View Full Version : When did you switch to a vegan diet?

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Aug 24th, 2010, 12:06 PM
I've been vegan for about a year and a half, and have not felt healthier, a vegan diet helped me bulk up too, when i was a meat eater i was always underweight and lethargic.

Aug 24th, 2010, 06:40 PM
I've been vegan for about a year but for the last 3 I have been experimenting with a raw diet & vegan diet.

Aug 25th, 2010, 07:49 AM
Out of curiosity do you find a raw diet harder (to stick to, Prepare meals etc) than a vegan diet?

Aug 25th, 2010, 11:01 AM
I've been vegan for approx two years although I'm not sure of the exact date because it was a gradual transition from vegetarianism... Before that, I was vegetarian for about 20 years with a few regrettable lapses... :(

Aug 26th, 2010, 01:11 AM
Out of curiosity do you find a raw diet harder (to stick to, Prepare meals etc) than a vegan diet?
Way harder! It felt impossible to stay on top of.

Aug 28th, 2010, 11:45 AM
I'm in my 33rd year as a vegan.

I am interested in all the stories about being vegetarian first - I was lucky not to really have had a "vegetarian first" phase and I've always been grateful for that. I support philosopher Gary Francione's call to establish veganism as the moral baseline of a rights-based animal movement (as opposed to Peter Singer's welfare version taken up by the likes of the big welfare corporations such as PeTA): http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/ This involves suggesting to people that they try to be as vegan as possible (on their way to veganism) rather than supposing that there must be a vegetarian stage beforehand.

Clearly, it seems evident that people can get "stuck" in vegetarianism, especially when the animal movement tend to use the terms vegetarian and vegan interchangeably, or use the hybrid, "veg*n," so we are not doing the animals any favours by going along with the fiction that vegetarianism must come before veganism.

This recent blog entry may be of interest too: http://thevegantruth.blogspot.com/2010/08/to-be-feminist-is-to-be-vegan.html?spref=fb

Well done to all who are vegan!


Aug 29th, 2010, 02:05 PM
32+ years? Wow! That's very impressive.
I was vegetarian first, for more than 4 years. But I was a child and had barely even heard of veganism, and even being vegetarian was a big step that singled me out from the other kids at school. For some, it's less about principles as it is about exploring new worlds and adjusting. I discovered veganism through vegetarianism. While I entirely agree that vegetarianism is a logical fallacy if you want to support animal rights (hence why I shifted promptly to veganism once I learned why eggs and dairy products were bad), I also think that some people enter a swimming pool by dipping a toe in and then lowering themselves in slowly down the ladder, while others sprint off the diving board and plunge in head first, and we should not make the former feel any less welcome in the swimming pool. Of course, that does not mean that we cannot do as you suggest, and make would-be vegetarians more aware of veganism from the outset so that they can make better decisions and avoid the half-way house.

Aug 29th, 2010, 06:05 PM
Roger, first of all, thanks for linking to that blog post about feminism and veganism. I agree with it whole heartedly and now I have a new blog to bookmark, excellent! :)

I definitely don't think vegetarianism *has* to come before veganism, at all. I do know people who went from omnivore to vegan overnight as it were. I had a long period of vegetarianism though, during which I had a few attempts at veganism, and a lapse back into meat-eating. Like Rainbow I was at school when I went vegetarian, and I found it a big step that singled me out from other kids, too. There is no way my parents would have accepted me going vegan as a 10 year old child and at that age (again like Rainbow) I had only the vaguest notion of veganism and what it was about. As an adult I only really sat down and thought deeply and honestly about the dairy and egg industries in my late 20s, and that was when I made the switch to veganism. I got there in the end, which is what matters.

I think part of the reason why people may get 'stuck' in vegetarianism is that while they care for animals, perhaps they are scared of being seen as 'extreme'. There's also a lot of ignorance even among vegetarians of what a vegan diet consists of. There's also the age old selfish reason that many vegetarians simply don't want to give up the taste of certain animal products they like, such as cheese or eggs, and think 'well I'm doing enough by not eating meat'.

