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Why did you become vegetarian and what kind of changes did you then experience?

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Hey Guys,

So, I am lacto-ovo vegetarian. I was wondering what type of changes you experienced when you decided to become vegetarian. For example: I noticed that once I stopped eating meat, I became a happier person. I don't know why, but I feel blissful, not angry. Just wondering if anything like this happened to anyone else.

Also, I was also wondering why you guys decided to become vegetarians, and what ultimately influenced your decision to do so?
Edited Aug 13 2007 02:58 by pandajenn19
Reason: clarified post description
43 Replies (last)

well, i am vegan, but i hope you don't mind me posting...

I went from meat/fish/dairy eater to vegan in June (june 18th, 2007 actually)- after learning about all the inhumane processes involved in the meat, fishing, & dairy industries from my boyfriend's mom (she's a vegetarian who eats vegan most of the time). I also learned about all the health benefits of being vegan/vegetarian, so it just seemed like the right choice.

Since then my mood has greatly improved- i am now much more positive and optimistic than i ever have been for any length of time before. I have also noticed major improvements in my asthma and allergies. I have had ecgzema since i was a child and that hasn't flaired up either. I also noticed my skin, which was pretty clear before, has gotten even clearer and more radiant. I just feel so much healthier. I don't know if i have chronic fatigue or something, but my energy levels, though still not high, have improved quite a bit as well. I also feel that being vegan makes it a bit easier for me to lose weight b/c i don't get tempted by most of the unhealthy stuff- b/c it contains animal products.

When i first really looked into the animal cruelty issue, i was only reading about it. Then i watched the 'meat your meat' video ( and was just so absolutely horrified. It solidified my decision/resolve even more.

I've noticed that since becoming vegan i have a much greater appreciation for nutrition, healthy food, life, earth, family, friends, animals, and plants. I'm now becoming much more aware of my impact here. I'm so much more conscious of things like not wasting water, electricity, and other resources. I'm also more interested in meditation and yoga- although not practicing regularly as of yet. All in all, i'm just a much happier, healthier person =)

It hasn't even been a full 2 months yet, so i expect more wonderful changes are still to come!

well i havent had red meat in about 11 years but i didnt really notice a difference till i gave up all animal flesh 2 years ago - and when i did I dropped 47lbs in 2 months (i was eating raw vegan and working out, and i was quite heavy too) since then i've noticed my liking of fried or greasy things has greatly diminished, my respect for all animal life has increased (as opposed to just the "cute" animals) and i get sick less.
You know... I noticed that I was happier too.  I had been on Prozac for awhile... and when I stopped taking it, I went back into a phase of depression.  After going vegetarian, I realized that I was as happy when I was on Prozac without all the nasty side effects.  Also my skin has cleared up a lot.  I feel sooooo much better.

I tried explaining this to my bf, but he denies the fact that a lack of animals in my diet could be the cause of my happiness. 
not to start a fight but what benifits to being vegan offer? I have never met a docotor who has recomended it, or met someone who is vegan who didnt have to take an arsenal of vitemans and supplements to make it possible so they didnt get sick.
^ignore the troll.^

Carry on!  ;-)
im seriously asking, i have never met a vegan that didnt cheat =P.
giggle_puppy, if you are truly interested in the benefits of being vegan, might I point you to the myraid posts in this forum all extolling the rewards users have reaped when they made the switch?  This thread is not a debate on why to become vegan. 

In fact, there was just an entire thread in the Lounge, which I'm sure you saw, all about the variances between veganism, vegetarianism, meat eating, and cannibalism.  :)

Veg forum regulars, let's keep this one on topic so the OP can have her question answered.  Thanks!!

Anzly, I am a pescetarian, but I probably only have fish about three times a month or so.  I know my energy has really increased, especially recently as I've added in a lot more raw foods.  I don't have to fight as many cravings as I once did, either.  I decided to drop all meat but seafood because of what I learned about non-organic meat, coupled with the cost of buying organic meat.  Just seemed nonsensical to spend the money, and I certainly am not going to be eating non-organic meat any time soon! 
you should throw me a link just to be safe.
i became a vegetarian about 6 months ago, i started first as a semi-vegetarian, occaisionaly eating fish, eggs and cheese, i then worked my way up to lacto-ovo, then lacto, and at this point right now i am vegan.

the reason i decided to become vegetarian, was solely just to try it at the time, but as i was doing it i started looking more into ethics, and health aspects, and the more i read into it, the higher up the chain i went.

some things i noticed when i switched was that my whole attitude on life changed, i got more peaceful, and broke away from alot of old bad habits, and i really matured,  also feel alot healthier, and have more energy through-out the day

basically overall it was a good transition, better concious, better health, more maturity, better outlook on life

if only everyone became veggie/vegan *sigh*
I eat a predominantly vegetarian diet because I believe (1) it is healthier, and (2) it is a more efficient use of resources.  Since becoming vegetarian I have lost weight, my skin has cleared up considerably, and I hardly bruise anymore (I used to bruise terribly, people always thought my b/f beat me up or something).

