Hi, how long have you all been vegetarian? And why do you choose to be vegetarian?

Please share your vegetarian experience with us!

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Why would eating veal be any different from executing any other animal for our eating pleasure?  To me, the reasons are not obvious.

Now that I think about it, today is my one year anniversary of being vegetarian. I chose to do be vegetarian for the health reasons, as well as the environment and ethical reasons. The more I learned about the benefits, the more it was something I wanted to do.

Doyle Perry; we were asked to post how long and why we became vegetarians. This is not a forum for you to judge.

What a lot of great stories and I am so happy to see I have so much in common with everyone on this forum.

I have been a Vegetarian (switching back to vegan and raw foodist then back to vegan) for 6 yrs. Both my husband and I decided to go see the movie Food Inc and then Earthings...that pretty much sealed the deal and we havent looked back. Our biggest slipup was cheese for a long time but have worked with nuts enough to substitute.

That was an enlightening moment in our lives and to reach great stories of like-minded and hearted people is very gratifying. I am very lucky because my hubby researches everything and over the years we have learned so much trying to use the information to be better people. Trying to be more eco-friendly with our everyday producs etc.

Just to be better stewards to this land, the animals and have a new appreciation of these gifts we have every day.

Cheers to everyone...YOU have so much to be proud of... =}

I'm 18 and am new here, and I made the choice to stop eating meat when I was 12. I came home from school and later that night was served spaghetti Bolognese for dinner. Normally I would've eaten it and enjoyed it (sad to say) but something just sparked inside me and I burst into tears. I think I just realised that my love of animals was far too strong to eat them any longer, so I went to my mum and told her I didn't want to eat animals anymore. She was very supportive and I haven't eaten meat since then and I am proud to be a healthy happy vegetarian :)

I've been a vegetarian for about 5 years. I used to work in my famiy's butcher shop after school. I ate plenty of meat. It all changed after seeing Meet your Meat. Right now I'm cutting down on dairy and going vegan looks like the next rational step for me.

Plagiarizing from myself here (Is that a thing? heh!) but this is my story, as told in a March 28 blog post.

In late March and early April of 2010 I spent a good amount of time chatting with my friend Faith about her veganism. Unlike some I'd known, Faith was never preachy, arrogant or condescending about her choice. She was simultaneously not quiet about it; squirreling away her lifestyle like Anne Frank in an attic. Her core argument for going vegan herself was that she sat down and looked long and hard at why she continued to eat milk, and cheese, and eggs-- and the conclusion she told me she'd come to was inescapable-- that she did it because she liked the flavor, and the taste. She also could not rationalize, qualify, or justify that decision, solely for her gustatory benefit. As a result she decided to become vegan.

Her argument made a lot of sense to me. I'd seen a video earlier that year on YouTube about chicken farming; and the handling, mutilation, and de facto torture of just-hatched chicks-- all in the interest of industrial farming, food, and profit. I couldn't reconcile my own horror with this practice (and it is a graphic piece) with my own beliefs and ethics. Torture and death for my stomach? No. Like Faith did before me, I decided to cut out as much of that lifestyle-- of that industry-- from my life as I could. I became vegetarian.

I won't spout a line of bullshit and say it was easy at first. It wasn't. I had years of cultural acclimation and indoctrination gnawing at the edges of my mind, telling me I wasn't eating a meal without meat. I was hungry. I had to be hungry-- where was the meat? It took time, effort, exploration, and practice for me to learn otherwise; and reorient myself otherwise. I investigated foods from cultures not as immersed in carnivorism. Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food, where animals being used as meat for food is scarce was a start. Indian food was a revelation. I'd tinkered with South Asian food before, but never as a cook. It always seemed too difficult. But the richness, the variety-- and the fact that much of Indian culture is vegetarian made it a hand-in-glove fit; so I began to tinker. While I'm a far cry from the likes of Malvi Doshi, I can now say that a plurality of my meals are South Asian in nature, and I make them from scratch. What was initially a challenge became easy. Very easy indeed. More importantly, my conscience was clearer.

