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 actually think this is part of my incentive as well. When all is said and done, maybe some of us are simply not suited for eating meat! I hated most meats, growing up. The main exceptions were highly flavored or spicy products. That may be because our other food was so bland. I've never missed eating meat, even from day one of quitting. Learning that I could survive, even thrive, without meat was truly liberating!
It just happened gradually. And now I am vegan. And after I became vegan I started looking at reasons. Now I talk with animals.
One day I just simply realized how can you love animals and still eat their flesh?
I've been vegetarian since I was 8 and I'm proud!
Purely ethical reasons. A friend of mine showed me the "meet your meat" video and some other materials from PeTA and Vegan Outreach some years back. I just quit, cold tofurky. One minute I was full omni, then vegan. No transition. I've been vegan for five years and there's no way I'm ever going back.

It is not easy for me. I live in the deep south in a town with very few vegetarians and no veggie restaurants, and at the grocery stores options are limited.
Hey man,

Big inspiration.

Thanks for you story. I went vegan actually through environmental reasons. But after a few months, I watched some Peta vids, then it's like, this is my life.
I've seen it. I wasn't surprised. It's sad that I've become so used to expecting such abuses from the meat and egg industries. I tried showing it to omni friends but I don't think they're ready to give up eggs.
The PETA issue could be a separate thread - a bit off-topic here.

Here is the result of a web search on PETA Tyson chicken:

"Springdale, Ark. -- PETA, which owns stock in Tyson Foods, has submitted a shareholder resolution encouraging the Springdale, Ark. based meat producer to advance the welfare of chickens by phasing in a less cruel method of poultry slaughter called "controlled-atmosphere killing" (CAK). Tyson is one of the largest chicken producers in the U.S. Since purchasing beef and pork producer IBP Fresh Meats, the company has become a giant in the worldwide meat-processing industry, serving more than 90 countries.

Currently, Tyson kills chickens via a method in which the birds are dumped onto conveyors and hung upside down by their legs in metal shackles, often causing broken bones. The birds' heads are run through an electrified bath that gives them painful shocks without rendering them insensible to pain. They are still conscious when their throats are cut, and many are scalded to death in defeathering tanks.

In CAK, the oxygen that chickens and turkeys breathe is slowly replaced with inert, nonpoisonous gasses such as argon and nitrogen, putting the birds "to sleep" quickly and painlessly--and there is no live dumping, live shackling, or live scalding of birds. Studies conclude that CAK is the least cruel form of poultry slaughter and that it also improves working conditions."

