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HELLYUAN SparkPoints: (0)
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6/15/12 10:59 P

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I have a back injury with alot of pain. I found that when I don't eat meat, I do no hurt
as bad. My doctor said that was right because meat causes inflammation.
So I am trying to stay vegan.

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6/15/12 9:22 A

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I am lazy. Meat-cooking indoors is very messy and hard to clean up.

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HIKELUV's Photo HIKELUV Posts: 177
6/12/12 3:01 P

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I read Laurel's Kitchen when I was 11. I had been trolling the cookbook section of my local library. That book (more than just recipes) was a life-changer for me. I had always hated meat (it grossed me out), and could really relate to the animal-rights issue. I immediately went veg. My mother tolerated a few weeks of that, and then put her foot down (even though I had been making my food myself - not sure what her issue was). I bided my time until college, and went veg the day I left for college. I was including dairy and eggs for a while (I hate eggs, so not many of those), then a new DR in the college town told me to cut dairy, and predicted it would eliminate my asthma. He was right. I went vegan from then on.

I changed my diet back to meat-eating when I realized in my 30s that I was too exhausted to keep up with my older relatives, or my severely overweight girlfriend. I tried everything to tweak my diet and help my energy, but eventually started eating meat again.

Since then I've been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and with a thyriod disorder. I suspect that eliminating gluten and helping my body have enough thyriod will fix my energy issue. The last several times I've tried to revert to a plant-based diet, I've run out of gas at the 3 week point. I'm hoping with all my heart that I can enjoy a nice, energetic plant-based life from here on forward!

Winners do daily what others do occasionally (Pete Thomas).


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JMCCAY26 Posts: 163
6/12/12 2:46 A

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i been vegan off and on since january i eat meat once in awhile usually jeannie o or tofu other then that rather not as i am trying to eat healthy im sticking to the healthy way also i just bought a healthmast which i get on wed so that will help too

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GDANE3's Photo GDANE3 SparkPoints: (333,675)
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6/10/12 7:33 A

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It started a few years back when hubby & I did menu modification. Then it was vegan
once week. As I hit menopause we went to everyother day since less animal made a huge
difference for me. Both felt better for it and research showed it was just smart. In no time
we took step and just went full vegan.

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DESERTJULZ's Photo DESERTJULZ SparkPoints: (163,664)
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5/29/12 11:35 P

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Meat makes me sick. Literally. I've been a vegetarian for 38 years now, and could count on one hand the number of times I've been sick at my stomach. As a child, I was sick at my stomach *all* the time. Multiple doctor visits, all kinds of drugs, special diets, nothing fixed the constant tummy aches, until at age 16, a friend convinced me to be vegetarian on a dare! Pretty much felt great ever since.

Julia
Sonoran Desert
Joyfully owned by three retired racing greyhounds.
Happily vegetarian for over 40 years.

Team Co-Leader: SP Class of May 6-12, 2012


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KRISTINWISHON's Photo KRISTINWISHON SparkPoints: (0)
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5/24/12 2:49 P

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I decided to go vegan after 2 years of vegetarianism. I realized that I ate mostly vegan anyways, and only rarely used animal products when baking treats for my family and friends (which I now have handy vegan substitutes for!). Going vegan was easy for me, and I don't regret it at all. Though my family has not conformed completely to my ways, they have at least decreased their meat intake significantly over the last year, which I think is good progress since I was raised on meat and potatoes... emoticon

I chose the vegan lifestyle (and vegetarian before) primarily due to the impact industrial meat production has on the environment. I've watched several documentaries about industrial food and read several books (I highly recommend Michael Pollan), and found that the atrocities these huge companies make against the natural world are absurd and unacceptable. The amount of animal waste that is carelessly handled and improperly disposed of into our rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water is disgusting. The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is due primarily to the amount of nitrate released into the water by chicken, beef, and pork "farms," as well as the pesticides and fertilizers used in industrial crop growing.

I won't get entirely into my environmental rant about industrial farming, but my main point is that the mass production of food, especially meat, has created an unsustainable and destructive market for foods. We cannot possibly continue to abuse our planet as we have and live healthily. Aside from making the switch to vegan, I've also become way more conscious about organic food and making sure that the stuff I consume makes the smallest possible impact on the environment. Farmer's markets are the best!

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

-Albert Einstein


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EGRACE5's Photo EGRACE5 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/22/12 9:47 A

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I had basic required blood work done in order to get a life insurance policy and was shocked to find my cholesterol was high for my age, height and weight.

My doctor wanted me to take medication but I opted for diet change which required a lot of reading, study, trial and error. I read a ton of books and tried a lot of recipes to find things my family would eat.

The first 8 weeks of a vegan diet my cholesterol dropped 70 plus points!

It's been 4 years now and I can't imagine ever going back.

