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paulpet
Mar 12th, 2007, 09:59 AM
Well, while in our teens, my sister and I decided to go vegetarian, and growing up in what can only be described as a redneck (New Zealand) neighborhood, vegetarians were few and far between.

A couple of years later I met a (now good friend) who was (straightedge) vegan. Vegan? At the time I had never heard of the term, vegan or veganism. When he explained what it was to me I thought it was a bit outlandish - I mean how can you survive without dairy, right? But after spending more and more time hanging out with him and reading his copy of "A Diet for A New America", I was convinced.

I found the initial change of becoming vegetarian, much much more difficult than moving to a vegan diet. At the time I enjoyed the taste of meat - but couldn't reconcile it with the moral dilemma that it presented to me, and the overpowering feeling of guilt that I felt whenever I had eaten meat, shortly before turning vegetarian.

So - about two years after turning vegetarian, I woke up one morning and decided I was vegan, and that was that. Something just clicked into place and I've been vegan ever since (for more than a decade).

My sister, unfortunately didn't turn vegan, but has remained vegetarian ever since.

lou
Mar 12th, 2007, 11:44 AM
i turned vegetarian when i was 11, mostly because i've always loved animals, but partly because i suffered from pneumonia and needed a healthier diet.
around one and a half year ago i started to think about veganism, and i talked about it with my partner (who was also vegetarian) but i thought it would be too difficult for me to give up cheese (what a silly notion!), anyways in january last year i read a book on veganism and my eyes finally opened fully to the suffering of cows, calves and chickens.
it really was like something had awoken inside me, the consciousness of widening the circles of compassion i suppose. so me and my partner decided to go vegan, from one day to the other. when i had made that decision i was extatic! it was like a high, an internal revolution! for a few days it felt as if i was floating above the ground. i was so happy that i could finally live according to my principles of not causing suffering to any living being.
so, we've been vegan for 14 months and it's going great, no turning back ever! at the same time i went vegan i decided to get involved in animal rights and i'm now active in a local AR group here in stockholm.
for me veganism has become a lifestyle and the only thing i regret is not becoming conscious earlier. it's like i chose not to think to much about the dairy industry for example, because i wasn't prepared to change in accordance to what i found out.

our son is 21 months no and at the time we went vegan he was still only breastfeeding so he's never ever had to eat anything from animal origin! he is a very healthy, happy baby and i'm confident we have added many years to his life, (apart from the good karma!) due to his diet and lifestyle.

i'm so happy to be on this forum and know that everyone here is likeminded! lots of love to you all!

flying plum
Mar 14th, 2007, 06:22 PM
edit - i just realised that this is really long. sorry!

I became veggie during the summer of my first year at Uni. I'm not entirely sure why. I'd always kind of had that background guilt thing that i'm sure most people can identify with, and one of my flatmates at uni (who i still live with) was veggie. we'd done some stuff on a course with peter singer's work as well. i gradually started to eat less and less red meat. then chicken. i was pretty much just down to fish. but i still couldn't tell you why. i think it was a subconcious thing. i quite liked the idea of being veggie, but i also quite liked the taste of, especially, fish. in the end, i was talking to some girls at work, who are vegan, and was saying the typical omni thing of 'well, i'd do it but i dont' think i could give up fish'. they effectively bet me. so i did, i set a date, and became vegetarian.

this didn't go down too well with my mum, who decided it was just a phase and couldn't see anything wrong with me a) eating gravy that was made with the fat from the roast, b) drinking her milk with the added omega three that came from fish. the latter she really didn't, and still doesn't, get, along with avoiding gelatin etc. 'you can't SEE them, why does it matter?'. she also gets annoyed when there's nothing for me to eat...she sees it as being 'difficult'.

however, what started off as a dare made me realise that a) being veggie wasn't hard and b) i actually really didn't like the idea of killing animals to eat them and that now i could think this openly and not supress it. my flatmate was great and offered me a lot of advice how to eat healthily and we had fun cooking together.

anyhoo, so this continued as lacto-ovo until i went travelling this summer and met a guy in san francisco who was vegan. i'd actually been thinking about doing it for a while, but had found the idea a little 'extreme'. veganism sounded a little too radical for me. however, talking to him, i realised that it wasn't that hard, and he leant me 'becoming vegan'. i read that, and decided i was going to try, and did for the rest of my travels, to omit all dairy, eggs and honey from my diet. however, on returning home, i got scared at telling my mum (who, as i say, isn't exactly veggie friendly), and returned to the lacto-ovo way of life.

