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Thread: Your personal vegan story

  1. #151
    veganbelly.com
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    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.

  2. #152

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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    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!

  3. #153
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    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

  4. #154
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    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.

  5. #155

    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    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.

  6. #156
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    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!

  7. #157
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    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.
    Kia kaha e hoa, kia ora

  8. #158
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    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
    I Think, Therefore I Am A Vegan

  9. #159

    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    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.


  10. #160
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    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

  11. #161
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    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. 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.

  12. #162
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Hello Zoozy. Well done on going vegan again . I hope you enjoy it here.

  13. #163
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Thanks, Enchantress. Nice to be here.

  14. #164
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Welcome, Zoozy. You've come to a great place!

  15. #165
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    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!

  16. #166
    Festival Buddy Frank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Fair play to you Julilla.

    Welcome to a great new lifestyle
    I Think, Therefore I Am A Vegan

  17. #167

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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    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....

  18. #168
    Julilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Thanks for the friendly welcome, Frank.

  19. #169
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    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....
    the only animal ingredient in my food is cat hair

  20. #170
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    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.

  21. #171

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    Default Marshmallows and jello changed my life

    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 - 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...

  22. #172

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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    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.

  23. #173

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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    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.

  24. #174
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    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.

  25. #175
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Quote Aphrodite View Post
    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.
    Idleness is not doing nothing. Idleness is being free to do anything. - Floyd Dell

  26. #176
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    I'm ashamed of myself that it took me until the age of 50 to become a vegetarian and one year after that to become vegan.

    All I can say was that I was extremely screwed up. My mom died when I was 13, I was one of those outcast children and adolescents, I had an eating disorder until said age of 50 (compulsive eating), anger issues, all kinds of stuff.

    However, when I was in high school I took a comparative religion class and discovered Buddhism. That sowed the seed when I took formal vows 30 years later. The first precept of Buddhism is not to kill, period. I knew that all my years of eating animals were wrong (although I instinctively stopped eating veal as a child), and even though I was surrounded by my dogs and the birdies and the squirrels and lots of cows (rural middle of nowhere red state USA), I just couldn't make the connection between them and what was on my plate.

    Then I watched "Meet your meat". I cried for so long and so heavily my dogs were frightened out of their wits. I stopped all meat immediately but had trouble giving up eggs and dairy totally because my husband still ate them and he's the family cook (he's an unemployed chef, who also saw the film and stopped meat immediately). So I went partial vegan, i.e., I'd eat vegan away from home and vegetarian at home.

    I still had a problem with sugar addiction even though I'd lost 47 pounds as a vegetarian. I had gained 17 of them back in a boring, stressful job where everyone ate themselves silly for comfort.

    I also deluded myself by eating only "free range" eggs and organic milk, as IF.

    Then all of a sudden completely out of the blue and with absolutely no effort on my part one day I just stopped eating animal anything. Of course, this pretty much limits all sugar-packed "dessert" items and high carb diet enemies like pizza in one fell swoop.

    So my addiction to sugar is gone along with my ties to bad animal karma.

    I hope I make it up to them a few million lifetimes from now.

    My husband is now a champion scratch seitan maker (his roast beef is to die!) and he is working on cheese...

    I'm so glad you guys are here.

    May all beings awaken and do the right thing.

  27. #177
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    My story is a really long and winding one really. When I was about 12, eating meat was really bothering me as it just felt so wrong. I told my mother I was going to become vegetarian but she just laughed so I started insisting about it. She refused to let me to begin with so I just left any meat on my plate. She started cooking lots of things like stews, risotto-type things, etc.. where the meat is small and mixed in (hmn, I've never got on with my mother - can you tell?!) and I would religiously sit there and pick out every piece. Eventually she got sick of this and agreed that I could cook my own vegetarian food twice a week or have a veggie burger shoved under the grill the rest of the time. She detested me cooking in her kitchen and it caused all sorts of arguments but I held out for two years until I just couldn't fight her any more so I started eating meat again. Over this time, I had become more and more anorexic too which lasted for about ten years altogether. I'm sure now that being able to go with be veggie/vegan would have helped me hugely.

