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FORGET_MASON's Photo FORGET_MASON Posts: 386
9/17/13 10:41 A

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I became veg when I was in elementary school, and within the past 5 years became vegan.

I'm looking for a supportive partner to be accountable, share stories, and support each other. If you're interested - give me a shout!


God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can: and the Wisdom to know the difference.


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MAPLETREE5934's Photo MAPLETREE5934 Posts: 2,135
7/1/12 6:52 P

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I've been a vegetarian since I completed college in 1978. I became a vegetarian since I don't believe in killing animals. In the past week, I've begun on the journey of becoming a vegan. The cruelty in the dairy industry has led me to this. In particular, I didn't like the thoughts that the male calves are typically slaughtered for veal or raised for beef. The most heart-wrenching reason for me to quit dairy is the thought of baby calves (usually the male) being taken away from their mother at birth and crying for their mother. The mother cow may also cry for their baby days after the calf is taken away. The cows instinctively have made milk addictive since they care for their babies and want them to drink enough to be healthy, to me, the taking away of a baby is an extreme case of cruelty.

WESHAKAT's Photo WESHAKAT Posts: 112
7/1/12 2:54 P

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For me, adopting a vegan lifestyle was a natural progression in my spiritual journey of finding love - for all creatures. There is no love in animal cruelty - especially as practiced by mega agri business. I just suddenly didn't want to be part of it anymore. I'm still new and adapting. But it feels right.

Assalamu Alaikum ~ Peace be with You.


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MEWS113's Photo MEWS113 Posts: 4
6/22/12 4:45 P

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I'm in the beginning phase of Vegan eating. Tough part about it for me today is the up-front costs involved in preparing meals. One jar of nutritional yeast cost $11. EnerG egg replacer box cost $7, etc. The next tough part is fixing meals that my kids will eat with me. The best part about this; however, is that I feel better even though I have slipped a few times and consumed non-vegan products. For example, the coconut macaroons from the health food store have egg whites in them. So the last toughest thing is having to diligently read food labels. This is a process that is worth the initial struggles; at least that is what I tell myself. It's a lonely place to be if there is not support around to boost new vegan dieters, but worth the effort so far. I think about the cost of ground meat, milk, and eggs, and realize the cost savings will eventually kick in!

JUST_ALICIA's Photo JUST_ALICIA SparkPoints: (45,604)
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8/28/11 7:50 A

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I, too, got to the point that I could no longer eat anything that was walking and living. I could no longer support such a cruel industry. I didn't care how they do the happy cow thing. Killing is killing and I don't believe that animals are here for us in any way.
I finally walked my walk instead of just talking the talk.
The bonus from walking this walk is my health that is improving day by day.


Alicia
♫•*΄¨ ) Έ.•*¨) -:¦:-°•.•.ΈღΈ☆΄ ♫•*΄¨ ) Έ.•*¨) -:¦:- °•.•.ΈღΈ☆΄
(Έ.•΄(•*¨. ♥.•*¨)°•.•.ΈღΈ☆΄°•.•.Έ&#
4326;Έ☆΄ (Έ.•΄(•*¨. ♥.•*¨)

Find out who you are, and do it on purpose. - Dolly Parton


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TINYDANCER9212 SparkPoints: (888)
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8/27/11 2:39 P

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I always felt wrong and guilty about eating meat. I was so into animals and their rights and I KNEW that what was on my plate had a face once, but having no support at such a young age, it was difficult to change my eating. In my early teens, I was so traumatized by a DVD of how meat was made, I stopped eating meat that night. About 5 years later, I made the transition to veganism and never looked back!

WATERDIAMONDS's Photo WATERDIAMONDS Posts: 14,308
8/2/11 10:03 A

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I chose a vegan lifestyle because:

Animals grew my heart into compassion when nothing else could. My early and teen years were difficult. It was in the way animals loved me that I came first to understand and then to believe there is goodness to life.

I cannot eat that which helped me.





Margaret--Spring, TX
The Beck Deck Crew!
FORGET_MASON's Photo FORGET_MASON Posts: 386
7/28/11 12:36 P

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I am a vegan because:

- It helps to reduce global food scarcity (vegan lifestyle uses 1/3 of the land, and 1/3 of the water that a meat based lifestyle lives)

- It reduces the negative impact I have on the environment (The livestock industry is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire transport sector (which produces 13.5%), including aviation)

- It's healthy (vegans enjoy decreased chances of suffering from diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers)

- And yes, because its compassionate, kinder way of living - one that I will never feel ashamed of.

One of the most artistic, compassionate explainations of why I eat, what I eat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZAHIB97iGY
&list=PL932A35B5E6B8965A


God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can: and the Wisdom to know the difference.


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HVSOAP's Photo HVSOAP Posts: 296
7/25/11 4:51 P

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“It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.”

— Albert Einstein

“I have from an early age abjured from the use of meat.”

— Leonardo da Vinci

“My refusing to eat flesh occasioned an inconveniency, and I was frequently chided for my singularity, but, with this lighter repast, I made the greater progress, for greater clearness of head and quicker comprehension.”

— Benjamin Franklin

Great minds think alike!!
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XXMAZAXX SparkPoints: (1,610)
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7/18/11 9:39 A

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Hello..
I myself am i new vegan too. i started vegetarian last March, and slowly transitioned to veganism. it was hard at first, but looking at the healthy, and positive effects of eliminating animal foods from your system feels awesome. Also, the fact that you are not contributing to the cruelty of our animals, and not consuming them feels rewarding. Lets keep working hard!!