however, on moving back up to my flat after the summer holidays this year, i started buying soy milk (something my flatmate also does), and omitted eggs from my diet at home, basically, i decided to persue a vegan diet at home to see if i could do it. i could. so i then took a further step and decided to omit all 'visible' eggs and dairy from my diet when i ate out. this was easy too.

i knew this was a cop-out, but i had to do it slowly...it's just the way it works for me. i eventually decided to go dietary-vegan on march 1st this year, full-on everywhere. i already used as many cruelty-free products as i could ascertain at home, but now i'm planning on veganising everything as they run out.

i don't really feel i can call myself a full 'vegan', because i can't afford to throw out all my old shoes (all bar one pair, i think, are leather) and replace them, or my clothes with wool (no silk for me!), but hopefully soon i will be able to make that claim. i hope it's ok that i'm still here on this forum, even though i'm not totally vegan.

the great thing is though, my flatmate has decided that she wants to try to eliminate dairy and eggs, and has set a date (our last day of exams), so yay! i think my baking efforts have persuaded her :) my boyfriend wasn't quite so pleased. he's omni, and his response was 'what will you eat when you're at mine?'. i pointed out that as he and his flatmates usually cook for each other and cook meat, i bring my own food anyway so it won't matter. he's dubious, but hopefully he'll stay respectful. i haven't told my mum yet. i don't know how she'll react, and i'm scared to tell her. i think i'm going to wait till i've done this for longer. then she won't think it's a phase, and i'm planning on seeing a GP and getting a full bill of health so she can't say i'm unhealthy.

amanda

emamaly
Mar 20th, 2007, 07:57 AM
I became a vegetarian when I was 11 because I got in a fight with my parents and somehow decided that being a vegetarian was a means to my revenge. I had always been an extreme animal lover, so it wasnt all based on a revenge plan.. but somehow my angered revenge brought the vegetarian feelings out of me. Anyways, I wrote on a small piece of paper at age 11 .. "Dear Emily, Please do not eat meat products ever again and when you have that down, do not eat any milk or egg products". So I kept this paper in my memory drawer and came across it only recently at age 21 as I was packing to move out of my house. I was so shocked that at age 11 .. I knew that I someday wanted to be vegan. I set a date to become vegan and have now been transitioning to the change over the last few months.

musicalveg
Mar 20th, 2007, 07:53 PM
I have always been vegetarian- my father turned my mother veggie soon after they met!
When I was 13, I went on holiday, and thought about lots of things, including animal stuff. I decided to go non-egg, and when I came home from Scotland, I thought some more, and realised I couldn't carry on eating animal products.
I, on the day of my Granmother's Memorial Service, realised to that this is what I believe God wants me to do, so from this point onwards, I have been a vegan. It is the only thing that has been constant, over 3 very tough years.

vegan doll
Apr 4th, 2007, 12:32 AM
For me, it was being locked in a room and forced to listen to the album Meat is murder (my then boyfriend was convinced I would love the Smiths if I gave them a chance). He wasnt veggie. Anyway, I listened to the song, looking out of his window at a field full of cows. These are the lyrics for those who havent heard it

MEAT IS MURDER

Heifer whines could be human cries
Closer comes the screaming knife
This beautiful creature must die
This beautiful creature must die
A death for no reason
And death for no reason is MURDER

And the flesh you so fancifully fry
Is not succulent, tasty or kind
It's death for no reason
And death for no reason is MURDER

And the calf that you carve with a smile
Is MURDER
And the turkey you festively slice
Is MURDER
Do you know how animals die ?

Kitchen aromas aren't very homely
It's not "comforting", cheery or kind
It's sizzling blood and the unholy stench
Of MURDER

It's not "natural", "normal" or kind
The flesh you so fancifully fry
The meat in your mouth
As you savour the flavour
Of MURDER

NO, NO, NO, IT'S MURDER
NO, NO, NO, IT'S MURDER
Oh and who hears when animals cry?

Instant vegetarian. Took a further 15 years before I became vegan but I'm just coming up to my 1 year anniversary and am very pleased I did it. I mean, I actually cook proper meals with fresh ingredients - no more opening boxes from the freezer & slinging the contents in the oven for me!

btw see projects page re this being download week for Meat is Murder. I know for a fact I am not the only one this song had an instant effect on!

