How long did it take you to become vegan? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-04-2015, 07:35 PM
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How long did it take you to become vegan?

Did it take you a long time to transition? Did you go vegetarian first? I'd love to know about your experiences as I'm struggling!
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#2 Old 10-04-2015, 08:11 PM
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Oh, I struggled. I tried going veggie in 1981, and failed miserably. 5-years later, I started "phasing out" meat (started with pork,) and in '91 became vegetarian. About 3-years later, I went vegan overnight. So I've been vegan now over 20-years. Doesn't matter how long it takes, or what setbacks you encounter. You'll get there, and you'll never regret it.

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#3 Old 10-04-2015, 08:29 PM
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I was an omnivore until I was 18. I had been toying with the idea of vegetarianism since high school, but never felt like I could do it. Then one day I just decided I was going to do it. No more meat. I did it slowly...first I cut out all of the beef, then pork, then turkey, then finally chicken (the hardest one). (This was all within like a week...I was eating 100% veggie after that!
I was vegetarian from November 2013 to August 2015. I had been toying with the idea of veganism for a while. I had a vegan friend, and she was showing me all of the vegan substitutes and ****. I didn't really "start cutting out" animal products, but when I would eat vegan food with my friend, I was like "hey, this is good" and I slowly started thinking "I could totally do this". And then on August 22nd, I finally was just like "**** it", and I made the transition, pretty much cold turkey. Or should I say cold tofurkey? LOL.
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#4 Old 10-04-2015, 09:26 PM
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From the age of a few months until just after my 31st birthday I was a junk food omni trained to avoid vegetables.
When I went vegan it was like flipping a switch between dinner and the following breakfast.
The irony is, when I quit smoking I systematically tapered down dosage in 5 day intervals over the course of 4 weeks.
In both cases I did it as fast as I thought I could without failing.
The best way is the one that actually works in the end.
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#5 Old 10-05-2015, 07:56 AM
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I was raised vegetarian. My family insisted against imposing it on me and reminded me that I could eat whatever I wanted so long as they thought it was healthy. I was raised atheist the same way.

I went vegan overnight a few years ago (I forgot how long, I don't see much point in keeping track). I was the only one in my family who did it and they were supportive at first, since they thought it was healthier, but it quickly became the epicenter for massive arguments when I established that I wasn't doing it for health reasons.

On multiple occasions they had purchased non-vegan products for me which I refused unless I could elicit an oath from them not to buy it again. And one of my family members had even started up a green living blog, preaching the ethics of being a vegetarian, and I was the one to tell them that buying milk chocolate bars, honeyed crackers, and marshmallows wasn't just unethical, it wasn't even vegetarian. I moved out soon after.

While I was moving out I met another vegan for the first time (haven't met another one since) who put a word to the ethical conflict I couldn't describe: freeganism. Veganism under any circumstances never made any sense to me since the act of eating wasn't necessarily unethical, but producing and purchasing those products necessarily was. That's why I'm inclined to accept certain secondhand non-vegan things so long as my acceptance of them does not enable further production or purchase of those things.

I'm certain I would have gone vegan much sooner, but I was a neglectful thinker. That gross crime of negligence helps inform my decision to question everything anyone takes for granted. And that's part of the reason I'm still atheist.
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#6 Old 10-11-2015, 12:56 PM
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I went semi vegetarian at age 17 (1994!) after seeing a Peta video. I stopped eating beef and pork instantly. I wanted to stop eating fish and chicken but had no support from anyone and didn't know how to cook and I just didn't know what to eat. I ate a lot of Mac & cheese and French fries! I only ate chicken or fish at restaurants - there were rarely veggie options back then. Over the next 18 yrs I learned to cook, transitioned out chicken and then took a long time to transition out fish. Then for several years I was "mostly" vegan, eating all vegan except cheese. No other dairy products, but that addiction to cheese was serious! Last year, at age 38, I woke up one day and "woke up" so to speak. Quit cheese that day, been full vegan since and kick myself for letting my taste buds overrule my morals.
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#7 Old 10-11-2015, 02:00 PM
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I transitioned gradually. Before even thinking about going vegan I switched from a SAD diet to a healthy omnivorous diet. I started using almond milk in my coffee, cutting out cheese, cutting out processed meats and eating more whole plant foods. My diet gradually became more and more plant based and I incorporated a lot of health freak foods into my diet (chia seeds, hemp seeds, kale, etc.). After I got more and more into health, I started learning about the health benefits of plant based diets and a cut dairy out entirely and cut back on meat/eggs. By the time I went 100% vegan for ethical/environmental reasons I was only eating animal products a few times per week, so I already knew what to cook and how to do it in a healthy way.