This past December my husband joined me in my eating style!

Elisabeth Grace

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6


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TINYTAPA Posts: 21
5/21/12 9:46 P

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Like many others here, I've long contemplated a vegetarian diet. I've always been a passionate animal lover and have generally considered myself to be an ethical individual. However, my diet consisted of regular chicken and fish, as well as occasional pork and beef.

In retrospect, I can see that I was naive to think that I could be both an ethical animal lover while still eating meat!

At the beginning of this year, I gave up beef and pork, and 8 weeks ago I also gave up chicken and fish (as well as other forms of seafood). The transition was greatly aided by watching some mind-shattering movies, including Hungry for Change (highly recommended!), Food Inc., Forks Over Knives (also highly recommended), and Earthlings (though I couldn't get through it). I also began picking up books and educating myself - Food Matters, Diet for a New America, Skinny Bitch (hilarious), and Quantum Wellness were all great reads. My husband even picked up Meat is for Pussies (which I strongly recommend for reluctant males in your home - what a book!). Blogs like Vive Le Vegan and Oh She Glows! have made this new lifestyle even more exciting and easy.

From there, giving up dairy was a cinch, which I NEVER would have thought possible (my family lineage is part-French, so cheese has always been a staple in our household!). I've always had difficulty with lactose, though (they say most of us do!). Besides, I've always found it incredibly strange that we are the only species on the planet who not only drink milk as adults but also who drink another species milk (let alone a species whose milk is meant to help a baby calf reach 250lbs within a few months!).

So, for me the reasons are twofold - health and animal welfare (threefold, if you also consider the environmental impact of factoring farming).

I'm hesitant to call myself a vegan because I am currently still having occasional bits of honey (local organic, but still...) and also because my closet still contains leather products and silk (though I've vowed to buy no more!).

Becoming conscious of the food I put into my body has been a huge blessing. Apart from having lost a bit of weight, the benefits have included: increased energy, clarity in my mind (no more brain fog, hooray!), no more bloating, clear skin, lessened PMS symptoms, and just an overall positive outlook!

This is probably aided by the fact that I also gave up caffeine, artificial sweeteners, refined sugars, as well as gluten (I'm borderline celiac).

For me, it was all about timing - it never clicked before but now it has hit home in a big way - only a few months in, I can't imagine going back. My husband is on board, as well, although his family is struggling with the idea (his father is a chef!). I manage this by inviting them over for yummy whole-grain, plant-based meals and bring my own dishes over to dinner to they don't have to try and accomodate me (this doesn't bug them and they seem to like that the pressure is off for them to produce vegan meals, something I coudn't expect them to do!).

I've encountered resistence from other well-meaning people as well who love to tell me "but it's healthy to eat meat and dairy!" but I just smile and don't try to argue - I just agree to disagree. Thankfully, my husband and I have some awesome vegetarian and vegan friends, and we've recently started a weekly dinner where everyone takes a turn hosting - yum and fun!

Anyway, it's really wonderful to find a community of lovely people who are on similar paths - I look forward to sharing and hearing stories and advice. emoticon

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AMESMFNMICHELLE's Photo AMESMFNMICHELLE SparkPoints: (0)
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5/14/12 12:49 P

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Knowing it hurts animals, and me. I had NO IDEA that cholesterol came from animals only. None. Plus I hate cooking, so now I don't 95% of the time. I love that!

Edited by: AMESMFNMICHELLE at: 5/14/2012 (12:57)
Be the best every day!


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HOTSTARGOSSIP's Photo HOTSTARGOSSIP SparkPoints: (0)
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5/13/12 3:51 P

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thats a good idea, plus you are so lucky to have a farm close to you, before i went vegan i would always try to bye cagefree, hormmone free eggs ECT, so goodluck on your journey...
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OHINICETOSEEU's Photo OHINICETOSEEU Posts: 219
5/13/12 1:37 P

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This is week one for me. Don't miss anything. Then again, we were largely eating vegetarian more than half the week anyway, so it wasn't a big jump. It was an ethical decision for me - and frankly I think it's much cheaper to be meat-free.

Still eating eggs, consuming cheese and eating yogurt (I drink soy milk). Switching over to margarine (making sure the brands I buy don't contain any animal by-products).

For what it's worth, there's a local dairy farm that's open to the public about 20 minutes from where I live. The animals have spacious grounds to roam, their stomping grounds appear clean and sanitary and the animals look healthy and well-groomed. They claim not to use hormones on their livestock and only use antibiotics on the cattle when it's a necessity.

I've decided to start doing my dairy shopping there (as I know the source), rather than buying from major stores, for now.

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MOMNINJA's Photo MOMNINJA Posts: 67
5/13/12 1:02 A

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After watching Food Inc, I couldn't eat animals any more. It's inhumane, horrifically gross processing and healthier to be vegetarian or vegan.

