How did you make the decision to live a veg*n lifestyle? - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 01-11-2017, 09:55 AM
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How did you make the decision to live a veg*n lifestyle?



How did you make the decision to live a veg*n lifestyle?

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#2 Old 01-11-2017, 08:16 PM
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Without rambling too much, concern for animal rights made me a lacto-ovo vegetarian (PETA) but I'm sorry to say that in my early 20s it wasn't enough to keep me on a strict plant based diet, because I had no idea what I was doing, I had no support and I knew 0 vegans. So my first attempt at veganism lasted a few months.

I started transitioning to vegan again after watching Forks Over Knives and Cowspiracy, because I suddenly had more information and now several other reasons besides animal rights to support my decision. I think the first time I was really afraid I was being irrational and it didn't help that my ex said things like vegans were physically weak.

When veganism was discovered by me to be rational and actually so overwhelmingly right and correct for multiple reasons, I studied on how to eat with real nutrition and how to do so even when I am running low on money.

So animal rights made me vegetarian, and environmental and health sciences made me vegan. I also woke up to the fact through education that vegetarianism still harms animals and the environment more than I thought. Though it's still better than eating meat of course.

I think the environment was probably my pinnacle point of commitment to transitioning to vegan though.

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#3 Old 01-11-2017, 09:02 PM
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For some reason my brain decided to start imagining whatever animal I was eating suffering in order to become meat, and I would have to take meat I was chewing out of my mouth because I couldn't bring myself to swallow it.
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#4 Old 01-12-2017, 02:35 AM
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I have always felt a need for compassion, but especially in my teenage years I had a hard time going veg*n because I have Crohns disease and was easily malnourished, plus I come from an abusive home. So for years I was veg*n on and off.

Then I eventually turned vegetarian because I couldnt bring myself to eat meat anymore, but I thought that if I bought humane dairy I was doing enough. I didnt think using animals was wrong, I just thought the way we were using them was usually wrong.

I turned vegan as soon as that thought changed, I realised that using animals in any way is wrong no matter if they are kept humanely or whatever, they are still slaves to us. That made me take the final step.
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#5 Old 01-12-2017, 06:13 PM
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I was in my early 20s, and in college, when the 1990s environmentalism resurgence took place. I was part of that, and still am. I first became interested in vegetarianism for environmental reasons. I became ovo-lacto vegetarian, and I joined the campus animal rights group. I became vegan 6 months later. It's been 25 years, and the doctors always pronounce me healthy at my yearly physical exam!
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"A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind, and never to allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his tranquility. If no man allowed any pursuit whatsoever to interfere with the tranquility of his domestic affections, Greece had not been enslaved; Caesar would have spared his country; America would have been discovered more gradually; and the empires of Mexico and Peru had not been destroyed"

From Frankenstein. Publication year: 1818

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#6 Old 01-17-2017, 05:54 PM
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This is great! It's really fun and inspiring to read about your journeys.

For me, I have always been an animal lover and highly sensitive and empathic person. I had struggled for a long time trying to reconcile my feelings about animals with what I had been taught about meat and nutrition my whole life, but always found some excuse to continue eating meat.

I can pinpoint the moment that I became a vegetarian as one random night last year when I was watching Doctor Who and saw the episode "The Beast Below". I was really affected by the episode and was online reading about it on message boards when I came across one where someone pointed out that the episode could be an allegory for factory farming and the meat and dairy industries. So from there I went "down the rabbit hole" and ended up watching the trailer ONLY to Earthlings (sobbing the entire time) and that was it. I couldn't stand to eat meat after that.

I have been a vegetarian since last June and am working towards becoming vegan now. Best decision I've made.
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#7 Old 01-19-2017, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalassa View Post
Without rambling too much, concern for animal rights made me a lacto-ovo vegetarian (PETA) but I'm sorry to say that in my early 20s it wasn't enough to keep me on a strict plant based diet, because I had no idea what I was doing, I had no support and I knew 0 vegans. So my first attempt at veganism lasted a few months.

I started transitioning to vegan again after watching Forks Over Knives and Cowspiracy, because I suddenly had more information and now several other reasons besides animal rights to support my decision. I think the first time I was really afraid I was being irrational and it didn't help that my ex said things like vegans were physically weak.

When veganism was discovered by me to be rational and actually so overwhelmingly right and correct for multiple reasons, I studied on how to eat with real nutrition and how to do so even when I am running low on money.

So animal rights made me vegetarian, and environmental and health sciences made me vegan. I also woke up to the fact through education that vegetarianism still harms animals and the environment more than I thought. Though it's still better than eating meat of course.

