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Jul 2nd, 2006, 11:53 PM
I became vegan because of animals. I've always been an animal lover, but I was blind as to how animals (all of them) are actually treated. Last October I wanted a companion for my dog, so my boyfriend and I went to the pound and got a stray mutt. When I walked into the pound and heard all of the dogs crying and barking, the sense of sadness and loneliness and despair from all of these animals completely broke me down. That was definitely a life changing event. At that moment I vowed to never buy a dog from a breeder or a pet store.

Fast forward to April of this year, and I was driving home, and I came up behind a car, and 4 dogs were being pushed out of the door. The car just sped off, and I was too shocked to do anything but go to the dogs to see if they were all right. I took them all home, found homes for 3 of them a week later, but no one wanted the skinny, scruffy, black dog that didn't look like any particular breed. She became my special girl, the one that no one wanted, but I did. So I kept her for myself.

So now I have 4 dogs. I have a huge backyard, but my house is somewhat small, so having more isn't very ideal, for me or the dogs. But there will always be room for me to temporarily take care of a dog I might find on the street, and I can take as long as I need to find the dog a good home.

Ever since then, my eyes were opened to how cruel humans can actually be. I still didn't realize the full extent until I went on PETA's website and saw the most horrifying videos I've ever seen in my life. The experience I had with dogs in the past year pushed me to research on animal cruelty, and that's what made me to go to PETA's website. Dogs, racoons, cats being skinned alive for their fur, cows and pigs being strung up by their feet and having their throats and tendons slashed, chickens having their beaks cut off and being boiled alive, these images have permanently etched themselves into my brain and they will haunt me every day for the rest of my life. How could I possibly be a participant in this gruesome barbaric practice, and at the same time be horrified by it? I couldn't.

So that's when I became vegan. Cold turkey.

Jul 3rd, 2006, 12:27 PM
You sound like a wonderful caring person sarahblue. We need more vegans like you in the world :)

Jul 3rd, 2006, 02:16 PM
I became vegan in November 2005. I had already been vegetarian for 5-6 years previously because of animal rights and it sounds terribly ignorant, but I really didn't know about the suffering involved in - e.g - the dairy industry.

I happily ate eggs and dairy because I believed 'it didn't harm the cow to give milk' and thought that they needed to be milked! Similarly I believed that chickens were not killed for their eggs and they would only go to waste if they weren't eaten. Oh the shame! :o

I then got to know a vegan who enlightened me about some key facts and I did a lot of research myself - read lots of books, checked out VIVA's and Animal Aid's websites etc, joined this great forum...and never looked back. :D

Sep 29th, 2006, 03:50 AM
i grew up in wyoming. if there's a worst place to be vegan... i was not vegan in high school but i hung out with vegan straight-edge kids. they were the unhealthiest people ever. when i read "why vegan?" & told them i was becoming vegan, they said "DON'T DO IT, it sucks" & i tried it & it sucked. .

I can't get over that quote.

Oct 12th, 2006, 02:27 PM
Unfortunately Fruitbat's story rings true for me too. I was badly bullied in primary school by a ridiculous amount of kids, i remember one time after school I had about 8 or so on me. My dad was late picking me up and drove towards my school only to find me running towards him crying covered in spit.

The bullying stopped after that year because I moved onto High school/College. I made some good friends however I took advantage of now having control over what I ate at lunch and used to get hamburger and chips, curry chips, or go mad on the vending machines and buy 2 packets of crisps and chocolate bars (all in the one go) Many people would say I was treading a thin line on the healthy weight perhaps a little over. But I was never a big big person. Just under 10 stone and at 13yrs old or so, I told my mum I wanted to lose weight. I tried weight watchers, slimfast you name it and had dinners of salads, soups, quiches, omlettes, pasta. All sort of healthy things and dropped burgers for sandwiches at school. I dropped to 8 stone and I was happy.

I'd always loved and cared about animals and after reading articles on the internet I told my mum I wanted to try being vegeterian. She was OK with it and so was my dad, I could still pretty much ate what I did before. Except my dad insisted I still ate Tuna and Cod for protein. I wasn't really educated on how to get enough protein at that age so i agreed.

(Sorry this is so long!!)

