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I made this thread with the intention of sharing my raw thoughts and feelings, while they are still clear in my mind of being a new vegan. I want to explore what made me vegan, and help myself remember why. I would love to hear what brought others to make their choice, if they can remember.

I never completely watched the famous documentary "Earthlings". I had already seen a few clips that were very short and that was just "too much" for me. When shown videos of cruelty out of the blue, my first instincts would be to click away.

It was primarily facts and my own willful research that brought me to veganism.

But I wasn't intending to research veganism in the first place. No, that wasn't close to being in the realm of what I wanted to learn about or hear. It was not even an option for me and it never crossed my mind.

My intent was to find healthier and "cruelty free" meat. I remember finding a few labels that were supposed to show the highest standard of animal care. When I went to the grocery store in search of these labels I found none of them on any of these products, and anything that came close was the tiniest amount of product for close to my entire food budget. There were no options. Even at places like New Seasons, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods... etc. I thought "Why can't I find anything with these labels. I don't want to buy meat from an animal that was tortured or given an unhappy life! What quality of care is given to the animals I eat at restaurants? The fast food I eat? The snacks I buy? Why can't I find any reasonable options?"

And that's when it hit me like a ton of bricks. In my mind I wanted to fight this truth as much as I could, even when it was blatantly in front of my face. There had to be another way. There must be something I can do. Maybe I can try and push for more animals to be treated properly? Maybe there is something that I can support, OTHER than veganism that will make it so we can all eat well treated animals. Animals that are loved and cared for just as much as some pets are.

But as I continued my search I found that the only way to consistently avoid causing harm to the animals was to just not buy them. That's when I started coming across the painful imagery videos, clips of kosher killings and just facts about what every animal goes through. That's when I found out just how bad and prevalent it was.

When I fully realized that I HAD to stop eating meat or I would never be happy with myself I couldn't sleep. I spent almost an entire night wide awake, staring at the ceiling. My body was radiating with heat, my face was boiling in anger. I realized what I had been doing my whole life and just how much I believed to be wrong. I knew that this was a change I was absolutely going to make, the biggest choice I have ever made, and I realized that no one I knew would fully support me or completely understand. My friends, my boyfriend, buddies online. Almost everyone I knew were dedicated meat eaters and I had joined them in the past in mocking vegans and vegetarians.

I literally once said to a vegan I had met "I just could never go vegan, I love the taste too much. Bacon and cheese are just too amazing. Plus I'd worry about getting enough protein in my diet" I remember him nodding his head, being very calm, and saying "I understand." My interaction with him at the time helped me to realize that vegans weren't rude or necessarily extreme. However, we never truly exchanged thoughts or feelings on the matter. I now understand that the only reason he did not try to discuss veganism with me was because he thought it would be a waste of time and effort. And that breaks my heart.

The night that I decided to go vegan, all of of my previous interactions with the subject played in my mind. And I was just. so. angry. with myself. with the world. With everything.

Now I've calmed down, and now my goals are just to try to be as healthy and kind as I can be. I will never let myself forget who I was, because there are so many people out there that thought and felt the exact same way I did. I know that someone eating meat doesn't make them a bad person. I know that to truly make the world a better place, I have to be the compassion that I preach, even to those who will never support me, agree with me, or understand.

I also know now that I would never be able to eat an animal again, even if they were treated with love. Especially if they were treated with love. I can't imagine someone treating an animal with love and then wanting to slaughter it. I don't want to take life or happiness away from any animal as far as I can help it ever again.
 

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Good luck with your journey into veganism.
 
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Welcome to the dark side!

I understand you had an emotional, gut-wrenching experience and I'm glad it's passed. Here's what, imo, you should do next: CELEBRATE! You have made a wonderful decision and now you're vegan! Yay for you! For me, this was the best, most personally liberating decision I ever made. I was no longer trapped by convention and expectation. This decision has carried over in other areas of my life too - I know what it means to live my values.

Here are a few tips:
1) Don't get caught hungry - always have something with you, whether it's peanut butter crackers, a banana, a bar of some kind. Don't let yourself get caught without a vegan option while you are new at this. There's nothing so discouraging as "I'm hungry and I have nothing to eat!"

2) Tell your friends and family. They may give you a hard time at first, but at least they'll know why you are turning down the lasagna. Try not to get emotional about why you're making this change, just be mature and upfront. And don't preach! :)

3) Explore vegan cookbooks and new cuisines. It's likely you'll need to change a lot of the ways you've been cooking, so make it a grand adventure. Don't let yourself get stuck in a food rut - there's way too many delicious vegan recipes out there!