I agree that veganism is the moral baseline, but there is a big difference between someone being vegetarian on the way to being vegan in order to lessen the shock of the diet change (like the people who dip their toe in Rainbow's swimming pool) and someone who thinks vegetarianism is enough and has no plans to shift to veganism. I have no problem with those in the former group, even if the transition takes a while, but the latter group are not much different from omnivores imo. We need to keep raising awareness about vegan food for the benefit of all groups, and the animals too of course.

Aug 29th, 2010, 06:44 PM
I've been vegan for 15 years and was lacto-vegetarian for 10 years before that. I initially decided to stop eating animal flesh for moral reasons but continued to eat cheese and products with animal milk. It took me ten years to resolve what I had come to see as an inconsistency in my morality and become vegan. I researched the vegan diet, ecological and health issues but what really tipped me into veganism was the result of examining my belief systems carefully. It was a logical progression - a learning process which required a lot of introspection. I believe education is important but information alone won't encourage people to become vegan. That has to come from inside and can take a long time with some people. I see vegetarians not as being "stuck" but as passing through the same phase I did. Some will progress quickly and some won't in their lifetime - it depends on what they find within themselves.

Aug 30th, 2010, 08:22 AM
Just over 20 years now, getting on for 21. I couldn't put an exact date on it, it would be sometime during the Autumn of 1989, having become vegetarian sometime during the late Spring of 1986 (when I was 19). Feck me, half my lifetime, where has it all gone?

Aug 31st, 2010, 07:20 AM
i must be nice to have been vegan for that long, as you're living proof that there are no longer term ill effects of veganism.

Sep 7th, 2010, 11:25 AM
Yesterday was my 4 year veganniversary!! This date has become more important to me than my birthday, although most people in my life wouldn't understand that (but stuff them), as going vegan was the best decision I've ever made.
Yay to all vegans and love to all creatures x x x :D

Sep 14th, 2010, 07:50 PM
Congrats to everyone who had their veganniversary recently. ;)

I went vegan in January 2006, so not yet 5 years.

Oct 2nd, 2010, 11:57 PM
I was a vegetarian for 25 years (since a teenager) before switching to vegan just a few weeks ago. I am sorry it took me so long! I just didn't know anything about the dairy and egg industry, I never watched any videos because I couldn't stand them and the very few vegans I ever met never commented anything about my being vegetarian and not vegan, so I just thought they were extreme... This is why I believe that we should be more friendly towards vegetarians, many of them are just ignorants.

Oct 2nd, 2010, 11:58 PM
I've been vegan for 15 years and was lacto-vegetarian for 10 years before that.
Lucky you! It took me 25 years, just because of ignorance!

Oct 16th, 2010, 11:03 PM
I honestly have no idea of the year... I just decided to go vegetarian one day, and once I realized that eggs and milk etc. were just as bad (if not worse), I went vegan. I know I was in middle school and I am 24 now, so I usually say about 11 or 12 years...

Oct 17th, 2010, 06:05 AM
Almost 3 years. :)

Oct 17th, 2010, 12:22 PM
I don't have a concrete date. I was vegetarian from being 11, hardly touched any animal products anyways (was always on a diet, which 'helped' me avoid cheese etc!) and then went fully fledged at 16, but had lapses at university when I ate milk chocolate and stuff. This only happened a couple of times, and I knew it was wrong and within a year I had sorted it out and went vegan again. That was when I was 19. So getting on for ten years now, but before then I was *almost* vegan. And even before the decision was made I was a very strict vegetarian who hardly touched any dairy at all, didn't use leather or buy products that were animal tested. I won't include this period in my life though because I think it's akin to someone calling themselves vegetarian because 'Well I don't eat MUCH meat' :D

Oct 31st, 2010, 04:10 AM
I've been vegan for about a year and a half, and have not felt healthier, a vegan diet helped me bulk up too, when i was a meat eater i was always underweight and lethargic.