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HVSOAP's Photo HVSOAP Posts: 296
7/10/11 11:59 P

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Greetings my fellow vegans. I have been vegetarian for a bit, but then I took the Peta 30 day challenge and I was hooked. But my lifestyle doesn't just stop with food. I gave made a total commitment to the lifestyle. The only problem I have been having has been with my teenage daughter who is fighting me tooth and nail. It breaks my heart that she could care less about anibal suffering. I can't force her, but she also cannot force me to cook meat. To me, being vegan is not a diet but a way of life. I call it deliberate compassion.

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FAITHENERGY's Photo FAITHENERGY SparkPoints: (354)
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6/26/11 9:42 A

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I've been vegan for a while, but I've never been a healthy vegan, and have always 'scorned' exercise. Recently I've done a whole lifestyle change, joined a gym and several other things, I decided that I need to eat better too...less processed food, more raw fruit and veggies etc. I'm hopeful, but still a little intimidated. I was amazed when I realized how many calories I was consuming and how little I was burning. One can be vegan and still gain lots of weight by eat too much! EEP! emoticon so I'm learning to cut down my portions (it's hard when one is a good cook! lol)

I started out vegetarian and then I became lactose intolerant, so I just decided to become vegan. It was after that, when I was trying to find recipes that I started to find out about animal cruelty etc.

BAYERFLY's Photo BAYERFLY SparkPoints: (6,283)
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6/25/11 7:40 P

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when I started to re-evaluate my nutritional intake last year, I began doing a lot of research. First I just did the normal thing, lean meats, lots of veggies & fruit, low fat etc. Then as my research went deeper and I found out a few things about the American food industry, I became disgusted with the idea of eating anything... So I began eating only organic foods. Eventually I read a few medical reports and watched some documentaries on Vegetarianism and it's effect on the human body. I became curious and decided to do a "Vegan Month" as an experiment. Everything else is history. I got stuck on it. I don't want to go back. I don't miss meat at all, but I do miss dairy sometimes. I got hooked on Almond milk though, so it's ok. The things this diet choice has done for me... I can't even begin to tell you. I'm sure you all feel the same way though.

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S2475727 Posts: 2
5/21/11 3:24 P

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Hi. Vegetarians weigh significantly less than animal flesh and animal product eaters, and vegans weigh still less. So, I am glad I am a vegan for ethical reasons (the post I am replying to has it exactly right- if you consume dairy products, you are supporting veal calves and their unimaginable suffering, because they keep the cows almost constantly pregnant and have no use for male calves).

I am not "fat", at 5'4" and 127 pounds. However, my usual weight is about 110 pounds. My problem? Myalgic Encephalomyeltis, an extremely fatiguing condition that makes it very hard to do much of anything, much less exercise. Also, I have interstitial cystitis, a painful bladder condition that rules out every weight loss supplement I have ever looked into (and that's a lot!) and severely restricts my diet (no fruit, for ex.)

So, I am at a loss as to how to take off this extra weight. I have also joined the multiple health problem and the interstitial cystitis groups.

Ironically, I only put on weight because of drugs I tried for one of my various and sundry health issues!

Anyway, not that I am happy that any of you feel the need to be here, but I am very happy to find a cadre of vegans : )!! Stephanie

B.DRONE's Photo B.DRONE Posts: 50
5/14/11 8:32 P

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I was so frustrated when I got on this wonderful site and could not get a vegan meal plan. My hopes were dashed. But then a very nice vegan on the vegetarians (and vegans) team lead me to you! I am so happy again, even if SP still hasn't shown me a real vegan meal plan that I don't have to substitute this for that on, I am happy that they do differentiate between the two. Vegetarians and vegans that is, because, as you found, I'm sure, vegetarianism does not go against animal cruelty...and it really isn't healthy to consume dairy.

INFO-JUNKIE's Photo INFO-JUNKIE Posts: 1,522
5/9/11 9:32 P

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I hadn't heard about the Whitewash book, think I'll try to find it and check it out!

~Connie~


Losing weight is hard. Being fat is hard. Choose your hard.
~~ author unknown

"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down." --Mary Pickford




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REBELBLITZ's Photo REBELBLITZ SparkPoints: (23,457)
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5/7/11 11:34 A

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I became vegan to continue to be healthy. I am 63 years old and have watched as people suffer with aches, pains, cancer, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, and many other health issues. I believe that we can be pain free and healthy all of our lives. The more I read books like The China Study, Whitewash: the disturbing truth about milk and your health, Prevention and Reversal of Heart Disease, Mad Cowboy and numerous others, I know that this is a reality. I also watched Food Inc., Earthlings, Sweet Misery (aspartame toxic) and other well researched documentaries.

I do not take any medications and want to continue to be healthy. I am fortunate that I do not suffer from pain too.

I really enjoy cooking a learning about vegan cooking. It is a fun journey.

Jack La Lanne lived on plant based foods. He represented the best health. We can too! emoticon

“I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is 'Abortion', because it is a war against the child... A direct killing of the innocent child, 'Murder' by the mother herself... And if we can accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love... And we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts...”
― Mother Teresa


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JESSIEJUICE's Photo JESSIEJUICE Posts: 318
5/5/11 6:39 P

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I've been a long-term vegetarian (though I did stop for a while when first diagnosed with Celiac disease). I became vegetarian on a trip to China where my father and I were invited to a business dinner that involved sort of a live seafood fondue. Even my dad who is a meat-lover, found that a little hard to deal with.