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HOTSTARGOSSIP's Photo HOTSTARGOSSIP SparkPoints: (0)
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5/12/12 10:57 P

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Living like a vegan is so much healthier for you, not only does you percent of heart disease and cancer decrease, but your skin improves as well peaches n cream and your digestive track get right back where it should be, overall your body does a 360 turn and you feel just great..we hen you said that you never cared about animals i just could believe that, even an animal has feelings, when i first changed to be a vegan it was only for health and loosing weight only until i saw this video, i never knew a human being could be so cruel or have such hatred, if your going to kill an animal, "ok but can you at least treat it fairly and just there is no need for torture or abuse and neglect,,see for yourself.. youtu.be/ykTH_b-cXyE

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MOXIE-GAYGE's Photo MOXIE-GAYGE SparkPoints: (0)
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5/10/12 11:30 P

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I don't give a FLip about animals or how they are treated... I have diabetes and Veg'n is the best way of life to eat. I do slip up and have a naughty snack, but I get back on track as I don't take meds for my diabetes.!

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CHERRYRED365's Photo CHERRYRED365 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/9/12 9:07 P

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I made the choice mostly for the animals, secondly for health.

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GIFT_OF_A_YEAR's Photo GIFT_OF_A_YEAR SparkPoints: (1,834)
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5/5/12 6:32 A

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I have been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 24 years. I recent started eating vegan ( about 95% vegan). When I stopped eating meat 24 years ago, it was like a "spiritual" and moral awakening after reading the book Diet for a New America by John Robbins. As a child, my parents owned a dairy business. I spent time with my Grandfather picking up milk on farms. Back then, upstate NYS farms were idyllic rural places. Animals were well treated; I had animal friends on all the farms!

But recently I saw an article about Cabot and factoring farming complaints in upstate NY. I knew that I could no longer eat dairy when this is happening in my own back yard. Reading the China Study also solidified my decision.



Be the change you wish to see in the world. ~ Ghandi
CD10347855 Posts: 209
5/3/12 5:53 A

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My husband had high tryclicerides. Six months later, at next dr visit, they were still high and dr said it must be heredity. I,personally, think drs push too much mediciate and that while some things, to some extent, maybe heredity, I think it's often used as an excuse. So I cut the red meat from our meals . . . next dr visit in 6 months showed his numbers back in a normal range.

The more I thought about that the more I thought about moving from flexitarian to vegetarian. Then a book "Main Street Vegan" caught my eye and the more I read the more I thought it was for me. I'm new to this -- today is Day 3.

CHERIE22222's Photo CHERIE22222 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/1/12 9:42 P

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I have high Cholesterol. Today, I was reading a book about cholesterol. It said that even if you cut off all the fat and take away the skin, you are still getting all the cholesterol because the cholesterol is spread out throughout the lean part of the meat.

I have now made up my mind once and for all I am going Vegan. My youngest son has been a Vegan since he was very young. I have always agreed with him that I didn't like knowing that animals die because people eat them. I will no longer be a reason that an animal has to die. I choose to be healthy and not eat meat!

Cherie emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WICKEDBELL's Photo WICKEDBELL SparkPoints: (0)
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4/28/12 10:36 A

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I work in the veterinary field Half are omnivores half are Vegetarians/Vegans. I was an Omnivore. While my coworkerd tried for years to get me to be a vegan. After have several G.I.Problems we did a food dairy and no shocker meat/eggs dairy was the cause. I feel great since the switch. Now i am more for the animals.

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CHERIE22222's Photo CHERIE22222 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/27/12 8:27 P

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Hi. I started going vegetarian because I got sick whenever I ate beef. I have a lot of health issues and I feel better when I stick to vegetables and fruit. I have a ton of allergies. I know I am allergic to sheep and I am not sure about goats, but I get a little ill when I accidentally get feta cheese. I am allergic to milk except for the cassian which is used to make hard cheeses. So I try to eat mostly vegetarian to feel better and be more healthy. I substitute vanilla cocanut milk for cows milk and I do good with that.

I have been mostly vegetarian for the last 20 years now.

Cherie emoticon

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TDEVONA70's Photo TDEVONA70 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/27/12 12:39 P

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My family and I are actually going on the whole foods plant based diet from Forks over Knives. And just like FROU I am doing it for the health of our family. I do understand the harm we are doing to the environment by eating meats so I am happy to help, but my family is more important to me at the moment. We have not actually started the diet yet. We are doing the 28 day challenge and we are on our contemplation week (which means my husband is eating all the fried and animal foods he possibly can). I am excited about eating healthy and the great benefits we will receive from it.