Similar but different with me: my vegan diet made my excess 15 pounds of fat fall right off, and has allowed me to do a bit of weight training (I just didn't have the energy before and my recovery times were so long, etc.). I've not been too serious with my fitness routine yet, but have seen good results in my muscle tone, just from changing my diet, despite the fact that I only work out once a week or so. I really want to step up my workouts, though, and see how strong and fit I can get. :)

Oct 31st, 2010, 04:25 AM
I am interested in all the stories about being vegetarian first....

My story (I'll be brief): I joined animal rights discussions groups, online, when I was 16-17. I was a meat-eater. People called me on my hypocrisy. I got a lot of "you should be vegetarian" and some "you should be vegan" comments. I decided going vegetarian was something I could do, and that when I got used to that, someday I would make the shift over to being vegan, probably.

Over the years I became more interested in other topics, and animal rights got pushed to the side. As I mentioned elsewhere, at this point (and up until recently) my interest/concern was still on a fairly superficial level. It hadn't really sunken in just what it all meant, in terms of how much we need to change our lives if we take animals seriously as individuals worthy of our respect and consideration. Over the years, it nagged at my conscience more and more, that I should be vegan, not lacto-ovo veg. I was aware of my hypocrisy, but I was denying my responsibility to some extent, telling myself I was causing far less harm than other people at least (I ate a lot of cheese, so it's not clear to me that this was even true now), and that my vegetarian diet wasn't that healthy, how could I manage a healthy vegan diet (because I thought this would be so much harder to do)?

Then a bit more than half a year ago, I was in an ethics class, and I was studying animal rights. My hypocrisy was staring me right in the face. I couldn't ignore it any longer. I decided I wanted to supplement the articles I was reading with actual footage, etc. so I went searching on YouTube, and I came across the documentary Earthlings. I watched half one day, then finished it the next. It was certainly the most emotionally draining educational experience I've ever had. After this I knew I would never contribute to this exploitation ever again.

I wish I had known how easy it would be, and how much better I would feel. As a vegetarian I imagined that I would feel weak if I went vegan, that I'd be missing important nutrients, that I'd be craving cheese all the time. If I had known what was really in store (increased vitality, clarity, health in general; weight loss and easy weight maintenance afterwards; zero cravings, etc. I used to suffer from chronic iron deficiency as a vegetarian - this problem cleared up when I went vegan) I wouldn't have been so afraid to make this choice.

Dec 3rd, 2011, 09:48 AM
Here's a woman who went vegan in 1922:

Loreen Dinwiddie, 108, Credits Vegan Diet for Longevity (http://http://www.opposingviews.com/i/loreen-dinwiddie-108-credits-vegan-diet-for-longevity)

Dec 3rd, 2011, 08:26 PM
When did I switch to a vegan diet? At the same time that I became a vegan. Before that I'd just been on a total plant food diet.


Dec 7th, 2011, 04:14 PM
Wow! Loreen Dinwiddie is amazing for 108 years old! I wonder if she had a vegetarian phase or just went vegan straight away when she was 19. She obviously doesn't agree with the argument sometimes used by Christians to justify meat and dairy consumption, that God created the animals for the benefit of humans.

I switched to a vegan diet gradually, I was vegetarian first, then gradually gave up eggs and dairy produce until I became totally vegan about 30 years ago now. I'm really glad I became vegan before becoming a mother, so that all 3 of my children are life vegans. The eldest is now 26 and super-fit, living proof that all the dire warnings I received from family and health professionals about the dangers of veganism to growing children were uninformed, prejudiced nonsense.

Dec 7th, 2011, 04:53 PM
58 days ago :)


Dec 7th, 2011, 04:58 PM
89 years that woman's being doing it? Jesus, I was happy when I realised I'd been doing it for 1 the other month!