I became vegan as I learned more and more about factory farming; how the animals used for dairy/eggs are treated and additionally, learning about the havoc they are wreaking on our environment. It's been challenging at times, but I'm never looking back :).

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SINGSALLY67 Posts: 6
5/3/11 1:16 P

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I've only been a vegan for about 2 weeks now and don't miss the animal or dairy proteins at all. I chose this lifestyle after a friend introduced me to The Rave Diet and Lifestyle (www.ravediet.com) and I watched a documentary called Eating. In January, my cholesterol was 206 which isn't too bad according to national standards, but now I know it should be under 150 and the sources of cholesterol are animal/dairy protein. Since I can get my protein first hand from vegetables and grains, I decided to switch for health reasons first. My secondary reason, but also very important, is because I believe today's megafarms aren't like the old mom and pop farms and in addition to animal cruelty, it is just unnatural how they are growing animals to satisfy our appetite. This all leads to our mainstream diseases, but also to bigger global problems on food, water and oxygen supplies. It's a real shame when starving people could live on whole plant foods, yet most of the grains grown today are too feed the animals we eat. That blows my mind. I want to be part of the solution, not the problem.

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WANNABSZ0 SparkPoints: (635)
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4/26/11 6:53 P

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Hi, I am kind of new here. The vegan lifestyle first began when I was around 10 years old and realized that the meat I have for dinner was from animals. I guess as a kid I just thought you got the meat at a supermarket. However, my mom wasn't too happy about my veganism because she thought I wouldn't get enough nutrition from just fruit, veggies, bread and cereal. This was way back in the late 1960's. She finally got fed up with me and said I had to eat meat and try not to think about it, etc. Eventually, I went back to eating meat because of my family. Later on, I tried it again but I was never committed to it fully. Then one day coming back from a good workout at the gym, I was behind a truck with an animal trailer in front of me. I saw a cow poke his head out. Cute, I thought...he is probably going to a farm or something. Well it was something alright. I followed the vehicle and watched it pull into a slaughterhouse. I didn't even know there was a slaughterhouse in town. I was really sad all day. That finally convinced me. After that I began passing by that slaughterhouse thinking of leaving notes like "how could you sleep at night?" but I would probably get arrested for it. I just don't know how anyone could kill animals like that.
And that is my story. I am the only vegan in my new family now also but since I am the cook it is not a problem.

NEWYORKCHICK's Photo NEWYORKCHICK Posts: 221
4/26/11 10:48 A

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I'm vegan for animal rights reasons primarily, and secondarily for health. I finally opened my eyes and realized that as an ovo-lacto vegetarian, I was still a big part of the problem of animal exploitation every single day. Plus milk and eggs are not good food for humans.

My Streaks :)

-Pescatarian since 10/18/2007

-Nonsmoker & Nondrinker since 9/8/2012

-Maintaining a 10% weight loss since 7/13/2014


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INFO-JUNKIE's Photo INFO-JUNKIE Posts: 1,522
3/11/11 6:36 P

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BERGNYM, it's better for the environment too! You can feel good about it for so many reasons! emoticon

~Connie~


Losing weight is hard. Being fat is hard. Choose your hard.
~~ author unknown

"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down." --Mary Pickford




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BERGNYM SparkPoints: (5,613)
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3/11/11 6:34 P

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I have been eating pretty much a vegetarian diet for years. I started exploring the idea of eating vegan after a cooking blog I read had a Vegan Week. Then about a month ago, I broke my foot. Since I am unable to exercise, I had to find refine my eating if I wanted to be able to lose weight. I had already checked out a book from the library on eating vegan so I decided to go with it!

GIven all the time I had sitting with my foot elevated, I started exploring more about being vegan. I started a month ago for health reasons and now it is for health and ethical reasons. It has only been a month but loving it so far!

PIXXIE86's Photo PIXXIE86 SparkPoints: (446)
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3/7/11 12:32 P

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Because of people like these emoticon peacefulprairie.blogspot.com/

♥ ♥ Mother of two gorgeous boys under 3♥ ♥


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BSAWYER84's Photo BSAWYER84 SparkPoints: (2,074)
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2/22/11 4:06 P

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I'm very, very into cooking/baking/food and whatnot and I picked up a new cookbook that was totally vegan. I thought, hey, I'll try that for two weeks, just to expand my cooking repertoire. After that two weeks I felt great so I made the change and I haven't looked back. My boyfriend is still very much a meat eater so I'm slowly incorporating more and more organic and free-range meat and dairy into his diet and I don't really mind since I get to come up with two or more different meals every day. It's a fun challenge. In fact, I even write a blog about it LOL

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INFO-JUNKIE's Photo INFO-JUNKIE Posts: 1,522
2/9/11 9:45 P

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I toyed with veganism and vegetarianism several times over the years for health reasons. I read books by Dr. Macdougall and tried the diet a couple times. I only lasted for a few months at a time.

In 2004 we saw the movie "Super-size Me" and I have not eaten Fast Food since then. (I used to eat it regularly.)

My last switch started a year and a half ago. I have been in treatment for Fibromyalgia (I've had the symptoms for about 25-30 years) and I was reading the book "Spent" by Dr. Lipman. It recommended an almost vegan diet, (with daily use of whey protein powder). At the end of one week, I felt fabulous- like I was 17 again, but it only lasted one day. (Ever since I have been trying to recapture that feeling.)

