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Thread: Your personal vegan story

  1. #351

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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Ever since we started eating better, I wanted to be a vegetarian. I highly respected them and wished I could do the same. But I didn't know HOW. I just wasn't educated in it. I had no idea what was going on (and hadn't been for a long time!) in the world around me in relation to eating meat. I never thought that being a vegetarian was more than just not liking the taste of meat, or "trying to save the animals". I was raised to believe that there was nothing wrong with eating animals. I never knew how these same animals that I enjoyed eating, were crying out in desperate agony before they were routinely slaughtered, on a conveyor belt destined for MY own plate! Of course, I never pictured any of this when I first became a vegan. I sort of begged my mom for us to go to this live cooking class right outside our local Whole Foods. We went and it was so impressive--desserts sweetened only with dates, no added sugar! I always would admit that I've, "always had a problem with sugar"--in a sense that I LOVED it and it doesn't quite love me back. So, my mom and I, easily impressed with this "Chef AJ", bought her book! At the end of the session, though, she said a few things that were striking to us—she was a vegan, and didn't eat oil, and just minimal sugar and salt. She mentioned all oils being bad--even olive oil! Even olive oil?! We were stunned, but were willing to make any changes to our staggering diets. The cooking class was in October, and since March of that year, we'd been jumping around on a few different diet plans, even lacto-ovo vegetarianism was in the mix. We wanted to get healthy the right way, but hadn't a clue which "diet plan" it was. We read Chef AJ's book and watched a few nutritional documentaries: one called Eating, one called Food Matters, and eventually Forks Over Knives! All these videos blew us away! The week after we got Chef AJ's cookbook, we went through our cabinets and threw away ALL our oil, and any products that had any oil in it. Another thing Chef AJ mentioned in her book was that a doughnut was made up of sugar, salt, and oil. If we saw a product in our pantry that had those three ingredients together, we might have well been looking at a doughnut! Everything from our "healthy" Kashi breakfast cereal, to Italian salad dressing, to our favorite sandwich spread Miso Mayo, to dairy-free whipped cream, even to crackers! It was ridiculous what we were finding when we looked at everything thoroughly! We threw it ALL out, and felt so good! Needless to say, we needed to go grocery shopping! We started cooking vegan meals the following week, but we still had animal products when we went out, or were with others. We didn't exactly know how to take this big change, and weren't really ready to dive head first. A month later, by November/December, we finally starting declaring to others that we were vegans and have been a lot more comfortable in sharing with others. I've been so excited to meet other vegans and I've found a few so far. I've read Healthy at 100, The China Study, Diet for a New America, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, and Forks Over Knives (the book). I loved reading all these books and I've even emailed a couple doctors for their opinions of issues. I actually spoke to Dr. Esselstyn on my cell phone!!! I have been learning a lot, and am still interested in reading as many plant-based nutritional books and studies I can find! My journey in veganism has been gradual, but so rewarding! I love being able to share facts with others. My family are all vegan (the four of us) and still limit fat, sugar, salt, and oil. We've all lost weight being vegan, too! No more diets!! My cousin is reading Diet for a New America and is becoming a vegetarian. Being a vegan is so exciting! Not only are you helping your body, giving it natural food, but you're not harming animals, saving the environment, not costing the government billions of dollars on health insurance, and so much more! If anyone needs encouragement out there in being a vegan--whether you need new recipes (I love to cook and try new vegan recipes), health facts, or just some encouragement, I can help.

    Excited to be vegan,
    Miranda

  2. #352
    pat sommer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    ...you certainly will be a big help to the vegan movement!

    Enjoyed your story. See you in the recipes section

  3. #353
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    ...never again. You get a hallelujah from me

  4. #354

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    I've been trying to watch the film 'Earthlings' since two posters mentioned the impact that it had on them. It's horrible. So incredibly difficult to watch, I can only take it in small increments. However, I think anyone who eats meat should watch it, I agree with the statement that 'those who eat animals do not deserve to be shielded from these realities', or something to that effect was mentioned in the film. It hit me in recent months just how MASSIVE the scope of the suffering is, and it's all I can do not to sink into a very deep sadness. And shame. It's hard not to be ashamed of our species. You really don't have to be a rocket scientist or a 'tree hugger' to know in your gut that this is not just wrong, it's evil. I will never go back. I'm ashamed that it took me this long to do what I know is right. I am from Texas, raised by rednecks but always felt like I myself was from another planet because I have always seen things so differently than the people around me.

  5. #355
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    the only people that watch these type of films are vegans! talk about preching to the converted. I cannot get anyone i know to watch these films, they'd rather not know incase it puts them off eating meat?!?!? I fast forwarded thru Earthlings yesterday to see what it's like before i get time to watch it properly and i dont know if i'm gonna be able to without getting too upset.

  6. #356

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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    My husband watched Earthlings. He told me to watch it but I don't think I could take it. Like Brigetta B said, sometimes I have to make an effort not to think about it otherwises I know i'd sink into sadness. Its too much.
    I tried to watch the glass walls video on meat.org and probably lasted less than a minute before I had to turn it off with tears streaming down my face.
    I feel like I already know too much, sometimes I wish I didnt and could be ignorant. But i'm glad i'm not.

  7. #357

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    Daffodil, I can't express my outrage at people who don't want to know, it's too great. Ignorance is not bliss, I truly believe that the suffering might not be so extreme or widespread if people knew exactly what was going on. The fact that they are WILLFULLY ignorant is just...mind boggling.

    Here in America, bizarre new laws are being passed that actually forbid the filming of these suffering creatures. Besides being blatantly unconstitutional, they only PROVE that the suffering is wrong. You don't try to hide things unless you know they are wrong.

    I should have done this years ago. This is who I have always been supposed to be; ever since I was a very young child, I've had an enormous affinity for animals. They are clearly conscious and aware, and we are talking about MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of suffering creatures in my country alone. On a spiritual level, what does that mean? It's such a tragic, horrific thing.

  8. #358
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    Quote Brigetta B View Post

    Here in America, bizarre new laws are being passed that actually forbid the filming of these suffering creatures. Besides being blatantly unconstitutional, they only PROVE that the suffering is wrong. You don't try to hide things unless you know they are wrong
    That is unbelievable! It should be filmed MORE... people need to know what is going on!