And yes, I still love the Smiths and Morrissey!

kiwi.tyger
Apr 10th, 2007, 10:48 PM
I thought I'd come at veganism from a strange direction, but reading other people's stories it seems quite common.

Coming from a VERY omni family, I was always a little odd in that I was never a big meat fan. I went veggie in my first year of uni, mostly because hostel food was marginally better that way, but went back to omni after that. However I always remembered how ill I felt eating meat the first few times after being veggie for a long time, and it stuck.

I gave up read meat about 4 years ago, then added chicken about a year or two ago. I remember eating chicken at a bbq when it wasn't quite cooked, and just feeling so so nauseous. I was mostly veggie, but would still eat fish and seafood. I was justifying it by telling everyone (and myself) that it was only for taste reasons, and that I didn't 'feel sorry' for fish.

Anyway, this all just started to feel wrong and hypocritical, and I started researching veganism. I'm not sure what tipped me towards it, just a feeling I guess. I got the book 'Vegan Freak' from Amazon, and one thing it said was 'just try it' for a week or so and see if it's for you. I did, and kept reading the facts about factory farming and so on, and realised that not only was veganism a way of life I could pursue, I really liked the way it made me feel, about myself and my place in the world. I'm not religious at all, but it felt to me like I imagine someone must feel who has found religion. I don't want to be a 'vegangeliscist' but I want everyone to realise what I (and all of you) now know, and feel how I feel!

Like some others I'm still making a full transition - I can't afford to replace my boots yet, and am letting cosmetics run out before I replace them with vegan-alternatives - but I'm nearly there, and I know I will be vegan for the rest of my life.

Frank
Apr 10th, 2007, 11:27 PM
I did not like Sunday roasts as they made me ill. I did not drink milk, hated cheese and only had a flurry with bacon and egg sandwiches. So maybe it was not that difficult for me to move on.

I stopped eating meat shortly after starting Karate training. The other lads had done this to get rid of headaches and seemed to move up a gear too. So I joined them. I would eat fish though - eventually once a week.

I went to Spain and asked for fish and chips and was presented with a fish in all its glory, fins, eyes and teeth. I started to disect it and I don't know why people seemed to be looking at me. But I knew something. This was the most sickening thing I could imagine. This poor creature had done nothing to me.

I came back to Britain a committed vegan. Got rid of my expensive animal shoes and belts and jackets. Joined the Vegan Society and eventually became a local and group contact for them.

I OWE A LOT TO THAT FISH

pineapple77
Apr 13th, 2007, 05:35 PM
I always hated the taste of meat and milk as a child. So as soon as I left home I turned into a vegetarian, who didn't drink milk and also avoided leather where possible too.

I then married a meat eater, so although I often thought about turning into a vegan I just couldn't seem to make the final step.
A few weeks ago I came across some info about the cruelty used against cows, which gave me a real eye opener. I realised being a vegetarian wasn't enough any more and I was supporting the meat industry by eating dairy.

I found giving up eggs easy as I never liked the blood spots or wired bits you find in them anyway.
The hardest thing for me to give up was cheese, but the thought of those poor cows just puts me off ever eating dairy again.
As a new vegan I'm still learning a lot and I guess my next step will to look into buying cruelty free cosmetics.

mjj48
May 4th, 2007, 03:23 PM
I've never liked eating meat - as a child my step-mother (or monster as I like to call her lol) used to give me a meat pie but scrape out the insides, moaning the whole time whilst she did so.

When I left home I still ate meat, but only the types which didn't look like the inside of an animal, such as sausages and burgers. In 1996 I decided once and for all to give up meat and go vegetarian. It was new year's eve and I made it one of my resolutions.

About 3 weeks ago I realised how hypocritical I was being still eating dairy, read up about the industry online and decided enough was enough. I went vegan there and then.

Since then I've lost 6 lbs and feel so much better. I need to lose weight for health reasons, so losing that without really trying was an added bonus.

Jay

Zoozy
May 9th, 2007, 05:32 PM
This is my first post here! Seems like a good place to start...

I became a vegan in my mid-20's after reading Diet For A New America, which had a profound effect on me. However, I didn't know how to cook AT ALL at that stage in my life, so even though I wasn't eating (or using) any sort of animal products, my diet was pretty abysmal - lots of fast food, french fries, chemical goo, etc. I stayed vegan for about 2 years, and then strayed back into eating meat again for various reasons - mostly, I think, because my body was screaming out for some sort of variety beyond Taco Bell refried beans!