    About ten years later, I was living with just my son and eating very little meat. My little boy had bad eczema and I cut out all dairy produce and eggs to see if it made a difference. I ate the same as him so at that time I was nearly vegan in my diet. The food seemed to suit my body, I was slim, healthy and felt contented in myself. The change in diet didn't help his eczema but it did alot for his asthma

    When I met and moved in with my husband, my diet went to pot! Loads of meat, dairy, eggs, big portions, etc. Over the years, the diet of the whole family has improved dramatically but it's always been nagging at me about going back to being vegan - but completely this time. I've tried so many times but always find it so hard to juggle cooking meat dishes and vegan dishes and I give up within a week feeling really depressed.

    After my youngest child was born, breastfeeding really hit it home to me about the dairy industry - I'd just get really upset about cows having their milk "stolen" from them - is that mad? It really bothers me!

    Over the last couple of years, the amount of vegan or vegetarian foods we've been having has increased and everyone is far more used to it. A week and a half ago I just decided to go for it. This time I'm planning vegan meals for the week and adding some meat bits in on top for the rest of the family, instead of the other way round. It just feels different this time around, more settled, permanent, easier and just "right".

    Already, I can feel that I'm losing weight and my body feels cleaner, clearer, healthier. It's brilliant
    Six months in 'n' going well! ...

  28. #178
    Linxie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Quote Aphrodite View Post
    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.
    It took me a long time too. For such a strict and passionate vegetarian, I now can't figure out why I was so naive! But I can't change the past and need to feel proud that I am a vegan now!

  29. #179
    Linxie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Here is my story ....

    I grew up in a house full of meat-eaters but I was crazy about animals from day one. I never liked the taste of meat and was very fussy about it anyway. But when I was old enough to understand exactly what meat was I started to nag my Mum about becoming vegetarian. She didn't give in straight away but I eventually got my way!

    I remember exactly the moment I became vegetarian which was almost 16 years ago. I was 13. One night my Mum made me dinner and it was a cheese burger and chips. I looked at the burger and thought "that used to be a cow, alive and walking around just like me". I couldn't take one bite of it and told my Mum that she either let me eat vegetarian food from then on ... or I just wouldn't eat!

    From that moment until April this year, I have been a very strict vegetarian - no meat, fish, gelatine etc.. and I haven't worn leather or suede since I was 13 either.

    For the past couple of years I have been thinking about becoming vegan and started eating less dairy and more soya products and rice milk etc.. I think my conscious was really starting to bother me. Finally I looked at the PETA website and read up on the dairy industry and my mind was made up. I turned vegan on April 14 2007. I am a very determined person so I know that I am now vegan for life.

    I always thought being vegan would be hard but it has been so easy and I just wish I'd made the decision years ago.

    From time to time I suddenly think to myself "Oh my god I'm vegan" and it really makes me smile

  30. #180
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Quote Linxie View Post
    I turned vegan on April 14 2007.
    Oooh we have the same anniversary! I turned vegan that date in '06

  31. #181
    steven1222
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    For most of my life, it seemed like what I ate and used was not really an informed choice. I was ignorant and my father advocates the use of all kinds of bad things, like dairy products, artificial additives, and animal protein.

    I always thought meat was weird and disgusting, so I never ate it more than once or twice per year. After all, dairy products had more than enough saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal hormones to keep my father happy. It was easy for me to formally write meat off on 25 August 2005, because I had almost never eaten it, anyway. That was the first step.

    During the summer of 2005, I was still ignorant of the horrors of the dairy industry. I ate way too much cheese from 1999 to 2005, and I am paying for it health-wise. Around the beginning of April 2006, I gradually came down with gastroparesis, and I used that as an excuse to keep my cheese intake low, which I had long wanted to do for health reasons.

    Back to 25 March 2006. I finally learned about rennet and gelatin, and immediately stopped consuming them. That was the first time I thought about veganism. My father was raving about how vegans get all kinds of nutrient deficiencies, such as protein and iron. I knew that was not true.