  9. #359

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    Just a bit of info on the massive efforts to hide the truth from the American people-not that they care all that much. : ( But as I mentioned, this is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Just another example of how large corporations, in this case, food producers, have such massive influence over the American government that even the constitution doesn't stop them.

    http://animalrights.about.com/b/2011/03/23/bills-to-ban-undercover-factory-farming-videos-moving-ahead-in-iowa-and-florida.htm


    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/ar...rutiny/254674/

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/opinion/27wed3.html

  10. #360

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    I was a huge meat and dairy fan from a very young age, there wasn't many things I'd turn down. I was very heavy into body building from 20-27 and was pretty strong with a typical meat-head attitude towards vegans and vegetarians. We actually have a long time vegan at my job who we all used tease and give a hard time or ask stupid, impossible questions. Like I said, typical meat-head. I was always concerned about the quality of food I ate but around 26-27 I started really digging deeper into the origins of my food, meat, dairy and greens alike. I got a subscription to Netflix and watched food inc., king corn, foodmatters etc. and really changed the way I bought food. I cutout HFCS I even quit smoking cold turkey one day (two years this week actually). Finally I watched forks over knives and I was blown away, the next day I went into work and asked our resident vegan for earthlings and I haven't touched meat or dairy since. Since I made the switch I've done so much research and the deeper I dig the happier I am about it. I always cared about animals but never saw meat or dairy consumption as unethical but the more I know now I just wish I made the switch sooner. It does feel good knowing I can eat a meal that satisfies me and doesn't hurt any animals in the process. The biggest thing for me is just how good I feel, no more headaches, migraines, acne, fatigue, etc. the list could go on. I recently got a checkup at the doctor and I'm in better health than I have been in 8 years and I don't even go to the gym anymore. Once I'm finished moving into my new place I'm going to join the gym up the road, I'm excited because knowing how good I feel now I really am sure I'll have better results than I have in all the years I've spent at a gym.
    Even better is that I've inadvertently gotten two of my closest friends, fiancé and one employee to greatly reduce their meat and dairy intake and the employee has expressed to me that his ultimate goal is to get himself, his son and his wife on a plant based vegan diet. I'm happy It's gaining popularity and people are starting to see through the myths that surround veganism. If I went vegan, there is a chance for everyone. I'm the last person in the world I would expect to adopt this lifestyle.

    I recently heard about biodegradable engine oil and got really excited, I planned on using it and was about to go buy it. I read a few reviews about it and in doing so I found out it uses animal fats and tallow from meat processing and I thought "A. I'm vegan. B. the meat processing industry is so dirty, how can I justify this as an environmentally friendly product?" so I passed on it and purchased plain old synthetic. Never could have pictured myself thinking this way. Haha.


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  11. #361
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Thanks, that cheered me up for the day, "If I went vegan, there is a chance for everyone"

  12. #362
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    My vegetarian history is kind of a farce. I stopped eating red meat when I was little (about 10 years old - not sure exactly what triggered it but I always read animal rights magazines instead of the ones little girls are supposed to read and I think I just realised I didn't want to eat animals) and soon after, I gave up chicken/turkey (I loved chicken [eating it] so it took a bit longer).

    I then called myself vegetarian until I was 18, when I finally gave up fish. I just didn't think about it logically and I had become complacent and thought I was "doing enough". Even after that I didn't spend time researching animal cruelty anymore and I rarely got into conversations about vegetarianism - it was just never an issue for me or other people. I finally went vegan after reading a book on vegan diets and joining a vegetarian forum (not sure why I suddenly became active again...) when I was 21, I think, and took up a "vegan for 30 days" challenge, which I completed and never went back.

    Now I am OBSESSED and it takes over my thoughts every single day, I find it hard not to mention it in conversation, I spend so much time reading about it, I want everyone I love to go vegan, I find it hard to fully respect anyone who refuses or doesn't even want to learn about it... Which is very hypocritical because I put it off for over a decade. I've also learnt that my views are a lot stronger than I ever knew and I love everything about the whole lifestyle - it just incorporates all my beliefs under one umbrella. =)

    So yeah. There you go.

  13. #363
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    Quote Robharmer View Post
    I was a huge meat and dairy fan from a very young age, there wasn't many things I'd turn down. I was very heavy into body building from 20-27 and was pretty strong with a typical meat-head attitude towards vegans and vegetarians. We actually have a long time vegan at my job who we all used tease and give a hard time or ask stupid, impossible questions. Like I said, typical meat-head. I was always concerned about the quality of food I ate but around 26-27 I started really digging deeper into the origins of my food, meat, dairy and greens alike. I got a subscription to Netflix and watched food inc., king corn, foodmatters etc. and really changed the way I bought food. I cutout HFCS I even quit smoking cold turkey one day (two years this week actually). Finally I watched forks over knives and I was blown away, the next day I went into work and asked our resident vegan for earthlings and I haven't touched meat or dairy since. Since I made the switch I've done so much research and the deeper I dig the happier I am about it. I always cared about animals but never saw meat or dairy consumption as unethical but the more I know now I just wish I made the switch sooner. It does feel good knowing I can eat a meal that satisfies me and doesn't hurt any animals in the process. The biggest thing for me is just how good I feel, no more headaches, migraines, acne, fatigue, etc. the list could go on. I recently got a checkup at the doctor and I'm in better health than I have been in 8 years and I don't even go to the gym anymore. Once I'm finished moving into my new place I'm going to join the gym up the road, I'm excited because knowing how good I feel now I really am sure I'll have better results than I have in all the years I've spent at a gym.
    Even better is that I've inadvertently gotten two of my closest friends, fiancé and one employee to greatly reduce their meat and dairy intake and the employee has expressed to me that his ultimate goal is to get himself, his son and his wife on a plant based vegan diet. I'm happy It's gaining popularity and people are starting to see through the myths that surround veganism. If I went vegan, there is a chance for everyone. I'm the last person in the world I would expect to adopt this lifestyle.