Anyway, a few years went past, and I moved to the UK. I told myself that factory farms don't really exist here in the same way as they do in the US, so it wasn't all that bad to eat meat. :rolleyes: I guess I was making excuses to myself, because I've always loved the taste of meat, plus my husband is a MAJOR carnivore - but I was burying my head in the sand, and deep down I knew it. Over the last few years, this knowledge started becoming more and more uncomfortable for me. I started making a real effort to seek out free range/organic products, ethically-sourced meat, etc.

Then I was listening to the radio one day - a programme about organic farms - and the farmer they were interviewing mentioned how the slaughterhouse was just down the road from him. And somehow that brought it home to me. Suddenly I couldn't eat meat without thinking of the slaughterhouse. Three weeks ago I just looked at my husband and said, 'Would you think I was mad if I became a vegetarian?' This very quickly turned into going vegan. It was like once my eyes were open, they were open all the way; there was no way I could feel good about eating dairy/eggs.

This time it's for good. It feels completely natural and right, and it's wonderful being guilt-free when I eat. I'm also finding it much, much easier now that I know how to cook, though there's a bit of an adjustment period going on at the moment while I experiment with new things! My husband is fairly supportive, though he still eats meat. Mostly he just says it's my choice and up to me. I'd LOVE it if he became vegan too, but I doubt this will ever happen (look, did you see that pig flying past..?)

Really glad to have found this forum.

Enchantress
May 9th, 2007, 06:02 PM
Hello Zoozy. Well done on going vegan again :D. I hope you enjoy it here.

Zoozy
May 9th, 2007, 10:34 PM
Thanks, Enchantress. :) Nice to be here.

Pisces
May 9th, 2007, 11:23 PM
Welcome, Zoozy. :) You've come to a great place!

Julilla
May 29th, 2007, 11:05 PM
This is my first post here as well. I've been reading the forum for a while, but as I'm a quite shy person I haven't posted yet. So let's start. :)

Two years ago I went vegetarian after we had talked about the meat industry at school. I just couldn't bear being part of a system that caused the death of animals. But when I did some further reading on the topic of animal rights and the impact of the meat and dairy industries on the environment, I felt that I had to go vegan. Finally my cats convinced me to do it, by showing me their unique and really caring personalities. They enabled me to make the connection between them and all the farm animals.

I've been a vegan for about six months now and I'm so happy about it. This forum helped me a lot to make the transition to veganism. Thank you so much!:)

Frank
May 30th, 2007, 12:11 AM
Fair play to you Julilla.

Welcome to a great new lifestyle :)

Moo22
May 30th, 2007, 05:53 AM
Both my parents are huge animal lovers so I was raised to respect and love all creatures. In Kindergarden I got sent to the corner for slaping a kid who was pouring salt on snails (where he got the salt I will never know) When the teacher asked me why I slapped the kid I told her that "love animals and never want to see one get hurt and he was hurting one. " She responded with "Well you eat hamburgers don't you?" Well yes...What does that have to do with anything ...It was then she told me that cows are killed to make hamburgers....I didn't believe her so I went home and asked my mom it was then she tried to explain what meat was(is) I told her "I don't want to eat animals anymore." My first shot at vegetarianism came to a quick end when lunch came around and there was a lunchable in my lunch box! But in my freshmen year of high school I finally went for it...I told my mother who then took me to the book store and bought me two books one on Vegetarian health and one veggie cook book. My junior year of high I did a report on Factory farms this is when I learned just how aweful the egg and dairy industry is, that night I told my mother that I wanted to be a vegan and after explainning what a vegan was to her she took me to the book store and bought me a cook book and a vegan health book. But after high school and joining this "real world" I seemed to never be home which left ,e eating bean burriods and french fries alot and soon I become very sick and I knew that when people met me I would most likely be the only vegan they knew and didn't want people to say "Yeah a met a vegan once man she was so sickly looking dark circles under her eyes totally with out engery just sick" and not to meantion I got a job as a server in a resturant that serves very few vegan options. So about 6 months ago I stopped being a vegan, went back to eatting dairy (I could never eat meat!) Though my life was easier when it came to going out with my friends or going to partys I just wasn't happy and I started to gain weight like mad my cholesterol roase sky high and I freaked and three weeks ago I become a vegan again, but this time forever, and this time I am not only eatting vegan I'm living vegan nothing in my house has been tested on animals or has animal ingrediants, and after 56 years my aniamls lover mother has finally given up meat and almost all dairy infact I don't think there is anything non vegan in our fring! Who says third times a charm I've found you only need a second....

