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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:04 am 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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Location: I can't believe it's not England!
Short Answer: DarthCupcake

Long answer: I turned vegetarian in high school after hearing a fellow french immersion student talk about animal rights/veganims/etc, went back to eating meat in 2010 while hiking because I didn't feel a connection to vegetarianism. Kept eating meat after trail but started feeling really uncomfortable with it. Got to know DC (IRL, she's the one who introduced me to the PPK!) a bit and knew she was vegan. Having someone in real life to ask questions of/borrow books/etc made a huge difference in my psyche to make the jump to veganism. I've never looked back!

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:05 am 
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Ninja Master
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Location: Surrey, UK
I went vegetarian after accidentally stumbling upon the kfc peta video while I was at work. It upset me so much that I watched a bunch more peta vids that night. I was in floods of tears and knew. Everyone made fun of me 'oh so you're veggie now are you' but I just couldn't bring myself to ever eat meat again.

I was veggie for about a year and had no plans to go vegan. But after about 6 months I was researching eczema as I used to get horrible massive itchy patches on the back of my neck, and I discovered dairy could be a trigger. So I switched from cow's milk to soya and it cleared up almost overnight! After that I found that if I ate too much dairy heavy food I would feel like shiitake afterwards.

I did a bit of research on going completely dairy free and that's when I read more about how cruel the dairy industry is. I decided to officially go vegan on new year's day (a couple of weeks later) and that was 5 years ago.

Best decision I ever made in my life.

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:10 pm 
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Not NOT A Furry
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Location: TN
gosh, i feel like i was so young when i made the decision, i don't recall the order of events or what i became aware of first.... awareness of the cruelty of animals was the initial reason i went veggie. i ran across an illustrated book in the library that was titled something like, "how the cow becomes your hamburger." i thought it'd be some cheesy, 50's-style, fake-info thing, but instead it was graphic and informative and it was this instant moment that i knew i could never consume animals again.

i was 13 and i was young, so for the first few months i thought that eating fish was okay until i realized they were animals too and became more aware of the environmental concerns of consuming animals as well. at around 16, i started to become... just disgusted with dairy-- how it made me feel and becoming aware of where it came from and what it was. but i didn't know, for instance, that you could make cake without dairy or other animal products, so even though i'd virtually stopped eating those things in their "raw" form, i continued to eat them in a processed form just because i didn't realize how to navigate through those things socially or how to make their equivalents by myself.

i went vegan shortly after i turned 18 and i remember making jokes out of it, saying, "i'll try this vegan thing for a while." when i started, i still had a lot to learn, both about what i could consume and exactly what it meant to me to do my best to not consume anything with animal products, but still it stuck. that was over 7 years ago. i don't ever see myself choosing to consume animal products again.


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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:40 am 
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I grew up vegetarian. If my dad had been around, he would have given a lot of yoga or health reasons, but my mom was kind of "meh, we are" about it. So in high school, when I was introspecting everything, I had to come up with my own reasons and realized being vegetarian was pretty inconsistent as far as morality/ethics goes. I became vegan pretty much over night. I'm still not sure what I was eating, but I did something wrong because I ended up really anemic and with low counts for everything and bruises all over my body. Teachers started asking me if I was getting beat up, so I decided being vegan would have to wait. (I was doing 7 courses on a 6-courses per day schedule, including 4 AP's and an advanced drama workshop, so time for googling vegan health/recipes/etc. online Did Not Exist.)

Luckily, when I started university 2 years later (UCSC!), all the dining halls had dedicated vegan chefs preparing vegan meals. Also, my BFF (a lady I'd met on LiveJournal when I was 15) moved back to Santa Cruz and told me she'd been vegan for 10 years and I could totally spend weekends at her house learning how to be a good vegan. So I did. It was rad. I'll've been vegan for 10 years this October and haven't looked back since. Now my dad and sister are vegan, too.