    I recently heard about biodegradable engine oil and got really excited, I planned on using it and was about to go buy it. I read a few reviews about it and in doing so I found out it uses animal fats and tallow from meat processing and I thought "A. I'm vegan. B. the meat processing industry is so dirty, how can I justify this as an environmentally friendly product?" so I passed on it and purchased plain old synthetic. Never could have pictured myself thinking this way. Haha.


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  14. #364

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    Quote LouiseAbel View Post
    My vegetarian history is kind of a farce. I stopped eating red meat when I was little (about 10 years old - not sure exactly what triggered it but I always read animal rights magazines instead of the ones little girls are supposed to read and I think I just realised I didn't want to eat animals) and soon after, I gave up chicken/turkey (I loved chicken [eating it] so it took a bit longer).

    I then called myself vegetarian until I was 18, when I finally gave up fish. I just didn't think about it logically and I had become complacent and thought I was "doing enough". Even after that I didn't spend time researching animal cruelty anymore and I rarely got into conversations about vegetarianism - it was just never an issue for me or other people. I finally went vegan after reading a book on vegan diets and joining a vegetarian forum (not sure why I suddenly became active again...) when I was 21, I think, and took up a "vegan for 30 days" challenge, which I completed and never went back.

    Now I am OBSESSED and it takes over my thoughts every single day, I find it hard not to mention it in conversation, I spend so much time reading about it, I want everyone I love to go vegan, I find it hard to fully respect anyone who refuses or doesn't even want to learn about it... Which is very hypocritical because I put it off for over a decade. I've also learnt that my views are a lot stronger than I ever knew and I love everything about the whole lifestyle - it just incorporates all my beliefs under one umbrella. =)

    So yeah. There you go.

    I feel the same way. It's only now over 30 days for me, but I have no REASON to ever go back. The alternatives available today make eating meat and dairy completely unnecessary even if a person doesn't understand the enormity of the animal suffering the produces these 'products'. And I am on a personal mission to see that the people closest to me taste amazing vegan dishes and realize that the best part of being a vegan is the FOOD, even if you don't completely understand the issues of animal rights. This way of eating is healthier, kinder to the environment and for me the number one thing is that it's kinder to ANIMALS. And I confess an impatience (inside, I don't show it) with people who profess to be ethical vegetarians but still eat dairy. I don't understand that position at all.

  15. #365
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    We know how you feel, LouiseAbel, we are sheltering under the same umbrella.
    And about the dairy-devouring vegetarians, had an exchange with another ex-pat regarding cheese in China: her opinion was that Chinese find the smell 'off' and the idea of animal secretions unappealing; I find westernized Chinese all eat cheese. Our conclusion was that they don't learn to like it rather they get addicted.

    The vegetarians 'position' then is one of addict, imho.

  16. #366
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    My dad was a vegetarian for years (the only in our home, my mom, brother and i were omni). He was veg for ethical and spiritual reasons. When i was really young I argued with him about the circle of life stuff to which he simply rolled his eyes usually. Ironically it was only a bit later when i started to feel incredibly guilty for eating meat. I was very shy and too afraid to change because of family pressure. I told myself, "i will live like this until college and then do whatever i want, meaning go vegetarian for good". Well, turns out my cousin was thinking this way too but was stronger willed. She showed me the peta thing and that vacation when i was 16 i made the decision to never eat meat again. It was only this year i went truly vegan, but i was never actually that much of an egg eater (cant say that for cheese). Never bought leather either.

    So its been 5 years or so (oddly i think my cousin did not stick with it).

  17. #367
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    My Story:

    I met my future husband 7 years ago. He had been a vegetarian for a long time and picked on me for eating meat. I was already fairly health conscious at that point (into healthy eating and working out)--but I did have some persistant health problems. I was curious and read more about vegetarianism. I wasn't sure that it was a healthy. I jumped on the badwagon right away though. In fact, I took it so extreme that I went raw vegan pretty soon after. I did it entirely for health reasons though. And at this point I was also becoming spiritual as well--I was studying a lot of eastern philosophy and realizing that all living things have souls (animals included). I understood the idea of karma and reincarnation completely as it is explained in the vedas. I had always been an atheist all my life and saw no value or meaning in anything--so this was all very profound and life-altering for me.

    Gradually, I start shifting away from raw, finding it to be too extreme mentally and physically. I was becoming far too obsessive with it and I was losing weight and hair and just becoming unhealthy. We also went abroad to asia for a year--and that was when I stopped being a vegan. I found it too hard socially...although at home we still were vegan. When I returned to the states, I was still eating a lacto-ovo diet. I even ate salmon maybe once every 6 months or so. Up until this point, my motivation was always my own health.

    I started doing some readings and research and made the connection again--esp between dairy and eggs. My persepective started to change more towards animal rights and spiritual reasons. The vedas talks about the world existing in 4 phases (just like the seasons). 5,000 years ago we descended into the lowest phase called "Kali Yuga" aka 'the age of quarrel'. Even on wikipedia you can find the symptoms of Kali Yuga and one of the big ones for me is animal killing and meat eating. This has changed my views entirely because now I see meat eating as a symptom of moral degradation. It is a sign of ignorance and greed. I no longer have anything to do with animal foods or animal products... although I have worn leather for years and make-up tested on animals (because like I said, it had always been about the things that I put into my body and my health). But now I am very conscious of the larger picture. I cannot in good conscience purchase these items anymore. I have become extreme about it. But what started out as something entirely selfish has gradually shifted to something entirely altruistic. Even if I became sick on my diet (which I still thrive on)--I don't think I really could go back maybe unless I had my own animals to produce eggs and milk.

    I love being vegan and I love influencing others around me to it as well. I can see people in all their different phases--some people the health angle appeals to them more (like watching Forks over Knives) while others, the emotional connection to animals is more meaningful. I think for me, it is spiritual reasons--seeing all living things as having value, having souls. And knowing that our actions have consequences beyond anything we could fully comprehend. I cannot justify violence to satisfy my own desires.

  18. #368
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    "I cannot justify violence to satisfy my own desires."

    And if the whole world follows... ?

    Thanks for sharing that!
    the only animal ingredient in my food is cat hair

  19. #369
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    Hello Everybody!
    I am new to the Forum. I was vegetarian for a long time but a few years ago I couldn't carry on with dairy and other animal products knowing the level of cruelty involved in the industry. It is difficult to find the right words to describe how positive and great it was to make the jump.

