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Getting to Know You! February 05, 2008 6:34 AM

Please feel free to introduce yourself here, regardless of how long you've been a member of this group (since we've never really had a formal welcome thread before) and tell us a little something about yourself and your journey toward (and/or within) the vegan lifestyle if you'd like!
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Hello February 05, 2008 6:13 PM

After being introduced to Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary at Vote4Cause I started reading their blogs. It was after watching a video about free-range eggs that I had my oh no! moment. Eggs were the last hold out to a vegan diet...had given up dairy years ago after reading 'Diet For A New America' by John Robbins. I mistakenly believed that free-range eggs were a humane method of collecting eggs. Little did I know that these chickens suffer enormously for their short lives here on earth and then are sent to be slaughtered as soon as their egg production dwindles. I will always be grateful to Laurie F for introducing me to PPS and the help she has given me to truly live a compassionate lifestyle. Thank you my friend! Louise  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Welcome, Louise! :-) February 06, 2008 7:19 AM

A very warm to you, Louise! I'm so glad you joined us, and appreciate your wonderful, eloquent introduction! (And thank you for posting the very first one! )

It's been great getting to know you at the V4C PPS group (and then here at Care2), and I'm truly grateful for the role I got to play as "messenger." But the real kudos go to you, Louise, for taking the initiative to visit the PPS group, their web site and their blog, being so open to learning the important information there, and for having the compassion and courage to make personal changes based on what you now know! So, my hat's off to you!!

And of course, major kudos also to PPS, for rescuing those "spent" hens and making such a poignant and illuminating video about their plight, and the suffering and exploitation hidden behind the myth of "free-range" chicken and egg production.

The video Louise and I are referring to was buried in our archives, so I've reactivated it and am now going to go add another bit of info and bump it up the discussion thread so that any of you who missed it can have a chance to see it. There are other resources and info posted there as well, including a link to Peaceful Prairie's web site, which I highly recommend visiting!

again, Louise, and welcome!
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welcome February 07, 2008 6:24 AM

Welcome Louise!

I am also new in Care2, and though vegetarian since age 16, I have been vegan for some months only.  I hope we can share interesting discussions in this group!

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Hi, Veronica! February 07, 2008 7:23 AM

and a big welcome to Care2 and to HVGV, Veronica!

Wow, vegetarian since age 16, that's great! And bravo for making the very beneficial and rewarding transition to veganism! I hope this group and the information here, both archived and new, will be helpful to you, and look forward to your insights, as well! Newer vegans have perspectives to share with not-yet-vegans that veteran vegans may not, so it's really great to have people here who are experiencing different phases of the journey. Not to mention different parts of the world!

Glad to have you with us, Veronica!
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Thank you! February 08, 2008 6:51 AM

Thank you, Laurie!

I really hope that in this group we have great success and more and more vegetarians can go vegan.  I am sorry I did not realize the ethical aspect of veganism before.  I went vegetarian for ethical and compassion reasons, but was not conscious of how much torture and suffering  are involved in dairy and egg production as well.  From the moment I really "caught" this, the change toward veganism was very easy.  And I love dairy products, but ... could never again eat them without feeling guilty now that I know how they are produced!  I think many people are in a situation similar to the one I was in, and so I think that this group can really help by providing good information.

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 February 08, 2008 8:14 AM

I agree with you completely, Veronica... a lot of people can absolutely relate to your story. The animal ag industries (with lots of collusion from governments and societies-at-large) spend a tremendous amount of money to ensure that people stay misinformed, taking advantage of most people's genuine desire to be kind, but to also stay in the comfort zone of their habits of thought and behavior. Hence the popularity of the myths of "happy meat" and other "happy" animal products, and the hiding of the truth that they are cruel, exploitative slaughter industries and unhealthy products.

So a tribute to you, Louise and everyone else who made - and is making, and will be making - the effort to expand their awareness and make the changes necessary to truly put their innate compassion into powerful action, I've chosen today's quotes for the Inspiration, Wisdom & Comic Relief II thread.