All this time, despite the nay-sayers (and many questions!), I can honestly say I haven't missed meat once. Not a bit.

Over all this time though-- and it's been three years now-- I've been haunted by the things I haven't cut out. I've maintained ovo and lacto-- despite the abuses rampant in the egg and dairy industries. It's a deep inconsistency; and is contradictory with my intent. By continuing to eat things made of eggs and dairy, I continue to contribute to the success of those industries, and their practices; even if in lesser profile than I had.

In essence, I found myself-- I find myself-- at the precise same crossroads Faith was describing to me three years ago. Why do I continue to include dairy and eggs in my diet? Answer: Because I like them.
Is that good enough?
Is that sufficient reason to continue to support an industry that harms animals in, frankly, callous and vicious ways?

Like Faith before me, I find the answer really is as plain as day. I cannot. My conscience will not allow it.

In August of 2010, Faith left us by her own hand, but in her last note she asked that if anyone wanted to do something in her memory, she asked that they consider a vegan lifestyle; or if not a vegan lifestyle, then a vegan day each week.

With the third anniversary of my becoming vegetarian partially as a result of her guidance, I complete the circle.
Dairy and eggs are off the menu.
My conscience will finally be clear.

---
For those who are interested, I include here some videos that I've viewed that are relevant to the discussion. I realize that on the VegFriend site I'm largely preaching to the choir-- I include this for those who will see the cross-posting at my home blog.

View at your own risk. They. Are. Graphic.

Chick Handling in the Egg/Chicken Industry:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zirHWojrbPg

Abuse of Dairy Cows:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lN_YcWOuVqk

Slaughter Houses:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBPmYEzvlzQ

You need to cite yourself or else that is plagiarism and I'm going to have to give this response an "F" LOL ;) I thank you again for sharing your touching story as to why you've gone vegan, and for the links you added to the end of your story :) Your friend Faith is smiling wherever she is, at how strong you are, and how you've accomplished so much. Seems when you set your mind to something it gets done.

been vegetarian since birth till now, so about 20 years. no particular reason, my family just chose to be vegetarian and i also chose to continue on being a vegetarian by choice. for me, this vegetarian lifestyle is fine, its great, healthy and to me, nothing wrong with it. its good for your body, thus when compared to all my friends who eat meat, i am more healthier and fitter then them, when i get sick, i get well much faster. there's a lot pros to being vegetarian, and for me, not a lot of cons. its just a great healthy life that i only wish to continue till im old. :)

I've been a vegetarian for 4 years. I saw a documentary about how people treat the animals before they go to slaughter and I just started to cry because of how awful it was so I decided to become a vegetarian. 

12/2009, I started for a month. Just wanted to see if I could do it.

When I was younger I always used to say "I know I couldn't stop" but I think if you just start with a month, you can see it's not witchcraft and you can extend it to a lifetime.

It's not just my animal love it's also my own will power, I can do it ‘cause I want it.

No matter if people say it's wrong, humans are born to metabolize animals. I think we are also born with the right to decide. It's not about the food, it's about the statement. To respect the goods, like wool, honey,...

We take so much, but don't have any relation what sacrifices where made and where it comes from. We are not thankful and that's the saddest point of all. We take it for granted and that's why I started.

It was easy for me to be vegetarian by birth as I was brought up in a traditional vegetarian family. As a kid I soon got to know that two kind of people exist. Veg and NonVeg, and this will stay divided. As one stays hidden or far from the something, you believe that is good and the entire system has to be the same. I felt the same as i stayed away from cruelty to animals. But as i grew up i felt that we have shared this nature with other beings and we cannot be selfish to use and throw anything as we like just because being so doesnt harm you! I agree to "You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, better hope, enrich the world with compassion, harmony and peace". I have now been cautious enough to not use anything for my need that has animal origin or attaches pain to it (Why this when we can artificially create better without involvement of an animal). I advice this to my other friends too. In India there are still places and people who are vegetarians and the bitter truth is that it is all diminishing. The reason for you to be vegetarian is not because you have health benefits but the thought of the pain and distress that a life undergoes for us to merely become a days meal

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