Today marks a special date for me. One year ago today, I gave up a meat diet and became a vegetarian. I remember that time pretty vividly, two of my friends from Asheville were down visiting for a few days and something at that time had made me consider trying a vegetarian diet. These two friends are vegans, so their eating habits did have an affect on my decision to go veg.
Originally, I had wanted to try the vegetarian diet to take my healthy living to the “next level.” Having lost most of my weight that I wanted to drop, I had hoped changing to a vegetarian way of eating might aid in getting the last five or so pounds I wanted to lose off. I read a few articles online about omnivores going vegetarian and losing weight, so hey, why not, right?
At first, I recall going veg being a bit difficult. My first day at work as a veg, I remember that I was very hungry all day. No matter what I had eaten, nothing seemed to calm down the growling in my stomach. Don’t get me wrong, I was eating the same amount of calories that I had been eating, but it was all non-meat. So, I suppose that baffled my system a bit at first. Once I made it through a week or so, things did seem to even out in that regard and I was doing well.
At the end of October of last year, I attended the Central Florida Veg Fest. This was where I began to question my reasoning for being a vegetarian. Not in the way that I was questioning my choice, rather my reasons for choosing to be a vegetarian. At the event, I spoke to a few people who explained that it wasn’t enough to just be a vegetarian, that drinking cow’s milk and eating eggs weren’t necessarily any better than eating meat. This made me think more about my choices. I took home literature and spoke with a vegan friend about being a vegetarian versus being a vegan. She told me that while she was happy that I had taken the leap to go vegetarian, I needed to further educate myself. So, after a couple of days of wondering about the animals and my choices, I made the decision to not be in the dark anymore. I did my own research online and watched videos that clearly showed the brutal honesty of the life of farm animals. What I witnessed sickened me greatly. I had considered myself an animal lover all of my life, but how could I proclaim such a thing when I still consumed cow’s milk or eggs? I couldn’t. Within about a month of choosing to go vegetarian, I became a vegan. Thanksgiving 2009 became my first Tofurkey day.
A year later, I feel nothing but happiness with my decisions. In my mind, there is no other way to live. After all the things I’ve seen and learned, I could never eat an animal again. I am now a compassionate vegan who believes the animals deserves as good a treatment as human beings. I also feel healthier and better than ever inside and out being a vegan. I attribute my new found peacefulness to my healthy vegan lifestyle.
If you’d like more information on the vegetarian and/or vegan way of living and eating, please check out these links: