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 Post subject: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:50 am 
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Okay, first, I admit it. I am SO new as a vegan. Less than a year! But I'm curious, what compelled you to being vegan?

For me it was this realization that living things fight for their life. Maybe that sounds simple or whatever... but after I got a dog and loved her I realized that living things want to live. I know that sounds so ignorant or whatever.. but that was it. I can't exploit animals anymore. Ever.


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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:02 am 
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I don't think that is ignorant at all. That's a very important realisation. Whenever I see cattle somewhere I think something similar. Why do most people not realise that cows and pigs are living beings? They want to live and they have a right to live. Plus, they should live like they want to and not how we want them to live so we can exploit them.
Congrats on going vegan!


Last edited by Mihl on Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:38 am 
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My epiphany was similar. I was reading a passage in a yogic philosophy book about how consuming the flesh of mistreated and suffering animals is considered negative fuel for the body and mind to yogis, and that was my "lightbulb moment", really, as they say. I'd never thought of it that way before. It made me ask myself the question: How can I fuel myself on such a negative source of energy that involved suffering and death for feeling beings and I decided that I couldn't anymore...

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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:47 am 
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I was reading something on Feministing where all these people were up in arms about the latest PETA stunt. So many of the comments vered into the "I'm going to go eat bacon because I'm tired of all this sexist crepe" and the standard "all these women are oppressed, shame on PETA." I got so inflamed at those comments! And when I paused to think about why I was so upset it occurred to me that I would disrobe in a second if I thought that it would help animals! And then next thought following that was, well if I care so much then why am I still only a lazy vegetarian!!?

I decided to give being vegan a try for a month after a that, and three years later I would never go back. It really was a matter of realizing that I was passionate about something to an extent I hadn't realized and that I needed to make my actions correspond with those sentiments.


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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:54 am 
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Quote:
I decided to give being vegan a try for a month


I did the same thing! I am VERY new to this - my trial month was October 2010, but almost immediately I realized it is much easier than I imagined. I've been vegetarian off and on my whole adult life and very strict about it for the past year. I've always known that vegan was the right place for me to be, given my convictions about animals, but I didn't think I could do it. Lo and behold, I can! and now I will.

My husband is still eating real cheese on his pizza but he's loving my newfound veganism - he said he hasn't eaten this well in his whole life!

I have to say, my cats did have a lot to do with my initial reasons for going veg. It just makes no sense to love one kind of animal that much and eat other ones.


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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:55 am 
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Hi! I actually never planned to be vegan, but I bought "Vegan with a Vengeance" and "Vegetarian cooking for Everyone" because I wanted to make more veggie based meals. Then I started realizing that I didn't care all that much for meat, so I started to cut it out and more meatless meals. Then I read "Eat to Live" and in the book it says something about just committing to going vegan for a certain number of weeks. I told myself that I'd give myself 2 weeks at least. It has been 3 years.

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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:57 am 
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Veganism, or at least vegetarianism, was prompted for me by a dog. I just couldn't stand having him watch me cook meat, it killed me. And he watches me alla times so it's not like I had much of a choice in the matter.

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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:58 am 
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Often, the simplest truths are the most profound, and I think that your reason for becoming vegan is the best one of all (of course, it's also mine, but great minds, etc., right?). Every living creature's first priority is to stay alive, and that is as true for a pig or a fly or a cow or a shrimp as it is for a human being. It perplexes me that so many people seem incapable of coming to this realization, and it upsets me that so many others just don't care.

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Last edited by Desdemona on Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:01 am 
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It was for my health initially. At the time, I was nursing my 1 year old (last child) and I was getting crepe for nursing a child that is "too old" and I was being pressured to get her on cow milk. Looked into it and we are the only species that drink another species milk. Then I looked into what dairy does-what it was doing to me-acne, stomach issues, weight gain, allergies-a novel. After awhile I watched videos in horror about factory farming. The ones with the dairy cows upset me a lot as a mother, they don't get to be with their babies.


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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:02 am 
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molly wrote:
Quote:
I decided to give being vegan a try for a month


I did the same thing!


my one month trail started a year ago, and obviously is still going ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:27 am 
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I arrived at veganism initially as a health concern. I tried it for a month and never went back. I continue as a vegan for environmental and animal welfare concerns and also because vegan food is so exciting and delicious!


