reinforcing to myself why I became a vegan, its not something I want to do just out of habit, it really means so much to me and I feel really happy that I have chosen to live my life like this. In a funny sort of way I feel honoured to be part of a very special group of people and the job now is to try and get others to at least question for themselves, where does their food come from, how did it get here and under what conditions, how do you get fur and exotic skins to make fashion items etc etc you all know the answers but so many others do not.

Mar 28th, 2010, 11:41 PM
I'm pretty sure I read that about chicks in Farm Sanctuary by Gene Baur...so horrible

(that was the book that made me go vegan the very next day!)

Apr 3rd, 2010, 12:52 AM

this guy is inspirational....read what he says about the blood! ugh....

Apr 3rd, 2010, 10:02 AM
I have really enjoyed reading everyone's personal vegan stories. I was a vegetarian since childhood and became a vegan three years ago after watching a documentary that had nothing (directly) to do with veganism. The documentary was called The American Dream and it dealt with the trouble a union was having with their employer, which happened to be Hormel. The movie was meant to focus on the issues /relationship between the union and the packaging plant they worked at however it reached me on so many levels. After watching that film I became a vegan and stopped eating ready to eat packaged food. I am sort of odd with movie tastes, and as mentioned before it wasn't even a movie meant to shock or enlighten as far as veganism is concerned, but it made me see how I could live my life more peacefully and respectfully.

Apr 11th, 2010, 05:20 AM

I'm new here. I was a vegetarian in high school and dabbled a bit in/after college with vegetarian & vegan.

A couple of weeks ago, some family members of mine were talking about eating more vegetarian/vegan dishes due to family history health problems. So I started to look into cooking some vegan recipes, etc.

I then started reading "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer during that time period.

What really made me decide to become a vegan was when I watched the documentary "Earthlings" narrated by Joaquin Phoenix last weekend.

I usually am not that affected by short video clips of animal cruelty on PETA and whatnot, but what has stayed in my mind for days after seeing this documentary was the Chinese fur camps in which they have a practice of skinning animals alive for their fur (and then leave them alive to die moments later in indescribable pain).

Watching that documentary is like having both a sledgehammer and a 2 by 4 hit you over the head; I had to pause the video several times and go spend a few minutes with my pet since the images were not simply brutal or disgusting anymore but just plain disturbing. I understand the basics of supply and demand, but its the sadism that I just don't get from these factory workers toward animals they're preparing for slaughter.

Since I had been a vegetarian before, it wasn't a big effort to make the jump from eating meat to eating veggies. Plus, I live in Portland, Oregon... which is probably one of the best places to live if you're starting out as a vegan :)

*I was glad to find out at the vegan grocery store "Food Fight!" that a lot of products I could find in my neighborhood grocery store, were available in "Food Fight!" as well. It actually made me really happy to go up and down the aisle in "Food Fight!" and know that I could enjoy eating food purchased from there that didn't harm any animals.*

I'm relieved to start cooking vegan meals and whatnot, but I do feel a little awkward in figuring out vegan-friendly products (for consumption and clothes, cosmetics, hygiene, etc) since I'm still reading several different books on vegan...

I guess my question is, when people here first become vegan, does it take awhile before they become comfortable figuring out what is/isn't a vegan product or item?

The obvious no-no's I can already tell for myself (i.e. eating poultry, wearing leather, etc) and I'm waiting to get the book "animal ingredients a to z" soon.

Any further links or book suggestions anyone has for this newbie vegan would be greatly appreciated! :)

Thanks for including me in this forum!

Apr 11th, 2010, 12:53 PM
My story was a gradual one that started in February this year. I always watch the Oscars and 'The Cove' won best documentary and after seeing the small clips shown of the doc I decided to get hold of it and see what it was about. So I watched and cried most of the way through at the brutality of the fisherman and that these beautiful intelligent animals were being slaughtered. From here I decided to cut out animal products, but wasn't sure if I would make it last at that point.

I then got led onto 'Earthlings'. Earthlings is the most horrific thing I have ever seen and it affected me emotionally for days after, and still does now to some extent. It is something I never wish to view again, once was enough. Earthlings really shook me up and made me realise just how ignorant I have been all my life, and I was very upset with myself and decided that I had to change for the sake of these innocent animals that are exploited for human 'benefit'.

From that point I have done a lot more reading regarding animal rights and veganism and I have realised that this is how I want to live my life, with respect for the animals that we share this world with.

This has come a shock to my family and friends as this was literally and overnight switch, but for me the reality was so strong I could remain ignorant no longer. Its been over a month now and its the best thing I have ever done, I wish I had realised my ignorance much sooner, but what I can do now will make up for my omni days.

Apr 11th, 2010, 01:46 PM
I'm relieved to start cooking vegan meals and whatnot, but I do feel a little awkward in figuring out vegan-friendly products (for consumption and clothes, cosmetics, hygiene, etc) since I'm still reading several different books on vegan...