Anyways I still lost weight and lost and lost. It got really bad one summer when I used to lock myself in my room and play the computer and not eat anything. Things went black, my heart raced and I couldn't walk up the stairs without stopping midway for a breather. My teachers notified my parents when i went back to school. They already knew but the phonecall made them phone for help. I was in therapy for nearly 3 years after that. At 5 stone and dropping I was admitted to hospital and blackmailed to eat with threats of a tube going into my stomach.

Along the way though, understandably I wouldnt eat eggs or cheese or drink milk because I was scared to death of the fat and calorie content so I suppose you could say I was vegan since the beginning of my illness. Minus the can of tuna my dad used to force on me every month or two, which the dogs appreciated when i gave it to them.

Anyways sorry about the long story. Mines not a very happy one. When I turned 18 last year the therapy stopped by law and i refused to go voluntarily. I still have anorexia and probably will for the rest of my life, it has destroyed me. I (to the amazement of my teachers) just about passed my GCSE's and barely my A Levels.
I'm a happy vegan and have been properly for over a year now, though at 19 yrs old and 6 stone (it fluctuates so rapidly)
I'm learning Japanese which is my dream come true and planning a visit. Hopefully in the long run to live there. I have got rid of all my old leather clothes and follow a diet which I now believe is NOT for my benefit but for the animals. Though living on fruit and vegetables it's scary to think of what my calcium and protein levels are.

Im sorry i took up so much time and space with this i just wanted to share my experience.
Thanks for your time,

Oct 12th, 2006, 02:38 PM
Thanks for sharing your story Sproutpout, I'm glad things are getting better for you. I'm envious of you learning Japanese - it's something I'd love to do, and a place I'd love to visit! You could do the JET programme and go and teach there, I think it would be a great experience. Anyway, thanks again for sharing your story and welcome to the forum.

pat sommer
Oct 13th, 2006, 10:26 AM
Take good care of yourself, Sproutpout. It looks like you have a bright future
.... and the animals need folks like you!

Oct 15th, 2006, 08:43 AM
Wow, there are really some fascinating stories here, makes me feel boring in comparison. lol

I've been an animal lover for as long as I can remember. There are pictures of me as a baby curled up asleep with my likewise sleeping kitten Mousie. The first time I ever stood up for an animal though, I was seven.

There was a beautiful long-haired orange tabby cat named Tigger that lived with my dad(my parents were divorced at this time, mom was the person with dogs, dad was the one with cats), and it was mostly him that I was going to visit if I'm going to be honest. Well...neither of my parents are too bright when it comes to animals, no one thought of neutering tigger...and it was a beautiful fall day so the window was open, just a screen between him and the outdoors.

Now a girl cat in heat comes up to the window and starts doing that pitiful meow that they all do, and Tigger looked like he was about to tear through the screen to get to her. I was terrified that if he got out I'd never see him again. So I told him, "Tigger no! Get down!" He was a wonderful kitty who listened to me, he turned around, jumped out of the window--only I was in the way. His claws sliced my scalp causing me to need 24 stitches, and have my waist length hair shaved off. I've got permanant scars on my chest and arms too--It all totalled to around 50 stitches.

My parents had a fit, were angry at the cat and wanted to have him "put to sleep". I argued with them(while having a doctor stitching me up, which must've been hard for the doc now that I think about it), and my dad saw my point first. Then they wanted to give him away to someone else that didn't have kids, because he was "dangerous for children". I yelled and yelled at them telling them Tigger was a good cat, he was listening to me and I was just in the way, that cats can do stuff on accident too. To calm me down they agreed to just declaw him(if only I'd known how much this was going to hurt him...but my parents assured me that it wouldn't hurt him at all).

We skip foward a bit. I skip school on dissection days starting at 11 years old, I instead go to the woods and write in my journal, stories about worlds different from this one where people don't have to eat animals to live(always in a sci-fi setting, because at this time I wholeheartedly believed I would die if I didn't eat animals--omni parents suck.)

Then we skip foward a bit more. I'm thirteen and volunteering at the local SPCA. I love animals of all kinds by this time and am the only volunteer who'll touch any of the reptiles(except the frogs, most people were alright with them). I find out a couple of weeks after I've started volunteering that not all euthanization is humane, in fact, sometimes it involves drowing a littler of kittens. I wasn't supposed to know this though. I quit volunteering. I offered to take in any snakes they couldn't find homes for.

