View Full Version : Hi, I'm Melissa and I'm Vegan

07-09-2003, 04:38 AM
I've always loved animals.
As a kid growing up in Alaska, I would try to feed the bears I saw on camping trips crackers with peanut butter but they'd always run away. And I would also hide and cry whenever my stepdad gutted the fish he caught. I even tried to attract dragonflies by pretending I was a tree just because I think they are the most beautiful insect.
I never really ate much meat. I hated chewing on it. I was (and still am) the type that won't eat anything with a funny texture (ie jello, tapioca, beef jerky, okra). Funny thing was, I liked fish. Fish was my meat.
Anyway, when I was 13 my cousins and I rented Phases of Death. We were dorks and we always tried to scare eachother. My mom suggested it so we watched it. I was in complete shock. I never knew that animals were USED like that. I was disgusted. I felt the blood rush through me and that was it. I announced my vegetarianism. I was not going to succumb to animal brutality any more (well, I tried at least). I even stopped buying P&G products and boycotted McD's because they are poison (I once did an animal rights protest at one).
It took me about a year to fully commit to vegetarianism. See, I'm Filipina (I know, unusual to be a Filipino vegetarian, vegan at that!) and my mom is very traditional in her ways of cooking. She wouldn't cook for me because she thought me being vegetarian was just a fancy label for my teenaged angst. So I have to admit, I did start off by picking meat out of my food. But I felt stupid. It wasn't vegetarian at all.
So, as months passed and I became more serious about my vegetarianism, my mom still didn't cook for me. It wasn't that she did it out of malice, she just didn't get it. So I was forced to fend for myself. For a long time I ate nothing but wheat bread with yellow mustard and romaine lettuce sandwiches. Everyday...GAG!

It's been 8 years. WOW!! I am so stokt for myself. I have even learned how to cook friendly.
Now I am pushing myself just a wee bit more. I have decided to go Vegan. I never thought to do so before because I just couldn't imagine life without cheese pizzas and mint chip ice cream (Geez, the things I base my decisions on!).
I volunteer for an animal shelter that is near a farm. One day a few weeks ago, I decided to take a dog for a walk on the farm. That is when I saw a cow up close for the first time in my life. All that I saw was the cows sorrow. All I saw was dirtiness. Then I realized that being vegetarian is one thing but depriving a calf of THEIR milk is just as cruel as consuming meat. And if you think about it, eggs are just freaking nasty! So I stopped eating them.
I have made that small but enormous step into veganism. I'm feeling good. I'm learning new and interesting things about animal rights and animal derived products. I feel stronger in my heart. I am a bit lazier than usual but I was told that that is normal.
I have adapted a whole new way of life and perspective on food. I have lost my desire for chocolate and ice cream which is really cool. Oh, and I read ingrediant labels obsessively. Before something goes in the cart, I read the label. Ah, the joy of shopping now.
So, that's it. Three & a half weeks and counting...

07-09-2003, 07:45 AM
Yay, welcome!! You get used to the obsessive label reading, honest!

07-09-2003, 09:45 AM
Welcome, Leogirl! Thanks for sharing your vegan story. I'm glad you've joined our little compassionate community. When I first went vegan, I realized that I had a lot to learn (even in addition to what to look for on those pesky labels). If you haven't already, I highly recommend that you check out www.veganoutreach.org (http://www.veganoutreach.org) for more info on being a happy, healthy, positive vegan.

07-09-2003, 11:26 AM
Way to go leogirl. :)
Thanks for sharing your inspiring story. I have several Filipino friends and they are about the least veg*n people I know, so I appreciate what a leap it was for you with so little understanding coming from your mom.
I am sure that you will injoy the support here on VRF and as VeganUU suggested there are some excellent resources out there to find out more about creating a happy vegan lifestyle.

May peace and joy be with you.

07-09-2003, 03:43 PM
Thanks for the warm welcoming everyone! I just went to the Vegan Outreach site and requested a Vegan Starter Kit. I'm excited! Thanks again...

07-09-2003, 07:46 PM
What an inspiring story! Welcome to the board. And by the way, there is lots of vegan chocolate (http://www.nspiredfoods.com/tropicalsrc.html) out there so no need to deprive yourself. :D

07-09-2003, 09:07 PM
Welcome, and thanks for sharing your awesome story! :D I live in a community with a large Filipino population, and as I result I was once addicted to lumpia and pancit. :p It must have been quite the struggle for you turning veg, since practically every Filipino dish I know of is full of meat, eggs, or both. Kudos to you for being so determined! :D

07-10-2003, 11:44 AM
Welcome, Leogirl - to VRF and to veganism!! I'm still a rookie myself, so I can relate quite strongly to your current adjustment period. :)

If you have any questions about anything, ask away! There are plenty of people here that are more than willing to offer their help.


07-10-2003, 12:37 PM
Hey, you guys are great. I feel so welcomed, thanks!!
Jenzie, I lived in SD. Yeah, I went to Monte Vista HS then lived on a sailboat in Coronado. There are a lot of Filipinos there in SD but not nearly as much in SF, I'll admit. That's really cool that you know about some Filipino food (you even spelled them right! My hat tips to you). It's so easy to enjoy! Some are also easy to alter to make vegan. :D

07-10-2003, 12:50 PM
Hi leogirl!

If you ever have some extra time, please post some veganized Filipino recipes on the board! I'd love to try some! :)

07-15-2003, 02:34 PM
Hi leogirl.

It's good you feel stronger in your heart. In the same way I get a great feeling of individuality from being vegan, because I'm doing something I believe in despite what everyone else thinks. I also find that I've gone off chocolate, although there is vegan chocolate if you fancy a sugar rush now and again. I also love Dr. Seuss but I don't recognise that quote. Where's it from?

07-16-2003, 04:37 AM
Hey Stoffer...I'm not quite sure where that Dr. Seuss quote is from. I love it. I've been reciting it for years. It's pretty powerful, yeah?
I should research where that quote is from exactly. It would be good to know.