    During the spring and early summer of 2006, I learned about the horrors of the dairy and egg industries. On 27 August 2006, I decided that I would avoid all animal-derived ingredients "except organic milk," effectively becoming a lacto-vegetarian. That only lasted for 7 to 8 weeks, because I was fully aware of the hypocrisy of consuming any dairy products. I went back to consuming conventional dairy, honey, rennet, and disodium inosinate/guanylate, with the thought that I might go vegan at the beginning of the new year. It was only October then. Through that whole time, my father ranted about my diet being "too restrictive," simply because I did not want the stuff that he ate.

    Going lacto-vegetarian temporarily harmed me, because I ate more dairy yogurt in place of snacks. After that stint, I even found a wheat-based product that is 40% cheese by weight. Luckily, my body did not respond well to the increased dairy intake. I became intolerant to casein and lactose, and gained 7 unwanted pounds and 3 unwanted inches on the waist. As the end of the year approached, it became obvious that I needed to give up dairy, if only for health reasons. Of course, I cared about the animals, too.

    I started eating no animal products as soon as 2007 began, but that was not the end of my trouble. During the first week of 2007, my father, a protein fanatic, made a fuss because my room was full of snack food, which, according to Dr. Ignorance, cannot be used as a source of protein. I appeased him by sitting through a 45-minute session with an equally ignorant "dietician" (read: dairy advocate). I did that because I knew it would have no effect on me. Having someone to defend myself against made my commitment stronger. There is no going back now. I would rather starve than use milk that was stolen from a cow, and I would rather lose my teeth than use toothpaste with animal fat derivatives.

    Since becoming vegan, I have lost those 7 excess pounds without reducing calorie intake or increasing exercise, I no longer get terrible aches and pains after 3 (or 30!) consecutive days of exercise, and I feel much better, knowing that I am doing the right thing for my health and the animals.

    THE END.


    Quote Linxie View Post
    told my Mum that she either let me eat vegetarian food from then on ... or I just wouldn't eat!
    I like that strategy. It works well.

    From that moment until April this year, I have been a very strict vegetarian - no meat, fish, gelatine etc.. and I haven't worn leather or suede since I was 13 either.
    I find it confusing when people say "strict vegetarian" when referring to a diet that includes dairy products. To me, a strict vegetarian is what some people call a 'dietary vegan' - there is no such thing as a dietary vegan. It is, however, nice to know that some people had the sense to give up leather at that age.

    I think my conscious was really starting to bother me.
    I hope you meant to say conscience.

    I always thought being vegan would be hard but it has been so easy and I just wish I'd made the decision years ago.
    It is hard to be vegan, if avoiding products that harm both the producer and the consumer is hard.
    I wish I had made the decision before I stopped growing taller, which was at age 17.

  32. #182
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Quote Linxie View Post
    I turned vegan on April 14 2007.
    Oooh we have the same anniversary! I turned vegan that date in '06

  33. #183
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Its obviously a good "vegan" date

  34. #184

    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    In late HS, I was an omnivore that figured ways to talk my way out of the ethical arguments with my GF. When we braking up, a friend read Diet for New America. He convinced me that vegan was possible and the only ethical choice. By then, I knew several vegans, so I went vegan on impulse with my friend by having one veagn meal at a local falafel place. That morning I must've eaten something non-vegan, but I can't even recall. All I know is that from that lunch meal onward, I never purposefully ate another animal product again. No vegetarian transition. Just one minute to the next.

    I quickly wore out all my leather/silk/wool goods and replaced them with vegan ones, and have been vegan ever since the mid-1990's.

    It's never been difficult.
    context is everything

  35. #185
    broccoli love bugaboo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    I was an omni most of my life. When I was 14 I became vegetarian because of my "wiccanism." I stopped that and became omni again at 17 but I continued to drink soy milk and bought veggie burgers because I prefered the taste to the animal ones.

    Anyway, since then, I was a meat-eater until 7 months ago when I saw a program called "Dirty Jobs" on the Discovery Channel. I saw them tail-docking baby pigs and that night I decided I was a vegetarian again. The next day, I was slacking at work and started researching the meat processing business when I came across a PETA-sponsored documentary. That day I went vegan in diet. I went from meat-eater to vegan in a matter of hours.

