Are You an Over-50 Vegan? Tell Me Your Story

For a project I’m working on for next year, I’m hoping to chat with people who are vegan (or transitioning to veganism) and are over the age of 50. I’d especially like to hear from you if you started your transition to veganism after the age of 50.

Please tell me why you went vegan, whether or not it had any effect on your health, how you see the challenges and joys of being vegan at this stage of your life, how it has affected your relationships–and anything else you’d like to share.

You can share your story in the comments below or send it to me via the contact page on this site, (or shoot me an email if you’re an email subscriber.)

90 Responses to Are You an Over-50 Vegan? Tell Me Your Story

  1. Jan Steven June 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    Greetings! I am so excited for this. I am 56 am have been vegetarian, with some “off” years, since I was 17.

    I started being vegan at around age 50. I’ve just had some blood work and bone-density scanning done.

    I am going away for a few weeks (to son’s wedding in S. Korea) and when I get back I’ll scan and email you the info.

    Suffice it to say, for now, it’s so easy and so fun and I feel great. I have not lost weight, but didn’t want to. HUGS! / jan

  2. Stacy June 8, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    I’m 54, and I became vegan a little over two years ago. I had been vegetarian for about a year, and I really wanted to make the transition to being vegan because I thought it would be healthier. (I’ve read T. Colin Campbell, Dr. McDougall, Dr. Fuhrman, etc.) I was having trouble making myself do it, so I got a copy of ‘Eating Animals’ by Jonathan Safran Foer. I knew from the description that once I read the book, I wouldn’t be able to eat animals again, so I waited until I was ready. I was right: after reading about what happens to animals in factory farms (from that book and others I’ve read since), I couldn’t in good conscience eat them anymore. I’ve found that having that ethical basis for it has really helped me stick with it.

    For some reason, I can’t do it just for my own health. Probably because of that, I’ve dipped in and out of eating healthy as a vegan (because, of course, it’s possible to eat almost as badly as a vegan as I did when I ate everything. Darn those vegan oreos :->.) I’m working on it, though.

    My husband is willing to eat vegan at home, which has been a huge help, and I can take my lunch to work or get a salad there. I’m slowing learning how to cook vegan; blogs have been great for that. Eating out has been a bit of a challenge, but even over this short time, I’ve seen a huge difference in how many restaurants have vegan options. People are also much more accepting of it, and curious about it. I live in a 55+ community, and they even have a vegetarian ‘lunch bunch,’ which surprised me. I think one thing about being this age is that many people do have health problems, so are used to the idea of special diets for health (even if the idea of doing it themselves appalls them).

    Since I’ve been vegan, and my husband has been semi-vegan, I’ve also really noticed how much our culture puts down men who don’t eat meat. Advertising, movies, TV series, romance and other books — they all sell the idea that ‘real men’ eat meat. It’s really startled me to realize how much pressure men are under to conform.

    I feel so much better about myself for doing this, knowing that I’m not contributing to the horrible things that are happening to the animals. I hope to get to the point where I’ll feel good about myself for eating healthy too! Sweets and bread are my downfall (like everyone). Probably because of that, I haven’t really seen the health benefits everyone talks about. I still have insomnia and rosacea…but I haven’t had a cold or flu in the two years, even when both have been running through my office (and I used to get a cold every year).

    Sorry for the length — I hope this was what you’re looking for. I love your blog. You and Jack Norris are so inspirational. I have ‘Vegan For Life,’ and lent it to a vegan woman in my office who had just had a baby. She went out and bought a copy.

    • Betty Stewart June 9, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

      My experience has been kind of like yours. I’m 71, soon to be 72. My sister was a vegetarian for years and I thought about being one once in a while, but never did it. Two years ago I read a column by Donald Kaul in the Des Moines Register that recommended reading The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and his son Thomas M. Campbell. I did read it and it convinced me to try to eliminate animal products from my diet. Easier said than done. You never know what you’re addicted to until you try to give it up. It took quite a while to lose my addiction to milk in iced capuccinos and I still struggle with craving ice cream. I try to avoid cheese, but its pretty ubiquitous in frozen dinners, which I eat a lot of. I wish there were more vegan frozen dinners available. Kashi has two and I eat them frequently. I wish I had the time and energy to cook from scratch, but am still working 32 hours /week. Reading “Diet for a new Ameria” by John Robbins, which tells about how badly factory farm animals are treated, has helped keep me from eating any meat or poultry and cut way down on eggs and pretty much eliminated fish too. I highly reccommend that book to everyone. It tells about many other reasons why eating animals is not going to be sustainable for our planet. I saw on the internet recently that the U.N. has come out recommending that the world go on a plant-based diet in order to be sutainable.

    • Tammy Bridenbeck July 29, 2013 at 5:43 am #

      @Stacy, my story is very similar to yours! I have been a RAW vegan since 2006. My husband supportively (and happily) eats vegan during the week and RAW vegan on the weekends. I make his lunch during the week, which consists of a cheating peanutbutter and jelly sandwich and everything else raw! haha He loves it. He works in the construction industry and you are so right about society looking down on men who eat that way. He is ALL dude, but the other dudes around there think he’s a sissy for eating that way! Nevermind that he is 53, runs 2 miles 4 times a week, and is in OUTSTANDING physical condition…he looks like he’s 40! Plus, he has massive amounts of energy and is way more productive than even the lil 25 year olds. He’s pretty much amazing. They notice it, they’re curious about it, but then they all run out and eat steaks and ribs! He’s one of the only ones out there that is not grossly overweight. On Fridays, he LOVES to get “junk” food: either a fish burger or a chicken sandwich and fries. And that is his cheat. He celebrates Fridays, but he LOVESSSSS his awesome foods the rest of the time. I am extremely happy with our compromise. I don’t cheat, but then I know I can’t eat regular food EVER because I OVER eat. With raw, I never over eat.

      I was a vegetarian since approximately 1990, but still consumed cheese, etc. (not very faithful) and I was HUGE!!! Then after Hurricane Katrina (yes, we were right in the middle of it) when we had no electricity for a month. I decided to just go totally vegan. I did that for about a year (altho I almost had to go to cheese rehab), then went totally raw and that revolutionized my life!!!! No bite of food is worth me “cheating”. None. I have zero cravings. I am not consumed with thoughts of food or what we are going to have for supper. I have perfected the art of making delicious and fabulous meals and salads that you could never imagine. In fact, I have REINVENTED salads!

    • Mike October 6, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

      Hi Stacy,

      I enjoyed reading your post. I too am very new to being a vegan and making the transition.

      I have to learn how to prepare food now Vegan. It is not impossible, but you do have to re think the old ways. LOL.