I guess my question is, when people here first become vegan, does it take awhile before they become comfortable figuring out what is/isn't a vegan product or item?

Yes I think it does take a while to figure out the less obvious things, but of course we tend to repeat-buy a lot of the time so when you've found vegan toothpaste or belts once it is a bit easier the next time :-) Exclusively vegan websites like veganstore and veganessentials can take some of the hard work out of it.

I think too that it is inevitable that you'll accidentally buy non-vegan stuff now and then so please don't get discouraged.

Apr 11th, 2010, 07:00 PM
Around the age of 14 or 15 i read the book Save the animals! 101 easy things you can do (http://www.amazon.com/Save-Animals-101-Easy-Things/dp/0446392340), and i immediately went vegan. It only lasted 6 - 12 months and in hindsight i was really only vegetarian. Eventually i gave up fighting to keep my sanity as a teen herbivore in an omnivorous parent's house and started back on meat again.

I always felt wrong about meat though and ever since was never a big meat eater. In my mid 20's i got cancer twice and beat it both times and that became a catalyst for change. I started looking at everything differently. My attitude towards money and politics, what is fair and just and all manner of other abominations became very apparent to me. They'd always been there but i hadn't had the courage to want to fight them before. I read fast food nation and gave up all manner of junk food. It also spurred a big interest in international politics and the underhanded financial backslapping going on, especially within the USA's corporatocracy.

Being a musician and mad keen on all kinds of music it was inevitable that i'd find a band like Rise Against. That band has really hit home some important ideas and i believe they are achieving what they have aimed to do, change an attitude at a time. I think if you asked them they'd say that if one person changes their lifestyle for the better as a result of their music then they've done what they set out to do. Well they had success here!

Within 12 months i'd gone from being uncertain to what i could do and just doing a bit here and there to religiously buying cruelty free soap, fair trade coffee and cruelty free shampoos and conditioners, etc. A bit over 2 months ago i went vegetarian and within a week i thought "who am i kidding?" and went completely vegan. It's been a difficult road but an enjoyable one. I love good food and that's the best part, i'm discovering foods and flavours i never knew existed.

Now if i can take my music and change one other person's mind....

Apr 11th, 2010, 07:36 PM
To Staffy:

Your story is so heart warming. You've been through a lot with your cancer, yet you found compassion from your experience. Congrats to you on being a cancer survivor. When things finally clicked for you, you became vegan. You are an inspiration to me and I am sure to everybody else here on the forum.

Welcome to the The Vegan Forum.

Apr 12th, 2010, 02:21 AM
Awww, thanks. VeganLu

Apr 23rd, 2010, 06:50 AM
I decided to be a vegan last year on November 5. I liked it because i loved animals , i became a vegan because i saw the vegetarian starter kit and it motivated me but i decided to do more research and i did. I saw the term vegan and i decided to try it out and it did work out for me... ever since then i'm a vegan and i am proud of it.

Apr 23rd, 2010, 08:06 AM
In my mid 20's i got cancer twice and beat it both times

Holy shit. Good for you man...

if one person changes their lifestyle for the better as a result of their music then they've done what they set out to do.

Earth Crisis were my inspiration for going vegan. I'm better as result of their music.

Apr 23rd, 2010, 09:02 AM
Earth Crisis hey? I've heard one or two things... will check em out a bit more...

pat sommer
Apr 24th, 2010, 03:24 AM
Good for you, Colleengirl95!

are those in your closest circle also proud or just baffled?

Apr 24th, 2010, 04:55 AM
I guess they're proud... well my mom actually :). My dad is a bit worried as much as everyone else.

May 1st, 2010, 01:26 AM
Hi - this is my first post here, so i thought I mights as well tell you my vegan story!
All my life there has been an emphasis on eating vegies. In fact our plates at dinner time had the tiniest amount of meat on them. Not really worth it actually! So I'm a vegie lover from way back!!
When it came time to move out, at 18, I decided that 1) it was a waste of money buying meat that I didn't enjoy and 2) I hated the thought of the animals being slaughtered.
fast forward over a decade and 18 months ago I was still eating eggs and cheese but feeling a twinge of guilt when I did so. I mean I knew how these products were produced but didn't really KNOW (does that make sense). One early morning at about 2 am I had an epiphany. I needed to become vegan. I decided to make it easier for everyone around me that I would wait until New year to do so but after a few days I was so sick of waiting that I decided to begin my journey then and there.
so about 18 months later, I'm still a vegan (well obviously!) and love that I made this decision but wish I made it earlier!!

May 1st, 2010, 02:07 AM
An adelaide Vegan! Welcome!

May 2nd, 2010, 12:24 PM
thanks Staffy!

