As you can tell from my topic title (and obviously, my sig), I'm a vegan. What that means is I am a very strict vegetarian. I eat no meat, dairy, or any animal produce. I've been a vegan since September of 2005 and have somehow never wanted to go back. My mother followed my lead and is also a vegan now. Unlike some of the zealots on sites like PETA, though, I have absolutely no problem with other people's choice to eat meat. It's just the right thing for MY life, not necessarily other people's lives. I have several reasons for choosing this way of life: 1: Meat has required nutrients in it, but I choose to get these nutrients from plant sources. Meat has a history of being a disease carrier and has many other unhealthy qualities that you are forced to ingest as well as the nutrition. I simply choose to bypass this part and get it from cleaner plant sources. Some like Vitamin B12 and Omega-6 fatty acids are difficult to find in plant matter, but I manage well enough. 2: I'm an animal fanatic. Being thus, I can't eat something I love to appreciate alive. Like I said, it doesn't bother me that other people eat meat, but I don't have to take part in it. 3: I once visited a slaughterhouse. Anyone who has done this can probably understand my POV here. There are few places on earth as filthy, horrifying, and just overall unhealthy than a slaughterhouse. This brought the question "Where does my food come from?" into a whole new light for me. If I lost any other ideal I have on being a vegan, I would stay vegan solely based on this. 4: In all the weight loss madness and obesity crises, it's nice to have a comfortable lifestyle that automatically assures health and well-being. Before I was a vegan, I was above 300 pounds and had high blood pressure. Somehow I managed to get down to 235 pounds and lose my high blood pressure completely. I wasn't even trying to do these things and didn't become a vegan to accomplish these things. They just happened automatically after less than a year. I don't even eat religiously healthy foods. I only limit myself to plants and I eat whatever I want from there. I feel, look, and live better than I did. 5: I was ready to stop eating meat. I've never really been a health nut, but I never went on food binges either. When you're ready to become a vegan, that makes it 50% easier. When you find out that you don't have any dependency on animal produce AFTER you've tried it out, that takes the other 50% of the difficulty out. Like I said, this is not for everyone. I've been a vegan for nearly 3 years and never had any motivation to return to the way I was. Most people wouldn't be like this. Many give up. But it helps when your body is ready and you find (to your surprise) that you don't have any cravings for meat. I respect anyone who DOES eat animal produce as long as they respect MY choice. The only thing that has yet to piss me off in being a vegan is peoples' reaction to telling them. They tend think you're some kind of a cultist or weirdo. Does disliking broccoli make you strange? No. Does disliking milk make you weird? No. So why should disliking meat? Is anyone here a vegan/vegetarian as well?