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FROUX2ZJ SparkPoints: (0)
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4/25/12 3:06 P

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I became vegan (bee-gan really, I still eat local honey) because, let's face it, Meat, cheese and eggs are delicious, but they were slowly killing me. I gained over 100 pounds in the last ten years eating garbage. I'm a compulsive eater. I watched my dad nearly die after a gastric bypass to fix his weight problem, and my wake up call was when I recently talked to my doctor and looked at my lab reports. Ridiculous. Last year I got to meet Dr. Neal Barnard, and recently I watched Forks over Knives. I decided it was time for a change. I eat a low fat, low sugar vegan diet. I love that I don't have to count calories (although I do keep a food journal) and I can eat until I'm full. I find that the longer I eat this way, the less I feel the need to gorge myself.

A lot of people I know say that they do it for the animals, and it's nice to lose weight on the side. I'm entirely selfish here. I'm eating to save MY life. If it saves a few chickens, all the better.

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WUMPASTAR's Photo WUMPASTAR SparkPoints: (0)
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4/20/12 9:26 A

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Weirdly enough I became vegetarian for health problems. I kept getting very very sick, with my stomach completely cramped and I couldn't eat anything for a few hours after puking everything it contained. I couldn't even drink water - I'd puke it right back. It sucked! After going to the hospital once, feeling better, then it happened again, I went back to the hospital and was there for 3 days in the middle of a corridor, with morphine shots thrice a day because of the pain... after a few tests they still found nothing. WTF?

That was in October. In August I started talking about going vegetarian, I don't know why but I had a feeling it was right for me, but I never got information about it. This decided me and I really felt like it was the problem (meat). So I bought a bunch of books - informational and recipes - and tried it. After reading a (French) book called "Végétariens... mais pas légumes!" (which would translate to "Vegetarians... but not vegetables!") I went vegan because it really convinced me, for both health and moral issues. So I've been a vegan since the end of October 2010.

My parents mocked me, my friends mocked me, but my boyfriend was kind enough to try (and after reading the same book, he followed me and he's a vegan too now!). His friends started mocking, people he work with too... but yeah, we made it, and we're still alive and very healthy, so that's the proof it works. I'm very proud of my beliefs. I think my favorite part is when people get curious and ask me a ton of questions about it!

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QHOPE9's Photo QHOPE9 Posts: 84
4/19/12 4:55 P

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I first became a vegetarian my freshman year of college. I was taking a nutrition class, and I learned all about how producing meat is bad for the environment. I lasted for about a year until I met my boyfriend. He was fine with my food choices, but I hated that I wasn't invited to his house more because his mother thought I was a pain to cook for, so I stopped. (Not my proudest moment ever.)

Then, a couple weeks ago, I decided that the main character in the screenplay I'm writing for Script Frenzy was going to be vegetarian. I went online to look up some facts that she would claim whenever someone in her family tried to mock her for her eating habits. Then I wound up on the PETA site, and I ended up watching a video on the dehorning of cows. It was awful, and I was almost physically sick because of it. I did more research and decided to try to become a vegan...though it's a slow process.

I've decided that all of the food that I cook and make will be vegan. When I go out to eat (which is rare and generally with my boyfriend's family), I'll be vegetarian - at least until I get more comfortable with the vegan life. The only exceptions are coffee creamer and Parmesan cheese - although I have a recipe for vegan cheese that I'm going to try this weekend. :)

~Katie~
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BLC #15 goal weight: 278
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VEGFROG SparkPoints: (0)
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4/15/12 10:53 A

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I'm a vegetarian for several reasons.

Most importantly - I've been around animals all my life. Spent
summers on grandparent's farm as a kid, and have had dogs
and cats in my life always. I'm also a volunteer at an animal
shelter where I work with cats. So - you see, I'm very fond of
animals. I cannot detach myself from the cruelty that got the
"food" to the store and eventually to someone's table, with the
logic that its okay to eat some species, but one puts the furry,
cute ones on a pedestal and keeps them as "pets". All animals'
lives are important to me, whether they be furry, have udders,
dolphin, or tuna. Before cutting out animal products, I would become
disgusted with preparing meat; the blood, bones and waste made
me realize every time that this had been a living, breathing
creature. Maybe everyone needs the first-hand experience of
knowing and appreciating cows (specially Angus), chickens and
other species, and they wouldn't automatically get excited by
a KFC or McD commercial...

Secondly - as a vegetarian I don't need to watch my cholesterol,
and my weight is a lot easier to manage. I spend less on my
grocery bill. My idea of splurging now is buying good quality
tahini to put in my hummus, or some artichoke hearts to spike
up a salad.

I have been a vegetarian for 22 years now. I appreciate the taste
of everything I eat. Becoming a vegetarian has opened up an
incredible world to me, literally - of new food choices, ethnic
possibilities and spices that make my choice to eat out a thrill.
Honestly, I don't understand how one can continue to get excited
about the same old burgers and fries......

