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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:56 pm 
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In high school, I knew a girl who was an on-again off-again vegan. I was in a health class at the time (10th grade) and I waited eagerly for the food unit where we would talk about vegetarianism/veganism. For some reason it really piqued my interest. When the teacher asked if anyone knew what it's called when someone doesn't eat eggs/milk/etc. I raised my hand and said "vegan" but pronounced it vej-un. The entirety of the discussion basically boiled down to "some people live this way" but didn't go into any depth at all. I wanted to understand the hows and whys, so I started looking up stuff online. I was 16 and didn't care that much about "world issues" but something clicked and I knew what I had to do. The next 6 months were a blur. I started eating vegetarian (i.e. Italian Dunkers and Uncrustables) and when my mom's friend came over, she said "Why are you vegetarian?" and I said "For animal rights reasons." and she said "Then what you should be is vegan." and I said "I KNOWWW!!!" So the next day (or so) I declared myself a vegan and soon my mom bought me Vegan With a Vengeance for Christmas and that's how I found the PPK. My friend from the beginning of this story, when I told her I was vegan now, she said there can only be one vegan in our friend group and stopped hanging out with me. But 6 years later, veganism is all I know. And I have way better friends.


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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:15 am 
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I love this thread :) I'm vegan because I believe that all life deserves respect, but it took me a long time to realize that not eating animals and their excretions was part of my path. (that's one of my short answers, anyway!)

I was raised vegetarian, but when school-yard teasing became too much, BEGGED my parents to let me eat meat. I hated it. So, I went back and forth between vegetarian and not for something like 13 years! I worked in fine-dining, I was an art dealer, I had opportunities to and did eat ALL the bad stuff. But, I kept having the sensation that A) it made me physically feel like crepe and B) it make my spirit feel like crepe. So, I went back to being vegetarian, very strictly so! Then a year or two later a trip to South Africa and a bad break up and my mom's continued and ridiculous battle with Crohn's / Diabetes / Rheumatory Arthritis and Lupus lead me to start reading more about holistic health treatments. (Her prescribed diet is pretty much all animal protein all the time...sigh.) I was also becoming really active in advocating for organic and local food, no-GMO, etc. (I have always tried to eat this way, my parents have always been staunchly organic only, but when I moved to Chicago it started to seem like advocating for the accessibility of healthy food was something I HAD to do.) The more I looked at the meat industry, the more I knew there was no healthy or happy meat. I started remembering that I joined PETA at 12 for a reason, that I couldn't continue to ignore what I knew about the animals, and human health, and just go along for the "happy" meat / dairy party. So, one day I decided to throw a vegan dinner party, and if it still felt like a party, I'd know I wasn't going to miss anything. It was a HUGE success. And, I've never looked back. And my life has improved 10-fold. Seriously. Go vegan, it will change your life :) The funny thing is that I knew vegans all along, they were just never very vocal. I think if more of them had been loudmouthed about why they were vegan, the lightbulb would have switched on earlier.

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:36 pm 
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I went on holiday to Mallorca, and when I came back there was an email in my inbox about going dairy free from the Eczema Society. I've suffered from eczema all my life, and had a particularly bad patch on my hands for about four years, it was constantly cracking, weeping, bleeding, getting infected. So, it got me to thinking. I have eczema, PCOS, depression, anxiety and social issues. All of them put together is alot to handle. So, why not give dairy-free a try. And then I thought, why not go the whole broccoli? I did some research online, looked around my local supermarket and made the decision to give it a try.

Within two days, my eczema was gone, the constant tenderness of my lower abdomen was gone, I was sleeping better, I had more energy, my hair had stopped falling out, the daily battle with an upset stomach was gone.

I did some research and it turns out that the milk on my cereals, cheese on my pizza etc. was aggravating my eczema, and all the hormones in the meat and fish was aggravating my PCOS symptoms.