    I was a dietary vegan and vegan clothes-wearer until I took another step. I edited all body products with animal products or that tested on animals.

    Now I'm omitting products from companies that advertise in areas or "sporting" events such as Pepsi and Coke and the like.

    There are even celebrities and musicians that I loved but I will not buy their entertainment anymore because of their views on rodeos, bullfighting, etc.

    Anyway, I haven't felt anything missing...if anything I feel much more whole.

    I have gone through life without hobbies or religion per se, or anything I was truly interested in until now. Veganism is everything to me and I think about vegan philosophy and how to get people to understand that not everything is as it seems. It is an amazing thing, I am no longer depressed by life. I grasp all that I can now.

    Veganism is my provider of happiness and freedom. Sounds lame, but, oh well!
    Do the Vegan Boogie!!

  36. #186
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    It doesn't sound lame at all.

  37. #187
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Wicca was an influence in my transition to veganism also

  38. #188
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    I went vegetarian when I was 12. I can't remember why but I've always felt a connection to animals and it seemed bizarre to me that we killed animals to eat them (I really didn't understand it, but I have social anxiety disorder so I've always had a problem understanding people's actions and thoughts). I read an animal rights book and got into animal rights.

    When I was 16 I became vegan. Mainly because I didn't want to use animal products anymore (I didn't know about the cruelty). I enjoyed the food, and had a calcium supplement (because I didn't understand at that time about what food has nutrients in). But I was shy and insecure in those days and people's reactions scared me. People coped with me bring vegetarian but people reacted badly to veganism. So I went back to being a vegetarian. I used free range eggs because I thought they were cruelty free.

    Last year I got talking to a vegan buddhist on MySpace (because I'm buddhist), and there was a link on his site to the 'Meet your meat' video. It was so traumatising I became vegan straight away. I've been happy ever since ^_^ And I eat a wider range of food! I feel much healthier and have a feeling I'm lactose intolerant.

  39. #189
    A Thristy Fish cobainist403's Avatar
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    Exclamation Re: Your personal vegan story

    I have been vegan for five years. Converting to such a wonderful, friendly, self-conscious lifestyle has been one of the best decisions I have made.

    Recently, with my busy college schedule, I have been grabbing snacks here and there, and not paying attention to the health of what I am stuffing into my mouth. I chose the raw-vegan lifestyle two years ago, which lasted for about three or four months, and in doing so, I felt the best I have ever felt. Again, the raw part, suffered because I was having a hard time finding extra time to soak, dehydrate, and blend.

    I am very, very interested, and I definitely have the will-power to attempt the raw lifestyle again, WHILE also being a busy grad student. I have been able to escape the "freshman 15." If any of you have any advice, so I can feel great again while being a raw vegan, instead of just settling for vegan, fill me in.

    Thank you for your time.
    She died the way she lived; ugly.

  40. #190
    Metal Head emzy1985's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    My mum went vegetarian when I was six years old. I understood why but didn't associate what I was eating as what she had cut out of her diet.
    In 2001, I was 15 and taking GCSE food technology. We watched a video about how food got on your plate and it shocked me so much that I got home that night and announced that I was gonna be vegetarian from that day on. My dad cooked me a chicken curry for dinner that night and I kindly refused it. I am also Pagan and it was steering me down the vegetarian path for quite sometime. (My mum told me recently that she fed me loads of veggie pies and stuff when I was an omni and didn't tell me!!)
    A few years later my dad also went vegetarian for health reasons, but eventually came around to see the AR side of things and even came to the vegan festival this year.
    In January 2003 I was feeling pretty extreme in my lifestyle and decided that vegetarianism wasn't enough. I cut out everything all in one day. Three months later, having not done it for the right reasons, I reverted back to vegetarianism. Also my parents would be eating veggie sausages and bacon and I, being uneducated about veganism literally lived off vegetables, nuts and seeds. (Which at the time I hated!!!)
    After three years as a proper lacto-ovo veggie, I began to dislike milk. I cut the raw form out of my diet completely and worked on cutting it out of things I was eating i.e pizza and veggie meals etc. Then came the egg which was harder for me cuz I really liked eggs and was completely addicted to quorn.
    September 2006 I said, "f**k it! I'm going vegan cuz I feel like a hypocrit!!!" I did and I've never looked back. By January 2007 I had cut all non-vegan things out of my life and decided to get a tattoo on my right wrist. I love tattoos and I love being vegan...just seemed right...like an initiation ceremony. I am vegan for life now muhahahaha!
    The taste of anything in my mouth for 5 seconds does not equate to the beauty and complexity of life.