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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:31 am 
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I just decided that after years of being veg, it was time to commit already, and quit sissying out every time I was offered a cookie of questionable origin. It's been 24 hours. So far, I have not broken out in hives or suffered from a lack of protein, so I'll keep going.

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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:35 am 
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Karma007 wrote:
I just decided that after years of being veg, it was time to commit already, and quit sissying out every time I was offered a cookie of questionable origin. It's been 24 hours. So far, I have not broken out in hives or suffered from a lack of protein, so I'll keep going.



Wow Congratulations!


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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:44 am 
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After being vegetarian for a year, eggs and dairy started making me sick to look at. So...I stopped.

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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:47 am 
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Congrats, and welcome!

It saddens me that I can't actually remember the reason I went vegan! I remember the reason I went veg at 16, which was that someone I knew (not veg interestingly enough) emailed me a link to a PETA video about pigs mostly and for days I felt tormented and infuriated by it. I then realized it would be so hypocritical for me to eat meat but yet feel so much emotion over that video. I went vegan at 18 when I was living away from the family, and that's not because my parents wouldn't have made it easy to be vegan or anything (they went mostly veg when I did), but it just happened to be the time where I started to form more adult thoughts and cares.

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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:50 am 
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I remember thinking my biggest hurdle to being vegan would be my husband, that he would never go along with it. I was wrong, happily.


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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:58 pm 
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Chickens made me do it.

I watched a video about chickens and battery cages. I had no idea. And even though chickens aren't in my top 10 fav animals (though I do love them), I didn't want to have any part in that.


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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:19 pm 
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I went vegetarian after reading a book with a series of essays approaching the reasons for it from many different angles, from spirituality and environmentalism, to comparative anatomy and the gross-out factor. It made it hard to think of a reason to eat meat. Going from vegetarian to vegan was delayed for years by complacency, but when I addressed that by letting in information about the cruelty of dairy and eggs, that was it. I say that it was environmentalism first, animal rights a close second and health and other concerns (spiritual, political, human rights, etc...) third. But I guess what I mean is that I could no longer come up with an ethically defensible reason (for me) not to be vegan.

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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:39 pm 
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Meeting a healthy vegan was what did it for me--I know it's silly, but until I was 27, I was still under the impression that veganism wasn't healthy. I first tried to go vegetarian when I was about 11 or 12, but it didn't work in my house--I think it would have worked had my parents had different information (because at 11, I wasn't really in a place to do my own proper research). At the back of my head, I continued to carry around an understanding of the wrongness of eating animals, but I always rationalized it away with arugments of "but I can't be vegan and survive." I couldn't use that rationale after meeting someone who'd been vegan for thirteen years and was healthier than anyone I knew.

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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:54 pm 
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Your reason is as good enough as any other!

When I was around 16 I didn't even really know what a vegetarian was, much less vegan, but I'd always deeply loved animals. One day I just happened to really put things together in my head and was all, "whoooaa...that's an animal. I can't eat that." Pretty simple and unexciting story, and I'm actually surprised it didn't happen sooner, but living where I do and my half-time rural upbringing it doesn't surprise me too much.

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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:26 pm 
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littlechicklet, the amazing thing that you did was not to say "I won't eat dogs" but you realized that other animals are worth our respect and deserve a life just LIKE your dog. you made a huge connection there.

i went vegetarian because of a calf I cared for at camp, he was adorable. a few years later i went vegan mostly from joining an animal rights group and realizing there was more I could do. i just learned a lot more about the problems with dairy, leather, wool, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:32 pm 
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I was a vegetarian from about 1996-2002, and I gave up out of apathy and despair. I felt like I wasn't making a difference, and if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.I'm a new vegan, too, since this July, and I had my aha! moment when I went and visited my brother-in-law's place of work: a feedlot. I then did some research on the internet, mainly any preview of a book on Google books with the word "vegan" and the PETA website. "Meet Your Meat" made a pretty big impact, though I was already convinced before I saw it. I'm a big Farm Sanctuary fan now, and their "take" on animal rights and activism is more in line with mine, but PETA helped me a lot in the earliest days. I also watched "Food, Inc" shortly thereafter, and I forced myself to watch "Earthlings" a couple weeks in. I bought some vegan cookbooks, and away I went!