I think the environment was probably my pinnacle point of commitment to transitioning to vegan though.
Your reasoning is very similar to mine. The environmental impacts of factory farming/animal agriculture was terrifying! Discovering what ACTUALLY happens in the industry to these poor animals was so disturbing to me! So happy I made the transition. <3
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#8 Old 01-20-2017, 08:39 AM
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A medical emergency (gall bladder - although surgery wasn't required) prompted the immediate and drastic change from a typical SAD diet to strictly plant-based.

I had already switched to locally raised meats, dairy, eggs, at least 2 years before the gall bladder attack happened in an attempt to eat healthier, but still remained over 300 lbs.(yet my doc kept telling me all my blood work looked fine w/ each check-up and never suggested I change my lifestyle), miserable with inflammation, suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, "nervous stomach", was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis, severe fibromyalgia, severe depression, severe anxiety, severe adhd, and I'm sure I've forgotten a few. Was told to just learn to live with it as all of these things come with age. Grrrrrrr..........

Meds were thrown at me left and right and my body/organs/mind continued to be separated and farmed out to various specialists, none of whom could ever answer anything about specific root issues to address and heal causes, but could easily give me a pill or offer to cut me open to temporarily suppress symptoms, but things kept getting rapidly worse instead of better. I was given pills to relax me, to put me to sleep, to calm my nerves, to wake and wind me back up, to ease the pains, and to relax the muscles, and here, try this one, too, because it just might be "the one".

The gall bladder attack is what it took to finally force me to flip the script on my eating/consumption/personal environment habits. I was convinced I'd die without all the foods I was used to and still thought it a bit "out there" to have to change so drastically. With close guidance and support from a friend, my patient and loving husband, along with my beautiful village of healers that I've been fortunate to cross paths with, I dove right in.

I learned that slow and mindful are two words that are very necessary with such huge changes and that it often has to get much worse before it gets better. I've become my own full-time job in unlearning what I've been inaccurately taught through the years while filling in the dark lonely gaps of my newfound wellness grooves with relearning all about self and how to healthily love and nurture each and every cell.

Once I began looking behind the scenes to learn the processes involved with getting food to our tables, I realized I'd never again be willingly ingesting another animal product. My heart knows better now and can't handle the thought of not honoring what I now know.

However, I never realized how incredibly isolating it would be to regain vitality and nurture self. I'm a hell of a lot more sensitive to everything now that my body is much cleaner. I shed 110 lbs., and hundreds more, in the friends that no longer wish to share space.

I thought loved ones and acquaintances would celebrate my health with and for me, but I think it often places a mirror in front of them that they aren't ready to look that deeply into just yet, for many reasons, which is perfectly okay, but can certainly create some incredibly uncomfortable awkwardness.

I have to try to stay strong enough to avoid giving into strong cravings that get triggered easily depending on where I am, and have to keep pretty strict boundaries about spaces I'll visit. It's gotten a bit more lax as I get more comfortable within self in my almost two years of practicing whole foods/plant-based/vegan eating. Total script flip, totally different lifestyle, not just a temporary gig, as many seem to assume.

So much is designed around food and drink in the social and familial and even the workplace scene. You have to design and create your own personalized comfortable road show and spread the joy from your heart. Otherwise, you'll likely drive yourself and everyone else (even more) mad in more moments than you wish to digest. As with all things, I learned the hard way. lol
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#9 Old 01-25-2017, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forkandveg View Post
Your reasoning is very similar to mine. The environmental impacts of factory farming/animal agriculture was terrifying! Discovering what ACTUALLY happens in the industry to these poor animals was so disturbing to me! So happy I made the transition. <3
Well it's always nice to meet someone who understands or sees the problem. I am glad we both do, I wish there were more who did.

Because I am studying Environmental Science I wonder if there's any way to make direct impact on the agricultural aspect, which would effectively marry my two gravest concerns. Scientists have recently discovered a way of presenting information that "innoculates" people of various political persuasions against conspiracy theories about climate change. However, I'm still reading these articles in the Guardian, like "oh utopian thought gets us no where"...it must start to be pressed or legally enforced that it's not "utopian thought" to get first world humans off meat at bare minimum. I think the problem lies in the perception that food choices are still relatively personal and non-impactful, like sexual preferences or favorite hobbies, when in truth it's more like outlawing fraud and murder.

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#10 Old 01-25-2017, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knowtions In Motion View Post
A medical emergency (gall bladder - although surgery wasn't required) prompted the immediate and drastic change from a typical SAD diet to strictly plant-based.