    Physically I feel great and full of energy. My life has improved dramatically and it's not just that I don't miss anything, I have also found new ways of cooking which are absolutely fantastic.

    The Vegan lifestyle is the way to go!!!

  20. #370
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    Welcome!
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  21. #371

    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Hi everyone!
    I was raised in a family of omnivores, with a father who was a pescatarian. I decided to go vegetarian when I turned 15, though my parents weren't completely happy about that. I had never heard very much about veganism, except for that it was really extreme and I should never go that far. More recently I decided that it was hypocritical not to eat meat but still eat dairy products, so I gave that up, too. I'm 16, so I still live with my parents and they were very against it at first, but they seem to be more accepting now because they can see that I'm informed about everything I need. They are still hoping it's a phase, but it's not, this is for life.
    Selena

  22. #372
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    Ya, I'm still going thru that phase decades later! Good luck on your new path.

    Family will come around sooner or later...
    the only animal ingredient in my food is cat hair

  23. #373
    100% sure – I'm going vegan!
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    I have been an omni my enitre life. In fact I grew with little knowledge of nutrition at all. My mother was very sheltering. I wasn't really allowed outside and became the typical american when it came to eating. Christmas 2011 was very difficult for me. I have always been big but it was getting out of control. I saw a picture of myself and was blown away by how bad things had become. I can still remember it was December 27th of 2011 and I had just seen the pictures from Christmas dinner. I went into the bathroom and cried. I weighed 335 pounds. I was heading down a dark and lonesome path and things seemed as if they were spiraling out of control. I got really depressed and didn't for about a week. When my mom found out she forced me to eat.

    It was at that point that I decided enough was enough and I had to change my life. I started working out and eating better and learning as much about nutrition as I could. I dove into this new lifestyle head first with a fierce determination to succeed. Fast forward it is now September and I have lost 70 pounds and now weigh 265. I feel so much better than I have in as long as I can remember. Within the past few weeks I have been very interested in Veganism. I've known about it for awhile but never really thought about it to much, other than it seemed super extreme. Through my research I came across multiple videos that have already been stated in this thread such as Forks Over Knifes, Meet Your Meat, and a few others. It really got me thinking about the terrible way in which animals are treated. It was at that point that I became truly committed and decided I was going to become Vegan. For my health and for the animals. I started taking animal products out of my life one by one. The hardest part for me was some of the food. I knew very little about a Vegan diet but was determined to change no matter what. I bought the Veganomicon cookbook and started experimenting.

    I'm not completely Vegan yet, still a few more changes I have to make, but certainly within the next couple of weeks I will be 100% animal product free. I have to say I am currently the happiest I have been in my entire life.

  24. #374
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    Very happy to hear how you are turning your life around! Best of luck with the journey
    the only animal ingredient in my food is cat hair

  25. #375

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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Hi everyone!

    First post.

    I have officially been vegan since Tuesday 16th October 2012!
    I was raised on a farm therefore between the ages of 0-18 my diet consisted of lots of red meat and dairy. I am 20 now and for the last year I have slowly made the transition from omni -> vegetarian -> vegan.
    For me, I chose a healthier diet but the animal aspect is a major added bonus.
    It may be only day 1 but I couldn't be happier and I am very excited about the future.
    I would just like to add that my meals have never been tastier now that they are 100% vegan I usually had cheese on my vegetables but I am enjoying them so much more now (even if I do plan on buying that faux cheese sauce I saw the other day).

    Anyway, I look forward to see you all around the forum! My journey begins here.

  26. #376

    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Welcome ro_ro! Good for you for making the decision to become vegan! That is awesome! You will find tons of information here to help you along. It sounds like you have really made a 180 as far as lifestyle. It's totally doable but it might take some time to adjust. The benefits in every regard are well worth it. Good to have you here!

  27. #377
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    How wonderful Ro!!!!!! Let us be your cheerleaders on your new path to this wonderfully rewarding, and cruelty free lifestyle. Any questions at all I am here (: And if I can't answer it there are TONS of people on here that I know would kindly be there for you. Welcome to our vegan family!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote LouiseAbel View Post
    Now I am OBSESSED and it takes over my thoughts every single day, I find it hard not to mention it in conversation, I spend so much time reading about it, I want everyone I love to go vegan, I find it hard to fully respect anyone who refuses or doesn't even want to learn about it... Which is very hypocritical because I put it off for over a decade. I've also learnt that my views are a lot stronger than I ever knew and I love everything about the whole lifestyle - it just incorporates all my beliefs under one umbrella. =)
    Louise I am the EXACT same way. The whole lifestyle is just completely me.....and it completely consumes you.....but in a good way lol. I also have a hard time respecting anyone who cannot respect my beliefs......especially those who don't even care enough to try. Then there are always the few ignorant people that one has to deal with.......
    Tanya

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    Quote BellaTanie View Post
    Louise I am the EXACT same way. The whole lifestyle is just completely me.....and it completely consumes you.....but in a good way lol. I also have a hard time respecting anyone who cannot respect my beliefs......especially those who don't even care enough to try. Then there are always the few ignorant people that one has to deal with.......
    Louise's paragraph resonates SO much with me as well.
    It's like, when I was a meat-eater, I didn't think things like: "I'm a meat-eater, how cool I'm a meat-eater" every time I ate something.
    Now I just can't help having those thoughts.
    I've also become much more opinionated on several other issues (politics, economy, education, etc.). I don't know why this happened. Thinking about it now, it may be because before becoming vegan, I thought that people were much more critical thinkers and for me to have a proper critical opinion about things, I really would need to have a doctorate on the issue or at least to work with the topic every day to be able to grasp all the complexities involved just to be at the same level of everybody else who's talking about the topic.
    I also would think that if I have a different idea about something, and that idea is not already in place, then for some reason it is not a good idea, or else, the people who work with the topic every day would already have thought about it and implemented it.
    Now that I've experienced so intensively how blind people can be, and how propense they are to speak about things they never really reflected upon, I'm much more confident to speak out my views and to acknowledge bullshit when I see it.

