In the summer of 2003 (I was 11 at that time), I was surfing the net, downloading music, etc. I came to the site of one of my favorite artists, P!nk (At that time Missundaztood was the "it" thing).
While I was browsing the site, I noticed a link about animals. Being an omnivore, yet loving animals, I was interested. It happened to be about when P!nk wrote a letter to PETCO asking them to stop their cruel procedures (which they eventually did).
I read the letter, and of course I agreed with it. (It had nothing to do about eating animals). I thought the site was really cool, so I decided to click the link to the Home page. (Just so you know, I had no idea what PETA was!!!)
I found myself looking at the front page, with all the little bubbles (Animals arent ours to ... ...)
I went down the list (there are 4). I didnt wear fur or leather anyways, I thought it was gross. I thougth zoos were kinda cruel, and never was a huge fan anyway. I thought animal testing sucked.
Then I came to the last one, "Animals are not ours to eat". Damn was I surprised!
At that time, I was a BIG meat eater. Eating meat was always considered manly, and I always wanted to be big and strong like my step-dad (he thoroughly supported me when I went vegetarian :D ) I was never overweight, but I prided myself on being able to eat double whoppers and such (I was going through my puberty fired growth spurt!)
I clicked on the link about abstaining from animal foods. I never had really thought about how the animals were treated. In fact, I'd never thought of meat as being the corpse of an innocent animal. I watched some videos, including "Meet your Meat". I could hardly watch, I was crying so much. My whole life, I had loved animals. And to realize what I was doing to them made me feel horrible.
I researched going vegetarian. I wasnt too thrilled, but I knew it was the right thing to do. I liked meat, but I loved animals. No way could I go vegan. It was just too much change. I couldnt even think of the idea. To me it was impossible.
At first, my parents didnt like the idea. They were just average americans. They didnt know that it was healthier than an omnivorous diet. The knew that red meat was unhealthy (most red meat is worse than poultry). This was a good thing. I was just about to leave for vacation, so I didnt give the subject any more thought.
When I was coming back from vacation in Ireland, on the flight, they served a pack of sandwiches, one ham and one cheese. I ate the cheese one, and decided right then and there that I didnt have the heart to eat the ham. I'd eaten tons in Ireland, but somehow this just clicked.
When I came home, I announced that I was giving up red meat. It was pretty hard. No more burgers, beef stew, etc. I ate tons of poultry though. I'd always thought cows were cuter than chickens (even though I didnt like eating them). My parents werent totally happy with it, but they didnt put up a fight.
I did more research on vegetarianism. I knew I had to go the full way. It took a lot of convincing, but on Christmas, my aunt gave me the 5 Ingredient or Less Gourmet cookbook by Nava Atlas. Since I already could cook, my parents thought they would let me try it. (They thought it was a fad and that I'd give up in a week or two).
I officially went vegetarian on January 1st, 2004. I liked doing as a New Years Resolution. Keeping track of dates was easy :)
By the summer/fall of 2005, I hadnt done too much stuff on PETA. I wanted to get back in touch with my reasons for choosing this way of life. Veganism didnt seem so hard to me anymore. For the first year and a half of vegetarianism, I ate waaaaaay to much dairy. By then, I was mostly off dairy and had found other protein sources. I tried more and more vegan foods. I actually noticed that I was lactose intolerant somewhat. If I went 2 weeks without dairy and then ate some, I got sick.
I thought about veganism, and gave it a try for a week. It wasnt that hard. I still was addicted to ice cream and cheese, but I thought I could give them up. (This was around late September or so, I believe)
In October, I had to stay with my friend Erin for 2 weeks and with my grandparents for another week, because my mum was away for 3 weeks. To make life simple, I had to eat non-vegan foods.
By November, I knew I was going vegan. I stopped buying anything with non-vegan ingredients. I still ate stuff other people bought, but very little.
I finally went vegan on January 1st, 2006.
Near the end of January, I started this blog.
If you'd like to post your story (it doesnt have to be as long as mine, I made it very descriptive because others have asked to know how I did it without ever backfiring), or tips or etc, feel free to comment!