Then we get to my fourteenth year...I'm a vegetarian because I've read quite a lot and I'm rather fond of leaning on a cow and talking to her. I'm taking care of 21 snakes(one boa even slept with me at night), 7 cats, and various rodents--my mom is ok with this. She supports me being a vegetarian too, which I find weird because a few years ago she hated it when I tried to do anything other than be normal.

I'm sixteen and go to visit my father in Florida, I haven't seen him since I was nine--I wasn't even sure if he remembered my name. My best friend has just committed suicide a few months earlier(he was gay, his family was not happy with that), and my life is in shreds. I want my fathers approval desperately, and since he's not letting me have any food at all while I'm there(for 18 days)unless I eat meat, I give in.

I don't go veg again until I'm 19. My mother passes away this year at the age of 40. I'd been spending my time home taking care of my little brother and siste--since our dad didn't believe in paying child support while he was in another state, mom had to work to much to take care of them. I have no where to go, so I go back to my father. They put the pressure on, and once again I'm eating meat. I also have to get a job within two days of my mother passing away--but there's nowhere to run.

At megacon down here in Florida almost two years ago, a friend I'm with runs into an old friend of hers. He and I hit it off very well, and he happens to have been a vegetarian for a few months. Within days the two of us are dating, and I'm a vegetarian again, not taking meat for an answer. I find that with his support I'm stronger in my convictions--my dad and stepmom start going out of their way to accomadate me and my dietary needs.

I have real breakthroughs with my stepmother a couple of months later. She wants to lose weight, to eat healthier. I haven't convinced her to be a veggie yet, but when she goes out to eat, she often opts for the veg choice--and they eat out about five nights a week. She even went to the lengths of getting them to sell veggie dogs at a fundraiser they had at work(mind you, she works for city lawyers..*shudders*), and then a couple of months later makes tacos for the whole office that they all rave about...and then she tells them that the secret to her hamburger meat having such good flavor is that it's not meat at all. lol

Several months ago both my fiance and I cut eggs out of our diet, we knew it was disgusting, but we said we'd still eat cheese until a good fake cheese was available.

I won't say this is my first attempt at veganism--it's not. It seems that I have to try everything a couple of times first. As people were saying before, it has to click. I tried to become vegan for the right reasons before, but didn't really fully comprehend it all. Then a couple of weeks ago, without anything to trigger it at all, I started seeing the cheese on top of my enchiladas as little shreds of veal. Nevertheless the thought made me literally sick.

That's when things clicked for me. How dare I value the happiness of my tastebuds over another living beings life? I ask people the same thing all the time, and by consuming any animal product at all, I was still killing intentionally. I stopped, I never want to again. Those who can't speak for themselves have always had me to speak for them, and now I can do so without any guilt or chip on my shoulder(other than the fact that I was so knowledgeable and took this long anyway).

Tonight at dinner I spent about 30 seconds explaining the cheese=veal thing to our regular waitress, who is used to our weird vegetarian orders, but was completely new to the vegan concept. She looked pretty grossed out when I explained to her exactly the conditions the calfs are kept in, finishing up with a, "So I decided not to have baby for dinner tonight." My fiance', the hardcore cheese lover who'd already had a cheesy meal planned out, changed his mind instantly and said, "Um, same as hers for me too."

I think he'll be vegan with me in about a week. Now to just get the omni in the house to go veg--he's been my best friend for about five years, and moved here to go to school. Since he's jobless now, and probably won't have time for one for a few more months, I have the money, therefore control the food in the house. *evil laughter*

For those who wish to know the current status of animal companions...we also share our home with five dogs(three of which are puppies that we dug out of a collapsed building one sunday evening), and five cats(one of which who loves salads and veggies so much I swear she wants to be a veg). These are all strays that were rescued, the youngest feline being only a week old when she came to us, and involving many, many, many bottle feedings. I'm glad for such a big place(thanks to my father-in-law to be for renting it out cheap) and a well paying job...but I find that when I'm doing alright by the world, it does very well by me.

(sorry, I'm always pretty long-winded, with a hobby like writing novels, it's to be expected)

Oct 20th, 2006, 12:47 AM
Thanks everyone for your strong support, it's probably very insulting to most of you to hear how i became vegan, but I honestly believe that I refuse to eat animal produts for the right reasons!

