An Xtra-Xtra LARGE Collection of Vegan Stories

>>  Wednesday, April 10, 2013

As I'll explain this post is a matter of housekeeping...

Initially I wanted this blog to be a collection of daily (or weekly) posts about new people who told their stories of awakening... My thought was that by writing the Provoked blog as well... what more could there be to tell?

Well here on Once Upon a Vegan, there's never been an absence of news or of personal insights, but rather the time and the figuring of what order to prioritize what in. Throw in a bit of procrastination and my "Stories" drafts folder was over-flowing. So now I'll pass them along as I originally intended to do.

The good news is that there's so many coming-out-vegan pieces that I'd never catch up unless it was by posting this "multi"-one all in one go. So here it is!

There's videos and essays - Some came to be vegan for health or the environment... Many in hopes of living the best ethical life they could in their treatment towards nonhumans. There's some names you might already know and some you may never forget... 

Thanks for bearing with me as I do some spring-cleaning as I pass on these stories that deserve to be repeated.

“I was watching Animals Australia’s exposure of live export on television and thought, ‘I can’t watch this.’ I wanted to block my ears and change the channel, then I realised I had to witness this, no matter how much it traumatised me personally. I knew I had to become part of this and acknowledge fully the cruelty that happens to billions of animals all over the world, every second. I was wearing leather shoes which I looked at and felt ill that I was wearing a by-product of the cruelty. I cried for days.

“I realised it was time to become vegan and to commit truly to animal welfare. My life then shifted in a beautiful way. I stepped into what I believe in wholeheartedly – that my lifestyle would not support animal cruelty – and hopefully I can encourage others how easy it is to not use animal products.”
Rach Moran

More on Youtube:

Get Real with Rory Freedman and more Skinny Bitch stories:
Lisa Tabari
Kristina Besse
Todd Moore

Don Johnson - Inspired by Gandhi and Albert Schweitzer has been vegetarian since 1963, and vegan since 1991
An interview with José González of Animals Australia
Sarah Taylor creator of the popular blog “The Vegan Next Door”, and the author of “Vegan in 30 Days”
Why I Transitioned to A Meat Free Diet and Became A Vegan
Gratex - Became friends with a bird outside his apartment window and questioned his relationship with all other creatures.
Peysi - An 11 year old girl thanks Gary Yourofsky for his speech that openned her eyes to the plight of nonhumans.
Djehuty Ma'at-Ra - In 1995 adopted a "plant based diet" for the health benefits
Brain Boy - Sarcastically relays the "Dangers of being vegan"

And Tim Shieff says "I realized it was pleasure without conscience." He passionately covers all the issues!

Rose Elisabeth - After watching Earthlings wonder's how and why people can't sympathize with the animals. 
Hoang Mai is an NDP Member of Parliament for Brossard--La Prairie. "I realised we don't need to make animals suffer."
Why I am Vegan
Jennifer made the connection through a report on eating dogs in Asia. She says "reason allows no contradiction".
Paulina Logan - Sings her musical vegan story
Ari Evergreen - Always thought of herself as an animal lover... 
Mayim Bialik
Becoming a Vegetarian - From Writer/Director of NextNik

Rebecca Stucki - Learned of "The realities of what animal production entails — the deaths, the “culling,” the breaking up of the animals’ social and familial structures, and most of all, the personalities and individuality of the so-called “farm” animals that most people haven’t experienced or even considered." 

Dan Barton was inspired to go vegan after reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

77 year old body builder Jim Morris says animals should have the "freedom to live in its natural environment, with its own kind, making its own decisions. I believe the law should prohibit the enslavement of all non-human species for any purpose whatever." 

Dianne "Veggiegirl" Wenz:
When I fully accepted that “treatment” is not the issue, but using animals for our gain IS the issue, I knew I had to go vegan.  It was not a choice anymore.  It was a duty.  A moral obligation.  I was afraid of how my husband and family would react, but that didn’t matter anymore.  I could no longer wait until everyone around me changed, because if I did that it would never happen.  I had to be the one to do what I knew was right, no matter what.  It scared the hell out of me, but i did it.

