I grew up within a family of hard-core meat-eaters. Hunting was something people did for both fun and food, and we almost never ate a meatless meal. However, I was inadvertently exposed to children’s films that put “radical” ideas into my head (at least that’s what I attribute my first foray into vegetarianism to). For example, one of my favorite movies when I was a small child was a straight-to-video film called, if I remember correctly, Seabert. All I really remember of it was that it involved seal hunters and something about the mother seal dying at the hands of the seal hunters. I also adored Ferngully, and Captain Planet was amazing (and still is!) Even though the latter two were geared specifically toward environmentalism, I think they made me realize when I was young that not all was as it should be.
I had weird meat-eating habits growing up. I would eat meat if it was chopped up in a sauce or something, but I wouldn’t eat things like chicken legs or pork chops. I guess it reminded me of the animal too much. When I was in the sixth grade, I tried vegetarianism after a friend started, but it didn’t last long.
In the 10th grade, I finally stopped eating meat. I don’t know the exact day, or what it was that gave me the final push to stop eating meat, but I’m happy I changed my habits. The summer after I graduated high school, in 2005, I decided to take it further and become vegan. I had thrown this idea around a little bit for a while. I finally realized that I was just being lazy because being a vegetarian was a hell of a lot easier than being vegan.
Strangely, it seemed to me that the change to vegetarian had been harder than the switch to veganism. I think it could have been because I ate vegan most of the time anyway, other than the occasional cheese.
I know I’ll be vegan for life. If I can live on the campus of a very vegan-unfriendly campus and survive, I’ll be fine. Does anyone else have a vegan story to share? Just post in the comments.