      I have found a great ‘RAW” cook book written by a wonderful vegan. I do not know if I can share the information here as advertising is not permitted. But you you could contact my email I would love to share the information with you. It may help in some great idea’s for recipes. It has helped me and it may help you. :O)

      • Betty West January 2, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

        could you email the name of the raw vegan cookbook. i’m new to all of this and i’m struggling with recipes. thanks so much

  3. Phyllis Becker June 8, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    I started transitioning into vegetarianism, later veganism in my early 50s, in 2001, after an acquaintance urged me to read “Diet for a New America”, when I asked her a few questions about her not eating meat. My mind was changed completely after reading that book, and knew I couldn’t continue with my Standard American Diet. I announced to my husband that I wasn’t going to eat or cook meat anymore because of what I’d read. He was furious– possibly because I made a radical decision on my own that would affect him. He eventually went along with the new eating regimen, but for years drank dairy milk, ate butter, and eggs, while I switched over to non-dairy equivalents. He still puts a little butter on corn-on-the-cob, and buys his own cheese now and then, but has made great strides, I think. We both eat fish a few times a year, I confess. As for health, I have always been healthy, and don’t notice any changes. I am careful to take B12, Omega 3 + EPA, D3, and iron tablets now and then. As for joys, I know I’m not contributing to the suffering of farmed animals. As for challenges, our social lives have been cut back because most of our friends are omnivores, eat the “traditional” foods on holidays, and therefore we aren’t invited to their traditional gatherings. Maybe we’re perceived as weird, or just having cumbersome dietary restrictions, so best to just leave us off the guest list. However, when we invite our omnivore friends over, we make vegan food, and they seem to enjoy it! I think that at this age, people are reluctant to change their minds on belief systems, and especially diets. (“I won’t give up my BACON!!” or “How can it be Thanksgiving without a turkey?”) As much as I would like to have the same relationship with old friends as in the past, I am not willing to change my beliefs on animal suffering, so on it goes. Another challenge is traveling. You would think that major U.S. cities would have restaurants (besides the usual Thai/Indian) with at least ONE vegetarian/vegan entree, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. Our vacation this year was to India, because we knew we could eat well there! I hope this situation changes in the U.S. before we get too old to travel.

  4. Karen Watkins June 8, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    I am 54 years old and went vegan about 11 years ago. I was a vegetarian since the age of 19. I changed to a vegan diet when my blood sugar started rising. After reading information from the Physicians for Social Responsibility, I decided to try a vegan diet to avoid medication. It worked. My blood sugar dropped and it has not been a problem since. Later, my brother was diagnosed as a diabetic so diabetes probably runs in my family.

    My husband is the complete opposite: an overweight, meat-eating diabetic. I don’t force my diet on him or anyone else. Often we cook our meals separately. I do share my food with him if he is interested. He is open to trying vegan foods. The latest vegan product he likes is vegan ice cream. On the other hand, I don’t like his diet. Our latest banter ended with me calling his fast food burger the “deathburger”. He can’t wait until Monday when he can share that story with his coworkers.

  5. diana bennett June 8, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    I AM DELIGHTED TO RESPOND TO YOUR WEBSITE AT LAST. IT HAS BEEN A LONG JOURNEY HOME AND I AM HOPING that the journey of so many of us returning will be a joyous one and that the message of the vegan diet will interest enough people to instill in everyone the interests of humanitarianism regarding the farming of animals …for the consumption of so called “humans”…would a truly human person raise and butcher a “dumb” animal for food intentionally? I do believe the battle goes on daily to discredit as many as possible to the wolfish way of thought, i.e. that “GOD” gave the human dominion over all the earth…or some believe that must mean for our use as we wish…in whatever capacity that we define it. i personally do not believe this and think that the battle is within us all all the time, although I find that all temptation to eat flesh is now gone from my memory. the hangers on of flesh eating is by now clearly not a total human or is being victimized by blood
    takers who insist they are “doctors” who are treating people with heart disease…yeah. They are creating heart diseases and it’s my belief that they are feeding either blood or flesh eaters (same thing) behind closed doors out of sight of the general public. the general public being mostly humanoids in nature and /or trying to be. It has been my experience that if bloood is removed from your system, and if you’ve ever been to a “Doctor” the first thing they do is draw blood for tests? Right? Yeah. It’s time we put our foot down and truly fight back. I would welcome the opportunity to participate in discussions about how to enlighten our wolfish blood-thirsty varmints into being human once again…if that be possible…
    Any Replies?

  6. rjs June 9, 2013 at 1:06 am #

    I’m 64 and eat a primarily vegan diet. I say “primarily” because I continue to eat fish approximately 1-3 times per month.

    * I gave up other forms of meat, along with cigarettes, at the age of 23.
    * I stopped consuming full-fat dairy products and began a life-long exercise regimen in my mid 30s.
    * I stopped consuming nonfat dairy products, sugar, juices, most salt, and refined grains in my early 50s.
    * And I gave up infrequent social drinking and the practice of eating an occasional vegetable omelet a couple of years ago.

    All these changes have been primarily driven by a desire for optimal health, but as I’ve read some of the books of John Robbins and others I’ve been moved by the other excellent reasons for choosing a plant-based diet. Thankfully, I’ve enjoyed very good health all of my life. I’ve never been overweight and I don’t need or take any medications. Cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. are all excellent.

    My wife eats a fairly standard diet, although she gave up red meat a decade or so ago. We’re still able to enjoy restaurants and have found a small set that’s mutually agreeable. At home, we typically shop and prepare meals separately. The rest of my relatives and friends have accepted me as being a little bit eccentric for many years. All of this seems to work fine, but I have to be careful not to proselytize too much.

  7. ed coburn June 9, 2013 at 3:08 am #

    I am 64.
    been vegan since the early 80′s.
    vegetarian since i got out of Vietnam, didn’t want to participate in the who death thing any longer.

    peace and do no harm
    ed

  8. Connie Fletcher June 9, 2013 at 4:06 am #

    I became vegan at the ripe old age of 55. I had been a smoker for 44 years….yup…44 years, and finally was able to quit smoking with the help of Chantix. I was so very grateful (still am) that I was able to quit! I started learning about how to get healthy, and decided to do a 100% raw diet as a way of de-toxing. I believe it truly helped.

    When I started this journey, I was a “hot mess”…arthritis in both knees so badly that the Orthopedic surgeon bet me $100 that I would be calling him and begging him within 6 months to replace both of my knees. My back was trashed from 34 years of being a nurse..the last straw had been I caught a 600 lb man falling out of bed. I have rods in my back, but was still in tons of pain. Everyday.

    I did the raw diet for almost 9 months, got a significant decrease in pain throughout my whole body!!! But, in Vermont it gets awfully cold, and I wanted HOT FOOD!!!! So, I transitioned to a vegan diet.

    Fast forward to last summer. I broke my foot (left) and at the same time did a partial tear of the right patellar tendon…the end result, my same ortho surgeon did an x-ray of the right knee, and to my complete surprise, I am arthritis free in the right knee!! I was so shocked. I couldn’t say anything….and I know that he sees so many folks, he didn’t remember the condition of my knee before.

    Today, I am 99% pain free, weigh 45 lbs less….I can do Jillian Michaels Body Revolution…and I’m 64 years old…..

    Things that make you go Hmmmmmm!!!!

  9. Debbie Simon June 9, 2013 at 7:36 am #

    My husband became a vegan at 49. He is an airline pilot. As a result of his diet he lost some weight but the biggest thing was his cholesterol went from 276 to 188 in two months. Hi biggest challenge is finding food on the road. But he says he would not turn back because he wants to live a healthy life and enjoy his eventual retirement!

