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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone! I'm newly registered but I've been lurking for a while. I have really enjoyed reading some of the lively debates and discussions on this site, and I've definitely learned a lot! I like to write, so please excuse the verbosity of this post. I'm just excited to be in a place where I can talk about what's brought me here, since this is something that's become so important to me!

My decision to become a vegetarian came shortly after watching "Food, Inc." in January 2010. The health/environmental/animal rights issues raised in that film convinced me to seriously consider vegetarianism for the first time. I've never eaten fish/shellfish, and I gave up "red meat" a few years ago, so chicken and turkey were the last to go. I realized eventually that since I was consuming those foods so rarely, I might as well make it official. I have always loved and been fascinated by animals, so I was definitely concerned about their welfare. However, to be honest, I just didn't know the full extent to which even following a standard vegetarian diet could harm animals. I also have to admit that, I thought that being a vegan would be too hard, and that it would require too much rigidity. I was afraid I would fail!

I have to be honest here, my decision to start cutting out dairy and eggs came about because of my passion for nutrition and my ideas about what constitutes an ideal healthy diet. I wasn't yet aware of just how much suffering animals endured in those industries. I still had some residual "omni-blinders" on, so the AR component didn't play as much of a component as it probably should have. Therefore, I became a so-called strict vegetarian in June 2010, but for a long time I resisted the vegan label, because I knew that I was still consuming honey occasionally and probably some of the less obvious trace ingredients. I also knew that the term "vegan" should encompass a lifestyle more than just a diet, and I had not yet reached the point of eliminating all animal products when purchasing non-food items.

However, I started finding myself in weird social situations. Because I was not eating dairy and eggs, everyone else wanted to call me a vegan, even though I knew I wasn't. I tried explaining the honey/trace ingredient component, but nobody seemed to understand the distinction or care. My family and friends all continued to describe me as a vegan despite the fact that I pointed out that I was really more of a strict vegetarian. I felt very uneasy about this, and now that I've read the "definition of veganism" and "veganism is not a competition" threads, I feel even more guilty for having allowed people to attribute the label to me when I was still purchasing clothing/accessories made with animal products and eating honey. But it made me think a lot about my reasons for being a vegetarian, and encouraged me to look further into the issues that had brought me there in the first place.

That brings me to now! After being what some people would call a "dietary vegan" (sorry, I know many of you hate the term) for a year, I spent this past summer watching more documentaries that focused on animal rights issues, and spent some serious time reading vegan websites and forums. I cried my way through several of these films, and made it through most of Earthlings before I had to stop because I was sobbing too much to see the screen. I finally realized this summer that this is the path I have been moving towards, and therefore I should apply my values to the non-dietary aspects of my life. The guilt I felt when I bought those leather boots last winter- well, I should have listened to that inner voice! I know this is a no brainer for many of you, but for me, it was tough to get to that point. Luckily, I had the opportunity to redo my room this summer when I moved back home after graduating college. I was excited to make sure that all my fabrics, pillows, rugs, etc were free of animal products.

Anyways, I am excited to be here! Other stuff about me: I just started graduate school this fall to pursue my master's degree in psychology. I love to sing, draw, and act. Although I was never a huge sports fan, I do enjoy running, kickboxing, and yoga. Cooking is a big passion of mine! I am constantly reading vegan/vegetarian cookbooks to keep expanding my diet in new and interesting ways. So, that's me, and I look forward to being a part of this awesome place.
Nice to meet you all!
 

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Wall of text! I will read it when I have time. Welcome
 

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Welcome to VB!

I hope the "veganism is not a competition" thread didn't put you off too much. I don't think we usually have this much disagreement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
sorry for the wall of text!! I just got carried away, but I promise I won't usually write this much! It's been a while since I was on a forum so my posting etiquette is probably a little rusty.

but thanks for the welcome!
 

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Hi, great first post! Enjoy your stay
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by all.actions.speak View Post

sorry for the wall of text!! I just got carried away, but I promise I won't usually write this much! It's been a while since I was on a forum so my posting etiquette is probably a little rusty.

but thanks for the welcome!
No worries and no need to hold back!
 
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