The more research I did, the more I found out what they do to the animals, how they get the milk and meat and all that. I always knew that meat came from animals, that pigs became pork, bacon, sausages, that chicken was the sunday roast, that cows were MacDonalds, but I didn't know the details, I guess I didn't really want to know. But, there's that saying, once seen, never unseen...

I've been vegan now for a whole month and I feel better than I have in years. I would never EVER go back.


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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:43 pm 
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I remember vividly why I went vegetarian - my friend was an on-again/off-again vegetarian and she was coming over to my house one weekend so I went to buy some veggie dogs so she could have something to eat. I tried them and it was the first time that it really clicked to me that giving up meat didn't necessarily mean giving up my favorite flavors and tastes.

But my decision to go vegan...all I remember was thinking on December 31 that enough was enough and my new years resolution was just to give this vegan thing a go and I did and never looked back.

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:44 pm 
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Jonny Guitar wrote:
I have to give Upton Sinclair the credit for starting me on the journey: his 1906 novel, The Jungle, outlined the pork industry in such a horrendous way, it made me question a lot of things. Shortly after, I watched Fast Food Nation and realized it was the exact same book with different product and group immigrant workers...nothing had changed in 100 years. From there I just started researching and came to the conclusion that I wanted nothing to do with supporting these powerful industries.


Upton Sinclair <3

I'm still on the journey to veganism (I'm vegetarian) but his book, The Jungle, is firmly planted in my heart and spirit.


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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:36 pm 
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I remember being very young, about 3 years old, and finding scales in my fishsticks. I had a pet goldfish, so I knew what scales were. I started crying and wouldn't eat fishsticks after that, but I didn't make the connection about other kinds of meat. A couple of years later, my mom started working at a local school's after-school program. She had to bring me along with her because she couldn't afford to have a babysitter every day. One of the other employees had a daughter the same age as me, so we became good friends and would spend our time playing in the empty classrooms. One day, the entire after-school group went on a trip to a farm. My friend and I got to hold some tiny baby chicks. When we got back to the school, they served us chicken nuggets. That was the first time it really "clicked" for me. My friend and I just stared at the nuggets, and we both realised at the same time that chicken the food was the same as chicken the bird. We pledged to each other that we would never eat chicken again. Well, the next day, I asked my mom what we were having for supper, and she said "chicken". I remember taking a deep breath, and thinking "This is it. I have to tell her I'm never eating animals again!" so I told her, and she asked why, and I said "Because chicken is made from chicken the bird!" My mom, horrified at the prospect of her extremely picky daughter cutting out one of the 5 foods she would eat, thought quickly and said, "No, silly! Chicken the food is made from flour and water. All meat is. Just like bread!" It didn't sound right, but then why would my mother lie to me? So my first venture into vegetarianism lasted all of one day.

Later, when I was in high school, I became friends with a girl who was vegetarian. I remember asking her, "You're not vegan, though, right?", thinking that vegans were crazy radicals! But after being friends with her for a while, I saw that vegetarianism wasn't really difficult. I was also taking animal science classes where I was basically being taught how to raise livestock in a factory farm environment. We had pigs in farrowing crates, we had lambs getting their tails chopped off, we had cows living in cement pens. And then I started working at the animal shelter after school in my junior year. One day, animal control got a call that a cow was being electrocuted. Apparently, there was a guy in town who had beef cows whom he would breed every year and then raise the calves and sell them for meat. A wire above their field had come down and wrapped around an old abandoned tractor. The cow (steer, actually) had brushed up against the tractor and it shocked him and he became paralysed and couldn't move away, so the current just kept going through him. after the current was shut off, the steer fell down, and everyone thought he would have to be killed. The police were there with a rifle, and they were on the phone with a vet school, because I guess you have to hit a very specific spot to kill a cow. I was hiding in the car, crying, and waiting to hear the shot. And I thought "Why am I crying? I eat steak. I'm basically paying someone to kill a cow whenever I eat beef." And I felt like such a hypocrite! I stopped eating meat right then. (The steer, miraculously, stood up right before they were going to shoot him, and he seemed to be unharmed.)