But, I also recognize that vegetarianism is a choice that is realistically only available to wealthy consumers (e.g. most Americans).  Variation is the key to healthy veg*nism and variation is mainly possible today because of global markets.  Luckily, compared to the rest of the world, I am wealthy enough to be able to choose between 20 or so different types of beans, hundreds of different fruits and vegetables, 10 or so different types of grains, and so on.  Having choices makes it much easier to thrive on plant foods.

I became a mostly-vegetarian a year ago.  I did it for health reasons, not moral reasons, and my children still eat meat.    I still eat seafood and occasionally dairy.  Because of culture (I'm Latina) I do "fall off the wagon" when I visit family, but notice that I now get sick to my stomach when I have a weak moment. 

I dropped 7 pounds the first summer I changed my diet and do feel more energized.  I also had to get used to people nit-picking at me and looking at me like I'm from another planet when I bring a salad with tofu in to work! Smile  It seems everyone wants to lose weight but cringe at the thought of making a lifestyle change.

Re lysistrata's comment that being a vegetarian is more expensive, I have to disagree.  While I am blessed with an abundance of choices, in poorer times, I learned quickly that egg noodles and rice and beans are a lot cheaper than steak and pork chops.


To clarify:  I did not intend to suggest that eating vegetarian food is more expensive than eating meat.  I've also found that I spend a lot less on food than I did before ... you can get a heck of a lot of dried beans for the cost of one steak.

My point is that it is possible for us to be vegetarian and healthy because we live in a wealthy nation with enormous resources.  We can get food from all over the world, which people in many poorer countries cannot.  It is easy to go without meat when you can go to the grocery store and choose between several different kinds of beans and grains and loads of fresh vegetables.  It is not so easy when your food source is whatever happens to be edible and within reach that day.

The reason I bring this up is because ethical vegetarianism bothers me sometimes.  "Meat is murder" is too essentializing, and I believe that it is only because we have the luxury of choosing our foods that we have the option to substitute plant foods for meat.  People in many other countries don't have that luxury, and suggesting that people who eat the primary food source available are "murderers" seems a little, well, poorly thought out to me.

That's all I was getting at!  ;-)
lysistrata,  I am vegetarian for ethical reasons.  I fully believe in the phrase "meat is murder."  When I use that phrase though, I am not looking at other countries that do not have the option.  I am looking at consumers that have the option yet choose to eat meat.  The fact alone that they could choose not to eat it but they do creates supply and demand.  Therefore, meat is murder..  Especially when people are presented evidence of animals being tortured to death but they are too dense to care.  
Well I lost weight and started exercising within the same general time frame that I began eating a vegan diet, so it's difficult to single out the changes that were due to the diet change alone. 

But this combination of healthy habits changed my life dramatically.
  • All of my health problems disappeared.  Sleep apnea, acid reflux, sore ankles, knees and back.
  • My skin cleared up (this, I believe, occured when I dropped dairy.)
  • After a few weeks of eating healthy vegan (primarily whole foods, not processed) I began to enjoy food more than I had before.  I began to appreciate the taste of whole foods - fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts especially.
  • While I made the diet change for health reasons, I have also come to appreciate the fact that I'm no longer adding to the suffering of animals raised for food.  Spiritually, I feel cleaner, and more in balance with nature.
  • Finally, (sorry if this grosses anybody out but hey, it's the truth and it's a good thing for folks considering switching to a healthy vegan diet to know), my BMs became much more regular and much less, um, "messy".  For a BM, I no longer have to sit on the can for more than maybe 60 seconds and cleaning up is much less of a task than before.  (The magic of fiber!)
thanks so much for sharing your changes with me. I am so glad that I am not alone in experiencing changes in not only my physical health but my mental health as well.