4) Try more than one. You'll want to try soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk…. You'll want to try different cheeses, different meat substitutes, different tofus, different nuts…With time you'll have a huge repertoire of go-to foods.

5) Stick around VB - ask questions, read the threads. Many of us have been here for YEARS - and we actually know a lot! ;)

So welcome, celebrate, and know that you are doing a great thing!
 

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I made this thread with the intention of sharing my raw thoughts and feelings, while they are still clear in my mind of being a new vegan. I want to explore what made me vegan, and help myself remember why. I would love to hear what brought others to make their choice, if they can remember.

I never completely watched the famous documentary "Earthlings". I had already seen a few clips that were very short and that was just "too much" for me. When shown videos of cruelty out of the blue, my first instincts would be to click away.

It was primarily facts and my own willful research that brought me to veganism.

But I wasn't intending to research veganism in the first place. No, that wasn't close to being in the realm of what I wanted to learn about or hear. It was not even an option for me and it never crossed my mind.

My intent was to find healthier and "cruelty free" meat. I remember finding a few labels that were supposed to show the highest standard of animal care. When I went to the grocery store in search of these labels I found none of them on any of these products, and anything that came close was the tiniest amount of product for close to my entire food budget. There were no options. Even at places like New Seasons, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods... etc. I thought "Why can't I find anything with these labels. I don't want to buy meat from an animal that was tortured or given an unhappy life! What quality of care is given to the animals I eat at restaurants? The fast food I eat? The snacks I buy? Why can't I find any reasonable options?"

And that's when it hit me like a ton of bricks. In my mind I wanted to fight this truth as much as I could, even when it was blatantly in front of my face. There had to be another way. There must be something I can do. Maybe I can try and push for more animals to be treated properly? Maybe there is something that I can support, OTHER than veganism that will make it so we can all eat well treated animals. Animals that are loved and cared for just as much as some pets are.

But as I continued my search I found that the only way to consistently avoid causing harm to the animals was to just not buy them. That's when I started coming across the painful imagery videos, clips of kosher killings and just facts about what every animal goes through. That's when I found out just how bad and prevalent it was.

When I fully realized that I HAD to stop eating meat or I would never be happy with myself I couldn't sleep. I spent almost an entire night wide awake, staring at the ceiling. My body was radiating with heat, my face was boiling in anger. I realized what I had been doing my whole life and just how much I believed to be wrong. I knew that this was a change I was absolutely going to make, the biggest choice I have ever made, and I realized that no one I knew would fully support me or completely understand. My friends, my boyfriend, buddies online. Almost everyone I knew were dedicated meat eaters and I had joined them in the past in mocking vegans and vegetarians.

I literally once said to a vegan I had met "I just could never go vegan, I love the taste too much. Bacon and cheese are just too amazing. Plus I'd worry about getting enough protein in my diet" I remember him nodding his head, being very calm, and saying "I understand." My interaction with him at the time helped me to realize that vegans weren't rude or necessarily extreme. However, we never truly exchanged thoughts or feelings on the matter. I now understand that the only reason he did not try to discuss veganism with me was because he thought it would be a waste of time and effort. And that breaks my heart.

The night that I decided to go vegan, all of of my previous interactions with the subject played in my mind. And I was just. so. angry. with myself. with the world. With everything.

Now I've calmed down, and now my goals are just to try to be as healthy and kind as I can be. I will never let myself forget who I was, because there are so many people out there that thought and felt the exact same way I did. I know that someone eating meat doesn't make them a bad person. I know that to truly make the world a better place, I have to be the compassion that I preach, even to those who will never support me, agree with me, or understand.

I also know now that I would never be able to eat an animal again, even if they were treated with love. Especially if they were treated with love. I can't imagine someone treating an animal with love and then wanting to slaughter it. I don't want to take life or happiness away from any animal as far as I can help it ever again.
Holy ****, you have a way with words.
 

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Great post that I can totally relate to.

I converted around 2 months ago and like yourself, I just had this massive realisation that hit me like a ton of bricks. One second I was a meat eater the next I wasn't, like someone had flicked a switch in my mind.

I still have moments where I'm sad and angry at the injustice in the world regarding animals but I also have moments of happiness knowing I'm not contributing to it anymore.

I just wish everybody could see and feel how we feel.
 
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