    And I really struggle to give full credit for a person if (s)he is not vegan. My involuntary thought is like: "Yeah... you did this great thing... but you still eat animal products, which makes you a stupid person along 99% of the spectrum." haha

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    I am curious if the following 'angle' rings a bell with anybody else ..

    When I first risked sure and certain death by giving up meat (I never meant to go veg. I accidentaly 'detoxed' and literaly became sick if I ate meat thereafter) I was actualy frightened. Genuinely believed, for quite a time, that I had fooked up my system and horrible things were bound to happen.

    Once I had fully adjusted and actualy felt better and happier I remember becoming very angry.

    Angry with those who had instigated the lies, angry with those who had perpetuated the lies and particularly angry with myself for having been such a muppet as to have (with no pun intended) 'swallow' the lies, that is.

    Felt that 28 years of how I would have lived and should have lived had been STOLEN, by liars, from me.

    I can't be the only one to have felt that way, can I?
    All done in the best possible taste ...

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    Quote Cupid Stunt View Post
    I am curious if the following 'angle' rings a bell with anybody else ..

    When I first risked sure and certain death by giving up meat (I never meant to go veg. I accidentaly 'detoxed' and literaly became sick if I ate meat thereafter) I was actualy frightened. Genuinely believed, for quite a time, that I had fooked up my system and horrible things were bound to happen.

    Once I had fully adjusted and actualy felt better and happier I remember becoming very angry.

    Angry with those who had instigated the lies, angry with those who had perpetuated the lies and particularly angry with myself for having been such a muppet as to have (with no pun intended) 'swallow' the lies, that is.

    Felt that 28 years of how I would have lived and should have lived had been STOLEN, by liars, from me.

    I can't be the only one to have felt that way, can I?
    We are all angry, I am quite sure of it. After becoming enlightened (that's what I like to call it) I was sick to my stomach for some time. I still get that sick feeling walking by certain fur or leather stores.....walking through the meat section or deli of our local supermarket, watching television and seeing all the sickening ads. It is stolen time. My family....even my husband feels I have joined a cult lol, it is just sad. The way people are programmed to think it is actually ok to not only take life but to torture it and let it suffer so they can enjoy a disgusting cheeseburger or whatever they are indulging in at the moment. Just as long as they don't have to actually see it happening they are ok with it all.
    Tanya

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    I think we are all flawed as people, but we are all trying to do our best. Just as almost all of us were at one time omnis, but were still compassionate people trying to lead good lives, so the same is true of others who might not (yet) have chosen the vegan path. Perhaps they show strength, courage and goodness towards others in ways that we ought to but do not. I do not presently volunteer for any charities; I take more flights than I should because of my job; I sometimes linger in the shower an extra five minutes even though I know I should be saving water. I try to be a good person but I am aware that I could always do better. We all choose which battles we are prepared to fight, which compromises we are willing to make. For a lot of people (everyone?), food is more than just fuel - it is emotive, social, cultural, comforting, bound up with many psychological associations that make changing a diet quite difficult. This is also why people have weight problems. I think it is easy to judge others, to be hostile or angry towards them and to see them as wrong. But just as I hope that others do not judge me for my many flaws, so I prefer not to cast judgement on others for the choices that they did or did not make. I do not deny that I feel significant anger towards the meat industry itself, as a perpetrator of cruelty and lies. But there are plenty of others out there who accept, or at least do not challenge, these lies and yet who in many ways are still good people. I think that people often sense if they are being judged and become defensive and hostile. Forcing people to rethink their belief structures, their lifestyle and their past behaviour is very challenging and most people do not want to be challenged in this way. But if we can demonstrate through example that vegans are gentle and caring, healthy and strong, and scoffing delicious food that others want to eat (always offer to share! Let them know how good it tastes!), I think people will feel much less threatened and might become more sympathetic to the cause.
    Live and let live

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    I think everyone here agrees with you, Rainbow. This is just a good place to vent our frustration.

    Anger can be put to good use. Anger leads to action whereas apathy is a dead-end. So, I feel that anger, Cupid Stunt, and it spurs me on.
    In 1977, I thought I would die of protein deficiency unless I ate ungodly combinations of peanutbutter milkpowder and soybeans.
    When I read about the rat studies of the twenties that produced out dietary dictates, I was enlightened relieved and angry.

    Right now I am trying to channel my anger to speak up about the current 'Pink Ribbon' season. No, you bald breastless gals have suffered needlessly; you don't get a hero's medal. Mean? The anger in me comes from being sick of us women being rewarded for being victims. Good little Cinderella can kiss my ass. I want to spread anger and thus determination to CHANGE.

    So, VF, grant me the serenity to speak calmly and kindly while fire inside burns...
    Last edited by pat sommer; Oct 26th, 2012 at 06:58 PM. Reason: typo
    the only animal ingredient in my food is cat hair

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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Quote pat sommer View Post
    I think everyone here agrees with you, Rainbow. This is just a good place to vent our frustration.

    Anger can be put to good use. Anger leads to action whereas apathy is a dead-end. So, I feel that anger, Cupid Stunt, and it spurs me on.
    In 1977, I thought I would die of protein deficiency unless I ate ungodly combinations of peanutbutter milkpowder and soybeans.
    When I read about the rat studies of the twenties that produced out dietary dictates, I was enlightened relieved and angry.

    Right now I am trying to channel my anger to speak up about the current 'Pink Ribbon' season. No, you bald breastless gals have suffered needlessly; you don't get a hero's medal. Mean? The anger in me comes from being sick of us women being rewarded for being victims. Good little Cinderella can kiss my ass. I want to spread anger and thus determination to CHANGE.