  10. Jeanie Kaeding June 9, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    Hi, I’m soon to be 59 yrs old. I’ve lived a PLANT BASED diet for 5 yrs now.
    We have always had vegetarian food for most of our meals except three days a week, until I decided to eat only vegetarian 6 yrs ago. Then, I read The Engine 2 diet book and decided to try plant based to see if I could do it. It was easier than I thought to eat that way, and so I still eat that way now.
    It was a struggle dealing with friends who eat the standard American diet. People react strangely to MY choosing to NOT eat meat, fish and dairy. I felt that they were accusing me of doing something wrong. Finally, after many get togethers, I told them that I didn’t enjoy being put on the spot. After all, I didn’t tell them how to eat, so why should they be so offended that I don’t choose to eat in the same fashion that they did. After that, everyone seemed to be nicer about it.
    I feel that more people could live healthier, and more people would have food on their plates if we all quit eating animal products.
    I lost 60 lbs within 4 months eating like this, my cholesterol is lower, my sugar stays at 82 annually when it’s checked.
    My husband eats what I fix, but he can’t give up his milk and when we go out to eat he eats whatever he wants.
    My biggest problems are that we live up in northern MI and there isn’t the availability of different foods up here. Heck! We’re lucky to have a grocery store within 50 miles, let alone a health food store. So, forget about dining out.
    I have, just recently, developed asthma, but other than that I feel amazing.

    • Tammy Bridenbeck July 29, 2013 at 5:50 am #

      (*gasp*), OMG, where do you get your protein???

      Just kidding! That seems to be the huge question. They’ve never asked that before then all of a sudden they wonder!

  11. evelyn June 9, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    I am 62 and became vegan a little over a year ago after a friend on Facebook posted a link to the movie, “Earthlings.” Investigating further, I discovered Mimi Kirk, who won PETA’s sexiest vegetarian over 50 award at age 71! (Youngonrawfood.com) I bought her “Live Raw” book and started following and reading her website, as well as Tonya Zavasta, RawFamily and Green Smoothie Girl. I begin my day by making a large, raw green smoothie every morning and discovered I was not hungry until about 2:00 because my body was nourished by eating the raw foods. I find that, for me, the more raw foods I eat, the better I do. I am a teacher and passionate and energetic about what I do. I gather some good information daily from visiting the websites and I have TONS of energy. I do fall off the wagon occasionally and eat something cooked (ie, stir-fried vegetables), but never eat meat. I have to tell myself that any cooked foods are void of enzymes and nutrients, and that helps. I sleep well and easily pass up teacher-room “treats.” My skins look youthful and I take no medications AT ALL.

  12. Lennie Vilches June 9, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    I am 52 and had been a vegetarian on and off for 30 years. My son became a vegan and in my quest to cook family meals that were fun and healthy I started reading more about veganism.
    So at the time I was looking at the horizon of 50 and needed to make a change for health.
    In 2009 my husband and I became Vegan for good. It is the best decision we ever made for our health.
    I just got blood work done and my doctor was amazed at how great all my numbers are.
    It is my belief that veganism is the way of the future. Our world can not continue with “farming” animals and slaughter of innocent creatures just so we can clog our arteries and shorten our lives.

  13. Suzy Gardner June 9, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    I became an ovo-lacto vegetarian at age 18. I have a degree in Animal Science, and I saw for myself how farm animals are treated, so giving up meat was easy after the abuses I witnessed. There were periods when I was vegan or raw vegan, but I had a lot of trouble giving up cheese.

    I would go vegan for a few months here and there, and even was a raw vegan for about 6 months. I loved how I felt as a raw vegan, and as my arthritis progressed in my post-raw vegan years, I realized that a bite of cheese wasn’t worth my health–or the suffering of animals. I made the permanent switch to veganism about a year and a half ago and it has been fantastic for me in so many ways!

    As a Reiki master, I very much believe that the energy of what we eat or otherwise put into/onto our bodies affects our own energy vibrations. Going vegan (and now I’m mostly raw again) has made me a calmer person, has given me a higher vibration and spiritual peace, and made me much more aware of the toxicity that I’m exposed to on a daily basis, I began making my own toiletries (such as deodorant and toothpaste), household cleaners, and laundry detergent from natural and non-toxic ingredients.

    I still have arthritis in my knees, but I can now make it through an entire cardio exercise class–and just a few years ago, I couldn’t stand for more than 5 minutes, and had to use a walker with a seat. Anything more strenuous than standing from a seated position was out of the question.

    My life is peaceful, happy, and I am very grateful for my family, friends, career, and my health. I have no doubt that I’ll beat arthritis, and I’ll go waltzing into my doc’s office one day–the one that said I’d need both knees replaced and a lifetime of drugs. :-)

  14. Andrew Smith June 9, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    My Over-50 Vegan Story
    By Andrew Smith Twitter@SeattleVeganMan

    I became an ethical vegan in a lighting-bolt type conversion on the day after Thanksgiving, 2005. I watched the video “Meet Your Meat” narrated by Alex Baldwin.

    Five months earlier (well into my second life by 5 years) I fell for a beautiful life-long vegan women, beautiful in both heart and soul. So I was lucky enough to experience all this great cooking and new foods, and to learn about the principles and the lifestyle of being vegan.

    In my first life I raised a large family when I was age 20 to 45 as whole food vegetarians. We ate as many single ingredient foods as possible, consumed no white sugar and very few processed foods. All the kids were born at home and we home schooled them too (which I don’t recommend now). We lived on 13 acres and had 3 registered milk goats and 50 chickens, free range of course. So I had some history many don’t.

    On Thanksgiving day 2005 when I was missing the traditional turkey dinner…again… due to being raised in a large family (6 sisters and 2 brothers where a full Thanksgiving turkey dinner happened 1 time each year), it was suggested I watch this video called “Meet Your Meat”.

    After watching that film I was literally sick. I could not believe I just never thought about what all those poor farm animals had to live through in order that I could have the choice to eat very poor quality animal flesh and animal milk that was actually bad for me, physically, mentally and spiritually. I decided right there I could never again support such abject cruelty by continuing to buy animal products.

    It is estimated that in the normal Americans diet, people consume about 96 whole animals per year. Later along the way, I leaned many more advantages above and beyond reducing cruelty in not consuming animal products. It vastly reduces pollution and helps protect the environment. It helps share the food resources with starving people around the world, and there are so many personal health benefits I could not even list them all.

    Speaking of health, I was a long-terms asthma sufferer for 15 years before going vegan. After 12 months off animal products I began to be asthma free on a daily basis. I held onto my inhalers just because they were such a big part of my life, but after 3 or 4 years of no need or emergencies I just properly threw them away. They had long expired anyway. I had a host of other skin and scalp conditions which all vanished too. Even seasonal allergies which I had to dread like you can not believe unless you get killed by them each year, now are simple matters that I just can handle with taking Claritin for a few weeks a year.

    Since my second life began in 2001, (I was married once for 25 years) I have owned and operated a custom design-build general contracting firm, after sitting indoor behind a desk for 15 or more years as a certified property manager. As a vegan I lost 30-40 pounds, I now I am a long distance cyclist, backpacker and hiker which I could never to with asthma. Eating only vegan foods I both out last and out work men half my age.

    Even if following the vegan lifestyle was bad for me, I would still do it. Those poor helpless and voiceless animals which are forced to live in absolute filth and confinement, beaten and abused, and then hung up by a leg, and cut open sometimes while still alive. All this is done to make a buck, and waste vast amounts of clean water and food. Also to make people unknowingly unhealthy and fat too.