May 5th, 2010, 06:49 PM
here is my story:
I have been raised eating every kind of meat, hate seafood though just thinking they taste bad...and to see the intestines within shrimps makes me feel disgusted as a kid.
But I don't eat beef just because no one in my family eats beef, instead we eat pork and chicken and fish, on a everyday base.
As a child, I hate vegetables, but I also don't like meat, the only thing I like is the water left over of the dishes, they tastes good (but now I think about it, it's just a bunch of herbs cooked for flavours, didn't need the meat in there) I eat those with rice. My family used to tell me eat more vegetables lol.
I was never very health, get cold for like a long time of the year, it just doesnt go away. I hate exercising, my mark of PE is a disaster.
Then I moved to Canada. On a trip back to China my grandmother had suddenly turned to buddism and she is like she doesnt eat meat for certain days of the month. Because I always thought my grandma is so cool so I copied what she did.
And then as I read more about buddism, I thought that I shouldn't really eat meat, I don't want go to hell. so I became anxious at changing my life. But not anxious enough to do anything. I still enjoy eating chicken. but stopped eating pork just because the pork in canada tastes bad. but meat in canada tastes bad anyways, according to my mother. Because they don't kill the animal fresh. (so I knew about where meat come from, I wonder what's wrong with me as I never recognized the connection although I knew it?!?)
Anyways, then I turned veggie after I met my bf(present one). It just seems something right to do. I've been telling myself to do this since I learned about buddism when I was 16. Felt great on veggie diet, only eat cheese when I'm out with friends. As a chinese family, my mom hates cheese. So yea, but we drink milk and eat eggs because my mom thinks they are good for us. My bf though is a totally meat freak, so at first he used to be all sad about I don't eat meat. He is sad because he can't enjoy going out with me anymore, he thinks veggie doesnt fill him up. So then I got pressured and I remember the very last time I ate meat is at my 18th birthday. I decided to go to a steak house because my bf wants steak very badly. So I told him maybe I will eat meat, occasionally, just for him. But when I put that steak in my mouth, I felt so disgusted that I cannot eat one more bite. So then I knew I can never ever eat meat ever again, even if I was on a deserted island and theres no other food than meat. just simly cant stand to eat it.
and then I started university and meet other veggies :) some of them are vegan.(although the club stopped going because the leader went away to study abroad, so I don't really know those people) So then I checked out what vegan means and read a bunch articles on it. that did it for me. I gave up milk and egg and honey and everything else. Although I still have old clothes that might not be vegan just because I don't think I can afford all the new clothes and I don't want to buy clothes because I also learned about green movment while reading about vegan.

May 17th, 2010, 01:16 PM

May 17th, 2010, 01:23 PM

Jun 2nd, 2010, 10:25 AM
Hello hello, my story is probably the same as some other peoples, bt i turned vegan about a month & a half ago. I've been a vegetarian for about 10 years (on & off unfortunaltey) & i have tried being vegan before but i was young & didn't eat properly & finally caved into the lures of chocolate & cheese. But i've always wanted to turn vegan again & this time to do it properly. I started listening to Colleen Patrick-Godreau's podcasts from Compassionate Cooks & she just made it sound so simple & so right. So i suddenly decided, right, from today i'm vegan! I always thought of being vegan as being tricky & in some ways it kinda is, but i relish the challenge. It's not as easy as being a meat eater & being able to buy a maccy d's when you want or whatever. But i like it. The peace of mind knowing that you're not harming any other living animal is fantastic. I like to cook new foods so this is perfect for me because i can experiment with new recipes. Luckily my fella- who was a rabid meat-eater- has turned vegetarian when i went vegan which makes things so much easier, because i make the meals so he's mainly eating a vegan diet.
But of course, i did this for the animals, they are not ours to use or eat, and i feel happy that i can help them in a small way.
It's surprising that i don't miss cheese anymore, although i do still buy the occaisional dairy-free choccie bar! I'm so glad that i've done it. Even though i get stupid questions asked of me like " But cows produce milk naturally so why don't you drink it?" But at least i have the knowledge to answer them now, and hopefully inform them to a better way of living.
Anyhoo, that's my (rambling) story!

Jun 3rd, 2010, 03:40 AM
I've never really liked meat, I enjoyed the family time that went along with it, such as Christmas roast or camping bacon. When I was around 10, I decided I wasn't going to eat the chicken that was on my plate, Mum got so angry...I was forced to sit at the table until 12 at night until Dad finally came along and put me into bed. While I was living with my Mum I don't think I could have ever gone vegetarian, it wasn't until the last few weeks before I left home that I ditched meat from my diet.

I remember driving along the freeway and a truck passed me packed with sheep. I don't think I ever ate meat after that.

I didn't know about all the issues and soon as I started reading, I felt guilty about not being vegan. I felt even more guilty because my parents had me believing that all vegans are skinny, unhealthy and pale people. Over the next 6 months, I started cutting out milk and eggs. And then it took me a couple more hurdles to get over cheese. I finally feel that I am at peace with my diet, that I know longer have to question if I'm a good or bad person at my plate. I can look at animals without guilt, without contradiction. I feel like I am actually doing something with my life. :)