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From: Danielle (
Subject: How I Accidentally Became a Vegan
Date: May 23, 2005 at 8:09 pm PST

It started innocently. I made a pledge during Lent-even though I am not anywhere near Catholic-to give up something that mattered to me more than anything-sugar. What could it hurt? At the end of six weeks, fitting into my jeans and feeling good about my pledge to God (insert your definition here), I noticed I just felt better. I thought to myself, 'I cleansed my body by giving up sugar. I will finish by excluding meat and milk for the week. I will eat veges, fruits and nuts and drink lots of water.' And that's all I intended to do. One week turned into two weeks. I felt more awake. More aware. I still did not have any intention of becoming a vegan. After almost 2 months (give or take)I ate my first hamburger with a milk shake. I thought, 'I can handle a hamburger.' I ended up only eating half. And what the heck, it was my mom's birthday so I had a teeny tiny piece of cake. The next day, I was so sick I couldn't get out of bed. I got up long enough to do a couple dishes and that was all I could stand. At first, I thought I had the flu but I hadn't been around anybody that was sick. Everyone in my family was fine. And I never developed a fever. It dawned on me about what I had eaten the night before and I gave it all up that instant. I felt like I had been poisoned. In a sense, I had. I used to walk around in a cloud of confusion. I had periods of clarity that would last a few days. I would have weeks where I couldn't get off the couch. It was attributed to a 'chemical imbalance'. I had horrible menstrual cramps and I gave up going to doctors because they never found anything wrong-even after a miilion tests and surgery. No matter what I went in for, doctors would shrug. I got tired of hearing, 'Well, you're a little anemic.' I about went crazy. I thought I was crazy. Maybe all the ailments were in my head. My sneaking suspicion now is that my 'chemical imbalances' were the chemicals in the meats and dairy I was ingesting. Somehow, since I have decided against meat, dairy and egg in my diet(plus no processed sugars and little wheat)- I'm jogging 2 and a half miles and biking like a mad woman. Most importantly, every day I am active and NOT laying on that freaking couch AND I think clearly now. My outlook and attitude is way more positive. I feel like I want to live. I smile more. I feel great about the choice I made. Maybe it was me keeping my promise to God and in return God showing me the way to real freedom. All I know is, it's all too much to be a coincidence and I can't be thankful enough.

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