    To get cruelty based low cost meat to your plate for less and less money, these large scale factory farm abusers (formerly small family farmers) now force more and more crowding, and then have to feed these poor creatures a diet consisting of a steady dose of antibiotics. I swear they use the growth hormones too so that these animals grow at an accelerated rate because their death rate would increases the longer that have to endure these “modern conditions”. How long could a human survive standing, sleeping and eating in their own shit from birth stuffed into a confined space with 12 other poor souls? No long I say, even with a diet of steady drugs.

    I am sorry if this is too heavy or not what your research is seeking to study. My personal health as been greatly improved by many ways in going vegan. As far as I am concerned though, that’s a nice side benefit. So is reducing environmental harm and thinking that I have become a more compassionate human being.

    Thanks and if you have any follow up questions, please feel free to reply.

    • Jeanie Kaeding June 22, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

      How did your asthma and allergies go away after going on a vegan diet? I would love to know.
      I’ve been vegan (I will be 59 this August) over 5 yrs. now. I developed asthma two years ago, and it just keeps getting worse every year. And, allergies! Worse every year. Help, if you can, please!

      • Mike October 6, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

        Jeanie,

        I am just curious. You stated our asthma started two years ago? Can you relate it to any environmental changes, a new home, new location? Could their be something in your environment that may be the hidden culprit?

        To have no asthma for so many years, and then develop it truly deserves a strong investigation to what you may be exposed to new..within the last two years. Can you think of anything different that you are doing?

        I am so sorry to hear this has happened to you and that your allergies are worse too. I wish you health and freedom from this. God Speed. I hope someone can recommend a healthy solution to medication to help you with this asthma issue.

  15. Susan June 9, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    I am 58 years old and have been vegetarian since I was a teen. I had periodically eatten fish and meat many, many years ago, but after a bout with cancer at age 35, I have been a conscious vegetarian.
    As time went by, I was prescribed meds for high blood pressure and cholesterol. I was taking the meds for 3-4 years and it bothered me. I wanted to figure out a way to reduce the dose or eliminate it.
    I read Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live and I was inspired by all of the stories of others who were able to get off the same meds as I was on. I began in earnest to eat only a plant based diet. I have lost about 20 lbs and feel great. The doc has reduced my meds and is very encouraged that we may reduce further soon. My goal is elimination!
    Anyway, I now encourage friends, neighbors and colleagues to consider a plant based diet. I regularly make vegan dishes and share. Most people are amazed at how tasty, filling and “pure” the food is. I can not imagine any other food program.

    • Karen June 22, 2013 at 9:28 am #

      Though a few years older (61), rather than comment on my own(SO MANY) I thought I’d just reply to one of the MANY like myself. Long time “Ethical” Veg. having read “Diet for a Small Planet” back when it was “new” (mid ’70s) found myself on SAME drugs those on SAD (Standard Am. Diet) and determined WFPBNO (Whole Foods, Plant Based, No Oil) only way to go! No turning back for me (about a year and a half now) but has been a BIG DEAL for husband (on more and bigger doses same drugs), who was reasonable content as a Ovo-Lacto Veg. at home w’meat when we were “out”. Because of my Environmental concerns and impact on the animals I will not allow eggs and dairy in house so it continues to be a “difficult” situation!

  16. Shawn June 9, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    I am 62. I have a daughter, granddaughter and nephew who are vegan. they have been telling me for decades about the problems with meat. My life partner has been vegan most of our 27 years together. My doctor told me that I am pre diabetic and still I did not change my ways. The vegans in my life told me about how eating meat hurts animals and while I love animals and would never do anything to hurt them myself…i did not have a problem with others hurting them to put meat on my plate.To say that I am stubborn is a mild comment.

    Then my life partner asked me if I wanted to listen the the Food Revolution conference in May 2013, I did not really listen until Rip Esselstyn talked about how cars need gas to run efficiently and that trucks need diesel. He then compared our bodies to a high performing car engine..and stated that no one in their right mind would trash a high performance engine with diesel (meat). Well – that did it. Having worked on cars in my past – it finally made sense. I decided I wasn’t going to gunk up my engine anymore. That was May 9th 2013….and I haven’t gone back and have no plans to. I call already tell the difference in my body as it runs on plant strong fuel. I hope to met Rip and tell him.

  17. Kelsea Thayne June 9, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    I have been vegetarian off and on through my life but when my daughter, who at that time was a nazi vegan, moved in with us I became vegan. That was the year I turned 50. I lost weight and felt great! I stayed vegan for about 11 years. I was diagnosed with major gluten issues and, while before my diagnosis, I loved to cook and bake, after my diagnosis it became extremely difficult. I was the only one in my family that was vegan which was also challenging. My doctor told me I had to start eating meat and I did. I never felt good about it but I was a meat eater for more than a year and a half. My partner and I retired and embarked on a 4 month road trip. About a month into our trip I said to her “you know, if I was diagnosed with a terminal illness I would immediately become vegan again.” Both of us then talked about what was stopping me. I decided to go back to being vegan. A few days after that we started listening to the Food Revolution. My partner, who is pre-diabetic, finally got it and decided to become vegan also. That was about 5 weeks ago and even though we are traveling the United States and Canada by car we continue to seek out vegan,gluten free food. It is so much easier to have a partner in this! I feel so much better and am happy to have returned to the diet I know is right for me.

  18. Mac McCloskey June 9, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    At 60-something, I was an ex-runner (hips had gone south), a life-long meat lover with consistently high cholesterol pushing the 300 level, and a recently remarried widower. My wonderful bride is an open-minded, beautiful lady of the same age and has long been interested in the role of food an her health. I, on the other hand, had been equally interested in hamburgers and doughnuts.

    One day – out of the blue – my sweetheart reported that her nephew and his family had decided to try a 28 day “challenge” of eating no animal products, no sugar and no refined flours.

    “Hmm,” I replied. “He always seemed so level-headed.”

    Well, one thing led to..as they say, and we were off on our own 28 day adventure. I never cheated and was absolutely blown away when, after about 3 weeks, I had my cholesterol retested and it was down 100 points!

    Now, here’s the key to our continued – now 2+ years plant eating adventure – my lover and I do this together. She is a wonderful veggie cook and I do some food creating too. We’ve had no trouble finding amazing recipes – and have become familiar with odd and arcane ingredients like sorghum flour and vegan cheeses.

    So – I’m 20+ pounds lighter than when we started, have an immensely healthier blood profile and now look exactly like Brad Pitt (one of those assertions may or may not be true.)

    Still getting healthier, happier and – my wife may not agree – ever so much smarter.

    Good luck with your project!

  19. Tanya June 9, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    I was diagnosed with cancer at 49 and switched to a vegan 3 months after reading The China Study and Eating Animals. My husband became vegan as well in support. I am now 54 and will never switch from a vegan diet. I believe it played a bit part in saving my life. I used to have joint pain but no longer. My weight dropped 25 lbs, I never have to diet, my cholesterol dropped 50 points and my blood pressure is that of a runner. I am a more compassionate person and so is my husband. We never want to be responsible for animal suffering.

  20. Mark Reed June 9, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Thanks for asking. Interesting stories here. I’m 59, became a vegetarian at age 20 and a vegan at age 42. I’m in it for the non-humans. I don’t like how we treat them. The health benefits are a side-benefit. I’ve been a lazy vegan, though, and while I wouldn’t describe my earlier self as a junk-food vegan, I did eat more than my share of potato chips. I’m gradually eating and otherwise consuming a lot more healthily and ethically. I’m always inspired by others whom I know who are great models for ethical veganism.