I had already switched to locally raised meats, dairy, eggs, at least 2 years before the gall bladder attack happened in an attempt to eat healthier, but still remained over 300 lbs.(yet my doc kept telling me all my blood work looked fine w/ each check-up and never suggested I change my lifestyle), miserable with inflammation, suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, "nervous stomach", was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis, severe fibromyalgia, severe depression, severe anxiety, severe adhd, and I'm sure I've forgotten a few. Was told to just learn to live with it as all of these things come with age. Grrrrrrr..........

Meds were thrown at me left and right and my body/organs/mind continued to be separated and farmed out to various specialists, none of whom could ever answer anything about specific root issues to address and heal causes, but could easily give me a pill or offer to cut me open to temporarily suppress symptoms, but things kept getting rapidly worse instead of better. I was given pills to relax me, to put me to sleep, to calm my nerves, to wake and wind me back up, to ease the pains, and to relax the muscles, and here, try this one, too, because it just might be "the one".

The gall bladder attack is what it took to finally force me to flip the script on my eating/consumption/personal environment habits. I was convinced I'd die without all the foods I was used to and still thought it a bit "out there" to have to change so drastically. With close guidance and support from a friend, my patient and loving husband, along with my beautiful village of healers that I've been fortunate to cross paths with, I dove right in.

I learned that slow and mindful are two words that are very necessary with such huge changes and that it often has to get much worse before it gets better. I've become my own full-time job in unlearning what I've been inaccurately taught through the years while filling in the dark lonely gaps of my newfound wellness grooves with relearning all about self and how to healthily love and nurture each and every cell.

Once I began looking behind the scenes to learn the processes involved with getting food to our tables, I realized I'd never again be willingly ingesting another animal product. My heart knows better now and can't handle the thought of not honoring what I now know.

However, I never realized how incredibly isolating it would be to regain vitality and nurture self. I'm a hell of a lot more sensitive to everything now that my body is much cleaner. I shed 110 lbs., and hundreds more, in the friends that no longer wish to share space.

I thought loved ones and acquaintances would celebrate my health with and for me, but I think it often places a mirror in front of them that they aren't ready to look that deeply into just yet, for many reasons, which is perfectly okay, but can certainly create some incredibly uncomfortable awkwardness.

I have to try to stay strong enough to avoid giving into strong cravings that get triggered easily depending on where I am, and have to keep pretty strict boundaries about spaces I'll visit. It's gotten a bit more lax as I get more comfortable within self in my almost two years of practicing whole foods/plant-based/vegan eating. Total script flip, totally different lifestyle, not just a temporary gig, as many seem to assume.

So much is designed around food and drink in the social and familial and even the workplace scene. You have to design and create your own personalized comfortable road show and spread the joy from your heart. Otherwise, you'll likely drive yourself and everyone else (even more) mad in more moments than you wish to digest. As with all things, I learned the hard way. lol
That's such an inspiration. Congratulations on your new found health and significant weight loss. You are so strong! Please hang in there, you do have allies.

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#11 Old 01-29-2017, 06:33 AM
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I first became vegetarian almost 2 years ago when I was diagnosed with T2 Diabetes, so I thought I would start eating healthier and eat vege more... But at the time I also was freaked out by looking at meat all of a sudden. I would look at it and find it gross, and start thinking "yuck, I bet you this is what my muscle and flesh looks like inside of my own body, I can't eat this... Its muscle fibers" (strange I know lol).

But then my B12 levels dropped so low I needed weekly injections at my doctors office to get them back up to a healthy state. So, soon around this time I started to introduce meat back into my diet and soon enough I was eating crap again.

1 month ago today, I became vegetarian again for completely different reasons. This time round, I felt like a hypocrite, how could I love animals and yet have them on my fork? How can I own 3 cats + 1 baby turtle, love them so much, and yet eat their other animal friends? I couldn't do it anymore. I would look at a hamburger and then look at my pets, and see no difference. That burger patty could have been an animal I saved, it could have been an animal I could own for my self to love and take care of.

I really enjoy not eating meat anymore for that reason, but I am really enjoying having a healthier lifestyle and more positive outlook on life.
Currently, my husband and I are transitioning to being Vegan, and loving every step of the way.

