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My First Day As A Vegan

by Jessie H.
( Australia)

I'm 21, and I've been an ovo-lacto vegetarian for the past five years. My initial reasons for giving up the animals was for ethical reasons; I first gave up chicken when I was 11 years old, because I had pet chickens which I loved. I considered them to be my friends, and just could not eat them anymore.

As the years went on, and the more I learned about the cruelty that pigs, cattle, and fish endure, I just could not justify eating them. This was hard at first, because my whole family had raised me to be an animal-eater, and did not support my decision. Yet I knew I was doing the right thing, and I never once strayed from my vegetarian diet.

During this time, I also would not attend events that exploited animals, such as the horse races and zoos, did not wear leather, and would only use products which were not tested on animals.

Over this past year, the idea of veganism became more and more appealing to me. I did a lot of research on the benefits of a vegan diet, in terms of health, ethics, and the environment. I knew, deep down, that veganism would be the right thing for me in every possible way, yet I was a little hesitant to begin.

For the past month or so, I have been transitioning to a vegan diet. It was only yesterday that I decided that today, December 27th 2012, I would make it official. (I wanted to wait until after Christmas!) I'll admit that there have been times when I would eat a piece of non-vegan chocolate or a cheesestik, and think "Is it really THAT bad that I'm eating this? Could I actually give this up?", but I know that once I get into the swing of things that I simply won't want to eat either anymore.

The reason why I went vegetarian was because I could not support the animal cruelty, with the health and ecological benefits being a bonus. The reason I went vegan was probably half-ethics, half-health, with the ecological benefits being the bonus.

So yes, I can proudly say that this is my first day of being a vegan, and I already feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders! I know this will be a bit challenging for a start, (as was becoming vegetarian), but the more research I do, the more recipes I cook, and as time goes on, veganism will become second nature. I'm looking forward to being able to just sit back and soak up the benefits!

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2 years on!
by: Anonymous

Hey folks, so it's been nearly 2 years since I posted this article, and I am so proud to say that I am still vegan through and through. It has been the best decision I have ever made, and I only regret that I didn't make it sooner. Veganism has come with its challenges, particularly the ignorance of family and friends, but any negatives will never outweigh the positives. Knowing that the decisions I make are in keeping with my value of inflicting the least amount of harm on other beings is the most rewarding part. Never, ever, ever going back. Peace xx

by: Anonymous

I'm impressed and want to follow your example. I've been trying to become vegan for many years, falling off and on. Giving it a try again this week. Wish me luck!

by: Brandon Silva

I'm 21 myself, and went for veganism 2012, so that was new years resolution. Funny enough the only world that ended that year for me was my previous knowledge about health.
So its 2 years, and I'm now pushing raw veganism by 60-80 or 100% raw daily. I'm the person who is strict as I know, no GMO, no SOY, no WHEAT no artificial, refined vegan junk "food".
haha I don't even use refined salt anymore, because that stuff is poison.
Great read man, the vegan movement is proud, peace.

I'm a new vegan too
by: Kara

I have been vegetarian since I was about 11 yrs old, never liked the idea of killing animals for food, when their is no need, I also watched Forks over Knifes and that was enough for me, watched it yesterday and turned vegan today!

by: BR

I loved reading about your experience.

I went vegan 7-8 years ago for the same ethical reasons, when I was 22. The more I learned, the more I became aware of what I was supporting, and could no longer continue doing so. Veganism is a choice one makes out of love, so no matter what you encounter along the way, smile at the naysayers and keep going. I hope you'll always remember to trust yourself. I've seen some friends give up on their ethical choices because of pressure from family, friends, or partners. Steadfastness and consistency takes a lot of courage, and an ability to withstand loneliness at certain times. But in the end, what keeps me going is my commitment to love. I love life and I love those that love it as much as I do.

Best wishes for your journey, Jessie!

My vegan experience.
by: Anonymous

I found that as I aged (I'm still young) I felt heavy every time I ate meat. So slowly I found I wanted it less, even eating around it and leaving it in my plate. Then I got hooked on documentaries on Netflix and wondered why not try something new. I officially started on Jan 1 2013. It's not as hard as I thought. Food now has so much flavor and even though the scale still tells me lies, my clothes fit better, my adult acne is disappearing and I am going to keep going. Though my motives were not heroic for animal rights and mostly for vanity I still find the save the planet aspect very motivating. I don't want my footprint to be too big. Congratulations on your experience as well

Thanks guys!
by: Jessie H.

Thanks for your comments, guys. I appreciate the support :) Victoria, you and I are completely on the same page! My house was full of chocolate over the Christmas period too, and it was my last non-vegan food that I ate. It's good to know that there are plenty of vegan support groups and other vegans in the same situation as me; it makes the whole lifestyle change much easier :)

I see where you're coming from!
by: Victoria

I just recently decided to become a vegan after more than 9 months of being simply a vegetarian. My reasons in March were ethical, with health and ecology being added benefits, but I realized that being a vegetarian without being a vegan just doesn't make sense.

I know what you mean about being tempted by non-vegan foods. I'm sixteen and my mother recently decided to stock the pantry with TONS of post-Christmas chocolate. My father, also aware of my chocolate addiction, bought me several different kinds of dark chocolate for Christmas--only for me to decide not to have any of it :(

I don't know any vegans, and I'm sure my friends and family will question this decision even more than they questioned my decision to be a vegetarian a few months ago. I actually told very few people then, and, even then, it was on a need-based basis. Thanks for your article; I can definitely identify with you!

by: Anonymous

Congratulations on your decision to veganism. You won't regret it. But also don't knock yourself for occasionally straying to non-vegan foods. You're human and some situations are unavoidable or extreme so it's not the worse case scenario. I prefer to be a flexitarian but I gotta admit Vegan is the way to go :)

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