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Hi Veronica February 08, 2008 8:29 AM

Thank you for the welcome and you are quite right about this group being the place to learn about compassion. Our wonderful host, Laurie F is one of the most compassionate people I know and extremely knowledgable on everything vegan. She has a veritable vegan library at her disposal!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
A thank you and my intro :-) February 08, 2008 9:20 AM

Louise, you are too kind! No, really... you are TOO kind. As part of my own introduction, let me begin by assuring those of you who don't already know that I am a flawed and mistake-prone human being, still and always learning. I learn a lot in the process of co-hosting this group, and am constantly inspired by the personal stories shared here.

I do confess to the statement that I have a veritable vegan library at my disposal, though. Which goes to show, I stand on the shoulders of others far wiser, braver, more knowledgeable and more eloquent than I.

When I see how early most of you awakened to and adopted a veg lifestyle, I am so impressed. And when I see the compassion that first motivated you, I am truly inspired.

As a third grader I attempted to become vegetarian after the appalling experience of touring a "pork processing plant" on a school field trip (not designed to turn us veg, mind you, but to "show off" a local industry! Argh). Alas ~ my rebellion, though vigorously and most righteously conducted, was adamantly quashed by my food pyramid-abiding (and very strict) parents. It took a while, but I finally grew up and was "reminded" by Fate (in the form of M.S.) of the principles of my youth!

In learning about the connection between MS and diet and making changes, I read "Mad Cowboy" by Howard Lyman and met him at about the same time. He said, firmly and to my face and in spite of my whiny But how will I give up my cheeeese? - "Go vegan, Laurie." Howard is a force to be reckoned with, and when my saintly husband then said, "Let's do it, let's go vegan," I agreed, and then immediately read
"Diet for a New America" and "The Food Revolution" by John Robbins, and learned (or remembered!) all the ethical reasons for being vegan. So, we've been vegan since August 2000 - for all of the wonderful reasons there are - and have continued learning so much since then, and improving our diet so much since then, and meeting such amazing people so much since then, you can understand my attitude of gratitude and my desire to pay back (and forward) the help and support I received - and still receive.
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Hi! February 19, 2008 3:14 PM

Hi, I'm Christie. I've been vegetarian for 6 months (going on 7) and I joined this group because I know that someday I would like to become a vegan  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
anonymous  February 19, 2008 3:47 PM

Hi - Thanks for having me back on this group I wuz away from this and nearly all groups for a while, but all's sorted now, I'm happy to say After being vegetarian for ages and ages, I've been vegan for a few years now (not quite sure when I the change occurred), and I love to be around others making that transition. It's quite an adventure! I'm always happy to pick up new ideas Good luck to all!  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
 February 19, 2008 4:52 PM

I've been vegan for 5 years. It was thanks to the internet that I was introduced to AR/veganism, and I spent awhile reading about all the various issues. It was actually someone on a message board who finally convinced me to go vegan (after months of reading and learning but not "doing") - we were having a bit of an argument about animal research (which I was already firmly against at that point; she was "for"), and she asked me if I ate meat, pointing out that animals on factory farms suffer as much as animals in labs. Thankfully, instead of thinking "Oh well, I eat meat so I might as well support animal research, too!" I realized that I needed to go vegan and couldn't put off making the change anymore. I sort of transitioned gradually over a few weeks, and then before long I could hardly imagine not being vegan!

Laurie, I'm sure I would have attempted vegetarianism (or at least stopped eating pork!) as a third-grader, if we had toured a pork processing plant, but we toured a Pepsi factory instead. And even that was pretty gross. I can tell you I did not drink Pepsi for quite awhile afterwards!

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 February 19, 2008 5:18 PM

Christie and back, River!

Christie, that's great that you've been vegetarian for nearly 7 months! I hope this group will help make your transition to vegan easy, fun... and soon!

River, it's always delightful to have you around! Glad you're back and are all sorted out now!

(I've got things to sort out myself lately, as I've been having computer problems for over a week - like a connection speed that's only 60 kbps! Grrr... I've run out of all the (many) bad words I know and am now inventing new ones! )
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anonymous  February 19, 2008 5:26 PM

for the kind words, Laurie - and sorry to hear about your 'puter woes. They ought to behave better, I always think, but of course mine always complains it is overworked and underpaid. " Grrr... I've run out of all the (many) bad words I know and am now inventing new ones!" I do so admire creative people! See, you have much to teach us all  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
Hi, Laura! February 19, 2008 5:34 PM

My posting is so pokey these days (60 kbps, did I mention that? Sheesh) that you snuck your intro in while I was plodding away with my latest welcome message. Thank you for sharing your great story! I know many of us are inspired to go vegan by hearing, knowing or reading something by another vegan, but it's remarkable how often it's a non-vegan person's question or comment that gives us that final, awakening nudge that makes the difference, as happened with you!