MENESTRELLO's Photo MENESTRELLO Posts: 248
4/12/12 5:11 P

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Initially, I became vegetarian, because the only meat product I consumed was chicken and I am lactose intolerant. Even when I was younger I was somewhat disgusted by eating meat, but I wasn't really sure why. Like many, I suppose I just didn't really think about it that much. I cut out chicken, because it was unnecessary. At that point, I was eating eggs and occasionally some cheese.

After a few months, I started digging into if I could at least change to a vegan diet, perhaps with a little more awareness, but I did not have the knowledge to ensure that I was getting adequate nutrition, so I worked on that part first. Fortunately, that change only took about 2 months, so I switched to a vegan diet. In the process of researching, I realized that there was no need to consume or use animal products and over time I have come to realization that similar to my beliefs that a person does not have a choice as to his or her sex, race, orientation and otherwise, neither do any creatures on the planet.

While I do still have a leather couch from over 15 years ago, I do not knowingly purchase or consume future products of animal origin. I still have a leather coat I am trying to find a home for, since throwing something away is not only disrespectful to the animal, it is wasteful and harmful to the environment. Besides, someone less fortunate could use it. That has become my current problem -- finding a home for someone who needs it who isn't going to get killed for it. It's interesting how that cycle can continue.

Regardless of this, it is inexcusable the way these animals are treated in our modern times. I suppose I will stop there, because I could write an unending novel.

ADVENTUREASHLEY's Photo ADVENTUREASHLEY Posts: 142
4/8/12 8:10 P

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A couple months ago I challenged myself to eat vegan for 2 weeks. I was feeling awful emotionally and physically and wanted a change. The fact that I wouldn't be contributing to the mistreatment of animals was more motivation than my own health to stick with it. I stayed vegan for a full month and then slowly introduced some dairy and eggs back into my diet, but couldn't bring myself to eat animal flesh again. The eggs I eat come from my own chickens so it's cruelty free because I spoil them rotten! I would classify myself as 'mostly' vegan as I do have yogurt sometimes and cheese very occasionally.

I do occasionally get a craving for sausage, but I discovered I actually like veggie sausage better than the stuff made with meat. It says something about sausage that the actual flavor is very well replicated without any meat. I am so glad I don't eat the meat version anymore!

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PROMOTEPEACE's Photo PROMOTEPEACE Posts: 82
4/7/12 3:15 P

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I have just recently decided to follow a vegan diet after being vegetarian for six years. Several of my friends are vegan, which is what introduced me to the concept. I was initially inspired at their ability to observe such a healthy and well-rounded diet. I always felt that reading nutrition labels at the grocery store was such a daunting and difficult task to keep track of, so I admittedly did not read as many nutrition labels that I originally should have. After talking to my vegan friends and really getting to the heart of their reasoning in making such a drastic lifestyle change, I realized that I also maintained a lot of their core values about animal cruelty and American consumption. With this in mind, I turned to documentaries to find out the truth about factory farming in America (watching PETA videos, Food Inc. and Earthlings). After doing my research, I couldn't believe what I saw. I knew that something needs to change, and the best way for me to express my obstinate views on this is to adopt a vegan diet. Although I've only been vegan for a few days now, I'm really loving it and feel so empowered. I hope to stick to this for as long as possible! :)

Be in control of your own fears.


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FIT_BLISS's Photo FIT_BLISS Posts: 12
4/4/12 12:57 A

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I originally starting eating a vegan diet because I was going through an eating disorder and I thought it would help me avoid foods that I considered "bad". I'm not vegan anymore, or going through an eating disorder, but I still eat an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet because I think it is a very healthy diet to have, when executed properly. I've been a vegetarian for 7 years and I feel much better for it. I wouldn't consider going back.

"Never give up on something that you can't go a day without thinking about"

“All we can do is strive to be the best that we can be. If we’ve done that, then we have done our part in helping create a positive and beautiful environment for ourselves and those who come in after us.”—Kwame Binea
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3/26/12 12:00 P

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Good morning all! I have chosen this lifestyle for health reasons,(T2 diabetic) and weight loss.And my DH is also overweight on lipitor and just diagnosed with high blood pressure.But he still insists he can't give up meat!! So hopefully if I make healthy tasty veg meals I can convince him to change his lifestyle and get healthy also.Looking forward to sharing and learning some great recipes! Diane

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3/26/12 10:38 A

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I became vegetarian 40+ years ago, as soon as I was away from home, for reasons of conscience. At that time there were few resources. The 2 cookbooks I found were published in the UK, measurements were different than US. Somehow I learned that The Seventh Day Adventists ran vegetarian cooking classes. Then boyfriend, now husband, and I attended their classes for a few months. It was a great resource.

