Why did you become vegan? Research! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-29-2008, 07:23 AM
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Hello all!

I am a final year journalism student doing research for a project on animal rights, and Michael has graciously granted me permission to research on vegpeople.com. I'm especially interested in vegetarian/veganism and the specific and personal reasons which people become vegetarian/ vegan for. Please help me!

If you'd like to help me:

a) You are lovely.

b) Please reply to this post answering the following simple questions, elaborating as much as you like!

-Why did you become vegan? It'd be great if you could explain your personal reason. Is there a story behind it? Did somebody or something influence you? Was it some information you discovered? Also, if you moved from vegetarian to vegan, what was it that prompted the change?

Because this is for a journalism project, it'd be super super helpful to me if you could provide me with your name, age and what area you live in - it'd make more lively and interesting writing! Of course please feel free to private message me this information.

Thank you, immensely

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#2 Old 04-29-2008, 09:50 AM
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I'm Catriona, I live in Birmingham, UK and I'm 16.

I've been vegan for 7 months -- before that I was vegetarian for a year. I went vegetarian for environmental reasons after reading a couple of articles in New Scientist that talked about meat's carbon footprint. Eventually I started looking on websites like PETA, Viva! and finding out about the cruelty involved in the animal industry, and when the full extent of animal exploitation hit me I had to go vegan.

Nobody I knew at the time was even vegetarian, so the only influence I had was media and the internet. Most people weren't particularly supportive at first, either, until they realised just how committed I was.
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#3 Old 04-29-2008, 10:33 AM
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Hi Sarah, I'd be glad to help

My name is Mandy, I'm 28, and I live in Miami Beach FL.

I became vegan about 2 years ago. It was a gradual process. I had been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for about 10 years at the time. I went vegetarian at about 15/16. I always loved animals but never really made the connection (I obviously knew meat came from animals but I never really sat down and considered the implications). A friend of mine didn't eat meat. Her father was a butcher and she thought meat was gross. At some point after meeting her, it sunk in. I was eating hamburger soup one day when I suddenly stopped, realizing that the meat was gross. I stopped eating red meat that day and gradually over a month or so eliminated chicken and fish. That was the status quo for some time. I was content with my motto "nothing dies so I can eat". All that was shattered when I started doing research into the egg and dairy industries. When I learned the way dairy cows were treated, and veal was a direct byproduct of the dairy industry, I could no longer support it. When I learned how egg laying chickens were treated, and that all the male chicks were killed, I stopped eating eggs.

I will say that VB, and the net in general have been a huge influence on me going vegan. VB rocks
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#4 Old 04-29-2008, 12:38 PM
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Thank you! !
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#5 Old 04-29-2008, 12:55 PM
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I'm Marty, 21, and I live in Illinois. I went vegetarian for animal rights reasons, then I went vegan shortly after for more animal rights reasons, plus environmental and health reasons. Now I am a raw vegan more for health and environmental reasons. I love reading books based on diet and nutrition so I started reading books like that and learned a raw vegan diet is really awesome for you.

“May all sentient beings be free of pain and suffering.  May all sentient beings experience eternal joy and happiness.  gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā.”

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#6 Old 04-29-2008, 08:21 PM
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I live in Alaska and have since 1959. I have been vegan just over a year. I became so after reading Green for Life and a couple books about the cattle industry.

Actually, last March 2007, I had a massive stroke and spent the next 2 1/2 months in 4 different hospitals. It took a while after I was released before I was able to fully embrace veganism, but I have finally managed to do so and am now a raw food vegan.

I had always been interested in nutrition, studied it and applied what I had learned and supposed to be the truth, but even though I had an exceptionally good diet but still ate some meat and dairy. But, the meat and the very little dairy I ate kept me from being able to lose weight and I do believe was the primary reason for feeling so tense most of the time. Of course, stress was also a major factor. So, even though I documented what I ate and averaged 300-400 fewer calories a day than what was recommended, I still continued to gain weight, developed sleep apnea and that is what triggered my stroke.

So, once out of the hospital, I was able to eat the way I really wanted as I continued to study and learn. I am doing very much better, but am still not able to walk without a walker or cane. My mind has pretty much returned and I am on the way to much better health. And have lost almost 50 pounds!
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#7 Old 04-30-2008, 09:53 AM
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Hello, my name is Julie and I am 32 living in Massachusetts. I have always loved animals. At the age of 12 I decided I couldn't take it anymore and became vegetarian and gave up all dead animal by-products (leather, suede etc.). I didn't learn about the dairy, egg and honey industries until I was 20 after reading "The Vegetarian Alternative" by Vic Sussman. I became vegan right then and there and have never looked back. I also at that point gave up wool, silk and all other forms of animal products as much as I knew about. I had already stopped using all animal tested products when I found out about them at 17. I didn't know any other veggies or had any information (and no computer access until a couple of years ago) until I was 17 and saw my first copy of Vegetarian Times. But even as a kid I was strict. I wouldn't eat anything if I didn't know where it came from. I read every single ingredient list and if I didn't know what something was, I looked it up in the dictionary. If I couldn't find out my motto was if in doubt- don't. I hope this helps.
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#8 Old 04-30-2008, 11:31 AM
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I'm Aissa, 23, from Worcestershire (UK).

I've always loved animals. When I was 15 I finally realised it was hypocritical for me to claim I loved animals while I was still happy to eat them. I had had constant guilt about it for a couple of years prior to that, so I finally went lacto/ovo vegetarian. It didn't occur to me to go vegan because I was very ignorant and naive about the egg and dairy industires, and didn't believe there was anything wrong with them.