Never was much of a pop drinker, but didn't realize touring a Pepsi plant would be vile. Apparently if both slaughterhouses and soda pop factories had glass walls, we'd all be green tea and water drinking vegans! (So I'm all for putting in glass walls!)
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 February 19, 2008 5:41 PM

Yeah, River, our 'puters should indeed behave, especially when they're Macs!

I think I'd better pass on sharing my creative cussing talents here.
(Suffice to say my parents were both Marines and my mother is also Italian, so I got an early start on cultivating that particular creative streak!)
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anonymous  February 20, 2008 7:35 AM

Oh, Macs are privileged to be eccentric, Laurie And so are you - and maybe if you translated the marine language into Italian? . . . Nah - on second thoughts that would only work with those (like myself) who aren't fluent in other languages. There are bound to be some Italian speakers around here, yes?  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
anonymous Me February 28, 2008 2:29 PM

My name is stephanie but most know me as the Gorilly Girl...I join this group with an invite from Laura and I deeply thank her for if you guys will be as loving as her...I will let you know straight up that i still do eat meat..God I cant believe I said it..but that is why i am here to learn from GOOD people.  I know it is going to be a long process for me but I am willing to do it with some help and advise from you all.  I have to admit I am scared that I am going to be based again for eating meat...some have told me that I am not helping any animal as long as I eat meat...I kinda beg to differ..but whatever I know what I have done for animals.  But I need you all to help me how to get started on the non-meat path....I will also tell you I am a very picky eater and dont like anykind of veggie barley at all so yes I will need lots of help here....I just wanted you all to know where I am standing and that Honestly here to learn...If it is okay with everyone.  I dont want to feel like a thorn in any of you guys side.  So if you dont think I should be here please let me know...But I feel I need to be here...So thats it.

Big Gorilly Hugs....

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 February 28, 2008 2:36 PM

Hi, Gorilly!

Good to see you here!

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Yay Gorilly! February 28, 2008 2:59 PM

A very warm and special welcome to you, Gorilly!! So glad to see you here! (And Laura!)

Gorilly, you just make yourself right at home. Please visit some of our blue and red-pinned threads especially, lots of resources and info for you there, many of your questions might be answered in them but if not, please don't hesistate to ask! We have some folks here who are fairly new to vegetarianism themselves and are now wishing to take the next step to veganism, and I'm sure many of them will be especially helpful, so recently being themselves where you are now! I know it took some courage for you to join and write such an honest introduction, and I admire you for it!

We hope to undo the bad experience you had, and help to make this a rewarding, satisfying, empowering and fun journey for you! You're going to love finding out how amazing it is to further express your compassion for animals by exploring and transitioning to the veg lifestyle!
I'm so glad you joined us!
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Welcome Stephanie! February 28, 2008 6:36 PM

Hi Stephanie aka Gorilly Girl! Welcome to the group. Congratulations for getting this far...we have all been where you are. Any time we make a major change to our lifestyle it can be uncomfortable but it will get easier.

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 February 28, 2008 10:52 PM

Welcome Gorilly girly! It is ok to make a slow transition, you are more likely to stick with it if you do. Trust me, I did not go vegan over night. I can almost guaruntee you will not regret your decision though. This is a really good group. There are some real quality people here so make yourself comfortable!

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anonymous  February 29, 2008 6:31 AM

Gorilly Girl - really nice to see you here Please don't worry about not being completely meat-free - lots of people have to start out s.l.o.w.l.y ya know? - and many times that is the best way because by the time they get to being veg*n, well, they're determined that they know it's best for them (as well as for the animals), not just a passing craze, fad, whatever. And this group is about Helping - says so in its name - and who needs help more than someone who isn't vegan yet? No point preaching to the converted, eh? So you go girl! You'll get there if you love animals - and I know you do - so lots of luck! You make me smile

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 February 29, 2008 6:57 AM

I love this group!
(I just had to submit to that little outburst of affection. )

Happy Friday, Happy Leap Day!)

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greetings February 29, 2008 10:14 AM

I have been part of this group for a while, but have been a way jumping around inmy travels in the physical world, that I have been bit of a stranger to Care2.