Freeheel Vegan says "When I fully accepted that “treatment” is not the issue, but using animals for our gain IS the issue, I knew I had to go vegan.  It was not a choice anymore.  It was a duty.  A moral obligation." 

Andrew Kirschner  realized the absurdity at a fund raising event to help cats and dogs when "veal" and chickens were served on the buffet. 

Natalie Cunningham: "I stumbled across an article about veganism purely by chance. I cannot even remember which one it was or where it was from but it was detailed enough to make me realise that I was feeling the same grief that the baby cow feels when he is taken away from his mummy, my mother felt the same fear on her road to death that the beef cattle feel as they approached the slaughterhouse – I realised that we are all the same. Another neural pathway creation!"

A collection of Vegan Conversions at Eating Plants

KD Traegner From Your Daily Vegan: "Being vegan is not about being radical – it is about being ethical." 

Seth Falcon - From an L.A. Youth publications says his aunt's veganism changed his entire family!

Karen Interlandi - "I had been told by a dog trainer a few years back not to attribute human emotions onto animals. I had agreed to this at the time, but then I started to think, well, why can’t animals experience the same range of emotions and feelings that we have? Do humans have exclusive rights to being happy or sad, or the feeling of loss or grief? Can anyone explain the pure joy that your dog displays when you they greet you at the front door as anything other than love?

That lead to me realising that every piece of meat that I ate was at some stage an animal’s baby.  I suddenly didn’t want to eat someone’s babies anymore."   

Lisa Hewus and her reaction to seeing the film Earthlings

Claire Crossan

Roger Yates - Owner of On Non-Human Relations, and vegan since 1979

Elizabeth Reflects on Her 4-H Experience and Her Path to Becoming Vegan

5 reasons I wish I’d gone vegan sooner.

A day in the slaughterhouse - That's why I became vegetarian (warning graphic images)
at the age of 38, I witnessed a truckload of chickens that were in such horrific conditions that I was completely shaken to my core. At that moment I knew I would never eat sentient animals again. Networking on Facebook educated me to the violence in the egg and diary industries. Ethically, I knew I had to give up some old favorites like ice cream and milk chocolate. Today I do not miss those foods at all. There are great alternatives and like I like to say, nothing tastes as good as being vegan feels.

Jo-Anne McArthur / The Ghosts In Our Machine: Why I Became Vegan

AT AGE 86 Sherrey Reim Glickman

Losing My Leg To Cancer Inspired Me To Become A Voice For Farm Animals Jenny Brown

A collection of Stories from Vegan Mainstream

Jersey City Vegan - Vegan Like Me Series

Ready for Plan B - Vegan Testamonials

This Dish is Veg:
Shana Kurz
Lisa Dawn
Ashley Kiefer
Lindsay Geller
Joanna Tenderro
Andee Bingham
Neva Davis
Catherine Mullins
Erin Fergus

From The Veg Monologues Vegans Telling Their Stories:
Jennifer’s Story:I cried a lot that night. I knew what I had to do. I had to give up eating animals. It was the only possible choice I could make now that I allowed myself to see the truth of the cruelty. 
Cassie’s Story:We then heard a gun shot. We went back inside and the cow was strung up by the neck and slit from end to end . . . my soul was ripped apart that day.
Veronique’s Story:When I was a kid, my dad kept bunnies in the backyard who I used to feed through their cages. It never occurred to me that they were the ones I ended up eating. 
Kathy Foster’s Story:I went to sleep that night and woke up a vegan. 

Veg Vids Testimonials

The New Vegan Age

Well those are the stories I've accumulated and am now happy to pass on. Certainly there are enough reasons to authenticate the very valid choice ethical people are making.