My then-fiance (now husband) was really supportive even though he claims he will "never" be vegan. He's stopped eating all mammals, and eats chicken and fish rarely, especially since watching "Earthlings". He was vegetarian for about a week after viewing it, but the shock wore off pretty quickly. I still hold out hope though!

So I guess I can thank my cowboy brother-in-law and the internet for showing me the light.


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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:55 pm 
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I was around vegans and vegetarians in the hardcore/punk scene in Phoenix in the late '90s, including in Food Not Bombs. I had some false starts as far as vegetarianism, and though I often ate vegetarian or vegan with those friends, I remained an omnivore. I became very overweight in the early '00s. Watching "Super Size Me" and reading "Fast Food Nation" made me start examining my diet.

I was dating a girl in 2004 who didn't eat red meat and we ate a lot of fish and chicken together. I wasn't interested in eating red meat again, and now I was sick of chicken and fish. Plus, I liked that I was losing weight and had more energy. I was vegetarian as of 2005.

I started dating a different girl near the end of 2005, who I would later marry. She had been vegetarian for most of her life, with some lapses here and there, and even had tried veganism now and then. We decided to give veganism a one-week trial. It has now been five years (save an early lapse with a white chocolate Kit-Kat and some accidental ingestion before I learned to better read ingredients).

I would say my arrival at veganism was initially based in convenience, as I didn't like to cook. Both lifestyle changes (first to vegetarian eating, and then vegan) were influenced by who I was dating, both of whom enjoyed cooking (now that I'm married, I'm better at cooking for myself and others). Then, it became a matter of health for me. However, I had already heard the ethical arguments for years.

It wasn't until I started educating myself on animal cruelty and environmental impact that veganism became more than just a health strategy or experiment in discipline. Visiting a pig sanctuary in 2009 (on my honeymoon, believe it or not) and reading some more literature there is what finally hammered that aspect of veganism into my brain, It's not just about what I eat anymore, it's also the products I use and businesses I choose to either support or boycott.


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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:16 pm 
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I always just found meat-eating really unnecessary. When it's the only food you have in a famine situation, then by all means eat it. But I have options, good ones. And like every other kid, I had trouble dealing with the fact that meat used to be an animal, like me. I never really enjoyed meat growing up and didn't have a good reason to keep eating it. So I stopped.

Looking into industry standards turned me from vegetarian to vegan. I don't have an inherent issue with consuming dairy, eggs or honey. But I have huge problems with giving money to an industry that operates with such disregard for blatant and unnecessary suffering. I've been super ethical as a consumer since I got pocket money as a kid (I broke open my piggy bank to pay for a membership fee with Amnesty International when I was like ten). This is an extension of that.

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 Post subject: Re: Arriving at veganism
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:41 pm 
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I can relate, I became vegetarian because of my cat. I was reading an article and it said if you really love animals you could never hurt them and therefore you should stop eating meat. I started arguing in my head that it's not true, I eat meat and I love my animals. It was at that moment my little kitty-boy walked past me and I thought, "If anybody made kitty-kabobs out of him, there would be hell to pay and I'd be the one doing the collecting!" I then made the mental leap that if it's not OK to make my beloved cat into a kitty-kabob thent it's not OK to make cows, pigs, chickens or any other critter into kabobs either. It was at that moment that I decided to become vegetarian. (The timing of this epiphany came right after I'd purchased fifteen pounds of chicken breasts. My timing of these sorts of things stinks. Although, the cats really enjoyed those chicken breasts.)

I started transitioning to veganism after I gave up meat and plugged the hole in my diet where meat was with eggs and dairy and saw my cholesterol jump up ten points! The vegetarian cookbooks I'd gotten didn't have very many vegan recipes. The few they had were just vegetable stir-frys. (I am not a fan of vegetable stir-frys.) But I needed to quit being so egg and dairy happy, and I thought Vegans don't eat eggs or dairy. Surely Vegans eat more than just a few sorry vegetable stir-frys because who'd stay being vegan if all you eat are veggie stir-frys? So, I went to Barnes and Noble and went through their entire shelf of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks. I ended up with Veganomicon. Mostly because it was not dependent on any pre-fab foods and it explained Vegan cooking in detail. I've been in love with Vegan cooking and baking ever since.

I'm still working on being vegan. These days it's only when I'm eating out that I end up with eggs or dairy and then only because there are no Vegan items on the menu I can have with my food allergy. When I'm at home, I'm vegan.


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