I have been vegan for about 3 years now and a vegetarian for one year before that.  The big motivator for me to initially become vegan was for sustainability reasons.  I kept crunching numbers on this ecological footprint calculator and I was appaled by the size of my footprint, even though my was already quite below the average for an American.  Becoming vegan was by far one lifestyle change that seemed to most lower my footprint so it took a while, but I made the transition. 

There have been times over the years where I have accidentally ingested dairy hidden in the ingredients when I thought they were vegan, but what can you do.  Except for that I have been a happy healthy vegan. 

I´d like to say I am compassionate, but I having a feeling more there are more people in this group that are more compassionate than I, so I will not sully the word, and claim it as a quality, but rather a virtue I am working to develop. 

In my line of work you sort of have to have a callous side.  I work in seabird colonies where life and death are ever present.  And as a biologist I am not really supposed to interfere (though in some small ways I have) with the natural course of things. 

Anyway, that is my bit.  I think this is a awesome group, not only to help others in the transition but to have a community when you may not have over vegans around o long periods of time, and to reaffirm your moral vigor in being vegan. 

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anonymous  February 29, 2008 11:19 AM

Oh Delighted to meet you Nick! I wish I could lay claim to so many of the things you care about and do. But we all do our best I guess. Good man!!!!

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Welcome, Nicholas! :-) February 29, 2008 3:03 PM

Hi, Nicholas! I am very pleased to meet you as well, and to have you with us!

Your travelin' life and your work sound unique and very interesting, and your being inspired to go vegan to lower your ecological footprint is truly admirable! Thank you so much for your wonderful introduction, Nicholas, you're a peach! We'll enjoy your visits to HVGV whenever your busy, roving life allows!

By the way, your job as a field biologist working with seabirds made me think of this quote (hey, the synapses in my brain just work that way! ), so I'll share it here as a little Leap Day gift...

It is never too late to go quietly to our lakes, rivers, oceans,
even our small streams,

and say to the seagulls, the great blue herons, the bald eagles, the salmon,
that we are sorry.

~ Brenda Peterson in "Singing to the Sound"

(P.S. All these great introductions have me asking myself why I didn't start this thread a long time ago!)

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anonymous  February 29, 2008 3:16 PM

'It is never too late to go quietly to our lakes, rivers, oceans, even our small streams, and say to the seagulls, the great blue herons, the bald eagles, the salmon, that we are sorry.' ~ Brenda Peterson in "Singing to the Sound"

Great stuff, Laurie And why didn't you start this thread before? Because NOW was the right time, that's why!

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 February 29, 2008 5:05 PM

MWAH, River! You are too cute!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 April 16, 2008 5:22 AM

Since we haven't had any introductions in quite a while, I'd like to bring this thread to the attention of our several new (and even some longtime) members in case you'd like to tell us about yourselves and share your stories about what - or who - inspired you to want to become vegan. Please feel free to introduce yourselves here, and welcome to HVGV!

This post was modified from its original form on 16 Apr, 5:24  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
hello! April 20, 2008 10:04 AM

Hi vegan friends!

I have been  "out"  for 2 months because I have moved to a smaller town, and had no computer until some few weeks ago.

I think this is a great group and the  "mission"  we have is very important.

Though, I feel quite frustrated because I have not succeeded, until now, to convince my family to be even vegetarians.  They have no conscience at all about the moral reasons for it, which are what I consider the most important, but even health or ecological issues are not worrying them too much.

What can I do?  I know the decision must come from within, but I feel less and less able to share family meals with them, and  then they see me as a fanatic, and maybe I am.  What do you think?

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 April 20, 2008 11:12 AM

Dearest Veronica,
Welcome back to the Internet!  laughs, I bet you have lots of catching up to do. 

And nodding in agreement with your frustration regarding family members.  I've been living with my Significant Other for 8 years now, most of that time he's been "flextarian",  and only recently has he decided to go vegetarian! 

Not to discourage you, thinking it'll take 8 years to start 'converting' your fam!    If you enjoy cooking, offer to take over some of the meals.  Print out one of the vegan PDFs, or an interesting article and leave it on the coffee table, or on the unread newspaper pile. 