    I know that consuming ethically is by degrees. There is no acceptable/unacceptable demarcation to determine whether one is consuming ethically. Also, veganism is not just about food and clothing. Even bicycles are made of materials that have to be mined and processed; habitats are destroyed. More and more, I’m drawn to primitivism, though I know we, as a species, can’t go back, despite that we should. It’s a conundrum. Definitely nix so-called ‘development’ and ‘growth’. So, ethical veganism is political. I’m increasingly activist. I wish I had been of this mind when I was 20.

    Relationships? Tough one. I’m single and can’t imagine hooking up with a carnivore now. That’d be like a pro-lifer with a pro-choicer. With a vegetarian? Not sure. Prefer not. I’m ok with that.

    • Betsy March 18, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

      I agree with you. My story is much the same. I’m in it for the non humans as well.

  21. marisa June 9, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

    Hi,
    I am going to be 55 in September my husband is 57 in August 2011 Bernie came home and said to me he would like to eat more ethically. Unbeknown to him I was doing alot of thinking about going vegtarian we were not huge meat eaters but we did eat meat. So when he suggested that I said lets just go vegetarian he was ok about that so we did. For him it was about the planet for me it was about the animals.
    Over the next five months I did some investigating online and met people online through animal groups who were vegan. I tried to look at Earthlings but last only 5mins. I watched the AA video on bobie calfs and immediatly went to my husband and said you cant drink milk anymore I told him why and he was like sure and went immediatly from long white to long black, oat milk in his porridge and we stopped eating cheese.
    At the begning of 2012 we went and stayed at Bed and Broccoli as a celebration of us going 100% vegan. We have never looked back. Bern does eat eggs sometimes from a friend who has pet chooks who live out their lives naturally. I see that as fine as other than that he is 100% behind being vegan clothing food etc etc.
    I feel great being vegan its amost a spritual journey I am not reglious but it is as close as I will get. I feel that I can step on this earth with a clear consious knowing my living does not harm any animals. I love this. I have always loved animals I am just sad that I didnt try harder earlier but I am doing the right thing now.
    Our health well my first blood tests showed I had low iron and b12 I sorted that out within the year and now they are amazingly good. Bern has been fine. My eyes are so clear many peopel comment on this. I have not lost any weight but that could be to do with sitting most days trying to finish a PhD :-) more than anything. I do love my vegan sweet treats like cake etc. I am sleeping better than ever not going to bed with a stomach full of animal products.
    Our grown up daughters think in their words we are ‘fuckin hippies” but they are always happy to eat vegan food when home and when we go out together.
    My plan is to finsh this PhD and concentrate more on eating raw vegan and juicing. That will be the next step.
    there is no going back for us I look forward to having grand children and teaching them to love animals and for them to ask why we dont eat meat.
    I have also turned our backyard into a rescue paradise for 10 bunnies, a dog and soon to have four ex battery hens. Maybe in time some land and some more animals who knows.
    I have struggled with opening up my eyes to factory farming etc and have work on not letting it get me too down.I struggle when I pass cattle trucks and we live not far from a meat works that is hard.
    Interestingly most people assume I have ‘forced’ Bernie into going vegan make me laugh he made his own mind up. He is not like me he doesnt go out of his way to hear about stories of animal cruelty etc as he cant handle it but is doing more than most people by being vegan. Sorry I have ranted on here. I love being vegan its the biggest most important thing I have ever done for the world and for me. I can now honestly say I love animals and believe it as I am not eating them or abusing them in anyway.
    My life is blessed because of this unexpected journey :-)

  22. Pamela Goff June 9, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    I started the transition to a vegan diet right before I turned 50. We saw Dr. Neal Barnard speak in Septemeber of 2011 and did his 28-Day Challenge, but when it ended my boyfriend wanted to do “vegetarian”. That led to falling off the wagon by the holidays. Then in January 2012 we saw Rip Esselstyn speak and did his 28-Day Engine 2 Challenge. This time it stuck for almost a year. When we moved we were living out of a suitcase and financially strapped for 2 months and resorted to fast-food and our old ways. Not only did we gain all our weight back, but we feel sick, tired and in pain. We’ve been back ON the wagon for a month and feeling better already, but wondering why we feel so tired. We are struggling and my bf is getting frustrated as he feels it is getting “too hard and complicated”. I reasoned with him that we did it for almost a year, we COULD do it again. I think our problem lays more with the fact that I have to commute to and from work and have far less TIME to cook and prepare healthful, tasty vegan meals. I don’t feel like cooking when I get home. I’m tired.We are both terribly obese and want this to be our permanent new lifestyle. I will be 51 in July.

  23. Carol Warnock June 9, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    I live in Northern Michigan and I am currently 55 years old. I started my transition to becoming a vegan shortly after I turned 54 and I am still struggling with the transition (unfortunately)!

    As far back as I can remember I have been interested in nutrition. I don’t remember when – I must have been in my early teens – I read some of the books written by Adele Davis. Even though I never followed her advice it did serve as a start to reading diet books, health publications/magazines, etc. I never really followed any of it but I read it…lol! I believe, can’t really say with certainty, I was looking for an easy cure for my weight issues. I am 5’ 4” and at one point I weighed close to 300 lbs. I have tried thousands of diets – I’m sure they worked if I could have stuck with them for more than a couple of days. Ok – so get this – maybe 15 years ago – one of the early, early ones – I had gastric bypass. I lost about 120 pounds – not all of my weight but enough. But I was also a diet soda freak and I believe because I never gave it up and also pushed the limit of ‘how much I was eating’ – I gained a lot of it back. I think Christmas of 2011 I was back up to 240 ish. Granted not 300 but still bad.

    Now I do/did home health care and I took care of a man who basically couldn’t move or talk – he did have some movement but not much. He was a strict vegan and gluten-free. Through his form of communicating he would direct us on how he wanted us to cook, what he wanted for meals, etc. He was the one that tasted the food while it was cooking and then when it was done he always had us take a bite to see if we liked it. Many of his dishes were out of this world – he could have been a chef!!

    Over the years he had loaned me some of his books on vegan cooking but I never really believed I could follow through – then he showed me “Forks over Knives” and that changed everything for me.

    I still struggle daily – my family thinks I’m in a cult (I kid you not!) and they tolerate ‘my food’ sometimes. I live with my husband of 33 years and my oldest child, a daughter, who is 32. They are both enablers and many days I am not strong enough to resist – it’s a bad habit and a vicious circle.

    I now am staying at about 200 lbs. and would like to lose another 50 to 60 pounds. I do like that I have totally lost that “diet” mentality and I feel much better physically eating a plant-based diet. The only other thing I have found out is that I am lactose intolerate. I use to have a lot of gas (all of the time) that I thought were from the bubbles in the diet coke I drank – that is gone now that I no longer eat dairy products.

    • Jeanie Kaeding June 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

      I’m from northern MI too! We could encourage each other! Where in N. MI do you live?!