There is so much information available now and so many more fruit and vegetables to choose from, my recent change to vegan has be so much easier. My reason to become vegan is seeing my mother's end of life with congestive heart failure and dementia; then seeing Sanjay Gupta's report on reversing heart disease, which lead me to Caldwell Esselstyn and Engine 2. I don't have heart disease and want to avoid it.

I never had much tolerance for eggs, but do miss cheese. If I slip, it's usually to cheese. Pizza seems to be the food of choice at impromptu gatherings. At home I've been experimenting with the various substitutes. None are very satisfying, but nutritional yeast has been a big surprise. I made veggie mac & cheese using yeast and almond milk. It was good!



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3/22/12 11:58 A

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I've started to do some research on eating healthier. After watching Forks over Knives and Food Matters, it makes sense to become vegan. I'm not a big meat eater. I eat it with my husband and kids. I know that if I remove this from my diet, it won't be a big loss. My problem is chocolate and cookies. I know that there are veggie brownies made from Black Beans and other cookies I could eat. I'm very over weight, have horrible acne and my periods go on for 6 weeks at a time. I suspect that if I change my diet, a lot of these problems will resolve themselves. I plan to start at the beginning of next month. I want to try it and see how I do. I've done the research and it speaks for itself. I've also read about the horrible treatment of cows, chickens, and turkeys too. I just don't want any part in that either. Over all I just want to be healthy and be a good example to my kids and husband.

ANIMAL_L0VER's Photo ANIMAL_L0VER Posts: 1,520
3/22/12 10:32 A

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I tried to go vegetarian in the spring of 2010, but working in a restaurant made it rough and I started severely craving meat after about 2 months. Looking back, I realize that not only was I not ready, but I also wasn't eating the right things (i.e., enough protein) which is why the cravings were so strong.

Over the last several years, I've gotten very aware of the environment, factory farming, supporting local farmers, organic vs. conventional, etc. I've had a CSA share going on 3 years, and shop almost exclusively at a local cooperative grocery that supports local and organic agriculture and meat and dairy farmers. I felt better eating meat that I knew was free range, grass fed beef, more ethically raised, etc., but I hit a point where I just couldn't deny that I cared more for animals than the taste of meat. Sure, local, free range, ethically raised meat was better than factory farmed, but I have a friend whose father raises free range grass fed beef, and I know that they generally don't slaughter their own animals; they have to send them to a factory to be slaughtered. So they may live a better life, but face the same terror in the end. I was not okay with that, and I made the decision to go vegetarian in November, and don't plan on going back.

I also made this decision because a LOT of chronic conditions run in my family (numerous cancers, heart disease, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, just to name a few), and I wanted to change my lifestyle by eating a healthy diet and regularly exercising so that hopefully I don't need to become dependent on medications. My boyfriend has been very supportive, even though he did not make this decision and still eats meat at times. Several books and movies I've seen since then truly touch me and just solidify my decision even more. I may get a lot of flack from people, especially family who don't understand since we live in the Midwest and were raised on a meat/potatoes/milk/eggs diet, but I really don't care. I'm doing what's right for me.

I have considered going vegan, and may do so at some point. But right now I feel that I need to continue to eat eggs, cheese, and yogurt to lose weight. I buy them all locally at the co-op and/or farmer's market, so I know most of the farmers and how the animals are treated. And I even get free range eggs from my friend sometimes, who has a coop and 5 chickens in her backyard. I've known those chicks since they were just a few days old! My CSA share is with a farm less than 10 miles from my house; I know the farmers, get all organic produce from them, and get to see where my food grows. I even work on the farm about 4 days each summer just for fun! And when it's winter we get everything from the co-op. I love living in a Midwest city that supports local and organic farming, and can't imagine living someplace that did not have these options.

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3/17/12 10:28 A

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I can't support keeping 200 cows in a pin where they have less then an inch all around them to move around! When I lived in California, I was driving past a slaughter house and when I saw the cows like that, I wanted to cry. If you are going to kill an animal, at least treat it with respect and give it a good life. But after seeing that, I was disgusted with the meat. The last straw was when I was at a boyfriends house in high school and he made hamburgers, then showed me the picture of a calf with a little boy feeding it milk out of a bottle, then said "That's the cow you are eating when it was a baby!" (His grandfather raises slaughter house cows : / ).

I've never been a big fan of meat in the first place, except fish but my husband is allergic to it, so the transition was pretty easy.

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3/14/12 11:01 P

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I started in October to get control of myself. I was going to do "Eat to Live" for 2 weeks, then decided to go for 6 because I felt so much better. Well, I have still been doing vegan ever since with one exception. I had a peice of cheesecake for my birthday in January. I saved it from Christmas when I did not endulge. My blood pressure is down, my cholestrol is down,
and I feel great.

Loretta

At first if you don't suceed --TRY, TRY, again!

Never give up!