After several months as a vegetarian, my veg friend asked if I was going to go vegan, and I couldn't think of any reason not to. I had already stopped eating cheese because she told me about rennet. So we both went vegan around the same time. It didn't stick with her, but it did for me. And here I am.


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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:31 pm 
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raspberrycomplaint wrote:
I remember being very young, about 3 years old, and finding scales in my fishsticks. I had a pet goldfish, so I knew what scales were. I started crying and wouldn't eat fishsticks after that, but I didn't make the connection about other kinds of meat. A couple of years later, my mom started working at a local school's after-school program. She had to bring me along with her because she couldn't afford to have a babysitter every day. One of the other employees had a daughter the same age as me, so we became good friends and would spend our time playing in the empty classrooms. One day, the entire after-school group went on a trip to a farm. My friend and I got to hold some tiny baby chicks. When we got back to the school, they served us chicken nuggets. That was the first time it really "clicked" for me. My friend and I just stared at the nuggets, and we both realised at the same time that chicken the food was the same as chicken the bird. We pledged to each other that we would never eat chicken again. Well, the next day, I asked my mom what we were having for supper, and she said "chicken". I remember taking a deep breath, and thinking "This is it. I have to tell her I'm never eating animals again!" so I told her, and she asked why, and I said "Because chicken is made from chicken the bird!" My mom, horrified at the prospect of her extremely picky daughter cutting out one of the 5 foods she would eat, thought quickly and said, "No, silly! Chicken the food is made from flour and water. All meat is. Just like bread!" It didn't sound right, but then why would my mother lie to me? So my first venture into vegetarianism lasted all of one day.


Whoa...How long before you figured out that she made that up? Did you ever say anything to her about it?

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:40 pm 
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When I was growing up, many of my neighbors had backyard animals (chickens and rabbits mostly, sometimes a goat). So I knew where food came from. I had grown into acceptance of that fact I guess so it didn't 'bother' me until much later. I guess I didn't think there was another way.

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:31 pm 
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choirqueer wrote:
Whoa...How long before you figured out that she made that up? Did you ever say anything to her about it?

It took me a couple of years to figure it out! I was only 4 or 5 when she told me that, and at that age I just assumed she wouldn't lie to me (I wasn't questioning her about Santa or the tooth fairy or anything at that point). And I lived in a city, so I didn't really know much about where food came from. We joke about it now, especially because she ended up becoming a vegetarian herself.


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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 4:06 am 
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I became a vegetarian over the obvious reasons (ethics, environment, health). I always felt a bit 'guilty' for eating eggs and dairy, though. What finally gave the final push to go completely vegan was reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. SO good!! And so convicting!!

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:46 am 
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My "click" moment was quite random! I used to listen to Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's podcasts when I went running. I had been a vegetarian for four years and knew that I had to become a vegan, but just couldn't get myself to take the plunge. One day I came inside from a run and my friend had posted a picture of her cat who had died that morning. I hadn't known her cat but I started crying and all of a sudden realized I had to go vegan haha.


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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:32 am 
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I watched a PETA video narrated by Rue McClanahan of all people. It was a pig factory farm, and they were brutally beating and sexually abusing the pigs. I became vegan right then and there. The day before I ate Jack in the Box.

What got me thinking about vegetarianism was Paul McCartney.

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:34 am 
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I went vegan for a year when I was younger just out of curiosity but it sadly did not stick with me due to peer pressure and being young/naive. I have since reclaimed veganism almost by accident as I just started to slowly change my life to fit into it. The part that is most odd to me is that I didn't notice that I had developed strong feelings about the animal compassion/rights to life side of things until I started having conversations with my friend about how I was living. I guess I just developed that subconsciously.

As to what spurred my interest when I was younger was shortly after I discovered Ted Leo and Fugazi.