Last March, I read the book "Quantum Wellness" by Kathy Freston and she mentioned her veganism and her spiritual (as well as health) reasons for it. It intrigued me and I started reading some of the material she referenced in the book and googling topics online. I began eating a vegetarin diet at that time.

This lead me to read many more books like "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell and that certainly convinced me that vegan is the best choice for health!!! What I learned from that book makes it easy to avoid dairy. But the more I learned about the food industry, the more I am disgusted by the thought of eating meat, dairy or eggs. The fact that being vegan is best for the environment too, makes me even happier about this decision. So, even though I was lead to it for health reasons, the humanitarian and environmental aspects have made me even more determined to make this change. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that this is the right path.

I do hate to cook, though-- so it has been a challenge.

I too, like many others have said on this thread, am the only vegan I know. I do know some vegetarians (my daughter for one), but no other vegans, except on SP.

~Connie~


Losing weight is hard. Being fat is hard. Choose your hard.
~~ author unknown

"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down." --Mary Pickford




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HIPPIECHIC68's Photo HIPPIECHIC68 SparkPoints: (17,346)
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2/7/11 8:12 A

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Welcome, AZCKING...

How sad that your family has been so directly affected by factory farming. I, too, am the only vegan I know, except on SP. I am so glad for the support we have here.

Sooo glad to hear eating vegan has gotten rid of MS episodes/symptoms and 20 pounds lost is no small thing! Way to go.

Keep up the good work and hope to see you around.

Peace, love and light

Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.

Love begins within.

Namaste

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


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AZCKING's Photo AZCKING Posts: 9
2/6/11 11:21 P

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I grew up on a dairy farm, not a factory farm, a small family farm. We had 300 cattle, horses, pigs, and chickens. I loved my animals, and actually had pet cows. I always ate meat and dairy. Our animals were always treated well and were organically raised. I started reading the Skinny Bitch book right before Thanksgiving 2009, it was an accident that I bought that book, I just wanted to get skinny. Two days before Thanksgiving I went Vegan. At first it started out as an experiment in controlling my MS and weight. Then I started researching everything Vegan, and that is when I actually discovered how awful the of the animals has become. Not only did the factory farms steal my family's livelihood, but it was so awful to the animals I adore. The more research I did the more set in stone my resolve became. As a result, I have not had a single episode or symptom of MS, I have lost 20 lbs., it would have been more if I had some support and french fries weren't Vegan...hahahaha. I am in this journey all by myself, the Veganism and the fitness/weight loss part. I am the only Vegan I know. Hopefully, there will be another Vegan on here that lives remotely close to me.

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HIPPIECHIC68's Photo HIPPIECHIC68 SparkPoints: (17,346)
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2/1/11 11:24 A

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I just recently started making my own bread again, too. It is so good. I have to grind some wheat today and I'll be making some tortillas.

Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.

Love begins within.

Namaste

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


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POUNDCAKES's Photo POUNDCAKES Posts: 4,743
2/1/11 11:16 A

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going back to making my own bread again. Yum.

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VEGANJAZ's Photo VEGANJAZ Posts: 513
1/28/11 1:32 P

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Beautiful story EMRANA, thank you!

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HIPPIECHIC68's Photo HIPPIECHIC68 SparkPoints: (17,346)
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1/21/11 6:35 P

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Thanks for your story Emrana...it sounds much like my own.

Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.

Love begins within.

Namaste

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


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EMRANA Posts: 655
1/21/11 5:47 P

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I started with two long stints as a lacto-ovo vegetarian. That was because of my deep love for animals, and because of a childhood experience. My father had purchased two male cows. My sister and I got attached to them and each "adopted" one. Every day after school we'd rush over and kiss and love and feed the cows.

One day, Blackie, my cow, was gone. Then a freezer got delivered, then the white butcher paper packages came. I was beyond devastated. Though I ate meat for a while that I hadn't met yet, I did end up becoming vegetarian.

I had been wanting to transition to veganism but thought I'd have a hard time giving up my cheese. Then one day I read an article on Care2 about the dairy industry. It included a sentence that said that ethical vegetarians (those of us who did it for the animals) should be aware that supporting the dairy industry was also supporting the slaughter of baby male calves. They are considered worthless to the dairies so they become veal.

I immediately felt the heartache of the mother cows being separated from their babies, and the terror of the newborns being pulled away. I'd already cried numerous times seeing the veal calves heading to the slaughterhouse on the highway (I live in Alberta, Canada, known for its beef). Such soulful loves. My husband has even pulled the car over to hug me while I cry.

That did it. From that moment on, through my tears, I told my husband. I am vegan now. You don't have to be, but I am. I've not regretted it for a moment, and looking at cheese *that* way, I haven't craved it once.

I love animals ~ and I feel SO much better as a vegan! I started in November 2010 and every day feels better.

Edited by: EMRANA at: 1/21/2011 (17:48)
MELWEN's Photo MELWEN SparkPoints: (3,753)
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1/18/11 3:06 P

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Well, I took the long path to being vegan. I was raised by diehard carnivores and so I grew up thinking that meat was required for survival. I knew very little about the production of meat and other animal products. It wasn't until I was out on my own and adopted a dog that I started questioning and investigating animal abuse issues and that led me to the plight of farm animals, the food industry, fast food, and the Standard American Diet.

I began to realize that what I had believed was normal was not ideal for my body, and I also didn't want to contribute to animal suffering by purchasing products from manufacturers who treated animals without compassion. With that said, it was still a process to reach the point of veganism. It took me about two years of patience and persistence, but today I feel better than I ever have and have a clear conscience about not contributing to animal suffering.

