Thanks for the warm welcome!!
As for what made me decide to become a vegan? The answer is easy: learning more about the dairy farming industry.
I have been a vegetarian for nearly 10 years now, started when I moved away to college. I have never been a big fan of meat and it was easier to become a vegetarian away from the family household. Eggs weren't an issue for me as I always found them gross. However my achilles heel would be dairy. I loooooved my pizza and ice cream and at one point I believed it to be cruelty free as long as I went with organic options. I really thought I could never be with out my dairy until I started reading articles about what dairy is and what they have to do to keep cows lactating. At that point I decided it was time to rid myself of all animal products in my diet,wardrobe,everything.
I can't lie, giving up dairy has needed an element of will power, but I know that doing the right thing is better than a big scoop of mint chip...but I am open to any great substitutes that ya'll could recommend!