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:11 am 
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Wears Durian Helmet
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Location: Hamburg, Germany
Isnt it weird that kids get the connection between pets and burgers, but eventually society makes them "override" that "epiphany"? It was like that in my case too... I would gag on the beef in the veggie soup as a kid, but eventually fried chicken was ok again to eat for me... until that one docu about two pig friends on an organic farm that were to be slaughterd separatly so the other wouldnt freak out because he would know he'd be next. That did it for me. 7 years later, I cant imagine to have ever eaten other animals.


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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:56 am 
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Memorized Veganomicon

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:33 pm
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Location: In the cold north
Quote:
Isnt it weird that kids get the connection between pets and burgers, but eventually society makes them "override" that "epiphany"? It was like that in my case too... I would gag on the beef in the veggie soup as a kid, but eventually fried chicken was ok again to eat for me... until that one docu about two pig friends on an organic farm that were to be slaughterd separatly so the other wouldnt freak out because he would know he'd be next. That did it for me. 7 years later, I cant imagine to have ever eaten other animals.


I know, right? It freaks me out that speciesism is just as big a problem as racism and sexism, but way too few even knows the meaning of the word.

For me it started when I wanted to become a chef and chose that for the Swedish version of high school. Our teacher (who ate meat) was amazing and really wanted us to know where the meat came from, so he showed the class one of those classical "behind-the-scenes-in-the-meat-factory"-films. I remember crying in the bathroom afterwords. Everyone in my class wanted to go veg after that, but the day after they still ate their lunch at McDonalds.

Shortly after that I met a boy who was vegan and who showed me how good coconut ice cream is. I had an eating disorder at the time and eating vegan really helped my recovery. It seemed so obvious that you should love your body and the world around you.

And here I am, healthy and happy, two years later. :)

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:14 pm 
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Banned from Vegan Freaks.

Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:52 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Brooklyn, NY
I think I was born vegan and didn't know it until much later, because the dominant position of society dictates that you eat meat and dairy, and lots of it. I hated milk, eggs, butter, mayo, any piece of meat where you could see the fat, the smell of cooking chicken has always made me nauseous. Hated the smell of fish and was permanently traumatized by a bit of bone in my tuna fish sandwich that my mom sent me to school with. I think when I bit into the bone I realized that this fish slathered in mayo, and TONS of spices and celery (cause the only way for my parents to trick me into eating meat was to douse it in spices and veggies) had been a living thing. That was in 2nd grade, so I was 8? But I was 8, I was a little kid and I didn't know that there was a world of me making my own food choices. I was still eating what my parents attempted to get me to eat. I would go through phases where I would like one type of meat cooked one way, for a few weeks, then I would hate it. So as I got older the list of meat and dairy items I would eat got shorter and shorter.
When I was 13, my friend did a report on where our meat comes from, and I got weaseled into helping her with it. It was just factual, the information she had was probably more steered towards how wonderful meat is, then not. But I didn't see it that way. I didn't want to eat it anymore. And I didn't know what to do. Then at the library I found a vegetarian cookbook. All of the sudden I had a choice, I could be a vegetarian, there was a word for not eating meat. And it was ok, there was a diet and meal suggestions yadda yadda.
This was all per-internet, it took a few years for me to find out about all the weird animal by products in food and stuff. In college when I finally got internet and looked things up a lot more, I became a much better vegetarian. I still ate cheese. But none of the eggs, milk, butter, mayo etc, that I hated, not by themselves, but in things like cake.
I made the decision to eat less cheese to lose weight. And to only buy organic hormone free, blah blah. And around the same time I guess I found out more about the environmental effects of dairy farming. Then I had a few incidents where eating cheese led to horrible bathroom time. One day I was like what am I doing? Why am I holding on to this one food that makes me ill, that's the by-product of animals bred slaughter and causes tons of pollution. So that was it, I went vegan. Totally. It's the best thing I've ever done for myself.