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:12 pm 
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Oh, I didn't mention that I was partly vegetarian off and on when I was a kid. My family didn't support me very much, which is why I say partly. They basically wouldn't make me special food, so I would eat meat when I was super hungry, and there was nothing vegetarian friendly to eat (I was like 10, too young to cook or buy food)

The tipping point was when we were living in a co-op type place (a row of houses where the families shared food/cooking/child care etc). Anyway, the other families were Fillipino, and they had a really big party one summer. They had a goat, which they were keeping in our backyard. I LOVED the goat. She was so cute and friendly. The other kids were mean to her, but I would feed her and pet her.

boring story even more boring, they killed the goat to eat it. Broke my heart. I cried my eyes out when my mom told me what happened. Stopped eating meat for a while after that, when I could, but eventually wandered back to omni. It was tough when you family not only won't support you, but actively tries to get you to eat meat. So I gave in.

Poor Goaty. Yeah, I named her Goaty. I was not the most creative when naming stuff. There were a couple of goats at the horse stables I worked at that I named "Blacky and Browny". Guess what color fur they had?

I do still think about that poor goat sometimes. Like right now I am kind of tearing up thinking about her.


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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:31 pm 
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When I was about 5 I told my mother that I wanted to be a "vegetablearian" and so from then on I was an on/off vegetarian (the off part due to home issues). Then when I was about 12 or 13 I found out about veganism and ever since then I've been a vegan. No big magical stories.

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:56 pm 
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I always admired vegetarianism and thought veganism was crazy. I always assumed it would be too hard or that it would consume your life like it did for one girl I knew in college (as in your only identity HAD to be vegan) so I never saw that as a likely future for me. But then I met a few people who were vegan and vegetarian and it was only part of who they were. That's when I started to really consider it. Right around that time I talked to a friend about how I felt. She felt the same and she went vegetarian right away. I felt slighted that she beat me to the punch, so I went veg too. I spent the next 6 months trying out bits of veganism here and there, testing the waters to see if I could go all out, when another friend beat me to the punch again and went omni to vegan. Again, I was like "what the hell?! If she thinks she can do it, I certainly can!" so I went fully vegan.
Neither of those friends lasted as veg*ns for very long, but I've been vegan for 6 and a half years now!


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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:52 am 
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Like an above poster, I was vegetarian for many years (16). It was forking time to go vegan. Also, a FB friend was always posting stuff and one day I just thought, "Why not now"?

I thought about it a few days, and decided to "just try it" for a month. Then I found the PPK, and I'm closing in on a year. I am somewhat ashamed it took me so long, but I'm glad I'm here.

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:59 pm 
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I was raised vegetarian and I've always been proud of never eating meat. However, I always wore leather, which I finally came to realize just makes no sense. (To be honest, the aunt that raised me vegetarian worked in the fashion industry and always wore leather, so I guess I just followed her.) What finally pushed me into veganism was the prospect of having a child - I'd always felt that veganism was the "right" thing to do but I was too lazy to give up cheese.. when I got pregnant I felt it was time to do it because I definitely didn't want my kid to eat animal products, so it was time to end the hypocrisy! (I'm also happy to say that my formerly-very-omni boyfriend went vegetarian soon after we got together 8 years ago and became completely vegan on the day our daughter was born, 3.5 years ago. He'd always believed in the ethics but it took some really good cooking to convert him completely!)


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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:26 pm 
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I was a fairly new vegetarian, when one day at lunch I mistakenly at a desset that had gelatin in it. It dawned on me in the middle of eating it exactly what I was doing. I felt so guilty that I ate vegan all weekend...I guess to "make up" for it in my own warped way of thinking. During that time, I started really researching veganism, factory farming, and all that goes with it. Didn't take me too long to get my rear in gear and do it right. For me, it's an ethical issue....who are we to think that humans are the only beings whose feelings matter? Regardless of anyones's spiritual/religious beliefs, I truly feel that in some way, we (humans) will have to answer for the way we treat other living beings.

