Why I Became Vegan

I have been wanting to write a post on why I became vegan for a long time. There isn’t one short answer, but more of a journey that I am still going through. People become vegan for many different reasons. Some do it for their health, others for the environment, and those who are animal rights activist. {Just to warn you, this post gets pretty personal}

I decided to stop eating meat the day after Thanksgiving 2006. I didn’t understand how I could be contributing harm to innocent beings. The following March I gave up all dairy products. I mainly gave up dairy products because I thought it would improve my health. I was never really a big cheese person to begin with! Milk was trickery, but there are so many wonderful plant milks out there! This was honestly the best decision of my life.

Ever since I was born, I have had acid reflux. I would spit up my formula and gaged while trying to be fed. My acid reflux got really bad in middle school. I was puking almost every night and wasn’t getting much sleep. The doctor said that it was just acid reflux and that was it. My problems continued for years. My junior year of high school, I finally went to see a specialist. It turns out that I had a hiatal hernia. In 2007, I had surgery to remove the hernia, which turned out to be the size of a baby’s head. I can’t believe that was in my stomach!!

Since I had become vegan about 9 months before my surgery, I noticed a great improvement in my health before I even had my surgery. I had lost about 50 pounds and the symptoms had almost disappeared. Before my operation my acid levels were the highest my doctor had ever seen. If I didn’t have surgery, I would have gotten cancer of the esophagus.  Scary!!

After removing the hernia, I felt better. But I know that if I hadn’t changed my diet, some of my symptoms would have returned. Looking back on my experience, what really bothers me is that no one talked to me about my diet while I was growing up. I think this is were some doctors are lacking. Nutrition is extremely important especially if you have stomach problems.

I do blame my diet growing up for a lot of my health problems. I ate meat at almost every meal, drank milk with my dinner and ate so much junk! The typical American diet. Changing to a vegan, plant based diet has greatly improved my health! No more stomach problems!!

To sum it up, I became vegan for health reasons. Along the way I have become aware of the environmental impact of factory farming, and the rights of animals is now one of my main concerns. Through my journey into veganism, I have become a better person. I have a more compassionate outlook on life and see the world differently. I am still on my journey to living a compassionate life and I hope that I am able to share my love for the animals with others.

If you are vegan, what made you become vegan? If you aren’t vegan, have you ever though about adopting a plant based diet?

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5 thoughts on “Why I Became Vegan

  1. I loved this post… it takes courage to talk about why you made such a great choice. I went vegan because, it felt right! And, it was way bold for only being 14… I’m amazed now that I look back at it. thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. I’m not vegan but did stop eating most meat (I eat fish) a few years ago for ethical and environmental reasons. Recently I’ve also had to stop eating dairy and eggs for health (allergies). Thanks for sharing your story, I always enjoy hearing about people’s journey to vegetarianism/veganism.

  3. Great post, Jeni! I completely agree that it’s a journey. I became Vegetarian back in 2000. I thought eating meat was cruel – and also gross – and I didn’t even know factory farms existed back then. Once I started my blog I started reading more blogs, books, magazines, etc on Veganism but what pushed me towards veganism the most was a visit to Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen. There I learned that dairy and eggs were even crueler than I knew!

    I still eat them on occasion (though I feel bad), but I haven’t cooked eggs, milk, or cheese for myself in over a year! Now I just need to convince my boyfriend…

    • Thank you!
      I really want to visit the Farm Sanctuary. It is on my list of places to go see. I have been to Sasha Farm in Michigan and that was really nice.
      I really believe that any small change a person makes really helps the animals! It is a journey that doesn’t happen over night! 🙂

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