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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:46 pm 
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Trapped On A Desert Island With A Cow

Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:00 am
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My mom was a vegetarian for about 10 years before I became one, and in some ways I think I ate meat for so long because she was kind of obnoxious about it, and she's a horrible cook. Then I went to college, and was away from my mom and her cooking for the first time. I have always been an early riser, so on weekend mornings, I used to go out to the farms on campus (we had a school of agriculture) and I would play with the animals. One day the connection was just made and I decided I couldn't eat them anymore. As I walked back to the dining hall to get breakfast I began to question myself and wonder if it was a good idea. Then I got to the dining hall and saw a sign that said, "Starting tonight and for the rest of the year, there will be a vegetarian option at dinner every night." What could I do but decide I had made the right choice?

Veganism was a slow process that didn't start until almost 20 years later. It partially started because my DS wouldn't drink cow milk, but loved soy, so I gave him that and didn't feel like buying two kinds of milk. Slowly I found more and more recipes that I liked. I started eating vegan one day a week, then two, etc. Eventually I just had enough recipes in my arsenal and enough knowledge of how to sub things that I didn't feel like I needed animal products anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:55 pm 
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Has Isa on speed dial

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:17 pm
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My conscience will no longer allow me to participate in the bloodlust that comes with eating animals and their secretions.


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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:05 pm 
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Writes Vegan Haiku
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Location: Ohio
In January 2011, I picked up the book Eating Animals at the library (completely on a whim) and actually kind of dreaded reading it because I knew I was going to read about things that I didn't want to know about. I had read Fast Food Nation a few years prior to that, and I knew the fast food industry was disgusting (although I kept eating it), but for some reason I never realized how widespread factory farming was/is. So before I was even a couple chapters into EA, I was crying and telling my boyfriend that I couldn't eat meat anymore. The slaughterhouse stories were horrifying. I decided that before the end of the year, I would be vegan. I bought some vegan cookbooks so I would be prepared (I think Veganomicon was the first one and my collection just keeps growing) and realized that it wouldn't be as difficult as I thought. So in July 2011, I cut out what little animal products I was still consuming and became vegan. My boyfriend is omni but he's about 95% vegan at home, so that helps a lot. I even convinced him to switch from dairy milk to almond milk.

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:31 am 
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Chip Strong
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:14 am
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
I went vegetarian at eight years old after a transition period of a year or so still eating some animals (pigs and tuna fishes; I decided I could stay eating just them for the time being because I didn't really like those animals very much!) because my parents had no idea how to cook vegetarian food and didn't want me to starve! I basically decided it was wrong to kill animals to eat them. I'd grown up with lots of animals (both pets and farmed animals) in my life and formed very strong attachments to them, so I couldn't live with the idea of eating my friends. After then, I never knowingly ate an animal's flesh again.

It took me another sixteen years or so to go vegan. I tried to go vegan for the first time about 3-4 years ago and failed miserably, mostly due to a lack of supportive friends around me. Most of my friends thought I was a weirdo for just being vegetarian, let alone vegan! That changed when I moved to Scotland and met a number of vegans who were healthy, happy and made amazing cake and became friends of mine. I knew I could no longer deny the harm that eating animal secretions caused, so began to phase them out for about six months (not telling anyone I was doing so in case I failed at doing it), then finally took the plunge last year.

The support of others was invaluable in making the final step, and even though those friends have since moved away from the city I now feel confident to continue being vegan and being open about it to others. I've read so much literature on animal rights and veganism now, and learned to cook amazing vegan food! It's definitely been one of the best choices I've made.

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:57 pm 
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Inflexitarian
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Location: Zoo York
thanks to a peta mailer that went to the wrong address i went veg at 13.
i met a girl who was vegan in high school and i wanted her cool kid vibe to rub off on me so i went vegan at 16.

vegan for 14 years now and i have no plans of giving up my smug vegan crasshole status.


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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:08 pm 
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So Totally Yiffy
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Location: Arlington, VA
I recently became a vegetarian for health reasons. Then I started watching the documentaries and now I'm all in for health and ethical reasons.

I think it's easy for me to be 100% vegetarian but vegan is more difficult. I don't eat soy but I do love beans and nuts, so I'm ok on protein. I use myfitnesspal to track mostly for protein. At home I can control everything so it's easy but I am a social person :) How do you guys manage going out with friends?! I try to look at the menu in advance and plan, but I don't want to only eat salads all the time. Any tips or ideas welcome.