  41. #191

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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    My friend bet me I could not be vegiterrean for a week. So I tried it. Liked it and after about 2-3 months figured I might as well be a vegan. It is better for my health, environment, animals and people in general. I never really thought about becoming a veggie before I did. I only knew a few vegiterreans. The one I knew best was not exactly healthy. I never saw her eat veggies, just cheese, wheat thins and sweets. I love this lifestyle though, because now when I wakeup in the morning I am not groggy. I wakeup ready to do anything.

  42. #192
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    that's awesome alili. glad to see you here!
    Do the Vegan Boogie!!

  43. #193
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    It took me a long time to get to veganism, but I glad I am here now.

    I think it started when I was a child, I didn't like meat on the bone in particular, and if it resembled an animal I had problems eating it because it just felt wrong to me, but as most people do I tried to push these feelings aside and conform to eating meat because everyone else was doing it.

    After I finished college I got a job as Computer Engineer and Network Technician still eating that infamous omnivore diet, after a few months the company was purchased by a large electronics company who decided they didn't need us engineers so they let us go.

    I worked several temp jobs because I was having difficulty finding work in IT, one of those temp jobs was in a meat packing plant.
    It was horrible, the placed smelled horrible of course, even from outside, I witnessed animals being slaughtered, I ran pig bellies through a machine that removed the skin, packed little trays of meat. I saw workers drop meat on the floor and still pack it; there was blood everywhere in certain areas of the plant. I hated the whole disgusting experience.

    So what did I do upon witnessing these atrocities?
    I stopped eating meat right? Wrong, the only meat I stopped eating was the meat from the stores that were supplied by that plant. I must have somehow decided that other slaughter and meat packing facilities did it differently somehow. Of course I was just being ignorant.

    About 3 years later I decided to become vegetarian, I eat quite a few vegetarian meals anyway. Unfortunately I didn't really understand what I was doing; I tried to eat the same diet as before but just substituted the meat for a veggie version of it. This of course was very expensive and not all that healthy, I eat way too many processed carbs, bread, pasta etc and I didn't feel very good. I was also eating cheese and eggs more than ever.

    So I reverted back to the omnivore diet, with the exception that I didn't eat red meat. I think this is where things got rolling.

    I started looking at where my food came from I decided that I wanted to see the process beginning to end of how the food got to my plate and if I wasn't OK with that I shouldn't eat it.
    The more I looked into the meat industry, the more disgusted I was, it made me open my eyes and realize the obvious fact that the meat packing plant I once worked at wasn't the only one doing these disgusting things, it was the majority of the industry.

    It didn't take long before completely gave up all poultry. I was essentially a Pesectarian because the only meat I eat was fish. Of course it didn't take long before I turned more attention to the fish sector of the meat industry and I was vegetarian again. The difference this time was that I now knew all these horrible facts and I actually bothered to look into nutrition and realize that meat is completely unnecessary. I started eating more fresh fruit and vegetables and felt great.

    I was doing fine as a Lacto Ovo Vegetarian, and figured the dairy couldn't be that bad and free range eggs must be ok. As I started to look into it though it was clear that those things were not ok, I got more interested in veganism and started reading about it. I was getting healthier by the day and was looking into cleanses and things.
    I did a 3 day apple fast, I only eat apples and drank water for 3 days, I felt amazing the whole time. I had not had any dairy for about a week and half after that, but then for some reason I decided to have cheese on toast.
    About 30 minutes after eating it, my eyesight blurred, my energy levels dropped and just felt awful. From this I decided that I must have some sort of dairy allergy, however I didn't bother going to doctor to have a test and find out, what was the point?

