I don’t want this blog to be about me, but I’ll tell you a bit about myself here because the evolution of my thinking will provide context when you read my entries. The account below is accurate to the best of my recollection, but the time frames and event sequences may be inexact.
Back in the mid-seventies, without any external influence that I’m aware of, I began to feel that I would prefer to live without killing animals. At the time, I did no further research and didn’t discuss the idea with anybody in order to get feedback. It was just a vague notion, but it was enough. I gradually transitioned to a vegetarian diet over a period of two and a half years. I had, prior to the decision, eaten a diet heavy in animal products, and light in whole plant foods. I didn’t like vegetables. In those days, we didn’t have the vegan analogs for animal foods one finds today. I didn’t know any vegetarians, and it didn’t occur to me to try to seek any out. After I completed my transition to lacto-ovo vegetarianism, it took me another two and a half years to go vegan—which brings us to 1980. (I believe I would have made my transitions a lot faster if I had had some information and social support. The socio-cultural influences that shape our food choices are of great interest to me, and will be topics for my blog posts.) Cheese was the last thing to go, as it seems to be for almost all who make the transition to a vegan diet. (I was about to say that cheese is addictive, so just now I went looking for a web page explaining this, but to my surprise, I found instead compelling evidence to the contrary. Nonetheless, there is something about cheese that makes it very hard to give up.) During my transition from vegetarian to vegan, I was influenced by the American Vegan Society, particularly the writings of Jay Dinshah. After going vegan, I subscribed to the health philosophy of the American Natural Hygiene Society, now the National Health Association. I went vegan because all of the arguments in favor of vegetarianism (ethical, animal welfare, environmental impact, health) seemed to find their fruition in veganism.