I would try replacing a new product every time you go to the grocery store. Learn how to make vegan recipes that you can incorporate into your repertoire.
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#8 Old 10-11-2015, 02:10 PM
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Took me a few hours...long enough to read John Robbins and that was it. Never looked back. 25 years ago. It was never difficult at all.
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#9 Old 10-11-2015, 02:54 PM
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Thank you for your support! I cut out meat about a month and a half ago and I maintain a strict vegetarian diet. I also cut out drinking cow's milk, butter, and cream cheese. Honestly, I am struggling the most with eggs and cheese. They are not completely out of my diet yet, but they will be with time. I wish I could have transitioned overnight, but that was too stressful to try. One day!
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#10 Old 10-11-2015, 03:57 PM
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Once I made the decision to go vegan, I transitioned nearly overnight (it took me a week to wean off plain Greek yogurt which I used to consume three to five times per week). That was over four and a half years ago and I have never looked back. However, I was intolerant to the majority of dairy/cheese etc for many years, since about 1999, and rarely consumed it with the exception of a few items like Greek yogurt which didn't bother me as much as other products that would send me to my knees with cramps and explosive diarrhea or constipation, not to mention sinus issues and phlegm. So I had already introduced soy milk since 1999 and almond milk around 2008. I had never been a heavy meat eater, and in 2008 I gradually began to increase bean/legume consumption and almost stopped eating most meat with the exception of fish and some chicken. So I guess in a way I was already transitioning, I just didn't know what vegan meant until 2010 when I was researching world hunger and how to help, and also where the food on my plate came from. As well as a vegan diet, I transitioned very quickly with the rest of my lifestyle as well (toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc). I was fortunate to have gotten an inheritance right around the time I went vegan which helped me transition, otherwise at the time I was a middle aged college student working part time and living on loans. In fact my entire college years I was vegan.

Eggs and cheese seem to be the hardest items for people to give up. Eggs are in many baked goods and it takes time to learn how to replace them and successfully bake without them. Once you get it down though it is not hard at all! If you can't stomach the nondairy vegan cheeses on the market, there are homemade nut based cheeses to try, and nutritional yeast is a vegan staple and is used often to make "cheese" sauces. I use it with tofu and steamed sweet potato and blend with spices into a thick creamy sauce I use for baked potatoes, broccoli, or macaroni etc. Sometimes you just learn to find other foods that are enjoyable and satisfying. I LOVE hummus and use it on pizzas and in sandwiches and I don't miss cheese at all. Avocado slices and tomato are great too grilled in a sandwich.

There is nothing wrong with taking time to transition if you need to. Everyone is different. It is a big lifestyle change for some and takes time to learn. We're glad to have you here!

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#11 Old 10-11-2015, 08:51 PM
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Red face hmmm

i was vegetarian about 2 years before i decided to go the next step...
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#12 Old 10-12-2015, 06:40 PM
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I was vegetarian for seven years before I went vegan. I tried once, after 5 years, and failed to go vegan. This year, after I decided to make the switch, it took me just a few days (while I was using up the cheese left in my house).
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#13 Old 10-12-2015, 07:56 PM
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#14 Old 10-13-2015, 10:43 AM
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I was vegetarian 12 years before going vegan. I did not drink muck animal milk during that time, so it was easy for me to go vegan. I went vegan overnight last year.
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#15 Old 10-13-2015, 10:59 AM
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I was vegetarian for about month before I realised the dairy & egg industry were just as bad the meat industry. I cut each dairy product out one at a time and I would say it took me about 3 weeks to get to completely vegan.

Cutting out the cheesy pizza was the final obstacle, if it wasn't for that it'd have taken me less time but it had been my favourite food for 24 years so found it pretty difficult to give up.
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#16 Old 10-13-2015, 11:18 AM
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Honestly, the first step was kind of easy for me. See, after losing 50 pounds on my depression-want-to-die-diet thanks to joining the diabetes club, I was looking for a way to better my health. The plant based lifestyle came to me through the YouTuber "Vegan gains", who's vids are very in-your-face and have pretty good references to some awesome research, which I studied and reversed that nasty disease. The Veganism or rather, the ethics came after my own selfish goal. It wasn't hard giving up the foods that were killing me.
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#17 Old 10-13-2015, 01:39 PM
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I went vegetarian 6 years ago and it took about 3 years to make the switch to vegan. I tried transitioning every few months since I became vegetarian, but it took a while to stick. I started marking down if I ate dairy or eggs that day or not. I never wanted to write down that I did, so I didn't eat it. I did that for maybe a few months. I remember eating a lot of vegan chocolate the first week
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#18 Old 10-14-2015, 12:02 PM
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Went vegan a day after I had a stomach virus and after watching Gary Yourofsky and Vegan Gains on Youtube. I was into fitness and strength training and was regularly watching fitness Youtube videos and come up across watching Vegan Gains and Gary Yourofsky videos which made me see for what it is. Many thanks for the both of them.
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#19 Old 10-14-2015, 12:08 PM
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I just randomly changed one night after watching the youtube video : 101 reasons to be vegan, and my perception completely tranformed.
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#20 Old 10-19-2015, 04:42 PM
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I went veggie overnight.

I held onto cheese.....like a drug, or something.....

Then I cut the cord, and went vegan.