I went to lunch today with an asian guy (he asked me before you ask lol) but kept asking about veganism (which i was more than happy to explain) he was very surprised at what I eat but when i asked what his favorite meal was....( I was expecting some sort of chicken dish) he said HORSE MEAT I was utterly disgusted and understandably refused lunch and drank for the rest of the day.

It's times like these I'm utterly thankful I live by a guilt-free diet!
Minus the cigarettes and alcohol....:o

Oct 20th, 2006, 03:04 AM
I've been vegan for about a month now.
I'm a philosophy student enrolled in a class with Dr. Steve Best. He's a very outspoken human and animal rights activist and he's even banned from a few european countries. Anyways, I was critical of his way of thought but once he brought in a guest speaker -Gary Hirousky (sp?) it changed me forever. I had even made chilie that day before class and made left overs but after that class I never ate meat again a few days after that I kicked the dairy habit. I realized that my way of life up to now was wrong and it's the right ethical choice to be vegan. My best friend has even become a vegetarian (he refuses to be vegan though :rolleyes: ).
That's pretty much it, and I've decided to never again live an exploitive lifestyle. I love life too much

Oct 20th, 2006, 07:15 AM
I'm a philosophy student enrolled in a class with Dr. Steve Best. He's a very outspoken human and animal rights activist

nickn505, hello! Just wanted to say hi and that I did a search on Dr. Steven Best, thank you, I'm glad I did! I did not know of him before, now, I know much more of him and what his beliefs are. I will be purchasing his books soon (specifically, "Terrorists Or Freedom Fighters?: Reflections on the Liberation of Animals"), we need more people to hear his voice, whether we agree or disagree, it is always good to hear different sides of the spectrum.
thanks again,

pat sommer
Oct 20th, 2006, 11:29 AM
Wow, Ceshtanen, it's true what they say about tough lives make great stories... with a happy ending, thank goodness!

About the Guilt-Free Diet that Sproutpout mentions... I still have guilt: my vegan marg detroys Orangutan habitat, my soya drink tetra-pak is non-recyclable, my spanish strawberries are drying up wetlands...
We are all just doing the best we can given that we are all flawed humanbeings. Personally, I wouldn't fuss anymore over a horse-eater (non-factory farmed) than I would over a fish-and-chips lover. Ya, it's gross but suffering is suffering and I can't call myself lilywhite over my choices:o

Michael Benis
Oct 20th, 2006, 11:39 AM

some local recycling schemes take Tetra-Paks. Magpie in Brighton is one of them. I'm not sure about Bath, but it might be worth asking around.



pat sommer
Oct 20th, 2006, 11:42 AM
and I have a bushel-load of carrier bags to recycle...
I'll keep looking, Thanks Michael.

Oct 23rd, 2006, 03:49 AM
I just became a vegan 5ish days ago actually...

I have always loved animals but have also always been a huge meat eater (loved steak and chicken). Then I picked up a book called "Skinny Bitch" thinking it would just be about nutrition and give me a few tips on how to lose some weight.

I got to the chapter called "You Are What You Eat" and it described what goes on behind slaughter house doors and talked about what goes on with milk and eggs.

I cried while reading that chapter and for a good half hour or so after that. I realized if I loved animals so much I should really stop eating them and the things we, as selfish humans, are stealing from them.

I did some research on veganism after that and it only re-enforced why I was giving up meat and other animal products.

Soul Rebel
Oct 27th, 2006, 03:01 PM
My wife and I hardly ate meat to begin with so I decided to take it a step further and cut it out all together. I really didn't have a reason to do so as I was very uneducated about vegetarians and vegans. I decided to read a book so I picked up Diet for a new America from the local library not knowing the impact it would have on me. The day I stared reading that book is the day I became vegan. The book literally had me in tears. I am now in the proces of reading his new book The Food Revolution and it too is very powerfull. I never realized how uneducated I really was about what my family ate. I really was brainwashed by the meat companies like the books say. Now I don't take anything for granted and stive to think before I do.

Feb 9th, 2007, 03:14 AM
wow. mine is a bit of a sad & confusing story.. i was in building 2 on 9/11/2001. i remember that day, but not the months after. i lost almost 40 lbs. in a week due to shock, and was COMPLETELY out of my mind. if my friends had told me to go rob a bank, i literally would have done it.

luckily they did not! :)

but when i started coming around in late november, i noticed severe changes in myself & could not pinpoint. i kept saying things like 'yeah, i am a different person now after what i have been through' and all that stuff, but it was more.

in a bar in williamsburg, brooklyn on the night of september 20, 21, or 22nd (no one is really SURE), my friends convinced me to go vegan & after a 10 year habit, to quit smoking. from what i hear, i did both of those, on the spot, that night.

