The Road to Veganism: Part 1-My Vegetarian Story

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I thought it was appropriate during VeganMoFo to share my story about my journey to veganism. I am often asked why I do not eat animals and the short answer is because I love animals, but here is the longer version.

I did not start out as a vegan. I was first vegetarian, the transitioned to a vegan.

I had felt guilty about eating animals for a LONG time, years even. I proclaimed to be an animal lover. I am a crazy dog lady and would feel the conflict between letting one type of animal sleep with me, yet eating another. How were they different?

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Like many people, I tried to push these thoughts out of mind. I never had to kill my own food, nor see it in it’s unpackaged form, so it was easy to put distance between the realities of how a living creature made it’s way to my plate.

From 2001-2005, I worked at Clark’s Nutritional Centers. I learned so much in my years there, mostly about the connection between what I ate and my health. I had sadly never given this much thought before. More and more, I felt so much guilt for continuing to eat animals. I started trying to only eat “free-range, grass fed” products, but even that did not sit well with me.

One day, in March 2006, I decided I was not going to eat meat that day. That extended into a week, which extended into a month, which extended into a few months and I finally realized I would never eat meat again. I did not miss or crave it and turning vegetarian was relatively easy.

I was a junk food vegetarian, for a while. I mostly ate fake meat products and it was still relatively easy to eat out, I still enjoyed fatty, convenient, cheese laden dishes. Even though I was not at my healthiest, I felt so much better ethically. I got rid of so much guilt and was able to eliminate my pet/plate complex.

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I started doing more research on vegetarianism and found so many helpful blogs along the way, that taught me a great deal. They pointed me in the direction of other cookbooks, websites, books and documentaries that furthered solidified my decision. Some of my favorite cookbooks that I discovered were by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero (Veganomicon changed my life). I am infinitely grateful that they taught me how to cook and realize all the possibilities in meals without animals.

The more I learned, the stronger I felt in my decision. I learned more about the horrors of factory farming and treatment of factory animals. I learned about the environmental impacts of factory farming. I learned about the negative health effects that are associated with a diet high in animal protein. I learned about the connection between how I ate and my body, emotions, heart, soul and mind.

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I have never again craved meat, and I can pretty assuredly say that I will never eat it again (of course, I cannot answer to the deserted island  “what ifs.” I do not know why people love posing that scenario to vegans.).

One of the books I read during this time was Skinny Bitch, and so began my journey to veganism…..

Check back for my Part 2 next week….

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8 thoughts on “The Road to Veganism: Part 1-My Vegetarian Story

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s nice to find more people open an honest about their cruelty free diets. I too started out vegetarian and then went vegan (and then went whole foods plant-based after reading The China Study and a bunch others).

    I don’t understand the ‘what ifs’ scenarios either simply because they just won’t happen. My brother once did the “what if everyone went vegan?” and he went on to tell me that the economy would collapse. But everyone wouldn’t go vegan all at once, so it’s no worry. I think ‘what ifs’ are just hidden excuses for listening the the problems at large.

  2. Thanks for sharing!

    I went from vegetarian to vegan myself as well and I became a vegetarian because of my dog, he was a real eye-opener for me and it felt weird to love him and eat other animals. Like you, I learned more and more about what goes on in the industry and only felt more confident in my choice. Eventually, the more I researched, the more I knew that I had to become a vegan.

    It’s interesting to read other people’s stories and seeing common things. I’ll be back for part 2!

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