A little over 2 years later I was walking through town and saw an animal rights stall with a whole bunch of leaflets on various stuff. I stopped by to donate some money and sign an anti-vivisection petition, and at the same time I picked up some leaflets on eggs and dairy. I took them home and read them later that evening. I was so shocked and digusted by what I read and saw that I went vegan that same night, and have never looked back since.

"Through the centuries, we have projected onto the wolf the qualities we most despise and fear in ourselves." ~ Barry Lopez.
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#9 Old 04-30-2008, 11:32 AM
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Hi Sarah,

My name is Fern and I live in Colorado. I took the peta 30 day veggie challenge, on October 1st. By the end of the month I knew I would never eat meat again, then around thanksgiving I decided to become vegan on new years, and so I did. I have had a few times where I bought something without reading the label and there was milk or honey or something in them, but now I know, read every label. I mainly did the vegan diet for the sake of the animals, and the environment. I have not lost any weight, but I have been under a lot of stress and not able to work out as much as I like, but if I was on the normal american diet I would not been able to handle the stress like I have on my vegan diet. I don't know if that will help, hope it does.
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#10 Old 04-30-2008, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by sarahstead View Post

-Why did you become vegan? It'd be great if you could explain your personal reason. Is there a story behind it? Did somebody or something influence you? Was it some information you discovered? Also, if you moved from vegetarian to vegan, what was it that prompted the change?

Name: LeiLani

Age: 25ish

Area: New Orleans, LA

Uhm I have kind of a weird story. I've had ED behaviors throughout my life where I just stop eating for weeks at a time. Well a few years ago during a month long "fast", a good friend of mine noticed and forced me to eat. He was a pretty strict vegetarian but not completely vegan. He hung around for a while and checked on me to make sure I was eating and well I liked him so I started eating vegetarian.

I couldn't go completely vegan at first since I had 2 jobs and so little time to cook. I relied on the boca stuff alot that had egg/milk in it but didn't drink milk or eat eggs by themselves. Eventually I made the decision to go vegan on my own (he quit talking to me by then) My reasons for the switch was I quit my 2nd job and had time to actually cook instead of just microwave frozen dinners. Also I moved and was real close to a supermarket that had a decent section for vegans so I had a lot more choices with what I could do.

Been vegan for about a year and a half now. I still have my "fasts" but they are a lot less frequent. I don't keep in touch with the boy who changed my way of life either which is a shame

I wish I could say that my reasons for the change to vegetarian were inspired by compassion for animals but sadly it was just to have the attention of another however the compassion grew the more I researched veganism and I went and will stay vegan for my own morals. I refuse to support cruelty. It's just not who I am and if I cannot be true to myself what is the purpose of living?
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#11 Old 05-05-2008, 08:26 AM
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Hi, I'm Emma, also originally from Birmingham, UK, but now living in Holland.

I became vegetarian about 12 years ago, at the age of 16, when I moved away from my family home, though I had wanted to do it long before then. I love animals and eating them just seemed plain wrong, I mean...flesh..eugh.

After hanging around a few sites/forums etc... (peta/alf to name a few) I realised the amount of abuse that goes into dairy is just as bad as the meat indusrty, in fact very closely related, I went vegan about 6 months ago, and haven't looked back.

I have the belief that animals are here to feed us in only one way, they are here for their very own reasons, and exist as part of the environment, each with their own specific role to play in the maintenance of the world, grazers fertilize the land, insects and birds spread and help germinate seeds etc... They aren't here to provide greedy corporate businesses with even more money at the expense of their torture, nor are they here to feed greedy people who are too lazy to look into what they putting in their bodies, and would rather go shovel down a big mac, or throw a huge chunk of flesh onto their bbq

Also, humans don't need meat or dairy to survive, in fact more and more reports are being publicised that show how both are actually bad for you, so morally and physically they just plain shouldn't.

Good luck with your report
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#12 Old 05-05-2008, 09:31 PM
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My name is Morgan, I'm 23 and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

(If it makes any difference, I was living in Ohio when I went vegan, and in Georgia when I returned to being vegan after a short, stupid break)

Here's my silly and slightly embarrassing story: I became vegan at about age 16-17 for health/skin reasons. I didn't want to explain to everyone that I was suddenly making such a drastic diet change for such superficial reasons, so I began looking up the reasons people become vegan. After just a few months of research, I realized I'd made likely the best decision of my life.

My second year in college I took about a 2-3 month break from my vegan diet for various reasons. I quickly went back to vegan after realizing that those reasons to be vegan - animal and human suffering, the environment, world hunger, health, (and on and on) - had been driving me all along, and I couldn't turn my back on something so simple that has such a huge impact on our world.

Looking back, I'm incredibly glad I didn't know what I was getting into when I went vegan (I didn't even know what a vegan was when I made the change! I thought my "new diet" was just some skin-clearing health fad!) - I'm so amazed by all of the people on these boards (especially those still living with their parents) who know what they're getting into, what the stereotypes are, how people will treat them, how hard it will be to explain themselves to others - and yet still take the plunge.

It is amazing..
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#13 Old 05-05-2008, 09:56 PM
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Hi, I am 33, living in northern california.

Long story short, I have always been overweight to mildly obese since high school until very recently. I have been vegetarian on and off since I was 18 (doing it all wrong though..), but now I'm vegan (sorry it's foggy as to how long I've been vegan) and finally able to make it work in my lifestyle, and to do it right.

I do love animals as well and did not make the connection either, but you can say originally it was for my health :-) (the fact that environmentally it's the way to go as well is another huge plus!)
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