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:12 am 
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Has Isa on speed dial

Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:44 pm
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Location: Milwaukee, WisCULTson
1. I've never really enjoyed eating meat- even as a kid, my mother had to force me to finish eating my serving of whatever meat was for dinner. Throughout my life, I've always eaten far less meat than the average person. Sometimes I would go months without eating meat, and even longer without cooking any meat.
2. I've always been a bit of an animal lover (I mean I sleep on the floor and let the dogs have the bed if that's what they want), so I became a vegetarian a year ago out of concern for animal rights.
3. I have an interest in Buddhist and yogic teaching
4. A year ago, I watched Forks over Knifes, and have been thinking about veganism since then. Being a cheese lover and living in the Dairy state, it took this past year to really think about whether or not it could be something I could commit to for a long time
5. I have been having health problems for the past month that I have narrowed down to two possible reasons, one of them being lactose intolerance. I've only been vegan for 4 days thus far, but everyday I have observed a marked improvement in how I feel.

one thing that really helped me was that about a month ago, my sister made a tempeh recipe that was delicious. That really helped me over the hump, as I have been terrified of tempeh and tofu, etc. for a long time due to some badly prepared tofu in college.


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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:50 pm 
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Saggy Butt
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Location: Longmont, CO
I posted this briefly in the new members thread...
I was raised Macrobiotic (so, almost entirely vegan-no eggs, dairy, sugar, honey, dairy, meat. Fish VERY rarely) since I was 2. That was a really hard situation as a child, living in Detroit till I was 8. My mom would put onigiri in my lunchbox with boshi and tofu and everyone would make fun of me. Sigh. As a kid I was around hippie vegan macro people a lot, many of whom were pretty intense and kind of a turn off.
As a teen I rebelled and started eating standard American diet and unfortunately went too far as I have been very heavy my entire adult life. I tried going vegan briefly as a teen because my mom sent me some Animal Voice magazines, but my dad gave me a real hard time about it and I gave it up.
I decided to be serious about losing weight and getting healthier last autumn, but did basically the opposite of vegan--low-carb, a lot of meat. I had a lot of progress but stalled.
Over the past few months I became much more committed to Buddhism and had been thinking a lot about ahimsa.
Then a few weeks ago I watched Vegucated and I went vegan that day. I can't get the piglets out of my head, in particular. I have two very sweet dogs and when I think of meat I just see their faces.

I feel fortunate now to have been brought up with exposure to veganism as I am very prepared with recipes and I love nooch. As you can imagine my mom is over the moon thrilled, lol. I am being a lot smarter about it this time and eating a very balanced diet, I feel great and have started to lose weight again--60 pounds total now since autumn!

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:16 pm 
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Naked Under Apron
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serafinaemily wrote:
I try to look at the menu in advance and plan, but I don't want to only eat salads all the time. Any tips or ideas welcome.


i see you're in Arlington, serafinaemily - do you have friends who'd like to check out some vegan-friendly places with you? http://www.vegdc.com/restaurants.php#va

sometimes i bring little containers of my own condiments to spruce up any vegan eats i can find. you can bring your own “butter”, “mayo”, maybe a little tofutti sour cream or a little nooch. packing a “just in case” snack is usually a good idea.

don't be afraid to ask a member of the waitstaff what is vegan-friendly, or if the chef could make you something vegan-friendly. you can always call ahead and let them know you're coming and see if they can make a dish for you if there isn't too much on the menu. and don't be shy about asking them to leave things off. sometimes when we join friends for mexican eats i'll get a potato-enchiladas with no cheese on the enchiladas and refried beans (and be sure to ask if the rice & beans are veggie-friendly), a lot of indian eats are already vegan or can be made so if you ask, and vietnamese & thai food can be vegan-friendly, just ask if they can leave out the fish-sauce and such. when in doubt, just ask!

i always keep in mind that there are always plenty of vegan eats at home i can enjoy later. so if i'm stuck with a salad i don't have to be all sadfaced, i just have a nice salad, then make something awesome for myself when i get home!


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