Happy World Vegan Day! 10

Happy World Vegan Day everyone! To celebrate I would love to know your personal vegan story, what caused that moment when you knew the world would never be the same? When you realised you had to do something and change for the better? Please comment on this post, I want to know! Hopefully I will feature some of you down the track too. I’d love for Vegan Tasmania readers to be more involved and contribute to the site. And on that note, as well as sharing your story, I’d love for you to give me some feedback about Vegan Tas, what you like and what you want to see more/less of. So please, please, please comment!

going-veganI guess it’s only fair if I share my story too. Before I can even remember I loved pigs. I loved them! Not that I didn’t love all animals but pigs and I had an affinity. I never ever wanted to eat them. When I was 17 I stumbled upon a PETA clip about KFC Chickens. You can watch it here. That was my moment. There was absolutely no going back, I couldn’t unsee it. Guess what my family had for dinner that night? I didn’t have any. Since that moment I have not touched fast food. Within a month I was vegetarian. Veganism seemed overwhelming, I always knew that it was what I wanted though, I knew it was just a matter of time before that feeling kicked in again, when I just couldn’t ignore it. I was raised on milk, it wasn’t just a drink for me, it was my food too. Now there isn’t anything in the world that revolts me more than cow’s milk production for humans. Like the meat industry it’s murder, it’s rape, it’s torture, forever. I can’t think of a life worse than that of a female dairy cow. Nothing compares. They go through practically every abhorrent act there is in their shortened lives. That’s why I went Vegan and I wouldn’t go back for anything in the world.

Now it’s your turn! Tell me your story and give me some feedback! Thank you!

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10 thoughts on “Happy World Vegan Day!

  • Donn Umber

    Thank you, Kirsty, for sharing your vegan journey! My path is quite a bit more circuitous. I have been a passionate environmentalist since my teens in large part from my father sharing his love of the wilderness and outdoors during my formative years. Our family began recycling cans, bottles and newspaper in the late 1960s at a drop-off center, way before there was any economic incentive or infrastructure to do so.
    In 1989, I attended the Globescope Pacific Assembly's worldwide conference on sustainable development here in Los Angeles. My primary interest was in the environmental impacts of consumers' personal choices. The most eye-opening revelation that I came away with was a written and spoken summary by John Robbins, of his book, "Diet for a New America." His emphasis was on the horrific environmental consequences of a meat-based diet, particularly beef. Thus, I began to wean myself from beef, though I continued to eat cheese, fish, chicken and pork, for many years.
    When I retired in 2009, I was 18 kg too heavy and needed to drastically change my food habits. I had an epiphany upon reading that legumes combined with other complex carbohydrates formed a complete (and low-calorie) protein. My mostly vegan diet led to a 19 kg loss of weight over a nine-month period. My non-vegan food intake consisted only of occasional cheese, yogurt and sardines.
    In June of 2010, my friend and I went to see the feature documentary "Forks Over Knives" that had just been released here in theaters. This amazing movie was the final nail in the coffin for my consumption of animal-based foods, especially since reading a well-researched piece that shows humans are biologically herbivores. Finally, I have acquired a sense of revulsion also to the use of animals for non-food products such as shoes, clothing and furniture. I wish I had evolved sooner to this stage!
    -Donn Umber (Twitter: @donnzpg)

  • Kirsty Tasmania

    Wow Donn! Thank you so much. Sounds like an amazing family you were brought up in to be so eco-conscious, it would be amazing now but to be in a time when that kind of thing just wasn't talked about like it is today is truly remarkable. Definitely a unique experience!

    I love that your story starts off with environmentalism, journey's through health and weight and ends up with animal welfare! Veganism is really about EVERYTHING!

    Interesting to note too that Forks Over Knives changed it for you. It definitely seems to be a big factor for a lot of people who have gone vegan. Especially when researching why certain celebs have gone vegan, almost half I find state watching Forks over Knives as being their motivation.