While you can argue about whether or not ownership of stock in a company is the best approach to changin company practices, I don't think that the comment here gives an accurate picture. Probably worth a thread of its own.... Maybe you could start one!
My experience is a common one; I have the vegetarian gene cluster. That part of one that gets it, that doesn’t make one feel entitled as a species to arbitrarily designate other species as food or pets, (indeed sometimes both). It’s forty years for me now with not so much as a days regret.
I noticed a few people lamenting the loss of dairy. For those Vegans searching the satisfaction of cheese, I’m of the opinion that the fat content cannot be substituted satisfactorily with Soy. Rather the answer lies in the tried and tested cuisines around the world. In India, while yogurt is widespread, cheese, with the exception of paneer, is rare. (Paneer is one cheese that Tofu does make a good substitute for in some dishes as it in itself is bland and takes up the flavor of a sauce). Instead Indians use various thickening ingredients, which are rich and fatty. Coconut milk, white poppy seeds, cashew nuts, are all used in this way so despite their use of buttermilk, yogurt and ghee, one can still build a satisfying cache of vegan dishes.
I’m not much of an advocate of mimicking the omnivore cuisine; I think it can stifle Vegetarian/Vegan ingenuity. I am a vegetarian, but if anyone needs advice or wants to impart some wisdom that would be most welcome as I have a skeptic slanted vegan cookbook coming out next year.
Health reasons.
I am now a vegan. I stopped eating red meat in high school, deciding that I could not actually kill a mammal to feed myself, so why should I eat one that someone else killed? Yet, I continued to justify my consumption of chicken based on some weird delusion that I invented. I would actually compare my perpetual attempt to justify my meat consumption with my own attempts to try and reconcile theistic beliefs with life experience and evidence. I continued this intellectual dishonesty for quite sometime. For example, I continued to buy new leather (because I somehow thought wearing a cow was more justifiable than eating one....I know..stupid), eat chicken, consume dairy and eggs, and use cosmetic products that tested on animals. I quit eating all meat in my freshman year of college and watching "Meet Your Meat" prompted that. I still continued most of my personally unjustifiable lifestyle, which involved indirectly subordinating non-human animals for unnecessary purposes and could only be "justified" by convenience, entertainment and pleasure.
What prompted me to become a vegan and essentially an animal rights abolitionist was talking to a fellow member of my local atheist group over and over and identifying the inconsistencies within my own lifestyle. I could not continue to justify the use of animal research in cosmetics, or my consumption of milk, and eggs, all of which cause animals to suffer more and longer than the mere consumption of meat. I was horrified and disgusted with my own lifestyle choices, when I subjected it to the same scrutiny as I had previously done with my religious beliefs. I read some of the blog of the abolitionist animal rights philosopher, Gary Francione, and recognized and affirmed many of the problems with my previous mindset. I then watched the movie, Earthlings. This movie is relentless and left me in tears. The overwhelming gore and horror put me over the edge. I finally became completely vegan in every aspect of my lifestyle, from body wash to food to chapstick. And that's my story :)
I really enjoyed reading everyone's stories. I have hesitated to share my story as I have shared it in another forum about five or six years ago, and I gave my full name. I have since had to deal with stalkers and worse, so I am rather paranoid about divulging my last name on the Internet. If anyone recognizes me from that previous forum, please refrain from using my last name in any posts. Thanks!

I began thinking about animal rights when I was about six years old. We had been living with my very fundamentalist Jehovah's Wittness grandma until I was about eight years old, and I was told repeatedly by her that I should not care about nonhuman animals' feelings (she didn't seem to think that they had any anyway) because they didn't have a soul. That really did not sit right with me. I just couldn't accept it.

We lived with two cats and a dog at that point, and I could very clearly see that they had personalities, experienced pain, had mood swings, cherished certain things, showed intelligence, and even seemed to love. I could not understand why Jehovah did not offer more protection for them in the Bible, but I was young, and assumed that the adults understood the issue better than I did.

When I was nine, we moved out of my grandmother's house, and I began visiting with my brother's friend, Floyd, who was deeply devoted to his various 4-H projects. I loved playing with all of the animals in his yard, but I was absolutely in love with a calf that he had been raising named Daisy.

I remember running back to see Daisy after school one day, but the pen was empty. I ran into the kitchen and Floyd's family explained that the calf (can't remember if Daisy was a he or a she) had been sold to a butcher. I was absolutely horrified and heartbroken. I did everything in my power to convince them to bring Daisy back, but they just laughed at me.

We were supposed to have dinner with them that night, and they had made hamburgers. At the beginning of dinner, they joked with me about how the hamburger on my plate could be Daisy. I couldn't eat dinner at all. I just sat there and cried. I think Floyd's family probably got in trouble for that, but that was my first day as a vegetarian.

I was about thirteen years old when we had a very interesting man over for dinner. I believe he was a teacher from my mom's school, but I really don't remember who he was anymore. He tried to expose the hypocrisy of my vegetarianism by explaining (in detail) what happens to dairy cows and factory hens, at which point I decided then and there that I would become a vegan. I know my parents were definitely put out with this particular individual, but I will be forever grateful for the conversation.
My mother had a similar story because she was raised on a farm, as were her parents. She was enamored by a calf, as many young children are prone to a fondness toward animals. One day she also realized that the calf was not their, and she found out during dinner that she actually eating the calf (cow tongue is for some reason a delicacy to some people? Yech!!) I wish she'd become a vegetarian like me. Unfortunately, many people are sympathetic toward the suffering of those whom they know, but are oblivious/ignorant to the plights of strangers. Sad world, it is.


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