I went vegan in college in 1998. I had been vegetarian for a couple of years, but thought that being vegan was too hard.
But the more I learned about the cruelty of the egg and dairy industry, the more it made sense to go vegan. After all, I had gone vegetarian by learning about the horrors of factory farming. By supporting these equally awful industries of dairy and eggs I was not truly living the morals and values I professed to hold.
The toughest part of the transition was giving up dairy milk. I hated the taste of soy milk, which pretty much meant I would be going milk free. For years I had bought into the dairy industry’s messaging that I needed milk for strong bones and health and being someone that went to the gym 5-6 times a week I was naturally concerned. Luckily there was some good websites out there and I quickly learned that I could get everything I needed from delicious plant-based sources like veggie burgers and veggie chicken. And these days there are so many great tasting soy milks (and almond milks and hemp milks and rice milks) that I have fallen in love and now drink several glasses a day.
I still make it to the gym 5-6 times a week and have never felt healthier. Whenever I get my blood work done at the doctor, they always commend me for how great everything looks. Going vegan was definitely one of the best things I have done.
And it lead me towards advocating for a vegan diet and giving other people the tools to make similar changes in their own diet. These days I am lucky enough to work for a non-profit that educates people about where their food comes from, how the farmed animals are treated, and then giving people the resources to make more compassionate food choices in their own life. Few things are more rewarding than this.