  • The Veganosopher

    I have been a vegetarian for around ten years, but only recently turned vegan. It's strange, but one can be oblivious to the reality of the dairy and egg industries, i.e. the high level of pain and suffering that the animals used to produce these products, endure. However, when the penny finally dropped the transition was so easy. I thank animal advocates from all over the world who work hard to bring the message home to people – it certainly helped me to make the decision to become vegan. For me, it makes little sense now to be a vegetarian on the grounds of compassion for our fellow sentient beings, and continue to consume dairy products and eggs. Your slogan heading this page, "I think, therefore I am vegan" serves well to make this point.

  • Kirsty Tasmania

    Thanks Veganosopher! (Great name by the way). I agree, when I realised that I needed to go vegan I was a little overwhelmed and worried about it, after the initial decision was made though it was so very easy. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Stewart Garward.

    Hello, Kirsty and just as Donn said, Thank You for your story and it was a pleasure to read both.
    My story/journey started many, many, many, years ago, even though i have been Vegan for six months, my late very good and close friend was Vegan her whole life as it was a family tradition and the influence she had on so many people was incredible. She never forced her beleifs on anyone and she was so accepting of everyone that a lot of her friends turned Vegetarian because of how well she portrayed herself and her Veganism. I turned Vegetarian more than 8 and a half months ago after i started to dislike the taste of meat and one Wednesday night on the 30th, of April, i was eating Vegan products and my body was receieving them quite well and since then, i have been Vegan. I met a lovely young lady almost two months ago and due to me mentioning Lush (handmade cosmetics store) to her, she now loves the place and in 6 days she has a group interveiw at Lush. It would never have eventuated if i didn't change diets. I have seen so much Animal Cruelty that i am now utterly passionate about being Vegan. I honestly don't think many people have as much passion for it as i do and that is due to my late friend and her passion for it. I am so happy i have made it this far and that my story can be shared on this lovely site. Thank you.

  • Kirsty Tasmania

    Thank you so much Stewart! Your friend sounds pretty amazing. I too think it's extremely important to be accepting and lovely to everyone, preaching never wins anyone over. I love that veganism really changes people and inspires others. Thanks for sharing your story, I love it!

  • Stewart.

    Thank you, Kirsty for the kind words.
    She was pretty amazing and i am living the life she led for just over 20 years. I am also Straightedge as she was her whole life, which is no alchohol, no smokes, no drugs and she led the most positive life i have ever seen anyone live and the fact that i can do for her what she did for so many is indescribable, (did i spell that right?) Thank you for allowing this on your site so it can be seen and read by everyone.

  • Kirsty Tasmania

    You're welcome Stewart! I often get asked if I'm sXe too because I'm vegan and I hate drugs, I'm not but I get it. I haven't ever looked into it though, not sure where most draw the line as far as drugs go, doesn't seem like it could be very simple!

  • The Veganosopher

    Hi Stewart and Kirsty, I agree with you both, forcing your beliefs on others is totally inappropriate. Living a moral life with respect to all sentient beings is the way to go. I find it a bit awkward though, when i am asked to explain why I don't eat meat or dairy and particularly when an inquirer then becomes defensive about their own eating habits. I am inclined to be discreetly vegan, for fear of making others feel uncomfortable, but at work for instance, I am the odd one out and of course, there are times when I have to declare my vegan way of life – for example – at special social engagements or when invited for dinner. I was wondering if you could share some strategies with me, as to how to deal with these sorts of situations.


  • Kirsty Tasmania

    Sounds like you're already doing pretty well. Unfortunately these things crop up but you just have to remember, they're the problem not you! I think most people take it pretty well if you're not over the top about it, sometimes they don't think much of it either way and sometimes they are just curious. The people that get defensive about it are clearly feeling threatened in some way, probably because they don't want to feel guilty. I think it's best to just be honest at first but if it's getting out of hand just ignore it. No good comes from getting into one of those philosophical vegan debates where the carnivores only response is that because we always have eaten meat it means that we should still do it. Best bet is to avoid those kind of people haha.