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Readers Respond: How did you go vegetarian or vegan?

Responses: 426


How did you go vegetarian or vegan? Gradually? All at once? Share your tips for cutting out meat, eggs and dairy so that others can learn from your experience! Share your tips!

I just could not anymore

I love my dogs and gradually after 3 years of having 5 dogs I decided one day to cut out meat...I cant eat meat anymore because its disturbing.
—Guest hkb1979


When I was a teenager, I wanted to be a vegetarian because I thought it was cool. My parents, however, disagreed. I abstained from only red meat as a compromise. When I went to college and had more control over my food choices, I ate meat less and less. About 8 years ago I decided to become a pescetarian because I rationalized, if I had to, I could kill a fish. I felt like a hypocrite eating anything I wasn't willing to kill myself. About 4 years later I became a lacto-ovo vegetarian. It was easy. Much easier than I thought it would be. And now, after being a vegetarian for 4 years, I've transitioned to veganism. Being vegan has been more challenging, not because I miss eggs/dairy, but because it's become a lot less convenient. If I don't make food for myself, it's a lot harder to eat. There are fewer options for quick, "fast" food. Really, it's a good thing though. 2 weeks in and I'm doing well.
—Guest Lori

eating a friend?

When had my first dog I realized animals has a soul, thoughts, intelligent and all range of emotions we people have. I become vegeterian for 6 years, non vegeterian for many years and now back to vegeterian diet hopefully forever and on the way to a vegan diet.
—Guest Ashley

animals are not the only food source!

I became vegetarian after visiting a chicken factory, I saw the whole process from start to finish and it was awful. I walked out of there and stopped eating meat immediately. That was 9 years ago, I will never eat meat again.

Forks Over Knives

I watched a great documentary called, "Forks Over Knives", basically clarifying the point that meat actually causes a lot of heart problems and leads to cancer. So I've vowed to never eat meat or dairy. Let's go!!! Vegan Movement!!!

I came from a big meat eating family...

Keep in mind this is coming from a kid whose dad was a butcher: Whether you decide to go full out vegetarian, vegan, or even flexitarian, it's the best decision you can ever make. I was thirteen when I decided to become a vegetarian. I picked a month and the first day I quit meat cold turkey (pardon the pun). Honestly, the first week is the hardest and after that you don't really think about it anymore. My only warning is to do it right. Research (if you're reading this you're already doing a good job). It's not enough to just skip the meat on regular meals. Find an alternative source of protein and make sure your iron levels are high. Also, whether vegetarianism does or doesn't work out for you, it's perfectly okay. Don't let people give you slack because you did/didn't stick with it. It's a lifestyle choice and it's YOUR life so it's YOUR choice. Everyone else can suck it :)
—Guest Hazy Hippy


I follow the rule that if it has eyes, I could not harm the animal.
—Guest linda rice


Once, as a young man of 15, I smoked a cigarette. A few other boys and myself took our bikes and cycled to a large abandoned building and smoked our first cigarettes. The place we were in was a long shut abattoir. I was very moved by what I saw. Holding pens, rusty rail, broken lights overhead, hanging beside what I assume was a pulley and track along which the bodies of the animals would travel and swing. There was also a stench in the air. Disinfectant, and death. Our laughter at the fact that we were having an illicit smoke echoed around us, in the same way that the animals' bleats and various other calls would have travelled and bounced off the walls of these cell walls. Condemned to die, and to be eaten, chewed, consumed, and digested. I thought about that while I stood there. After I had snuffed out the remaining life that burned in the last stub of my cigarette, I knew that the ghosts of my Sunday roasts were all around me. I am 42 now. I haven't eaten meat for 27 years.
—Guest Sean Bojangles

Cold turkey

I was a meat lover until I saw in Health how they make chicken, and I was so sad that it was just before Thanksgiving, and I decided to stop meat the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Well, that was easy for me actually! So, I ate some on Christmas but it made me feel sick! So, I ate some for the rest of winter break and stopped again. I know I'll probably be a vegetarian for a LONG time!
—Guest Sarah

Healthier lifestyle

Well, I'm 15 and I've been a vegan for about 2 years. I just stopped eating any animal products all at once which made it a lot harder - I was so attached to dairy products. So the first month I probably ate dairy three times. Also what made it a lot harder was my parents are major meat eaters so they tried to persuade me but I didn't give up and we didn't have any good vegan foods so I was losing a lot of weight because I wasn't eating very often...
—Guest vegan bryson

Going vegetarian how I did it

I was a vegetarian for 5 years (lacto ovo) until an ex gfs family hated it and snuck sausage into spaghetti and said there wasn't (which is a really messed up thing to do obviously)... I stopped for 4 years now I'm gonna get back into it. The way i\I did it was pick a month. On the first day cut out red meat for a month or as long as you feel comfortable. Then the first of the next month cut out the other meats...and it worked for me for 5 years...that was my process and I plan to do it the same way again...thanks for listening.
—Guest Sb

Going vegan

I've always wanted to become a vegetarian, but didn't have enough willpower to do it. Now, after watching all of the videos on how animals products are made and how the animals are treated, i have decided to go vegan. i'm really excited and my motivation is through the roof.
—Guest ApriApathy

Starting Vegetarianism

I have decided to go vegetarian because my digestion has become more unpredictable. I have digestive upsets that last several hours espcially after a rich, greasy meal like hamburgers. I have noticed the only time I feel good is when I eat a lot of vegetables; otherwise I feel rotten. So I want to go on this; I am 70 now and there are a lot of heart problems and cancer in my family. I don't want to do that to myself. Also I want to get off all processed sugar and wheat products--just in case wheat may be causing my digestive problems.
—Guest Winnie

Being a raw vegan!

I started bieng a raw-vegan because of gastrointestinal problems... I'm healthier than ever!! I hope you all try being a raw-vegan!
—Guest Toranjraha

what started this

What changed my eating habits to become a vegetarian... ? I was watching a show on TV about a chef that travels around the world trying different types of foods. In this one episode he was on a boat with other fellow people that were from that country. On this boat they had caged chickens, and in order for them to have dinner they had to kill their own chicken. They grabbed the chicken from the cage, stuck its head in a funnel like tube, cut its head off with a knife, and hung it upside down over the sea to have the blood drip out. Once I saw that, that evening I stopped eating meat and have not ate meat since, it has been about 5 months now without eating meat.
—Guest Ally

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