Dream it, believe it, achieve it! -- Kathy Smith
ATHENA130's Photo ATHENA130 Posts: 7,950
1/10/11 2:33 P

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I was always kind of vegetarian without realizing it. When I was younger, I never liked meat (the taste or texture) or the thought that it was once an animal. I couldn't even stand to walk by it in the grocery stores. I pretty much ate very little meat growing up and it wasn't until I found out I was iron deficient, that I started eating a bit more. I didn't really look into veganism/vegetarianism at the time which I really wish I would have. Anyway, I still didn't eat a lot and it was basically chicken and ground beef.

I decided to finally go vegan/vegetarian (I prefer vegan but not always possible in some cases when eating out) because it always felt right to me and I made the commitment after doing some research and realizing how healthy it is. The final push was realizing that a vegan diet could reverse diabetes (a big concern for me) and I thought it was time to commit once and for all.

Nancy


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BARBAGEDDON's Photo BARBAGEDDON Posts: 1
1/5/11 1:50 P

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There are many reasons why I went vegan.
I work with animals so I was a vegetarian for a while. I grew up in a family who ate alot of meat.
As I went on my own I found I felt less bogged down had more energy and could function better with out meat.
But for the past 5 years I have had chronic pancreatitis. And I found that all the animal fats such as dairy and eggs were still making me sick. For health reasons I became vegan. THe hardest thing about being vegan is the meat replacements of soy and gluten. I am also not partaking in gluten or soy. If anyone has great soy and gluten free recipes I would love it if you shared them :) Thanks

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HIPPIECHIC68's Photo HIPPIECHIC68 SparkPoints: (17,346)
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1/4/11 8:34 A

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RMarie87~ I can totally relate. I remember as a child my mother fixing tacos weekly and I would load up on the veggies and beans and skip the cow.

It's interesting to listen to our bodies to find what works for us or not. I think I discovered yesterday that my body doesn't like miso which doesn't surprise me since I've been trying to avoid soy for "some reason."

Peace, love and light

Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.

Love begins within.

Namaste

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


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RMARIE87's Photo RMARIE87 Posts: 360
1/3/11 6:24 P

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I'm a vegan for animal & human rights reasons. I didn't see the documentary "Food, Inc." before I went veg but I think it's an excellent portrayal of how dangerously and unethically the meat/dairy industry treats its workers.

Plus, I was always one of those weird little kids that wanted to eat broccoli & spinach as opposed to meat products. My family was not surprised at all when I went veg.

Just my $0.02!

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KOKOEK9's Photo KOKOEK9 Posts: 7,158
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Hi that looks like a great site I saved it thanks for all of your hard work in doing it

Mike


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JENMANRIQUEZ's Photo JENMANRIQUEZ Posts: 2
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A couple of years ago, on a whim, I took a free nutrition course sponsored by The Cancer Project ( www.cancerproject.org ). It completely changed the way I eat, and the way I feed my family. So, in short, I went vegan for my health. I also think it's a wonderful side effect that no animals are harmed in the making of my meals.
A year ago I started my own vegan recipe site called Bankrupt Vegan ( www.bankruptvegan.blogspot.com/ . And I'm currently working on a cookbook project with my Cancer Project instructor. The last leg of my vegan journey now is weight loss! I need to lose about 65 pounds, and that's why I'm here. Glad to meet all of you!

I can do this.


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12/26/10 1:24 P

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I've been eating vegetarian and vegan on and off for the last 10 years. My health increases and I feel great when I go gluten-free vegan. Until I put animal rights and the environment together with health reasons, however, it was easy to stray from what made me feel good for one reason or another. Now, I just can't get certain images out of my mind and will not go back to meat or dairy.

Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.

Love begins within.

Namaste

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


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11/16/10 1:42 P

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I read the book 'skinny bitch' and everything in there made sence. Becoming a vegan isn't only the healthy option but it's the right thing to do when it comes to animal welfare.

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CARISSA81's Photo CARISSA81 Posts: 1,379
11/8/10 11:16 P

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I had been thinking about going vegetarian for years and decided that since this clearly wasn't a phase I was ready to go vegetarian. I picked a weekend a few months ago to "switch over" because Veggie Fest was going on in my neighborhood and it seemed like the time was right.

Well, while I was there I realized that all the things that bothered me about eating meat - the negative impact on the environment, my health, the cruelty to the animals - would all be parts of my diet unless I went vegan!

So I did!

I'm still working things out here and there, but I don't really miss it (not often anyhow! There was a day we went to Cozy Drive-In where they invented the corn dog and THEN I missed it, but only briefly!) I ate a lot of vegetarian and vegan dishes to begin with so it's been easier than I thought.

Now, if I can only make it through Christmas..... Eggnog shakes are a weakness, I may need to experiment with some soy nog and ice cream or something!



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KIMPOSSIBLE82's Photo KIMPOSSIBLE82 Posts: 1,144
11/5/10 5:17 P

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Two words: poop lagoons.
I read a few books, like End of Food, a while back. Becoming a vegetarian was something I thought about a lot, but didn't take action until I got food poisoning from ground beef. That was about a year ago. I've been transitioning to eating a vegan diet over the past few months. It started unintentionally; I noticed I felt much better when I avoided cheese/dairy. I would estimate my diet is about 70% vegan at this point.