  24. SuzieQ June 10, 2013 at 6:10 am #

    I have always been fascinated by vegetarianism and stalked the aisles of local “health food stores” even as a teen in 1969. Yet, I was the only one around who felt it was an appropriate eating plan. I succumbed to the American way of eating (high fat, high sugar, nutrition-starved foods) and ended up with 100+ extra pounds. Had lap band surgery in 2009 and it worked great – lost 70 lbs. but then diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. After chemo, radiation, right mastectomy I lost 30 more pounds but then gained back quickly after appetite returned. I had a clear pet-scan (no cancer) in April of this year – but in May they discovered my breast cancer has spread to the left side. I am about to undergo chemo again (had a lumpectomy/lymph node dissection a few weeks ago) but I believe after doing research that a vegan diet will be instrumental in keeping my cancer from growing further, or returning once my medical treatment is over with. So I am doing this from a purely medical standpoint – to save my life.

  25. Lyn June 10, 2013 at 6:37 am #

    I went GF, “veganish” (as my husband named it) for a two week experiment last July, and felt so good that I’ve stayed with it. I’m 52 now. I’m not a true vegan, I still have cream in my morning coffee, and occasionally seafood when we eat out. I feel like I’m at the beginning of a journey, and it may or may not lead to a full vegan lifestyle.
    I started mainly because of my concerns about the treatment of animals in factory farms. The more educated I become about the positive impact of veganism in terms of animal welfare, health and the environment, the more committed I become.
    My husband and sons gladly eat the vegan dinners I make, and enjoy them. They also feel the health benefits of eating less meat and dairy, but still eat those things at other meals.
    Blogs like yours have been very helpful in this journey, and I’m looking forward to your book that I’ve preordered!

    • Diana June 29, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

      Lyn,
      Try Silk french vanilla Soy Creamer in the morning with your coffee. Yum! You’ll never go back to cream.

      • Mike October 6, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

        Diana, I liked your tip, I like Lyn love half-in-half in my morning coffee. I will try the Silk French Vanilla
        Soy Creamer..it will truly finally put me 100% Vegan if I like the alternative. Thanks for your post. I will try it.

  26. ggratton June 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    HI! I became a vegetarian three years ago at the age of 55, and have gradually “leaned” towards eating vegan. At this point, I eat eggs/dairy about twice a month, and the rest of my meals are vegan. I stopped eating meat because it had become the least interesting thing on my plate. I thought I would be a flexitarian and eat meat occasionally, but I immediately lost any desire to eat meat. Except for being overweight and having a thyroid issue, I have never had any health problems, so I didn’t see a vast improvement healthwise, but I feel great all the time, and have only had one cold in three years. As long as I avoid soy (because of the thyroid problem), I am able to lose weight very slowly, about one pound a month. I cook lots of beans, grains, vegetables and fruits, and my husband eats far less meat than he used to because of my diet. I’m careful to supplement with Vitamin D and B-12. I have no problems eating vegetarian at restaurants, though vegan is more difficult, and my friends know that as long as there is salad and bread at a get-together, I’ll be fine. Usually, I will bring a dish along that everyone can enjoy. Once I became vegetarian, I did a lot of research and learned about the deplorable way animals are treated to provide us with unnecessary animal protein. I sincerely wish I had stopped eating meat years ago.

  27. Karen June 10, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    I’m turning 50 this year…have been a vegetarian since age 12, vegan for the vast majority of that period. Given that I’ve been following this diet for nearly my entire life, it’s impossible to measure the impact on my health. I’m very active and most folks think I look a decade (or two) younger than I am. I inevitably get startled looks when I reveal my age – which these days I do frequently and yes, in a rather boastful way:)

  28. Debbie June 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    Seven years ago, when I was 48, my husband and I both decided that we could no longer call ourselves animal lovers if we continued to eat them. We both became vegetarians, but also cut out most dairy and eggs. Three years ago I made the jump to vegan. My husband is mostly vegan, especially when eating my cooking.

    As an athlete, I was a little concerned at first about the effect of a plant based diet on my performance. I have not seen any bad effects (except those based on getting older!), and my health has never been better. I make sure that I eat a mostly whole food diet, supplement where necessary, and get enough calories to sustain my athletic activities.

    Like many people, when I first started I relied on many of the vegan meat and cheese substitutes. I still think they are an effective way to make it easier to make the switch. Over time, as I became used to eating and preparing more natural foods, I have used the processed foods less and less. I am excited, though, to have picked up some “Beyond Meat” at Whole Foods yesterday for the first time. Can’t wait to try it! While my health is important to me, my main reason for becoming vegan was ethical, so it doesn’t concern me too much if I use the occasional processed food.

  29. susie bondi June 11, 2013 at 3:21 am #

    On March 22 my husband began hormone therapy for prostate cancer. I began researching what I could do to help him in his fight. That is when I discovered (thanks to a friend) the video by Dr. Michael Greger. After watching Uprooting the Causes of Death, and dozens of others videos, by April 10th we were full blown Vegan. But not just vegan, I have been actively incorporating anti inflammatory foods as well as antioxidants, trying to free up his own immune system from battling bacteria and infection other than his prostate cancer.

    This has been a difficult and lonely challenge. It has turned our social life upside down. I studied at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, as well as the Escoffier school. I held office in the Chaine des Rotisseurs in both France as well as Austria (where we currently live). I am a foodie and wine fancier, as are my friends. I am challenged with trying to create sophisticated cuisine that will delight my husband as well as do the best I can to help him heal.

    I believe he has more energy. I believe he is, outside of some wicked hot flashes, feeling better. I have noticed that his natural “smell” has changed – no longer metalic or musty. He smells clean.

    Going organic, etc is expensive. Monitoring that he drinks the iced green tea with clove, lemon and cinnamon in large quantities, etc etc etc is time consuming!

    I am 63 and he just celebrated his 90th birthday. My goal is that we shrink his tumor so he can back off the hormone therapy that he hates, and to maintain the quality of life that he currently enjoys for as many years to come as possible.

    Of course I am happy to save animals, and the planet, but my motivation totally is what I believe to be irrefutable proof that a plant based diet gives you a better chance in the battle agains cancer, stroke and heart disease.

    He goes for a new battery of tests next week.

  30. JD Mumma June 11, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Over 50, Vegan for 20+ years
    Chose a vegan diet for numerous reasons, the animals, environment, food workers (farmers, sellers, transporters…), personal health…

    I manage a large database of Long Term Vegans, started and manage the Long Term Vegans Facebook group and also have a website specifically dedicated to long term vegans.

    “how you see the challenges and joys of being vegan at this stage of your life” Discussing both of these in seminars, articles, conversations and debates almost everyday. These and more topics are Including my other Facebook Group Vegan Influencers & Debaters.

    Lots more “story” to tell, but for now I must run along…

  31. Randy June 11, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    A little over a year ago at age 54 and 410 lbs.I became a vegan. I have had numerous health problems and ended up in the hospital in Feb 2012. High BP, blood sugar was high, and a irregular heart beat. I had blood clots in my right leg and lungs. I knew I had to change my life style.
    I went to eating NO animal proteins, and went plant strong. My last blood test three weeks ago came back and my Doc called me and asked what I have been doing??? I have lost 160 lbs. and the test came back better he said then when I was in my early thirties!
    This has been life changing for me and my family and friends. I have been coaching some family and friends with unbelievable results! I cant remember when I have ever felt this good!
    I have blogged for E2, and Dr Fuhrman, who has also contacted me and is watching my progress. It was his book “Eat To Live” that gave me my life back. I got it for Christmas of 2011from my daughter [never thought I would read it!]
    I have even have been asked to speak at a up coming event about my diet and how it has changed my life.
    It does feel good to have lost all the weight and gain my health back but it feels awesome to be in control of my life again.
    I know that not only will I be able to see my children and grandchildren grow, but I will be able to participate in their life.
    I even did a video on YouTube on a plant base breakfast and have been asked to do more. What a wonderful feeling to think maybe you might have help someone to gain back their active life back they once had.