***off soapbox***


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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:30 pm 
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I am deeply uncomfortable with industrialized animal agriculture. Like Mr. Shankly, I don't have any magical stories.

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:42 am 
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There were two reasons why I became a vegetarian some 10 years ago:
1) I read The Princess Diaries and Mia was a veggie so I wanted to be a veggie too,
2) My best friend at the time was a veggie
My parents are omnis and thought it was a phase but I never got over it. I would try meat once or twice a year but otherwise kept being veggie. I was then a pescetarian for a couple years before becoming vegan last October. I love it!
Sometimes I feel like a simple 'because I wanted to' is not an adequate reason to give when people ask why I converted, but that's really the crux of it. I understand that there are many important environmental and animal welfare issues, but I don't feel I know enough about them yet to quote that as a reason.
I guess when I think about it, it's never made sense to me to eat animals and animal products when there are healthier, greener, tastier alternatives.

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:30 am 
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It was easier to switch from vegetarianism to vegan after the invention of the computer. Thanks Al Gore! There wasn't a lot of information out there and most vegan cook books were unimaginative and extreme. I think Laurel's Kitchen and Moosewood were the only vegetarian cookbooks I could find that had any desirable recipes I'd be willing to try. Now there's an abundance of information on vegan living and food all over the internet. You young whippersnappers are lucky.

I think animals are intelligent beings and I hate that they are killed for sport or food. I think meat of any kind is bland anyway and it's the spices, sauces and seasonings that are the tasty part. So why not put that on a bean burger or some mushrooms instead?


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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:33 am 
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I'm new, so this seemed a good place for a first post!

I first went vegan a few years ago for a year but then stopped for stupid reasons (manly lack of support making a lot of days difficult), I mainly went vegan that time for health but the reasons moved on as I became more aware of other things.

This time round I was feeling cross that I hadn't been stronger in what I felt and after crying at a poor run over badger at the side of the road and crying when I caught the tail end of a fishing show, it was like a lightbulb of 'what am I doing, I don't want to eat animals'. For me vegetarianism would not be enough so started again at the beginning of the year.

I feel so annoyed at myself and feel a bit of an idiot for stopping before, hopefully those feelings will help me against the negative people in my life.


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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:40 am 
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Because I hate oil and sugar that much. Grrrrrrr. Yeast too.

I officially became vegetarian at 13 when the BSE thing started. First of all, it scared the beejesus out of me and second of all, I hated meat anyway and thought it was pointless. As it was I used to hide meat in my pocket and dump it later. I just could not see the point at all in eating it. Of course when I announced I was becoming a vegetarian my parents said that if I did I would have to start cooking my own dinners. Since their cooking was so horrific I didn't see that as a threat but as a massive bonus. Way bigger than all the lives I would save.

I'm allergic to dairy all of my twenties but still used to have it. Every so often I would manage to cut it out altogether. I kept toying with the idea of going vegan but the whole lifestyle change was a bit overwhelming. What gave me the shove in the end was getting a bad run of eggs. No matter where I got them every egg I opened had a foetus in it. It was horrifying but it was enough to finally tip me over the edge one day when out of 4 eggs that I cracked all of them had a foetus. Straight away I picked up my handbag and the keys to the car and drove myself to the health shop for supplies then got online to go researching.

Even though I started out with more health reasons and personal taste I have evolved to more about the animal rights than anything. It just feels wrong to me now to use something that is animal based (like some dog leashes I have that are leather, handbags, shoes.)

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 Post subject: Re: So, why are you vegan?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:43 am 
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Listening to Morrissey/The Smiths made me vegetarian and Crass/Conflict etc and the friends i met through the whole squat/anarcho punk scene made me realise it wasn't enough so i became vegan. That was 20 years ago and i still listen to the same music and am still vegan.

But i make far better cakes now. Thanks Isa!


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