***(disclaimer: these were two things i had been talking about doing, not them pushing views)

so i really WAS a different person when i came around! i did not really know/remember i took all those months off and joined a gym! i looked great, felt better than ever, and was sooo happy to not be addicted to anything anymore! at the perfect time, i felt completely empowered!

weird, but true! :)

Feb 10th, 2007, 01:23 PM
My turning vegan was from slow germinating seed of connectivity. When I was about 4 my brother curled up on his bed naked (we shared bunkbeds) with his head between his knees and his arms at his sides and said 'look at me, I am a chicken' from then on I felt uncomfortable about meat and had dreams where people were eaten as if they were meat. Having said that I didn't turn veggie until I was 16 and it took another 11 years before I made the leap to veganism partly through finding vegan literature and partly from meeting Vegcurry and his vegan friends. It seems so natural and normal that I am constantly surprised that others don't 'get it' and either don't care or don't want to know about what they eat.

Feb 10th, 2007, 01:25 PM
Hi Carivan, scary times .... glad you made it through and are happy n healthy now ...

Feb 17th, 2007, 04:11 PM
I became vegetarian after viewing pictures of tortured chickens and animals on farms and cows in dairy farms. It was a commercial on MTV that prompted me to look up the website. I always knew the conditions were not the best, but I never knew how bad it was/is for these poor animals. Being an animal lover, I couldn't live with myself or claim to be an animal lover knowing the torture these animals are put through to feed people. I became a vegetarian( sometimes a pesco-vegetarian) at that moment because being Japanese, I thought I could never give up sushi.

2 months later, I gave up fish, eggs and dairy. Correction - I stopped eating animal products all together. I didn't give it up, because I'm not missing out, its my choice. :D I didn't want to be promoting an industry that harms animals. At that point, I stopped purchasing any products with animal skins as well.

I have been vegan now for almost a year and I must say the happiest I have ever been. I'm at peace knowing that I help save the lives of animals and don't promote violence.:)

Feb 27th, 2007, 03:36 PM
For me the turning point was reading something on Viva website (I think it was) and it said every 12 seconds a pig gets its throat cut ...

I have always been a huge animal lover and pigs were always my fave. It seemed wrong to claim to be an animal lover then eat them and I stopped there and then.

I have a daughter of 19 and she had a similar experience, actually she saw something on a myspace profile, went from a link to a link - got very upset by what she saw and hasn't eaten meat or dairy for a month and I am so very proud of her.

Feb 27th, 2007, 08:16 PM
My turning vegan was from slow germinating seed of connectivity

I was speaking to my sister a few days ago about veganism. She is convinced that it stems back to when we were in France when I was about 5. She said that she recently had a vivid flashback of me being presented with a plate full of sea food, me bursting into tears, and Dad shouting at me. I was the kind of child who patted snails and liked watching woodlice, so I can imagine that all the dead prawns and things on my plate would have been quite disturbing. I don't even remember it though.

Feb 27th, 2007, 09:37 PM

Mar 3rd, 2007, 12:02 PM
It all happened to me in 1993 when i saw images of bears incarcerated in tiny cages in China. I had nightmares for 3 nights and decided to try and help those beautiful Moon Bears. I took petitions in the streets of Newcastle and three months later went to Norway to do the same thing. One year later I went to Sweden to carry on my work and that is where I met my wife to be. We met by chance one year later and after that we got together and eventually married. We were both animal rights activists and she convinced me to go vegan, that was in 1995. The health benefits have been enormous and I feel good knowing I am not contributing to animal suffering. Unfortunately I am no longer with my Swedish wife, but my work goes on to help animals and spread the vegan word.

Mar 10th, 2007, 02:06 AM
I saw 'lamb brains' as a product on a woolworths shelf while shopping with my mom in the meat department when I was 12. Once I realised what meat actually was (animals!!) I vowed not to eat meat again. My family were against it, but I never backed down. I'm now almost 22 and became vegan last year because I have always poorly understood it and it kept coming up (on sites, etc). Once educated on the crueltly of battery hens, dairy cows I transitioned. :D