    So, VF, grant me the serenity to speak calmly and kindly while fire inside burns...
    Pat, I can so relate to what you said! I am a "victim" of allowing a doctor to remove both of my ovaries along with my uterus for endometriosis when I had at least one perfectly healthy ovary and I was in my prime at the age of 33. The suffering I went through afterwards (and still go through) for having important endocrine organs ripped out of me was unbearable the first few years (this happened in 2005) and I ended up with an eating disorder that almost killed me. I am finally starting to find myself again, to come home to myself seven years later although at times I still feel like I live in a strangers body. I am very angered that one in every two women will have a hysterectomy in her lifetime (at least in my country), and one in every three will have her ovaries removed for totally benign reasons or even just because "she doesn't need them anymore". What a crock of sh##. Today I had to analyze a medical record at work of a woman who had a hysterectomy and the doctor decided to just take the ovaries out becuase she was over 50. It was in the operative report. I don't understand how this is legal. He clearly stated in the operative report that there was nothing wrong with them. Yet everywhere women buy into their reproductive organs being nothing but a nuisance and good only for making babies, despite what science knows. I can never totally heal from what I allowed to be done to me, despite years of therapy, writing my former surgeon a letter, etc. I feel sexless and I can not make others comprehend it. Sure I am more than the sum of my parts but I still lost something, and my natural hormones are gone. I lost my femininity and curves with my ovaries and uterus. I lost my trust in others. But I fight on to see the good in others and myself. I find ways to channel my anger, sometimes healthy sometimes not. Right now it is running.


    For me, a lot of the anger and frustration I feel as a vegan stems not from the ignorance of others (I was ignorant for a number of years myself) but from being attacked simply for being vegan and practicing a different way of living. People will tear down what they are not familiar with or anything that challenges their way of doing things and thinking. But you know what? I am going to go right on living as a vegan and I am not going to hide it. And sometimes, well, I may not be so nice because I am only human and sometimes I just get plain tired of the bullsh##. there, I feel better for getting that out.

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    I can see why you're angry about the op if you feel it was unnecessary, Robinwomb. Good for you for writing to the surgeon - did they reply? I think there are some groups that campaign on this, like the HERS foundation - might it help you to join one if you haven't already? I believe there is a similar problem here although I don't know anyone it's happened to.

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    Wow, RobinWomb, what can I say? Thank you for trusting us to tell your story. You are the shot in the ass I needed.

    Years ago, I heard how pimps target young white middle-class girls because they are more eager and needy to please. What an eye-opener: when someone hurts us, we feel guilty because people we trust only do to us what we deserve, right?

    I ain't raising any victims.
    the only animal ingredient in my food is cat hair

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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Quote harpy View Post
    I can see why you're angry about the op if you feel it was unnecessary, Robinwomb. Good for you for writing to the surgeon - did they reply? I think there are some groups that campaign on this, like the HERS foundation - might it help you to join one if you haven't already? I believe there is a similar problem here although I don't know anyone it's happened to.
    I did not receive a reply from the surgeon. I saw him for the first few months of my followup after surgery. I was having a horrible time with surgical menopause. I couldn't eat I was so nauseated all the time. I had twenty plus hot flashes a day and drenching nightsweats. I could not sleep more than two hours at night. I had continuous yeast infections. I lost a lot of hair. My joints ached so badly I was eventually misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia and went through six months in a pain management program. I had terrible migraines. I rarely had headaches before my hysterectomy. I went through the ER five times for the migraines. My gynecologist/surgeon has promised that a hormone replacement pill would take care of it all but it didn't. The stuff he put me on was what was causing the migraines. He was very impatient with me when I told him the hormone replacement wasnt working and increasing the dose made it ten times worse. Also, I still had abdominal pain. Only later did I request a copy of the pathology and surgical reports for both my hysterectomy and the year before when I had a diagnostic laparoscopy that revealed the endometriosis. Neither time did he even make an attempt to simply remove the endometriosis. He claimed it was too extensive. But I didnt even have adhesions or ureter involvement and many women with those issues have had success with just having the endometriosis removed. But you know what? I had made the mistake of mentioning in the beginning that I was not interested in having children when asked. But I had hesitated to have the hysterectomy. I never wanted it. I tried Lupron, and this drug puts the ovaries to sleep and puts you in temporary menopause. I had a terrible time on it and so that gave me an idea of what surgical menopause would be like. But as I said he said hrt would take care of that. Birth control made me sick. I was desperate for relief of my pain. I called my insurance for an opinion from an endometriosis specialist and they would not cover it. I could not afford it. The hysterectomy was pushed on me by both my gynecologist and another gynecologist I went to for a second opinion. The truth is most regular gynecologists are not skilled in removal of endometriosis, and they aren't going to take the time to carefully preserve a woman's uterus or ovaries if she doesnt want kids. At any rate, a few months post hysterectomy I left him and found a naturopathic doctor. I worked with her for the next six years (she recently left the practice to pursue administrative duties). We went through every imaginable hormone replacement (bioidentical/compounded, pills, drops, troches, patches, creams, progesterone, testosterone, estradiol you name it). It took three years to find something that works without making me sick. I tried going without and I was a basket case with severe depression. I could not stop crying at inconvenient times, especially at work. My memory was completely shot. I would walk down a hall and suddenly not know where I was. It was terrifying. Unfortunately the naturopathic doc put me on a yeast free diet to try to control the yeast that started my downward spiral into anorexia nervosa. We didn't see it coming at all. I lost over 40 lbs from a low normal weight to deathly ill. I went through several eating disorder treatments. I still struggle now but nowhere near what I used to. I am not afraid to eat anymore but I still have obsessive thoughts and still count calories, even though I eat a fair amount. I still feel a lot of shame about my body. At any rate it took two years to write the letter to the surgeon. I was too angry and overwhelmed at first but I felt I need to do it, but constructively. He needed to know that I was damaged by this. I was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis one year after my hysterectomy. This was before my eating disorder took hold. I let him know that he should consider this before taking a woman's ovaries and take a good look at her health history and risks, especially if prone to depression which I have a history of. The letter was really more for me, to let go of my rage towards him. It worked in that regard but I turned it on myself and became very ill with my eating disorder. My naturopathic doctor stuck by me through all of this. I also saw a pain management therapist while sorting out my hormones and supposed "fibromyalgia" and she helped me write the letter. Those two were my lifeline. I also had another abdominal surgery with another gynecologist (female) the year after my hysterectomy due to continued pain. She found adhesions and leftover endometriosis scar tissue left behind on my bladder, and cleaned that up. since then that pain has gone away. Adhesions are another risk with hysterectomy.
    I still run into my old gynecologist almost every day at the fitness center. I see him working out before work. I try to ignore him. I have caught him looking at me a few times. I am way thinner and different looking than I was seven years ago when I left him. I also chopped my hair short since then. It was part of my identity crisis from loss of hormones but also trying to redefine myself. And I am sure he remembers my letter. Problem is I still work at the same medical complex he works at (the fitness center is attached to it), and I am going to school in hopes of moving up the ladder. I have been there for ten years. I have to be careful not to let my anger get the best of me, and I couldn't really take him to court (it would have been a lost cause anyway since I signed the consent form even if I did it in ignorance). I analyze and process health records daily and I see that he is still performing hysterectomies weekly. Nothing I did made any difference. I did join HERS for a while but it just spurred on my anger even more. I was so enraged for a while I was literally sick. I had to put it all behind me for a while. But sometimes it seeps out and I just have to let myself feel whatever I am feeling and then try to keep going and remember how far I have come and what I still do have. I worked too hard to let him ruin me. I can still reach out to other women considering this surgey and help them make an informed decision. Sometimes at the fitness center I run extra hard and long (wearing my vegan tee shirt ha ha) or show off my flexibility (I can still do the splits at the age of forty) as if to say "despite what you did to me you can't ruin me". And I am not going away any time soon.
    My veganism is also a stand against all forms of violence and mutilation and for autonomy over ones body. Its been a very personal and healing journey for me and has been an intregal part of my recovery.
    Thanks all for letting me tell my long story here.