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JAB0929's Photo JAB0929 Posts: 553
10/20/10 12:18 P

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hi mindhorizon, there are some great non dairy chocolates out there. a lot of dark chocolate doesn't have dairy (i like the endangered species brand of dark mint chocolate), and at whole foods they sell vegan chocolate chips which i use for baking. also, my mom made me an amazing vegan chocoalte cake for my birthday which blew everyone away using cocoa powder for the chocolate part. I can send you some recipes if you like and some more brands i like!

Jackie


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MINDHORIZON's Photo MINDHORIZON Posts: 2,783
10/16/10 11:02 P

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I'm not quite there, either, due to my liking for chocolate. If I could just get past that, I'd be vegan.

Roxann

"We become what we think about all day long. The question is, what do you think about?" Dr. Wayne Dyer


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YHINESS's Photo YHINESS SparkPoints: (26,593)
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10/16/10 9:27 P

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I'm a new to being vegetarian and trying to get to vegan but I'm having the hardest time giving up milk/egg foods. I'm doing my very best mostly because of the health and animal issues attached to eating meat products. I'm sure I'll get over it but that's been the toughest thing to move away from. I don't have much support since noone around me is currently vegetarian so I'm happy to find this group!

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LADYDI2049's Photo LADYDI2049 SparkPoints: (51,200)
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10/6/10 6:48 A

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Welcome to the vegan lifestyle and to this team. Being vegan is a wonderful way to live, I have been vegan for almost 2 yrs now and couldn't be happier or healthier.

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"Stay Plant Strong"

Ladies, ever think about joining The Red Hat Society? www.theredhatsociety.com


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10/6/10 12:46 A

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This is my first post so I'm not sure if I'm doing it right! Fingers crossed.
I became vegan just a couple of months ago!
Becoming vegetarian is something I've always had in the back of my mind, but I was always too scared to make the change in case people judged me (seems silly now to think why someone would!) and I didn't want to be an inconvenience for my Mum or my flatmates.
I've always liked meat and cheese so it was easy for me to just eat what I was given, and enjoy it, but then this year my flatmates and I decided to cook seperately.
As it was already on my mind, and because my doctor had advised me to try cutting out different types of food for health reasons, I started researching vegetarianism. After realising that all the reasons I wanted to cut out meat applied to dairy and eggs, I couldn't justify becoming a lacto-ovo vegetarian, and became vegan!
I've barely looked back! The first couple of weeks were hard because I didn't feel as full after meals, but now it's fine - it must have just been my body readjusting.
Love the food, I thought cooking without meat would be hard, but I've replaced it with loads of flavour! I'm having loads of spicy indian and thai dishes, and mediterranean!
Yum yum yum

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9/27/10 10:29 P

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My daily food intake is 90% veggies literally.

I started in Sept 2010 and I just got hooked.

I think mainly because it required NO cooking LOL



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9/13/10 8:32 A

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All good reasons to be vegan. Congratultions on your choice and welcome to the team.

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"Stay Plant Strong"

Ladies, ever think about joining The Red Hat Society? www.theredhatsociety.com


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OHLAZYLIGHT's Photo OHLAZYLIGHT SparkPoints: (5,383)
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9/13/10 8:26 A

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I think I originally chose to go vegan (roughly 5 years ago) because I did some carbon footprint quiz thing and discovered how much less I could impact the environment by eating less animal products. At first I ate less meat, then about a week after that went vegetarian and maybe two weeks later vegan. Since then, however, my main reason for being vegan has become pretty much 100% animal rights. Being vegan is probably one of the best things I have ever done - through it I met my boyfriend and other interesting people, and have had some other really life changing experiences. :)

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9/13/10 8:26 A

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I think I originally chose to go vegan (roughly 5 years ago) because I did some carbon footprint quiz thing and discovered how much less I could impact the environment by eating less animal products. At first I ate less meat, then about a week after that went vegetarian and maybe two weeks later vegan. Since then, however, my main reason for being vegan has become pretty much 100% animal rights. Being vegan is probably one of the best things I have ever done - through it I met my boyfriend and other interesting people, and have had some other really life changing experiences. :)

UWGIRL65's Photo UWGIRL65 Posts: 16
8/22/10 12:20 P

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I became a vegetarian 25 years ago and tried the vegan lifestyle on & off over the years. There's no doubt about it that being a vegan is tough. My family & friends don't get it. I love cheese & ice cream. Not being able to go out for pizza is hard. I work in a town of 10,000 people. To find a place to go out to lunch is a struggle. However, I've taken the blinders off. I've come to realize that you can't really be an environmentalist while eating dairy products. The conditions on factory farms are deplorable and are contributing to health problems all over the world. No amount of cheese or ice cream is worth what animals have to go through to provide that and neither is the cost to the planet worth it. I hope by sticking to it and setting a good example, I might be able to influence a few other people to change. People sure love my daughter's vegan crispy rice bars. I think by feeding people good vegan foods, they may learn that giving up animal products isn't so horrible.

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LADYDI2049's Photo LADYDI2049 SparkPoints: (51,200)
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8/15/10 11:38 A

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I went Vegan cold turkey 1 year and 7 months ago mainly for health reasons, but since learning so much more from The China Study and The Food Revolution I now realize how much it also impacts our planet earth in a good way (not to mention compassion for animals). I am 60 yrs. old and have struggles with obesity all of my life. At my worst I was 260 lbs. I had been on blood pressure lowering medications (3) for years, then medication for high cholesterol. About 4 yrs ago, although not at my highest weight, I was diagnosed with type II diabetes. The only instruction I received from my doctor was "don't eat anything white." That was it. I was so scared, working in the medical field I knew so well what diabetes does to the whole body. I decided to see a naturopathic doctor and I credit her with saving my life. She got me on the right track and within 6 months I was off of all medications and feeling great. 3 yrs ago I was in a car accident, needed surgery on my shoulder, was sedentary for about 3 months and gained 34 lbs. Once I recovered is when I made the decision to become Vegan. I attended classes at a local hospital sponsored by the Cancer Project and that really got me on a life path to be Vegan.