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CMURPHY25 SparkPoints: (0)
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3/14/12 11:04 A

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I decided to go vegetarian when I was confronted with the possibility of watching a video showing animal agriculture and slaughter. I wanted to leave the room and as I stood in the hallway I began to think 'how could I consume something that I couldn't watch?' That stuck with me for a few years and I faltered as a vegetarian teenager and then a few years later (after struggling to try and only eat farmer's market meat) I decided to give it another try. This time I wanted to succeed so I watched the videos (Earthlings, Meet your Meat, meatvideo.org, Food, Inc.) so that I could be really informed about the realities and be a witness for the animals that suffer and die (10 billion in the US every year). I also read some books, 'Eating Animals' and "the Kind Diet" and bought cookbooks to help me learn how to prepare these new foods and eat whole foods rather than processed veg meats that got me through high school. Through this education I realized that eating eggs and cow's milk is just as problematic and in many ways even more cruel than meat because of the inherent cruelty in how they are raised. Then low and behold, I had really profound health improvements. I lost 8 pounds without trying. My chronic knee pain became manageable, my asthma and allergies improved and I just felt lighter and happier and more energetic (after detox period). This fascinated me so i started reading about vegan nutrition (the China Study, Becoming Vegan, nutritionfacts.org, vrg.org, Forks over knives the movie, etc.). Three years later I am so thankful that I made the change. Sorry, that was long, but its been a long journey ;).

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3/13/12 11:41 P

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Deciding to transition to lacto-ovo vegetarianism has been both the hardest and easiest decision of my life. It was the hardest because was concerned about three things: iron intake, protein intake, and the reaction of the people around me (mostly my family, who I knew would take my becoming a vegetarian like a slap in the face). Because of these reasons, I have put off becoming a vegetarian for 6 years.
The decision became easier to make when I watched "Forks Over Knives" and I took the advice of a friend. "Forks Over Knives" drilled home what I basically already knew: meat consumption is a major contributing factor in most health problems americans face today. And considering my family risk for heart, liver, and kidney problems, I knew I had to become healthier or end up really sick later in life. (Mind you, I usually take documentary information with a grain of salt, and there are still some facts in the documentary I dispute.)
The push that finally shoved me into vegetarianism was advice from a friend. She had lost a lot of weight and when I asked for her advice (especially about nutritional practices) she advised me that for 48 hours, anytime I watch a show/ podcast/ youtube video, I need to watch one related to healthy cooking and not just to limit myself, but watch all different sorts of shows, just "healthy" episodes of it. Then I should write down which recipes/ shows appealed to me most and from that, to deduct which foods I liked the most and to make that the basis of my nutrition plan. Well, I followed that advice (and watched HOURS AND HOURS of cooking shows) and the only show that appealed to me was Delicious TV's Totally Vegetarian. It was like a light bulb going on...

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3/13/12 4:59 P

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Why did I become a vegetarian? I watched a television show about a farming family who ate their pet cow! The crops failed, they had many children. Their pet cow had given them milk cream and butter for 13 years and they slaughtered their named pet and the show showed the farmer cutting up the meat and then all of them at the table eating their pet!!! I was so shocked and horrified at this sight that I have not even been able to pass the meat counter of my super market! I will remain a vegetarian for life!

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3/9/12 6:10 P

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I love meat and cheese. And I always will.
But I love life better. And having a high quality of life is really important to me.
So I have given up the animal products, and it really hasn't been that bad. I don't miss it.
What I do miss is loving my food--and although I love to cook, I havent yet found a cookbook that will guide me on how to make delicious meals without using butter and cheese etc. but I look great and feel wonderful. The pounds haven't really started to drop yet, but I expect them to when the weather gets warm. All in all, it was a good decision for me.
P.

Michele

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One step at a time,
One day at a time,
One pound at a time.


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OHEMVEE's Photo OHEMVEE Posts: 127
3/8/12 4:39 P

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I've never really liked eating meat because I've always been an animal lover. I always thought it was kind of gross, but my family ate meat and I didn't have any control over family meals. In high school, I became a vegetarian after I had a bad case of food poisoning from a hamburger I ate.

I started eating poultry and fish again in college because I was mostly eating fast food. Then, I watched a couple of documentaries and read "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Franzen. After that, I couldn't look at a piece of meat without feeling guilty. Now, I don't see any reason for me to eat meat. I don't like the way it tastes, it makes me feel sick, I get all the nutrients I need without it, and I don't agree with how the animals are being treated.