    I cut out dairy from that day and haven't eaten it since; I cut out my free range eggs very soon after as they seemed to be slowing down my digestion that was about 1 year and 3 months ago now.

    I feel better than ever and I feel good about the food on my plate.

    My ethics now will simply not allow me to ever turn back to eating animal products. When I recall the times in the past when I eat meat it feels like looking through the eyes of someone else, the whole idea of it is absolutely diametrically apposed to my beliefs now, it makes the meat eating me of the past somehow surreal.

  44. #194
    JC
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    I first became veggie when I was 12/13 after watching an episode of 'River Cottage' where the guy made black pudding. yuck! I'd been thinking about it for a while, but have quite a meat-orientated family and so had to reduce my meat intake gradually so as not to arouse suspicion. after 5 years of being veggie, I started to feel really guilty about eating dairy and eggs because of things i'd read in animal aid magazines and veganism seemed the natural step for me to take as the thought of animal products made me feel sick! but initially i found this really difficult because of eating out, mainly. when i made the final decision to be vegan, it became so much easier for me, although some of my friends were somewhat hostile about it :S my parents were surprisingly supportive. i think this is because i'd done this gradually - i came off milk about aged 14, then butter, cream etc - the last to go was cheese. but they do get annoyed when we go out to eat and i have to have a plate of veggies or something similar because there is nothing else for me. i've been vegan for 3 months now and can honestly say i've never been happier. i think people who attack vegan beliefs do it for the simple reason that they are trying to justify their own unethical habits, but i don't think it ever works because frankly, they have no point! I went to a catholic school, but my own beliefs often conflicted with catholic beliefs 'humans shall dominate all other animals' etc and i'd now consider myself athiest, although in a way, veganism is my religion. i've noticed that, statistically, the number of vegans are rising, and hopefully in the future there will be a much bigger percentage of vegans in order for us to be recognised more as a consumer group. i don't have any vegan friends (or even veggie), but i'm going to uni next week and i'm going to join the vegetarian society in the hope of finding some like-minded people! x

  45. #195
    Metal Head emzy1985's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    JC - There are enough of us to be a consumer group...you just need to look/shop/eat in the right places. I'm sure this forum will help you out greatly there!
    The taste of anything in my mouth for 5 seconds does not equate to the beauty and complexity of life.

  46. #196
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    i became a vegetarian after attending summer camp in northern wisconsin when i was 13 yrs old. Many of the counselors and staff were vegetarians or vegans, and they seemed so healthy and happy. I still remember the last day of camp when I first tried a veggie burger..it was love at first bite. i guess i never really ate meat, or enjoyed eating it before that though. I remember once when our family went out to dinner when i was in elementary school, and i had a grilled chicken breast sandwich. I took a bite and pulled my sandwich away, only to see a small purple-y vein wiggling back at me. REality struck, this was once a living animal! I always refused meat after that, but my mom would force me to have a "taste" otherwise "how would i get any protein?" (haha) Camp introduced me to vegetarian-ism, a beautiful excuse for the dinner table, where I could now say "No, i'm not tasting that, I'm a vegetarian!" That lasted until I was around 16...and then i became a meat eater again. It's hard to write about those years...It was hard, I was having problems with my period, acne, and a quick weight gain. I always felt like a heavy blanket was on top of me, holding me back. The happpy, wild girl I had always been was sucked out of me, hovering above my head, but always out of reach. I didn't enjoy going out with my friends anymore, and I had to force myself to roll out of bed in the mornings. I would hide in my house, my cell vibrating off my dresser, so many messages on my phone from friends always asking me to come out, what happened to you? u never want to hang out anymore? whats wrong? blah blah blah. Some wknds though I would feel like I was on top of the world, but also like i was dancing on the edge of a cliff which i could easily plumet down, back into "my weird recluse funk" (I now know it was depression.) The summer after my junior year, when i was 17, I lost 48 pounds from barely eating, working, running atleast 5 miles a day, and partying too hard at night, causing me to get sick and lose anything I had eaten anyways. I didn't participate in tennis that fall of the school year, (the year before i was number two singles) and everyone was extremely shocked. The fact was I didn't want to have to face all the banquets and tournamants where surely my eating disorder would be noticed. I still regret it to this day...Eventually I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, which was causing all my period,acne, and easy weight gain problems that had caused me so much pain the past years before my eating disorder. Most pcos sufferers are overweight, so the fact that I am one of the few normal weight pcos-ers (i guess ill call it that) made it take longer to diagnose. So, after a hard senior year of overcoming my eating disorder, I returned to my vegetarian ways and was put on meds to help with PCOS. I finally started getting my periods (trying to wrap this up, waaaay to long! haha it just feels to good to get it all out) and just felt better. I still ate a little too much yogurt, and cheese covered junk though. So early August I became vegan after reading about how much the meat industry affects the environment and learning more about the mean little dairy industry. (i'm a hippy-earth lover peace ya'll girl, so me plus vegan equals hot sex, basically) okay well god this is way too long now im in college and as my user name suggests, i am a broke college vegan, but am soooo much healthier and happier and farmer's market days are my new fav holidays!