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Edited by: LADYDI2049 at: 9/13/2010 (08:31)
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MINDHORIZON's Photo MINDHORIZON Posts: 2,783
8/12/10 10:33 P

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Funny you should mention the throat clearing thing. I just now noticed because you said something about it that I haven't been coughing or clearing my throat after meals since I started this a few weeks ago.

Roxann

"We become what we think about all day long. The question is, what do you think about?" Dr. Wayne Dyer


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8/12/10 9:46 P

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I've come to this life kicking and screaming and dragging my feet. A few years ago, I got really sick. I had meningitis and a bad gall bladder. I ended up having surgery for the gall bladder and, since then, everything seems to have changed.

Meat makes me sick! Physically!! Animal proteins of any kind actually make me ill (milk included). My doctor thought I was making it up but every time I ate meat, I ended up clearing my throat repeatedly for hours. It's as if I can't digest the stuff.

Over time, my doctor and I came to understand that animal proteins make me ill. He thinks it might have something to do with me not having a gall bladder. I don't know what to think.

Other things make me ill too ... fat (so fried foods are out), spicy foods, and chocolate (to name a few).

It's hard for me being a vegan. I sometimes am not very careful and I end up sick. None of my friends quite get it so I end up eating a lot of meals alone at home. That's hard because my friends eat out often and I like being in the crowd laughing and joking but it's too hard to find something untainted to eat so I stopped going.

So, I'm vegan because I have to be. I don't even pretend to like it, it's just what I have to do.

Don't change our worries to your body. The burden soon becomes heavy and your health will give too much of itself to pick up the extra load. (Astrid Alauda)


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8/8/10 9:51 A

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I became a vegetarian first with my love for animals-but still ate dairy, eggs etc. After I read the China Study and realized that animal protein is associated with cancer, heart disease and diabetes I became vegan. I also was reading Dr. Joel Furhman's Eat to Live which gave me the tools to actually do this eating style. I didn't have weight loss until I became vegan.

Dory 949


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KOKOEK9's Photo KOKOEK9 Posts: 7,158
8/6/10 12:00 A

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hi I don't have much of a story, my wife and I were eating at a junk place as we usually did, and I decided to get a chicken salad instead of a burger I detest chicken but will eat it. I quit meat, a few weeks latter I quit chicken, still had eggs cheese and seafood. They were eliminated just in the past few months. I do still get some milk or eggs in ingredients, I will worry about that later. I am also trying to eat clean

Mike


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VEGANJAZ's Photo VEGANJAZ Posts: 513
8/4/10 12:24 A

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I hear ya.... feel bad about it. But it's for sure the lesser of the evils.

Some people only eat things that come from plants, and not the plant itself. I think they're called "Fruitarians" - because in the evolutionary sense, most fruits are meant to be eaten (whole) and transported by animal feces, so the seeds can drop in other places.

So, they'd eat things like nuts, seeds, lettuce, tomatoes, apples, etc... anything that's not a root and kills the whole plant.

Something to contemplate.... it does interest me but perhaps this is indeed "extreme"?

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MINDHORIZON's Photo MINDHORIZON Posts: 2,783
8/3/10 11:31 P

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After reading that article, dare I mention that plants have feelings, too? There won't be anything left to eat!

www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2008/1
2/
09/recent_studies_have_proven_pla.aspx


www.treehugger.com/files/2008/10/pla
nt
-rights.php


Roxann

"We become what we think about all day long. The question is, what do you think about?" Dr. Wayne Dyer


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VEGANJAZ's Photo VEGANJAZ Posts: 513
8/3/10 10:30 P

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So cool Bonnie! It's pretty awesome when your true values and your life are aligned!

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VEGANJAZ's Photo VEGANJAZ Posts: 513
8/3/10 1:05 P

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You can do it Bonnie!

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VEGANBONNIE's Photo VEGANBONNIE Posts: 24
8/3/10 1:05 P

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I became a vegan while driving. I was at a red light alongside a truck hauling pigs to the slaughterhouse. That was all it took, I never ate meat again. I still had dairy in the house, but after doing research on the conditions in dairy farms, I gave up the milk and ice cream as well. I now love soy milk, soy ice cream, soy everything. I also do a lot of campaigning for animal rights.

If I want to present the best image of veganism to the world, which is what I want to do, I have to lose the weight I gained as a 3-times-a-day McDonalds' girls, so I'm now seriously attempting to do this! And no vegan junk food either!



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KEEPITGREEN Posts: 3
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i changed the title because i think it suits it better.

it's truly amazing to hear everyone respond!



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8/3/10 1:00 P

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Just read an article that goes along with this topic and thought I'd share.

http://www.kent.ac.uk/news/stories/meat-
eaters-study/2010



Tammy - Vegan runner for 3 years!


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VEGANJAZ's Photo VEGANJAZ Posts: 513
8/3/10 1:00 P

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Coffeelover.... honestly, wow!

It's definitely going to be interesting hearing everyone's stories, for sure!!

Great question, KEEPITGREEN, about "why weren't vegan before we were vegan". It sounds kind of obvious at first, but really makes one self-reflect for a moment.