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JULIEMARIE29's Photo JULIEMARIE29 SparkPoints: (0)
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3/4/12 10:20 P

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I guess you could cal me a pesco-tarian. 7 yrs ago I began having a lot of stomach problems and a pre cancer scare. I stopped eating meat and my stomach problems left and no more pre cancer scares. After becoming veggi I did a ton of research and began learning about animal cruelty,pesticides, and added hormone..ewww! I never ate alot of meat growing up , my mother had been a vegan once for 15 yrs and was very health conscious ( before it was popular). I joined this program to see why I was about 20 lbs heavier then when I ate meat. My problem was portion control as well as vitamin deficiency. I am almost 30 and found out i have high blood pressure.I figured this would be the perfect time to to become even more health conscious, and loose 20 lbs before the big 3-0! Good luck and I am excited to join a health concious group, yeah!

He has made everything beautiful in it's time. - Elcclesiastes


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LARSONBABE's Photo LARSONBABE Posts: 16
2/28/12 4:30 P

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I first stopped eating all meat (except seafood) about 15 years ago because I realized I really didn't like it. Then about 2-1/2 years ago I read Skinny B*tch which prompted me to do some more reading (Eating Animals) and watch some videos (Meet Your Meat, for one). After watching the videos, I decided to become vegan on the spot. I was so disgusted and appalled by how the industry treats animals used for food, I knew I could never again contribute to it.

I've actually found it really easy to adapt to a vegan lifestyle. I've met a lot of people who just can't seem to get past their ideas about vegans and insist it's not a good thing, even though I'm living proof it works. I think the biggest benefit I've experienced is from abstaining from dairy. I don't get the horrible after-effects that I used to (phlegm, bloating, just feeling awful), and there are tons of really great dairy substitutes out there. Someone asked about cheese. I absolutely love Daiya and Teese for meltable cheeses. A lot of people seem to think this must just be a phase I'm going through and eventually I'll revert back to eating meat, but I can't even imagine doing that!

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2/28/12 10:34 A

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I think veganism fit more perfectly than vegetarianism only because it makes sense if I'm not going to eat meat then I'm not going to eat animal-based protein/calories as well. Animal cruelty and health risks are not only in their meat but their by-products re: casein too.

I've noticed a huge difference in how I feel by cutting it all out and only going with a plant-based diet in the short time I've been doing it. (two months)

SARASMILING's Photo SARASMILING Posts: 8,661
2/28/12 6:11 A

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Vegetarianism actually chose me. It's been almost 4 weeks ago now that I woke up one day and had no desire for any meat at all. I also lost the taste for eggs. I do still like cheese though. :) I have been loving this new life and I really feel like this is definitely meant to be. And the timing as well. All in God's timing right? I'm so thankful for this new part of my journey.

Sara

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2/27/12 12:20 P

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I became a vegan just this year and it is based on watching Forks Over Knives and doing my research afterwards. I've been doing it since January and I look/feel better than I have in years thanks to it. There is a profound difference in how I feel after a meal v. eating one that had meat/dairy/eggs in it.

I've increased my exercise routine and have lost 15lbs in a relatively short time.

CECHANDLER's Photo CECHANDLER Posts: 499
2/20/12 12:48 A

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I first became Vegetarian when I was 15/16 years old, mostly because of animal rights. I moved on to being Vegan at 17, and Raw Foodist at 18. Then, I moved to a different country, and was surrounded with so many different cuisines, that gradually I allowed most foods back into my life. Now I'm 29, and after researching the food industry for a couple of years and gradually 'cleaning up' our way of eating, my husband and I are making the leap into the vegetarian/vegan world again. I'm more on board than he is, and since I'm the cook, I kind of say what goes at home :)

Now the inspiration comes not only from Animal rights and environmental impact, but our health. We don't have health insurance and the way I see it, this is our health insurance. It starts with us.

I know now that I know nothing.


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2/12/12 9:02 P

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To me, there are a number of reasons why I remain a vegetarian, I am vegetarian since birth, some of the reasons are: Justice, Non - Violence, Clear Consciousness, Health ...

We are what we put in our bodies, with meat comes antibiotics, hormones, violent pain, and high levels of pain hormones,that interact with our systems.

Peta has some good information about this and other issues with the meat industry.

Be the change you want to see in the world. Gandhiji

In life there are no mistakes, just lessons to be learnt.


A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes

Happiness is your birthright, Live it!!!


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STEPHED90's Photo STEPHED90 Posts: 20
2/10/12 12:24 P

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I chose the veg*n lifestyle back in early March 2010. My grandparents were visiting and they eat a LOT of meat. Within one week, I finally made the connection with the animals on my plate and the childhood animal companions. I realized I did not want to eat animal flesh again and the rest is history. I could not stand the idea of any creature going through death so I can eat an unnecessary meal.

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1/26/12 5:21 P

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I had been feeling guilty about eating meat for a long time. Then I saw a documentary on TV about how food animals are treated and I just couldn't do it any more. I quit eating meat cold turkey. My conscience is much clearer plus I have the added benefit of lower grocery bills. And I feel much better, too.

Follow your bliss. -Joseph Campbell


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