Julilla
May 30th, 2007, 08:57 AM
Thanks for the friendly welcome, Frank. :)

pat sommer
May 30th, 2007, 10:11 AM
What lovely stories, Jullila, Moo and Zoozy! It's not easy going against the tide.... A few more of us and the tide may change....

mrsblobby
May 30th, 2007, 10:08 PM
I worked in an abbatoir in my youth and almost lost my mind. After 18 months, I was having nightmares where cows came up to me and asked me why I was killing them. That was it for me - I packed in my job on the spot, and became vegan. I feel so much happier now without that terrible burden of guilt.

Summer03s
Jun 5th, 2007, 12:49 AM
I'm new to the site as well. However, last October, my co-worker (a huge carnivore!) was telling me how she was in a car eating marshmallows and she offered one to someone else in the car, the person was offended and stated "I'm a vegetarian!". She then proceeded to tell me that jello and marshmallows have animal skin, bones, ligaments, etc. in them. That story changed my life! I didn't believe her, so, I got on-line and looked it up right then and there and low and behold :eek: - I found out she was not only telling the truth, but, a lot of my other favorite snacks had gelatin in them as well. Then I was clicking on links to find out more information, in which I was taken to savethesheep.com, peta, etc..and learned waaaayyyyy more than I ever wanted to know. I immediately went vegetarian. I never ate red meat or pork before, so, I was only giving up fish, turkey, chicken and snacks with gelatin..plus, I quit buying leather and wool. Then as I proceeded to read more (over the following months) about the conditions the animals go through, so, we can have milk and cheese - I was horrified... I thought I could never give up cheese, but, it's been quite easy because all I think about is the poor suffering animals every time cheese is brought up or presented in front of me. I could never live with myself with that on my conscience. I only wish I knew about this when I was younger...I knew animals died (but, when people you respect tell you it's why they were put here by God - you just justify that its okay), but had no clue of their horrible quality of life up until then. I will NEVER intentionally eat or consume products with animal by-products in them, nor will I be a consumer of products that test on animals either. My dog is even a vegetarian now - and he loves his food! My family, friends and co-workers just think I am some kind of radical now, however, I slowly throw-out tidbits here and there to make them more informed...

agoodnightkiss
Jun 9th, 2007, 11:14 PM
I went from eating meat to being completely vegan in about 72 hours. I had been wanting to make the change for a very long time, but I just didn't think I could do it. Finally, one morning when I woke up, I started thinking about how ridiculous of an excuse it really was. I could do anything I wanted to if I just set my mind to it. And what better thing to set my mind to than to ending my support to the meat industry. Long story short, I've been going strong for over six months and I see no end in sight. I have even been able to help a few friends of mine in making the transition as well.

liusaidh
Jun 14th, 2007, 04:03 PM
I watched the Peta 'Meet your Meat' video and went Vegan the next day, from being Vegetarian for a just under a year... It only felt half way there being a vegetarian, and watching a video called 'the truth about milk' really woke me up. I'm 17 and I live in a household with my Vegetarian Mum but a huntingfishingmeateating step dad.. it's not easy, and it's not cheap buying my own washing powder and toiletries etc, but I wouldn't compromise my beliefs for anything.

BlackCats
Jun 15th, 2007, 02:31 PM
I was veggie for 13 years before I became vegan. I didn't give up meat and fish for the usual reasons - I just started thinking how disgusting it was to eat an animal when it has normal bodily processes like it defecates, has sex etc like humans do and I started feeling just sick when I thought about it.

For some reason I kept on eating cheese because I did love it and just avoiding milk and eggs because they would make me feel sick as well (even though I ate milk and eggs when they were in cakes etc where I couldn't see them)

I became vegan 8 months ago after doing research on net and when I heard about the calf being taken away from its mother so we can take the milk I was so shocked.

It sounds ridiculous that someone reasonably well educated and at 30 years of age could have taken so long to see the obvious implications of having dairy products but there you go.

Marrers
Jun 15th, 2007, 06:13 PM
It sounds ridiculous that someone reasonably well educated and at 30 years of age could have taken so long to see the obvious implications of having dairy products but there you go.

Most people go through their whole lives without knowing.