But wait! There is one more very special story I'm saving for a post all it's own. Please come back... It is my favorite story to tell! ;)


Laloofah April 10, 2013 at 3:18 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laloofah April 10, 2013 at 3:19 PM  

Wow, what a treasure trove of vegan testimonials you've gathered here! I love to read about people's various vegan awakenings and what inspired them to make the connection and then the lifestyle changes. I'll be returning to this post often to read these. And I'm looking forward to the very special story you'll be posting later! (Is it your own?) :-)

I was immediately struck by - and am smitten and in complete agreement with - this line from "A day in the slaughterhouse"...

Nothing tastes as good as being vegan feels.

So true!

veganelder April 11, 2013 at 4:32 AM  

Holy smoke Bea! What an accomplishment. Wow! Thank you.

I'm in the middle of watching Ari Evergreen...good stuff!

You've outdone yourself. :-)

Bea Elliott April 12, 2013 at 3:39 PM  

Hi Laloofa! Glad you like these "coming out" stories. I do too. Sometimes it's just great to know that others made the proper conclusions. There's hope in everyone's awakening.

The story I'm going to tell is a good one - Although not my own - But certainly dear to my heart!

Thanks always for your support. ;)

Bea Elliott April 12, 2013 at 3:48 PM  

Hi veganelder - You are most certainly welcome! Even if only just a few stories provide a hopeful ray that folks can/do change... I'll always take it as reason to be positive.

Yes, Ari is sure articulate for someone so young isn't she? Her other video is absolutely heartbreaking though. Poor girl. What a shock to admit all one's guilt and sorrow at once. She was brave to do so.

I imagine in her group she might be the voice of reason and compassion... We all need one of those figures that can make sense of the world - Thanks for being that someone for me. <3

Karen C. April 16, 2013 at 1:13 PM  

Hi Bea---First time on your blog and I am searching.

Thank you,


Bea Elliott April 16, 2013 at 3:02 PM  

Hi Karen C. and welcome! Hope you find something meaningful here! ;)

Anonymous April 18, 2013 at 8:27 AM  

Hey Bea, thanks for posting these. Will take a while, but I'll work my way through them! :)

Bea Elliott April 25, 2013 at 4:26 PM  

Hi HGV - I never intended for anyone to view these all... Let alone all at once! We'd have to call that a vegan-story marathon! Ha-Ha!

Glad you can pick and choose at your leisure what stories might inspire or enlighten you. Good news is always welcome - Right? ;)

Karen C. April 25, 2013 at 4:40 PM  

Bea—do you have any thoughts that would give me guidance with a personal delimma? I have been a vegan for 2 years. I am pregnant and want an abotiton. Am I a hypocrite?

Karen C.

Bea Elliott April 25, 2013 at 6:01 PM  

Hi Karen C - Let's see... Your blogger link says you've been active since April 2013. You have 3 views on your profile and you can't spell "abortion".

Now... Let me ask you a question - Why on earth would you think you'd be a hypocrite for extending kindness to living beings? I'm assuming if you want an abortion it must mean you can't offer a child (once born) a suitable, loving environment. I don't think you're a hypocrite at all! A troll maybe - But that's another story. Good day.

Anonymous April 26, 2013 at 5:46 AM  

Bea-Name calling will not change the fact that you are a fraud. Beating your chest about the killing of animals and approving of sucking the life from an expectant human mother.

Anonymous April 28, 2013 at 5:44 AM  

Bea- How do you justify your animal rights position when you are tolerant of abortion?

Anonymous April 28, 2013 at 11:35 AM  

Bea- Are you not confident enough to have a person with a different opinion than yours remarking on your blog?

Anonymous April 30, 2013 at 8:49 AM  

Bea- Your blog activity is very slow. You need someone like me to stir things up. Or are you afraid I may stir up something in you that points out how duplicitous and condescending you are?

Bea Elliott May 2, 2013 at 11:15 AM  

Hi Karen - Please don't think that my delay in a reply is because I fear engaging you... I just don't live on the web let alone my blog... Let alone live on it to respond to irrelevant, confrontational comments on my blog.