How about sponsoring someone at a farm sanctuary... they usually send photos and tell you about their little quarks and endearing traits... then put the photo out on the table, and tell everyone about this wonderful furry/feathery person. 

How about subliminal messages while they're sleeping? "go vegan... go vegan... go vegan..."

laughs, just kidding! 
um.  kind of.
I wonder if it would work.
we could try an experiment...

Have fun!  Don't be frustrated!  Remember, if they even eat _one_ vegan meal, animals are being saved!


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Welcome back, Veronica! April 23, 2008 1:42 PM

Wow, Veronica, your latest post justifies its own thread, it's such a common and somewhat complex challenge! (And if you get several responses, I may move them all to a seperate thread, but for now I just wanted to add a note of support to Rift's great response & advice!)

You're no doubt doing everything you can do ~ keep living and speaking your truth, and in so doing set a wonderful example. Inform and inspire ~ and do the shopping and cooking ~ whenever you can. Don't take your family's current reactions personally (even though it feels personal!) and don't feel responsible for their choices. If you haven't already, you might want to explain to your family members how you feel and why being vegan and having their support, if not their vegan fellowship, is important to you. Find like-minded people who can support you, even if just online (like... um... us! ). Your frustration is completely understandable (I'm sure we can all relate!), but do your best to be patient, to be joyful, and to be at peace within yourself, knowing you are living with compassion and integrity. And remember you are, just by being who you are, planting seeds ~ even when it feels like they're being planted on rocks.

You might want to check out some of the resources on our Online Info & Advice thread... these three jump to mind specifically...

Living Among Meat-Eaters Part 1 (podcast)

Living Among Meat-Eaters Part 2 (podcast)

Jo Stepaniak's Relationship Q&As

You may find some helpful insights and advice, and if nothing else you'll sure be reminded that you are not alone in your feelings and situation! Bless your heart, family can absolutely be the hardest.

Oh and yes, do try Rift's subliminal "go vegan" suggestion! Why not? If it works, you'll have discovered how to transform the world! (Rift, are you trying this on your SO?!)

If you are living with loved ones who do not yet understand your new direction, remember the wise words of Albert Schweitzer...

"Example is not the main way to influence others,
it is the only way."

~shamelessly lifted from Gentle World's "Becoming Vegan" page
(Avast, mateys, what can I say? I'm a quote pirate! )

This post was modified from its original form on 23 Apr, 13:45  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Thank you! April 26, 2008 12:00 PM

Thank you so much for your support and advice!  I know it will not be easy with my family, but it is so different when you feel  ( and actually know )  you are not alone and the cause you fight for is also other people's cause!

The ideas you suggest are really good, I hope I will be able to implement them soon.  This last week I have made a little progress with my mother. At least she listened to me and did not call me fanatic!

Thank you again! And I think that being almost 400 members in this group is rather hope-giving, if we take into account that we are not the only group in the world ...

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 April 27, 2008 7:11 AM

I'm glad you're finding our group and advice helpful (& hopeful!), Veronica, and gladder still that you're making progress with your mom! And yes, the vegan online community is really growing, with so many festivals, web sites and forums ~ and the number of vegan blogs takes my breath away!
A warm to our newest members!
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hello! October 09, 2009 10:04 AM

hi, i'm clare i'm 23 and have been a vegetarian since I was around 13 so going on 10 years now! was easy for me to become vegetarian but am finding the transition to veganism much harder, tried once before and failed (live in a small town with not many vegan options at the shop, found myself not getting as much food as I should, had to stop as became a bit ill) second attempt now, more info and support will hopefully help.wish me luck : )

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 November 22, 2010 5:39 PM

there are a number of good reasons for becoming vegan. my main reason is treatment of animals used for food. my health and the environment are certainly important too. i don't need to be reminded of these things. but, i get discouraged because after a lifetime of eating a certain diet it is hard for me to give up some foods and need to replace them with something that hopefully will satisfy my taste buds in a similar way. i don't need something to taste just like it. most vegetables, unless smothered in some creamy sauce, are not something a drool over. so, i figure i'll be a vegetarian working my way slowly to veganism while i accumulate  easy, no fail, truly yummy recipes and i'm sure ones taste buds MUST readjust because, i have to tell you, some of these vegan foods are just awful...i want to like them! i do! i want food to be yummy and make me happy more than i want it to be healthy for me...i know that is wrong, but yummy is really important to me.

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