  32. Bill June 11, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    I went vegan last January at 51 years old. There were a number of reasons why I decided to go vegan. Since shortly before I turned 50, I had begun to try to adopt a more healthy lifestyle including diet and exercise. At the new year in talking about reaolutions, my partner and I were discussing about how boring our diet was so I was looking for a change. Then on January 2nd, I was reviewing my Facebook newsfeed and one of my friends posted a picture of male chicks being killed since they were of no use to the egg industry. It suddenly dawned on me… I NEED TO BE VEGAN! It fit wonderfully with my healthy lifestyle goals, it was the perfect shake up of our boring diet that my partner and I had been talking about for more than a year, and it fit my system of life ethics in reducing suffering in the world. So in the last 5 months I have been on the most wonderful food adventure. I’ve learned so much about food and nutrition that I was unaware of before. Also, I have started cooking! I was never one to enjoy cooking before. Tomorrow I will see my doctor for my yearly physical and I am very curious about what my cholesterol level will be now. When I turned 50 I had an idea of the kind of man I wanted to be in my 50′s and I am well on my way to becoming that man. But the most fulfilling thing of all is the knowledge that I am not contributing to the suffering of non-humans and that I am leaving behind much less an environmental footprint by my actions. I couldn’t be happier.

  33. Bea Elliott June 12, 2013 at 7:37 am #

    I’ll be 59 at the end of the year and vegan for 6 years a month after that. I was an “ethical” vegetarian (due to the lack of awareness of dairy and egg issues) for 4 years before that.

    I think I am in good health. The most noticeable change for me was that my menopausal hot flashes subsided within a month after eliminating dairy… My guess has always been the excess hormones I was consuming. (?)

    I don’t think I’m particularly “health conscious” I still eat occasional treats of sweets and “processed” plant-based burgers. But I also eat a lot more fruits and vegetables throughout the day too, so I guess it balances itself out.

    The most challenging thing is friends and family who might think this is a “phase” or “extreme”. My husband fortunately has learned enough about my reasons to be vegan. He still consumes “wild-caught” fishes though (twice a year when he goes camping)… And dairy has been hard for him to wean from. :/

    The reason I initially went vegan was learning about factory farms… Even as a vegetarian I fell for the myth that at least these animals lived a happy life and that they *died” at a very old age. Learning that they are enslaved and violently killed (as babies) opened my eyes to every other thing I wrongly believed about animal products.

    It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I’m extremely pleased with my choices… My only regret was not learning and growing in this compassionate direction decades sooner.

  34. pj June 12, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    I’m 51, vegetarian (with some lapses) since 15, vegan (with no lapses) since 38.

    I quit eating meat when I realized that, since it is not necessary for health, the right to self defense did not justify the killing. Since that was the same year (1976) I came out as lesbian, it was also part of a process of claiming my OWN desires, not those imposed on me by advertising or socialization. I didn’t WANT to eat cows (or birds or etc) I realized. The very thought was sickening, once I allowed myself to think about it clearly, lifting the foggy mental mist that allows most meat-eaters to so thoughtlessly consume skin, blood, and muscle.

    So, that was healthy psychologically and emotionally. I didn’t notice any physical effects.

    When I quit milk and eggs, also for the reason of not wanting to collude with violence and injustice, I again noticed a significant shift in the difficult-to-name realm of well-being associated with integrity. I also noticed two physical health effects: (a) end of sinus problems that had plagued me my entire life; and (b) end of stomach aches I now suspect were signs of lactose intolerance.

    I’m an ethical vegan, which means (to me) not only avoiding products made from or tested on non-human animals but also (a) being as “green” as possible, and (b) shunning products that involve the abuse of human animals. Since pesticides harm both farmworkers and the environment, this means organic insofar as possible given availability and finances.

    Feel free to contact me for further information.

  35. Roz June 13, 2013 at 3:41 am #

    Hi Ginny,
    I emailed a few days ago with my ‘story’ and that I was having a colonoscopy shortly. The results of the procedure were no new polyps! I don’t have to have another procedure until June 2015. I owe it all to a plant strong diet I am certain. Never going back to SAD. Now to work on a lower fat and no added fat way of living.

    I hope my husband chimes in on his ‘story’ of going vegan.

  36. Carol Anderson June 15, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    I am in my 60th year and have been fully vegan for just 4 months now. I did not grow up with this nor did I have any real knowlegde about the vegetarian or vegan movement. In fact I came to it completely by accident and completely unprepared. My husband and I had seen Sir Paul McCartney in concert in Vancouver, BC, Canada and I was just surfing the internet to check out some info on him when I found a Youtube video that he narrated. Not giving it much thought, I clicked the play button and I can still remember the absolute horror of seeing what really happens to the animals we raise for food. The video was called “If Slaughterhouses had Glass Walls” and it was the single most traumatic event in my life thus far. I wanted to look away but knew that it was my responsibility to see this through to the end. I was so traumatized that I have been crying on and off for these past 4 months. I can never ‘unsee’ what I had seen. In that very moment, I did not make a choice. The choice was made for me. There was no other option than to firmly take a stand NOT to participate in this unspeakable horror any longer.
    This has been the most difficult thing I have ever done. I have felt alone and sad much of the time. I live in a 55 plus village and most people here do not understand at all. We no longer receive invitations from friends to join them for dinners and other functions. My husband was taken by surprise and was very reticent to change. in fact he still claims he is not vegan but has agreed to eat more and more vegan dishes with occasional meat added. Cooking has been a huge learning curve with no support other than reading on-line blogs. Every social experience comes with angst and fear but also with each encounter, I am growing stronger and more confident.
    I am gradually becoming a more confident, happy vegan. I began this journey for compassionate, ethical reasons however the more I read and learn, the more I understand the huge negative environmental impact the factory farming business has on our planet.
    I have not personally seen a lot of health benefits although I was never a poor eater to begin with. I do feel ‘cleaner’ and ‘lighter’ though. I noticed after about 1 month that I no longer was filled with putrified meat and now what I eat, my body uses or loses. So much healthier and more efficient!
    Despite the struggles that I have had, I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the right path for me and acting on what I know is right, is one of the things I am most proud of. Sometimes the most difficult decisions are the most worthwhile. I tried to teach my children to do what they know is right, even if it is difficult and although they are grown women now, its still up to me to live by example.
    My age has made it more difficult to create an entirely new life and to relearn everything I thought I knew. I find in my small community there is very little support but I will not be stopped.
    I’m loud, I’m proud and I’m vegan!

    • Karen Eastridge July 21, 2013 at 10:45 am #

      Do yourself a favor and purchase 1000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Roberts. There is an extensive introduction about vegan diet that tells you everything you need to know. It’s nearly impossible to become a real vegan without the aid of a good cookbook.

    • Catie July 29, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Carol, my story is similar to yours.