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    Quote Robinwomb View Post
    Thanks all for letting me tell my long story here.
    Thank you for telling it Robin, it is such a strong and moving story. I really admire how you are dealing with what has happened to you, the horrible injustice of it. You poor thing, having to see the doctors everyday and knowing that this still happens to other people. I know you signed a consent form but it sounds to me like you were gravely misinformed for the doctors' own convenience. Speak out, tell your side of the hysterectomy story and maybe somebody will listen and not let a doctor fob them off like what happened to you.
    Houmous atá ann!

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    Hi Robinwomb, I know it won't bring you any comfort to know that other people have also endured the same terrible experience, but I hope you will find the story of Hilary Mantel inspiring. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...said-mind.html Earlier this year she won the prestigious Man Booker prize for the second time - an incredible achievement. Like you, she is a very brave lady, determined to overcome adversity.
    Live and let live

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    That is a harrowing story Robin. Sorry you went through all that

    From very limited knowledge I get the impression that about 15-25 (ish) years ago the medical profession regarded hysterectomy as something of a miracle 'cure all' for a whole multitude of 'ladies problems'.

    Would seem that the pendulum has swung now and that the med-pros have become cautious over hysterectoromies to the point that they are now pretty much a last resort.

    For anything its worth to you ladies; This bloke is absolutely appalled that hysterectomy was ever taken lightly by anyone anywhere. It is quite clearly, both physcologicaly and (hormone wise) physicaly, the direct equivalent of castrating a man.

    That a male dominated medical profession would NEVER have taken castration lightly, no matter what it was thought to cure, provides some very bitter food for thought.
    All done in the best possible taste ...

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    Quote rainbow View Post
    Hi Robinwomb, I know it won't bring you any comfort to know that other people have also endured the same terrible experience, but I hope you will find the story of Hilary Mantel inspiring. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...said-mind.html Earlier this year she won the prestigious Man Booker prize for the second time - an incredible achievement. Like you, she is a very brave lady, determined to overcome adversity.
    rainbow thanks for sharing that link! That is very inspiring.

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    Quote Cupid Stunt View Post
    That is a harrowing story Robin. Sorry you went through all that

    From very limited knowledge I get the impression that about 15-25 (ish) years ago the medical profession regarded hysterectomy as something of a miracle 'cure all' for a whole multitude of 'ladies problems'.

    Would seem that the pendulum has swung now and that the med-pros have become cautious over hysterectoromies to the point that they are now pretty much a last resort.

    For anything its worth to you ladies; This bloke is absolutely appalled that hysterectomy was ever taken lightly by anyone anywhere. It is quite clearly, both physcologicaly and (hormone wise) physicaly, the direct equivalent of castrating a man.

    That a male dominated medical profession would NEVER have taken castration lightly, no matter what it was thought to cure, provides some very bitter food for thought.
    Actually, hysterectomies started in the early 1800s so they have been around for a while. I believe the number of women having them has actually increased dramatically over the last thirty years or so because of more advanced technology and the invention of the laparoscope that has made it much more "convenient". Nowadays women are even going home the same day for some hysterectomy procedures. I think this gives the illusion that they are safe and effective, but organs are still being removed and surgery itself brings along a whole host of risks (see my links below). When the ovaries are removed it disrupts the natural endocrine system that otherwise works throughout a woman's lifetime, well beyond natural menopause. And you are so right that "castration" is exactly what it is. Even the doctors call it this among themselves and in a woman's medical record. I have also worked with a lot of prostate cancer with metastases records and I have seen men on their death bed still holding on to their parts and trying every alternative first, even if they are well past their prime. Men view their parts as less expendible, regardless of their ability to contribute to the making of babies or other things. Also, I have encountered many women who have had hysterectomies that claim it is the best thing they could have ever done for themselves or they are glad to get rid of their parts. Disturbingly a lot of women seem to be of this opinion, while those of us who have suffered tremendously for it are the "minority". It is a phenomenon to me how women can celebrate being castrated or getting rid of their uterus, regardless of how diseased it may have been or how much pain they were in (my endometriosis was no picnic either), and it perpetuates the cycle of hysterectomies being pushed as a frontline treatment of many female diseases and problems. You won't find the same attitiude when any other body part is removed due to some kind of disease. How many people celebrate having a kidney removed regardless of how diseased it was? We are brainwashed to believe our reproductive parts are just a nuisance and good only for producing babies. We are not taught to value our bodies and what they do for us.