That said, it's true I am more concerned with living, conscious beings being needlessly killed than I am with the decision a woman has to do with her own body what she feels she must do.

I justify this because nonhuman animals that are murdered do possess a life. They do have awareness. They are sentient. They do have interests. An "unborn" fetus is exactly that - "Unborn". No one can "suck the life" from the unborn. Birth and/or the ability to sustain itself outside a womb = Life.

I am also in favor of stem cell research as a means to medical knowledge and cures for disease. On a purely practical matter of focusing on suffering a 3 day old human embryo contains 150 cells a fly's brain has 100,000 cells. Certainly there is more cognitive awareness (and ability to suffer) in a fly than a fetus.

Furthermore I would never suppose to dictate to another woman (or girl) that the remainder of her life should be made to endure self-less, joyless servitude of parenting unless that was her option to do so. It is her body and her right to do with it as she chooses. Certainly in cases of rape and incest it is by all means a duty to herself to make decisions that won't victimize her any further.

Kids are great when they are planned, loved and wanted. They are a horrible burden to the mother/father/family and society when they are not.

Lastly, since you asked... I am so against "unwanted" children that I'm in favor of contractual agreements between the woman AND man to obligate them to be responsible and willing to bring a child into the world. I've heard of far too many men/boys who have been entrapped into "fatherhood" and who've had their lives sacrificed for adolescent mistakes, or worse, through trickery and deceit.

Unwanted pregnancy ruins lives. So does animal slaughter. That's why I take the position that I do. My question to you though is - How can you have such concern over an unborn collection of cells and seemingly so little regard to those innocent creatures who are actually born, alive and aware? And what gives you the authority to demand that a woman live by your ethical code?

Good day.

Karen Cardozo May 4, 2013 at 7:32 AM  

Your 3 day old human embryo is not a relevant example. Over 70% of abortions are performed by curettage at about 13 weeks. How many cells are we talking about at this stage of LIFE? An embryo is a developing human individual from the time of implantation to the end of the eighth week after conception. A fetus usually has fully formed arms, external ears, feet, fingers, hands and toes. At 7 weeks brain neurons start firing starting cognitive function. So your outside the womb argument is flawed.
I never said that I was against abortion. There are times when an abortion may be appropriate. It is you that is not morally consistent. I’m merely pointing out that you are the hypocrite. I’m not the one that is demanding compliance to an ethical code. You are!

Bea Elliott May 4, 2013 at 2:14 PM  

Karen I will not pretend to know all the answers either... I only know that I will not tell another woman what is or isn't right regarding her body or her life. Especially when her interests outweigh any (possible) interests of a "yet to be born" fetus.

You are using a grey-shaded area to try to defend killing nonhumans. And there are exceptions to that "rule" too: when doing so is necessary as a matter of survival or self protection. But these are not the instances in which 99.9% of the animals are killed. 99.9% of the animals that are killed are killed with calculated forethought. They are bred just for the knife. No compassionate or ethical person could ever see this as inconsequential. Not to the persons/industries that fix themselves to the deal. Not to the individuals who are charged to do the gruesome slaughters, all day long. And certainly not to the beings being snuffed from life!

Abortions aren't like that. Indeed hardly a planned, desired pregnancy is ever terminated unless there's risk to the woman. The fetus has no interests and money is not generated by perpetual breeding or more "unwanted" fetuses. Sorry Karen but you really are mixing apples and rocks here.

You may call me a hypocrite, label me as such all you want... But unless I buy your argument (which I don't) you're just spitting in the wind.

Lastly... I'm not "demanding compliance" to *my* ethical code... I'm asking people live up to their own. An overwhelming majority of folks think that kindness is due to our fellow creatures. Simply leaving them off your plates is an enormous step in the direction they say they want to go. I commend everyone who has enough moral fortitude to follow the dictates of their own conscience.