Personally, I went semi-vegetarian a year ago because I felt that red meats and pork were not worth the calories. However, I always loved animals and looked into the meat industry (the video at and peta) and felt that I should stop supporting cruelty to animals entirely. I started to feel sick whenever I ate flesh and that is how I became lacto-ovo, and now I am noticing milk doesn't taste that great. In the future I see myself as becoming vegan for this very reason, but as for now I am doing the best I can seeing as how I am 17 and the only vegetarian in my house. My parents and friends try to support me, but sometimes they think my diet is inconvenient.

Even though it can be tough, I am glad that I have finally found something that I enjoy doing. People who don't know much about vegetarianism think that it is hard. Yes, we have to make sure we are getting enough nutrients like iron, but it is an easy adjustment.

I find it funny when you tell someone you are vegetarian and they ask, "What do you eat?" and you say, "everything that didn't have a face" and then they say "so, do you eat chicken?"
I have more energy. I feel more in control.  

I get ill to my stomach being near meat or eggs cooking.

I had pizza Sunday for the first time in weeks and did not enjoy it. AT ALL.  Sat like a rock in my gut. Not worth it.  I am working on my cheese tooth and decreasing my diary. ( Cow milk is for baby cows not humans)

My son is trying new foods - cause otherwise he would not be eating. We just discover purple yams - very different from yellow yams.  Having fun trying new foods and new recipes.

And bbnomo, I agree with the benefits of a fully functional digestive system  - in and OUT.  : )  My husband and son suffer much less from constipation now. ( They are still on the SAD diet but it is now more really unhappy diet )
Well, i was a vegetarian for the first 4 years of my life so, i think that greatly influenced me.
I didn't like meat much even when we went back to eating it, especially red meats.
And i much prefer beans and lentil products.
In the last month i have been getting more and more repulsed by meat (Simply the way it feels and tastes and how gross it feels in my stomach) SO! Today, after deciding it was really, really stupid to FORCE myself to eat the salmon i had with lunch, i made a small decision to simply not eat meat anymore.
I doubt i will NEVER eat meat again, but as long as my body and mind doesn't want to eat it, i wont eat it.
So, my reason to become a vegetarian?
My body told me to.
Why eat dead animals only to feel guilty and heavy and sick?
FINDING NEMO! Every time i tried to put the salmon in my mouth, all i could think about was those poor fish screaming in the net and all these chefs on the food channel attacking fish with knives.
It was disgusting!
Veges are so much better anyway.

How do i feel different when not eating meat?
It makes me feel lighter.
(I would go for awhile without eating meat even when eating meat so i know what it feels like to not eat meat)
Meat is just so heavy in your gut and it seems exhausting to digest!
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i became vegetarian 4 years ago.  i would really like to become vegan but i have not been able to give up cheese.  i have given up all other dairy, and i do eat organic cheese whenever possible.  my 19 year old daughter watched a peta video and became vegetarian immediately.  i was vegetarian when i was younger so i did again with her.  for us it started for ethical reasons, but the health benefits are obvious.  the way the animals in this country live and die is disgraceful.  if they got to live happy lives on the farm as they used to, i wouldn't have a problem with it.  i wish everyone could be made aware of what is going on in the meat/dairy industry, i can't believe it would continue.  most meat eaters that i talk to about it say "i know i know" but they don't really, and they don't want to.  the meat in the country is not healthy.  not only because of the way they live but because of the way they die.  being afraid has a physical effect on them, just like it does on us.  sorry i didn't mean to get all preachy.  i guess i'm preaching to the choir here anyway. 

as far as the physical differences, i honestly can't even remember what it was like to eat meat.  i know i don't feel all heavy and lethargic after eating a nice healthy vegetarian meal.  i also don't eat processed foods for the most part (i do indulge occasionally, but again always try to do organic) and i think that has a more profound effect physically. 

for me becoming vegetarian was like a first step toward enlightenment.  it is a more natural and peaceful way of life.
I'm in my third vegetarian month, and I changed for the five reasons outlined in this article...
  1. Personal health
  2. Ecological concerns
  3. Human rights
  4. Animal rights
  5. Compassion

I have noticed some changes.  On the negative side, I had some distressing digestive issues for about two weeks as my body adjusted.  A few weeks later, I was told I looked tired a lot.

Now that I have learned how to balance my diet better and am taking a B12 supplement, I can say that I feel (and look) fantastic.  My already low body fat percentage is dissolving, and my six-pack is more visible than ever.  My mood has improved, and my attitude and outlook is just - healthier!

Now aren't you glad you asked?
Thx skygnar for the article!

And yes i am glad i asked the question! :)
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