    Here is a link from the Center for Disease Control that shows hysterectomy statistics in the United States between 1994 to 1999 for illustration of increased hysterectomies and the sheer numbers:
    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5105a1.htm

    And here are just a few of the complications that can happen:
    http://www.news-medical.net/health/H...omy-Risks.aspx
    http://www.ovaryresearch.com/study.htm
    http://www.docguide.com/preventive-o...-younger-women

  42. #392
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    Oh my Robin, you are such a strong individual to be still here able to tell your story. I have not spoke to anyone besides my husband about this really truthfully, but I also have an eating disorder. I have not gotten help yet, being totally honest I am not sure I believe I totally want the help. I do in some ways and in others......well idk. Thank you for telling me your story, much love and respect for you.
    Tanya

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    Quote BellaTanie View Post
    Oh my Robin, you are such a strong individual to be still here able to tell your story. I have not spoke to anyone besides my husband about this really truthfully, but I also have an eating disorder. I have not gotten help yet, being totally honest I am not sure I believe I totally want the help. I do in some ways and in others......well idk. Thank you for telling me your story, much love and respect for you.
    Thanks Tanya! I am so sorry to hear you are struggling with an eating disorder too. I know how it can have a hold on you and make it difficult to get help because in some ways it does provide benefits such as a coping mechanism when life is otherwise too much. But it can also drag you down to terrible depths and wreac havoc on your body, mind, and spirit. I'm glad you are able to share about it somewhere and I hope that when you are ready you can get the help you need. You are a beautiful person with so much to offer.

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    I don't understand a lot of it. I just have had a weight/body image issue my whole life. I have issues with overeating like crazy for a few weeks for a while....then being so discusted with myself I go to a strict calorie intake plan. Food is the enemy....yet I sabotage myself with it. I am very overweight bc of all this and I don't know how to control it. It is really mentally tiring. And this is ALWAYS on my mind. I lately have been trying to figure out how I can just grasp some sort of control. Everytime we go in public its on my mind, pass a mirror or my reflection on something, or I see someone skinny. One would think I would judge others too but I really don't. Just am not happy with me. Sorry Robin, ur not my therapist lol, I just have never met anyone else who might be able to understand. Xoxo
    Tanya

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    Quote Robinwomb View Post
    Also, I have encountered many women who have had hysterectomies that claim it is the best thing they could have ever done for themselves or they are glad to get rid of their parts ... It is a phenomenon to me how women can celebrate being castrated or getting rid of their uterus ...
    I have seen manifestations of this Robin and I suspect that it is rooted in some form of self-mysogony. Like sometimes some women seem to develop a bitter hatred of what it is to be biologicaly female, as it were?

    (I struggle with that one as, for a man, I seem to have unusualy strong maternal type instincts; Babies make me all gooey and broody and my wonderment at the uniquely female ability to grow a new life within borders on outright envy sometimes. I think if I was female I would be a regular 'brood mare' - lol)

    Disturbingly a lot of women seem to be of this opinion, while those of us who have suffered tremendously for it are the "minority".
    Question: Do you think, or feel, that this is a case of an angry minority 'bullying' the actual majority to keep them quiet?
    All done in the best possible taste ...

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    I wouldn't want to accuse women who have this operation of "wrong thinking" - it is a personal choice, and there is sometimes a medical case for it (e.g. where there is a high occurrence of ovarian cancer in a particular family) - isn't that right Robin? But it certainly shouldn't be forced on anyone on the basis that female reproductive organs are in some way superfluous :/

    Bella, sorry to hear about your concern. There are some online self-help groups for eating disorders that you could try as well, if you don't want to talk to anyone face-to-face about it. Not sure which ones are good but someone else here probably will.

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    Quote BellaTanie View Post
    I don't understand a lot of it. I just have had a weight/body image issue my whole life. I have issues with overeating like crazy for a few weeks for a while....then being so discusted with myself I go to a strict calorie intake plan. Food is the enemy....yet I sabotage myself with it. I am very overweight bc of all this and I don't know how to control it. It is really mentally tiring. And this is ALWAYS on my mind. I lately have been trying to figure out how I can just grasp some sort of control. Everytime we go in public its on my mind, pass a mirror or my reflection on something, or I see someone skinny. One would think I would judge others too but I really don't. Just am not happy with me. Sorry Robin, ur not my therapist lol, I just have never met anyone else who might be able to understand. Xoxo
    Silly story for you Tanya, more in the hope of raising of a smile than anything else ..

    Long time ago I had serious insecurity/self-image/self worth issues myself. (In men such things tend to to manifest as various forms of anger, btw.)

    Anyways, my brother bought me a present for my birthday once. A simple bedside mirror with the words "Yes Trevor - you look TERRIFIC" engraved onto it.

    Crazy thing but waking up and using that mirror first thing everyday had an unexpected effect; I came to believe that I really did look terrific which led to my coming to believe that I really was terrific.

    Crazier still was that it turns out that when you really believe you are terrific weird thing start to happen; The self image (pure self confidence, I guess?) projects onto others and you start doing absolutely bizarre things like not giving a flying monkeys about what other people think and forgetting that you are useless and it is your destiny to fail.

    I was a welder, bound to clock in at the bench for life, when my brother bought me that mirror and only 6 years later I was dragged into the boardroom of the company I worked for to be told that I was their new MD. Now got my own small business and swan around in a Porsche.

    Funny thing being that it was a poxy £5.00 novelty mirror that started that!

    Serious thing being this Tanya; Whatever the cost/hardship/pain/whatever of building yourself a positive self image may be it will be as nothing to the cost/hardship/pain/whatever of living the rest of your life without.
    All done in the best possible taste ...

  48. #398
    Vegan Princess BellaTanie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    ty for the smile Cupid, needed it today (: and I love that you have become a success, how wonderful! you really are terrific lol, I am glad he bought you that mirror!
    Tanya

  49. #399

    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    Question: Do you think, or feel, that this is a case of an angry minority 'bullying' the actual majority to keep them quiet?
    cupid stunt,I
    I'm not sure if it is that as much as a patriarchal cultural influence that causes women to devalue their reproductive parts and dread the monthly period. just a theory. It is so interesting to hear a man talk about his maternal side! I love it. You are one of a kind, you know that?

    harpy,
    yes you are right there are warranted cases of hysterectomy and it is not always wrongful thinking to choose to have one when the benefits far outweigh the risks (usually in the case of confirmed cancer or severe infection etc) and other more conservative approaches either haven't worked or are not an option. But the sheer number of hysterectomies happening for benign reasons over so many years is mind boggling.

    Tanya,
    I understand your situation, trust me! If you ever need to talk, feel free to PM me. HUGS

  50. #400
    Vegan Princess BellaTanie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your personal vegan story

    ty love (:
    Tanya

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