  47. #197

    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Hi, new here. I was raised omni and omni most of my life. When I was in high school I thought being vegan was dumb because I didn't know what you COULD eat. I was introduced to a lot of good veggie food in college and began to understand that you could live on a vegan diet and began to prefer veg food to meat. I went back and forth for awhile and finally took the plunge, mainly to improve my health. I immediately noticed I felt a lot healthier and some problems I had (i.e.-acne) significantly improved, especially with the elimination of dairy.
    Then I saw this movie...and this may sound really dumb, but one of the characters was able to cause a hunter to really feel the pain of the animal he just shot. At that point I realized I could no longer live with eating flesh and causing the suffering of other beings. I eliminated dairy and eggs soon after researching the horrible abuse of factory farming. Now my theory is this...

    If now a days we don't NEED to consume animal products, why do we? Some would say we are omnivores by "nature" and should thus eat meat...but as human beings can't we evolve to go beyond our most base instincts? Can we learn to be compassionate, sensitive, reasoning and empathetic beings? I think so. Especially in the US culture and society we don't need to eat meat or consume animal products to survive. So I have decided to rise above it and live a more compassionate life. I strive to be vegan in every way, not only in food but in all the products I use. We are a vegan household including raising our children as such.

  48. #198
    Zero
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Quote turnip View Post
    Then I saw this movie...and this may sound really dumb, but one of the characters was able to cause a hunter to really feel the pain of the animal he just shot.

    I remember seeing that movie a long time ago! Do you remember what it was called? I had forgotten all about it until I read your post.

  49. #199

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    Smile Re: My Vegan story

    I became a vegan only after I turned a raw foodist.I was a vegetarian before and quite unhappy with the diet(was feeling depressed,acne and such)...looked for alternatives and found raw food cure at waisays,but there raw egg yolks/fish(no milk) are a part of the diet.Since I have never eaten fish I was taking in raw egg yolks and fruits.My health improved beyond imagination and I am thankful to them.

    However it was during this time I was browsing a lot of vegan and living foods websites which made me think hard about consuming eggs and whether I really needed it,coz that was the only animal food I was consuming.I found several raw vegans( http://www.tonyakay.com/ ) doing absolutely great and I thought why not me ? I am already raw, why not quit the eggs.It was not at all difficult to ban eggs from my diet and I am doing fine without them.I am a happy raw vegan now and forever

  50. #200

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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    I was always a vegetarian without knowing it. Meat never appealed to me as a kid. Eggs didn't either. I later found out that I'm lactose intolerant. So I was basically a vegan without knowing it.

    I'm now a vegan by choice. I'm a Christian and I do believe God meant for us to eat animal products (mainly meat, not milk or eggs, whose idea was that?) at one point in time, when it was done for survival and sacrificial reasons, not for money and pleasure in the horrible factories and dairies like today.

    We can live just fine without animal products. In fact, we're better off.

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