My story's pretty average. About 5 yrs ago, I decided to go vegetarian due to major intestinal problems. Besides, to be perfectly honest, I loved the whole "aura" of vegetarianism.... you know what I mean?

emoticon

At that point, I simply didn't know (or care to know) about the real going-ons in slaughter houses. Like COFFEELOVER, I also wore blinders and lived my life.... thinking vegetarianism was SO cool and by default, compassionate... yeah right!

Anyway time went on, and veganism had always interested me. It mainly at first interested me for health reasons - it just sounded so pure.

Ok I am definitely long winded... sorry!

As the yrs passed, and I began to identify with the idea of "vegetarian", and in passing I began to look into factory farming.......... and went down a road that woke up such a deep sense of sadness, compassion, disgust, and ultimately, purpose.

I totally 100% found my path when I "discovered" veganism. It truly is more than a diet.

Like I say on my sparkpage, what I love about veganism is that it can restore our child-like compassion for the living world. It was completely changed my life.

It is rubbing off on other people too! Two friends are now VEGAN - and my fiancι, who would never consider being veg LOVES living vegan.

I feel fortunate that I am at the point in life where I am getting married, and starting my life. I know I will be able to have a vegan household, and raise my children vegan. So excited!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUNNINGVEGANMOM's Photo RUNNINGVEGANMOM Posts: 199
8/3/10 11:14 A

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I've always been a huge animal lover and I became a vegetarian in college, when I realized that I didn't have to eat meat in order to survive! Then I met my husband, who is a meat eater, and after we got married and started a family, I started eating meat again because it was more convenient, and frankly I was worried about the health of my children if I fed them a vegetarian diet. It was like I had blinders on, and when I look back now, I'm a bit ashamed of myself. I sacrificed my beliefs and morals simply because it made life easier for everyone around me. About 2 years ago, I made the decision to become vegetarian again and my family was completely supportive, though they had no interest in changing along with me! Then after reading two books, The Omnivore's Dilemna and Eating Animals, I saw how much cruelty went into the manufacturing of dairy products and I decided to become vegan. It was like the blinders I'd been wearing all of these years came off and now I know that I'll never go back to eating meat or any other animal products. I feel so much better now that even if I didn't love animals as much as I do, I think I'd stick with a plant-based diet because it's so much healthier. I'm hoping that someday my eating habits will rub off on not just my family, but friends as well. And then they'll rub off on their family and friends, who will rub off on their family and friends, and so on and so on until the whole world is vegan! (That's my dream, anyway!) emoticon

Tammy - Vegan runner for 3 years!


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WILLBOYWONDER's Photo WILLBOYWONDER SparkPoints: (33,293)
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8/3/10 8:25 A

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For me, it was to improve my health. From reading and studying things like the China Study and other similar reports, I know how harmful animal protein can be on our body. I gradually gave up animals in my diet and I began to notice how my weight started to go down and my blood pressure improved and my glucose levels moved into normal levels and my partially clogged arteries cleared up to the point that the doctor no longer recommended medication for it. My energy levels increased, my skin cleared up, my sleep improved, and with exercise, I began to feel like I was 16 again. Of all the reasons to support a vegan diet, I support it for a better quality of life.

~~ Will ~~

~~~~If you're looking for a blessing, try being a blessing to others! ~~~~


www.webmd.com/


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IMVEGAN's Photo IMVEGAN Posts: 2,869
7/25/10 6:52 A

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Mindhorizon - I too read The China Study. It is a life changing book. I read many books when I first decided to give up animal products last year but The China Study was so impressive that I paid all of my grown children $100 each to read it. (I knew I needed to give them an incentive.) My son and his wife became mostly vegan after they read it together. (They do occasionally eat a little cheese.) I am so happy that they changed their diets because now I am not concerned that they will give their children cow's milk.

My other children are working their way through it now.

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MINDHORIZON's Photo MINDHORIZON Posts: 2,783
7/24/10 10:54 P

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I'm currently reading The China Study. The results they've tabulated are amazing. So animal protein activates carcinogens? Who knew? I just got done with the hCG diet and was into the low-carb phase. I was feeling really sluggish and didn't think much about it until I read that the plant-based diet rats in the studies were twice as active as those on the animal protein. I figured it was worth trying out the whole foods vegan diet to see if I felt better and more energetic. My blood pressure is a bit elevated, too, and I'd like to see that go down as well.

Roxann

"We become what we think about all day long. The question is, what do you think about?" Dr. Wayne Dyer


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IMVEGAN's Photo IMVEGAN Posts: 2,869
7/23/10 8:09 P

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I am ill and I became vegan to try to regain my health.

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LESSTHANAPEARL Posts: 2
7/23/10 5:49 P

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Hello, I am also new. Thank you for asking this interesting question.

I can sum it up as:

Selfishness

Misconceptions regarding healthy diet

Not caring for animals

Thinking it would be "too hard" to "give up" _______

Don't think about food choices


All the above things changed for me 12 years ago. It has literally changed my life and defines who I am.

KEEPITGREEN Posts: 3
7/23/10 5:31 P

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hi everyone i am super new! i am also a new vegan, and i love it. i first became vegetarian because i didn't want anything to do with animal cruelty, and when i decided to open my eyes and i realized vegan is the only way to do this. i am so glad this team exists!

so.. why did you all became vegan? and, why weren't you vegan sooner? lack of education... didn't really think about it? what made the change?

what's your vegan story?

emoticon emoticon

Edited by: KEEPITGREEN at: 8/3/2010 (13:03)
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