Afterward, it didn't seem too bad.
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#21 Old 10-19-2015, 05:01 PM
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Such inspiring stories! I need to show it to my kids.
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#22 Old 10-19-2015, 06:13 PM
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Unexpectedly overnight for me. It wasn't something I planned on, not spurred by any grand revelation or documentary. Just a momentary whim. I had a freezer full of salmon from a recent fish shop trip, and I had large carton of eggs, cream, cheese, a pound of butter, a pound of greek yogurt, cheese and prok fat in my fridge. I kept onto them for about a week before deciding to simply toss them, because I no longer held an interest for consuming them and I didn't feel especially compelled to try to use them up, even though I perhaps should have. I kept the butter, because my husband uses that.

Since then I've had a small craving for cheese, and a larger one for a hamburger. I had a bean burger with lettuce, kethup and pickles, and that quelled that particularly desire. But I'm still going strong with no intention of stopping.
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#23 Old 10-25-2015, 01:08 PM
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It took me until after I became an adult. A great number of years. From the time I made a decision to do it until I actually did it. It was immediate.
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#24 Old 10-31-2015, 01:30 PM
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It took me almost 2 months to give up on cheese (I had a serious addiction to it). Overall, it was not very hard. But I was a vegetarian for a half of year before I became a vegan. Today is my 2nd year as a vegan . Little anniversary.
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#25 Old 11-01-2015, 10:30 AM
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I went from omnivore to vegan overnight. I just decided to stop consuming animal products. I don't regret it at all.
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#26 Old 11-03-2015, 06:10 PM
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Hi!

The transition was fairly easy for me.

I never really liked meat or dairy to begin with, so when I moved out to college I started buying way less of these foods. Since meat takes a while to cook and I was fairly lazy, it was a win-win. I ate chicken nuggets, sausage rolls, bacon in salads, ham in sandwiches, and meat in my pasta sauce. So I was still consuming some meat but way less than when living at home (every dinner had chicken, steak, pork chop, or something big and meat-based).

The next year I just wanted to eat healthy in general so I stopped eating the chicken nuggets and stuff and only had sliced ham for sandwiches and the meat in my pasta sauce. If eating out I would get an occasional burger.

Then I started reading about vegetarianism and all the health benefits (cancer is common in my family) and since I was almost there (5% of my foods were probably meat) I decided to just go all the way.

A couple months into this I began to feel really fatigued (I also ran 10 miles three times a week). So I started counting protein and realized I was REALLY low. I decided fish would be okay since of all the omega fats and such. I held this for a year and a half.

Two weeks ago I decided to switch to veganism, it randomly hit me like a brick wall that animals aren't food and that includes fish. Also I was eating fish every day which isn't good because of all the mercury and probably also because of the conditions farmed fish are in.

The past two weeks have been extremely easy, i've been eating mostly nuts and seeds and have a homemade granola that I absolutely love. Love lentils, tofu, hemp seeds, and mixed veggies thrown together in a salad as well! No protein deficiences this time since I am making smart choices and eating more variety.

When I failed last time I was literally eating the same foods every day: oatmeal, toast, fruits, spaghetti, and a salad or sandwich. Literally the exact same foods every day. So no wonder I was low in protein, especially since there were probably some amino acids I wasn't even receiving.
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#27 Old 11-28-2015, 01:29 PM
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Went Cold Tofurky after watching Food Inc...
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#28 Old 12-03-2015, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by tiredgoddess View Post
I went from omnivore to vegan overnight. I just decided to stop consuming animal products. I don't regret it at all.
I did the same thing once I made the conscientious decision; it was rather easy to transition to an outer life that met the morals of my inner life. I was lying to myself for a few years as I was trying to cut out animal products; especially my hilariously half-hearted stint with 'Vegetarianism' last year, before delving back into Carnism. I have no regrets going Vegan as of November 29, 2015! The universe, my subconscious and the facts in front of my eyes led me to it. There are many reasons I have done this, but sometimes doing the right thing is not easy, especially as the majority of society weighs against it.
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#29 Old 12-03-2015, 10:09 PM
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I was vegetarian for 4 years before I actually decided to become vegan. I never saw a problem with eating eggs and dairy until I watched freelee's videos "5 Reasons to Stop Drinking Milk" and "5 Reasons to Stop Eating Eggs." Up until that point I never knew how cruel those industries are. :c After watching those videos it took me just a few weeks to finally stop eating them. Even though those videos made me super sad I'm glad I watched them and became vegan because I've never felt better than I do now.
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#30 Old 12-04-2015, 03:35 AM
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I think it was maybe a week, week and a half that I was a vegetarian first and still ate cheese, then over the course of that week and more research about what an awful industry dairy is, I took what little dairy I had in my diet out and went vegan, as veganism just always seemed like the natural progression of vegetarianism and something that you moved towards. I like to think im pretty diligent but i'm sure I still slip up sometimes if I don't read a label careful enough, but I just feel like that's part of it and I try to find an alternative product or read a label more carefully next time, although with everything so readily available today, both product and information wise, its too easy to not consume or wear animals
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