The Transformation of a Teenage Vegan

by Allie
(Canada)

The Transformation of a Teenage Vegan


I won't deny it - I used to eat meat. I had no idea where my food came from, and had no interest in the healthfulness of my omnivorous diet. The one vegetarian I knew was weird, and the vegan student teacher at my school was downright crazy.

Then, on a normal summer's evening when I was twelve, my family had sausages for dinner. Nothing out of the ordinary - until I cut into my sausage. "Hey Dad," I asked, "what is that wiggling tube-like thing in my sausage?!" To which he responded, "it's probably an artery. You don't have to eat it."

This absolutely disgusted me, and from that point on, I didn't eat any processed meats. Then, in eighth grade, two of my friends went vegetarian. They started talking to me about animal cruelty, and I decided to do some further research. What I found was astonishing - that millions of animals are slaughtered each year just to feed me. A few days later, I joined them and became a vegetarian.

In ninth grade, I started doing more research into animal cruelty, slaughterhouses, and nutrition. I found myself gravitating away from all animal products, to the point that my family started telling people I was eating a near-vegan diet. Throughout this time period, I kept debating whether or not I should go vegan. My friends and family resisted, saying that veganism was taking it too far and that I wouldn't be healthy.

So I searched on iTunes for a vegetarian podcast that could hopefully give me some guidance, and I started listening to 'Vegetarian Food for Thought' by Colleen Patrick Goudreau. All of her arguments just made so much sense: for a cow to produce milk, it has to have a baby; when the baby cow is born, it is taken away (if a male, it is put in a crate and fed an iron-deficient diet so that he can be made into veal, and if female, she is forced to follow the same life of her mother) and we humans take that milk from the mother.

One night I had an epiphany. I cried for hours at the realization that by not eating meat but still eating dairy and eggs that I was still hurting so many animals. Really, how were these animals any different from my pet dog? I knew I had to do something, and I decided that from that moment on I would eat no animal products whatsoever.

I can happily say that I have been vegan for almost a year now and am loving every moment of it. The feeling that I am not hurting any animals is a great feeling, and I know that it will stay with me forever. :)

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Same Story.
by: Amzy

heyy. wow. its amazing how small this world of veganism could be. im a teen too and i went vegetarian last year. same exact things happened to me. Out of the blue, i was curious about how my meat landed on my plate every meal and i realised the animal cruelty through research and all, and decided to go vegetarian. but i didnt realise i was still hurting animals through eating dairy products. though i wasnt eating seafood either. but recently this year, i started thinking about whether consuming dairy products was still in some way hurting animals, and so i hit the research again. to not much of my surprise, it did, and it was just as heartbreaking to know that im stealing what rightfully belongs to the animals. and i made up my mind in that second and decided on becoming vegan. similarly, my family thought i was going too far, and it would be unhealthy. Though i tried to prove them wrong, they still had that mindset that my vegan diet was silly. im also bombarded with questions from my friends of my decision. sometimes i dont know what to say because, i was afraid i might cause them to lose their appetite or make them feel bad by talking about animal cruelty, since the topic usually comes up during meal times. im also constantly teased about it and i get annoyed sometimes. I'd like some advice on how to answer their questions on veganism without making them feel bad about it, and how i might perhaps advise them on going vegan too. So for now, i'd just try to think positive by telling myself how it feels so good to know that im not supporting animal cruelty by being vegan.

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Good for You!
by: Cathleen

Allie,
Your story is so inspiring, and it will help many other people. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I had a similar story; where one day I just realized it was an animal I was eating, and I couldn't do it anymore. You're way ahead of where I was at your age, but there will probably still be some tough years ahead-- I have accumulated enough "mmmm... my steak is still mooing jokes" to last a lifetime-- so just be ready for it.

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