(recently found out that T2D affects B12 levels, stopping eating meat didn't cause me to drop so low in B12, it was a mixture of both most likely, I take 1 - 1000mcg B12 tablet per week supplement now to keep it under control)
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Last edited by missmetal; 01-29-2017 at 06:39 AM.
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#12 Old 02-04-2017, 08:39 AM
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I tried to go vegetarian when I was 18 as I never liked the way hens were treated back in 1972,I made myself ill because I never knew I had to replace meat with a protein source,So over the years I had veg alternatives here and there,and gradually went onto full veg food when we watched something about animals and slaughter houses and we havent looked back,I hate the way animals are used and abused and I love being meat and dairy free.
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#13 Old 02-04-2017, 01:34 PM
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I had had the idea that the morality of eating animals and vegetarianism might be worth looking into at some point, and eventually I did get around to buying a few books about the animal industry and the philosophy of animal liberation, and I found the arguments compelling.

Before that, there was also a specific incident on holiday, fishing in Brazil. I was only sitting in the boat to be with my friends, because I didn't want to fish (it was part of a multi-day tour), but the guide passed me a fish that they had caught (it was a piranha), and asked me to kill it. I actually had a knife pressed into this little living fish's head, just touching it, and all I had to do was slightly press down to painlessly kill with no no gore, an extremely easy process. But, I didn't want to do it. I didn't do it. I just gave the fish back to the guide. That evening, we ate the fish that my friends caught, and I did to, but for sure that got me thinking. I think that sowed a seed. Because I knew these actions were not consistent.
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#14 Old 02-04-2017, 07:54 PM
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About 7 months ago we bought some chickens to keep in the backyard because our daughter was eating eggs for breakfast everyday and we wanted to make sure we knew the hens were well cared for. I'd never had anything to do with farm animals before - as a child we had always had cats and dogs but never any animal that lived outdoors - and I was shocked at how, for want of a better word, pet-like they were. I could see that each had her own personality and mannerisms; when I opened the back door they ran to the fence and greeted me. They let me pick them up and one of them became very special to me. Not long after we got them, I blindly went to the freezer to defrost a packet of chicken legs for dinner and felt suddenly sick as I looked at them. The meat under the plastic looked exactly like my chicken's legs. I could see the shape of them, could feel the warm feather-covered muscles under my hands as I cradled one of our hens in my arms. I knew then and there that I would never eat meat again. What was the difference between Audrey my beloved rhode island red hen, and Fern, my burmese cat? Didn't all animals deserve to live and be free from pain and fear? It was like my heart was opened and I knew I would never go back. Already dairy free due to a lifelong lactose intolerance, it was an easy transition to vegan.

Maintaining it has been a learning curve. B12, DHAs, getting enough calories, and trying to find the right balance between my new lifestyle and my children's needs and wants. Learning a whole new way of cooking was a challenge, especially because we have two people with coeliac diease in the family. Feeling even more restricted when we try to eat out. Despite the challenges, I wouldn't change a thing. I feel at peace in my decision. I look at my food now and know that nothing suffered for me to eat it.
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#15 Old 02-10-2017, 08:35 AM
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My story is pretty simple. I'm getting older and I've finally admitted that I'm no longer bullet proof. I decided about the middle of December that I needed to make changes. I've decided to do it in phases. Number one was to get rid of smoking. I ignored all other aspects of health temporarily. I got rid of smoking and gained at least 15 lbs. in 6 weeks or so.

Now I'm into the next phase and decided to concentrate on nutrition. I started researching various types of nutrition and ran across a youtube lecture given by a Dr. Michael Greger. I then went to his website on nutrition facts. I have also been looking into all other aspects of nutrition. Right now I'm vegetarian and I think on my way to being vegan. The way I look at it is that I don't know if it helps, but I know it can't hurt. So I'm on this journey to see where it will take me.

My next phase will be exercise to compliment the nutrition.

I'd love to say I have some deep-seated philosophical reasoning for this change, but I don't. I began looking at it from a strictly health perspective. However, I'm beginning to see this from a variety of perspectives as time goes on.

Thanks for having this community. I'm sure I'll find it instructive and helpful. I'm looking forward to this old dog learning new tricks.
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#16 Old 02-22-2017, 11:05 AM
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The decision for me to stop eating meat began as an internal progression over several years, as my life and time became more focused on animal rights and rescue, along with a spiritual awakening as I began to realize that harming others in order to sustain our own lives is not only unnecessary, but wrong. It was one of those things where I just KNEW one day that this was the right path for me, and I was shocked that it had taken me so long to realize it. Once seen, it cannot be unseen. I felt as though a veil had been lifted from my eyes, and was ashamed at having been blind for so long.

I very quickly (within days) progressed from the commitment to vegetarianism to full-on veganism, as in my research, I learned the cruelty rampant in the dairy and egg industry was almost worse than the meat industry itself, and how closely intertwined they are. I have since been working on removing any and all animal tested and animal derived products and clothing from my life as well.

I will celebrate my one-year veganiversary in May this year ^_^
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