If you want to debate the reasons for or against vegetarianism, discuss that here. Otherwise let's stick to the topic.

Why did you stop eating animals?

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I was eating chicken one night and the further I got eating it the less I was enjoying it, in the end I was gagging on it and couldn't stomach any more.

My love of animals never extended to what I ate before this. Like someone posted earlier they have emotions, feelings, a sense of loss and hurt. I think when you see this in an animal and you realise that we are closely related biologically it becomes more like murder, not just eating food.

I'd decided long ago that I could never kill an animal to eat it, so that made my mind up, if I wasn't prepared to slaughter it myself I shouldn't be eating it.

I miss bacon butties, but knowing a pig would have to die to provide it keeps me from eating it.

My eldest son is Vegetarian and my sister is Vegan, my youngest (11) wants to become vegetarian.

I do feel this will be the way humans will have to be in the near future, certainly as we get our human rights in order with equality for everyone I think animals will have to follow suit. I'd like to think with humans supposedly being of higher intelligence and knowing of our close links with other species that this is the next logical step in our development.

Gorillas that walk upright, chimpanzees that make and use tools, parrots that can do maths. They all show signs of developing higher intelligence, so when do they earn their animal rights?

Resurrecting an old thread, but to add my story, as I've just joined AN:

I am a vegetarian primarily for ethical and environmental reasons. I have only been one for just over two years, but had agonised over the decision for at least two years before.


I grew up in a third-world environment and saw all manner of creatures being slaughtered before the age of eight. Interestingly, this didn't really affect me. I can't remember having nightmares or anything. I have always loved animals and in my late teens I began truly emphasising with them.


Strangely enough, a major factor in my choice   was the death of our family dog about four years ago. Obviously, dogs aren't commonly eaten in the western world, but somehow his death had a profound impact on my eating habits. I was alone with the dog when he died. I still wanted to touch him and stroke him while he was alive, but the second the light left his eyes and he stopped breathing, the empty shell he had become repulsed me. I realised then that if I was too grossed out to touch our dear dog when he had died, I would probably not be able to touch the carcass of another unfamiliar creature (cow, pig, sheep), never mind eat it.


I waited until I moved out of my parents' house (both because I did not want to inconvenience them and because I was worried about how they would react) before becoming a veggie. I went "cold turkey", and while I still sometimes crave the taste of meat (and at other times feel nauseated by the smell), I do not regret my choice and have experienced no health issues. Perhaps one day I will become a vegan, but I am not ready yet.

Lucky me, I was raised that way :)

I never really stopped per se.  I was born into a vegetarian community, and was raised vegetarian all my life.  Well, we were a family of South Indian Brahmins, and most of the food there has been vegetarian for a couple of millennia.  I did attempt to take on a diet that included meat at one point while I was living in the U.S., as I felt developing such tastes might give me more options, but I could never really develop a taste for it.  Really, many meats, I simply couldn't taste anything but whatever nature of spices and seasonings they used...  but not the meat itself.  It just had no taste at all to me.


Long story short...  I just happen to like what I grew up on.  Same reason most people who eat meat like meat.


I don't really buy into a lot of the ethical arguments for vegetarianism or veganism, because they generally conflate the product itself (meat) with the process.  Those ethical arguments are good reasons to boycott factory farming practices, boycotting certain types of meat, but ultimately, there needs to be a meat industry even if for no other reason than feeding our carnivorous pets.  Environmental arguments are good reasons to support widespread adoption of new technological improvements which can make use of those by-products to make farms self-sustaining.  Cattle farms, for instance, throw out more methane than just about anything...  there exists technology to reclaim that methane and use it within the farm to make them effectively carbon-neutral.  The existence of factory farming is generally a result of the fact that Americans eat entirely far too much meat, but it is by no means an intrinsic quality of having meat as part of the diet of the populace.

I'm only virtually a a vegetarian. I don't eat meat produced in factories, only eating meat that can be sourced as ethically raised/slaughtered (hope that doesn't spark a debate, not the thread for that). Also, I don't seek it out, so probably only eat meat every few months.

Even if I had meat readily available that met my criteria, I wouldn't eat it that often due to environmental, sustainability, and health reasons. Eat food, not too much, mostly vegetables. ;)

I finally came to realize that cows, pigs and chickens felt pain as much as any other animal.  It was hypocritical to feel shock/repulsion at the idea of eating a cat or dog while thinking nothing of eating other animals.  Especially after I discovered the conditions in factory farms, eating meat and wearing leather became unthinkable.
For me it was because I was eating a bacon cheeseburger pretty much every day, so I decided that it was best just to cut out meat altogether the same way an alchoholic can't have any booze at all. As time went on and I started to feel so much healthier I realized that it was a much healthier diet and as I started reading about the environmental impacts of factory farms that added another aspect to it. The thing that really made me stick with it was the realization that any meat eater or former meat eater such as myself has blood on their hands and that unless we've actually killed an animal we really don't understand the price we pay. I've recently started transitioning to vegan in an attempt to help clear up my acne but reading about how dairy contributes to the veal industry is something that will probably make be become complettely vegan within a few months

When I was 21, the idea of killing for food bothered me, so I became vegetarian. 36 years later, still vegetarian. It works for me. The older I get the more I learn about the food industry and the less I like it. Vegetarian lifestyle keeps me strong. However, I gave in and started to wear leather shoes. Too hard to find shoes to fit my extra wide feet.

Have you tried getting 1/2 size shoes usually a 1/2 size is the same length just wider so say a

7.5  is as long as a 7 and as wide as an 8. Also have you tried crocs they are great for wide feet and are vegan.

what type of health barriers have you had in relation to b12 D zinc and iron etc. I only ask as I am a veg of 2 years and am taking quite a few supplements as the science comes to light. I am sure with a history such as yours you have much advice etc. cheers


Hi VeganApe,

Regarding shoes, I have tried everything, trust me, everything. None of your solutions would work for me. Besides, I have a job where business dress is required, and crocs are considered inappropriate. I have had no real health barriers, except I was vitamin D deficient, so now I take a supplement. I also take a multi vitamin and calcium. I'm not vegan. I was ovo/lacto until I developed lactose intolerance, so now I'm a vegan who eats the occasional egg, cage free from the farmers market of course.

Lol..Yes I could imagine crocs in that environment.


I worked at a small town slaughterhouse for three days, mostly at the back-end doing processing, not at the front-end where the killing took place. But even before that as a child, I was extremely kind and caring towards animals. The experience at the slaughterhouse left me shocked and numb at the working conditions and at the indiscriminate and insensitive killing of the animals. In college I became even more aware of eating dead animals, of diet, nutrition and how food is made. And now as a 53 y/o man, my reasons are a combination of moral and health, both mine and of the animals.


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