  37. Lana Martin June 15, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    I have been a vegan (plus yogurt) since I was 18. I rarely cook food, but prefer raw fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts. I just don’t get excited about complex tastes. I have abundant energy and stable weight. Life is too exciting to spend time in a kitchen…

  38. Catie June 18, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    Hi, I am 58. I started my diet/ lifestyle change in Oct 2012. I had a brief fling with vegetarianism in the 70s but have always consumed dairy. I started investigating the meat trade after I learned about the atrocities of the live export, (I live in Australia). I stopped eating meat. Then I started learning of the awful dairy industry, I stopped eating dairy. I have been vegan now for 5 months. I have found it very easy as I am so convicted. I have lost a dress size too which is a nice side effect to a compassionate diet! Also, I was taking 8-10 codeine every day, now I might take a couple of paracetamol a few times a week! I have not had my blood tested but I stopped taking statins fir cholesterol months ago. I am still taking high blood pressure medication though. I wish with all my heart that I had done this decades ago.

  39. Joanna E June 20, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    I became a vegan at age 13 and am now 52 and have never regretted a day. It has only ever been for ethical reasons, starting with the animals and knowing that an animal based diet is unsustainable and contributing to the destruction of our planet.
    I have a demanding job that means I work long hours and am away from home often for long periods, but I am rarely if ever ill, which I put down to my diet.
    My children, now teenagers are both life vegans.

  40. Linda June 22, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    I’m 66 now, started eating mostly vegan just 3 years ago and am so happy to have done it. I was motivated by medical reasons, had received a diagnosis of prediabetes. I was inspired by Dr. Neal Barnard’s work, and T. Colin Campbell’s The China Study. I have felt increased mental clarity and general well-being since I started. Additional motivation was provided by my vegetarian daughter, and by reading Will Tuttle’s “The World Peace Diet.” I have several friends who also recently went vegan or nearly-vegan, so we share recipes and inspire each other. I recently started a chapter of Dining for Women with a mission to serve only vegan food at our meetings.
    Like some of the others responding here, my husband eats vegan at home and gives me helpful feedback on the meals I prepare. As I have more experience day by day, I find easier ways to eat vegan when I travel and eat out. I love to cook and have bought at least 20 vegan cookbooks, so trying out new recipes is a great delight.
    It has been interesting to observe that my vegan focus pretty much determines which restaurants we choose when eating out — I always check the menus and point out when some restaurants really have no vegetarian/vegan selections. I make a point of thanking restaurants that do offer them.
    My prediabetes went away and my cholesterol is excellent, never having had to take any statins. My seasonal allergies are much milder now, so I no longer take any prescription medications for them.
    I am a more conscious cook and a more aware eater as a result of studying about veganism and can now say that my reasons for choosing this life approach are more than medical, also environmental and ethical. It is satisfying to know that I am making a difference with every meal I eat. Thank you for your resources, which help so many of us.

  41. Bethany Knowles June 23, 2013 at 7:03 am #

    I became a vegetarian in 1973 when I finally realized where meat comes from. I stopped eating chickens, 1st, because I could see the bones and tendons and skin. Within a few weeks I gave up cows. I had never liked eating fish or eggs. In 1975 I attended the World Vegetarian Congress in Orono, ME and was handed a sheet entitled: Why I Don’t Eat Dairy and Eggs. The facts on the sheet convinced me to not bother animals for their products, as well as their flesh.

    I gave birth to six children on my vegan diet, the last two identical twins. All were 7 lbs. 12 oz. or above in weight at birth — the twins were 8 lbs. and 7 lbs. 15 oz. They all nursed from 2-4 years and then ate a vegan diet. They all grew to be healthy and at least vegetarian. Five of them are 5 feet 9 inches; one is 5 feet 4 inches.

    I am happy to have figured out early in my life that I didn’t need to bother animals in order to live healthfully. If I am inconvenienced or inconvenience others (which I try not to do), I think it is a small price to pay, compared to the hell to which animals are subjected. I try to live by the golden rule.

  42. susan cascone June 23, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    Cookie. You want old? older than above? How about 88 years old and Vegan since about 2 years ago.

    My main reason was because meat began to disgust me and therefore began as a vegetarian and gradually into a vegan but my only weakness is cheese.

    Oh I do slip into skim milk but always have soy milk on the side for cereal. It has been easy for me. My main problem is when I’m invited to a friend”s house and I don’t expect her to cook anything special for me…then perhaps I might have a small portion of whatever is being served but rarely does that occur.

    I love how I feel and move and think. I just feel GREAT! I don’t miss any of my old habits in fact I wish I has started when I was younger.

    To be truthful I also inherited good genes and mother was raised in the pyrinees (spelling?) Mountain range between Spain and France and most of the time they ate just vegetables, kale, collard green etc.so it is easy for me to change. Susan

  43. Gina June 25, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    Reading through everyone’s post was really amazing, it made me laugh it made me cry. I have been reading many blogs but how wonderful i have found this one.

    I am 49 and this is my first day plant strong so I have nothing really to offer on a story.

    I live in Ireland and there are not many plant based restaurants, but we do have some. I wont even tell anyone that I have decided to eat plant based, as it just seems to drive people crazy. I wonder why?

    Hopefully I can come back here and tell my story, in the meantime peace and love to all you lovely people !!

    • Linda Benoy July 30, 2013 at 9:32 am #

      Hello Gina!
      I’ve never sent anyone an email on one of these sites but I found your letter inspiring, having been your first day plant strong. I’m 57 and started almost 2 years ago after seeing Dr. Joel Fuhrman on TV and the Eat To Live book. Also watched footage of factory farming and, I don’t know – something just clicked in me and I decided to eat vegan forever. No way I can go back to meat now.
      I feel great. Have lost about 15 lbs, hair’s gotten thicker, eyebrows and half-moons on fingernails have returned. People think I’m in my mid 40′s, which is lovely – but mostly, I just feel better in my heart. Can’t explain it exactly except to say that when I eat I am no longer eating another creature’s despair. I know that sounds awfully dramatic but that is the way I see it. I don’t harp on this with friends, however! I’m the only vegan in my crowd and some people think I’m extreme – feel a bit lonely in this respect, but so be it. I live alone and so have only myself to please taste-wise. I’m cooking more delicious stuff now than when I ate meat. So many great sites for recipes – I love Healthy Happy Life and Triumph Wellness. I hope you’re in that kitchen having fun with spices and such. Anyway, this is rambling on a bit now. I hope you are not having too many challenges to the switch. It does get easy after a while. All the best to you! Linda

  44. Bill June 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    I am 54 and have been on a whole food, plant based vegan diet for nearly two years. I was inspired by Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s PBS show initially and then read 30-40 books by a wide range of vegan proponents and decided to alter my diet. I was overweight, on cholesterol and blood pressure medication and wanted to be sure I was around to see my grandchildren, whenever that may be. I have subsequently lost 30 pounds and stopped taking my cholesterol medicine (total is now 108). I feel much better and don’t really miss the meat or dairy much at all. I do all the cooking and grocery shopping and its just me and my wife in the house now, so that made it easier. She is a nurse and is very supportive of my diet change and eats anything I make her, although she will still eat a little fish and meat occasionally. My daughter eats vegan quite a bit, but I have some work to do on my son! We both exercise regularly and are looking forward to spending many more years together!

  45. Evan June 25, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    I’m 65. I was a complete couch potato until I was 38. Then I started lifting. Eventually I started aerobics too. By the time I was 63, I thought I was pretty healthy. My cholesterol was borderline, . . . around 200. But my HDL was high, and my triglycerides were low. I thought I was golden. Except for my GIRD which caused some discomfort, especially since I ran out of medicine, and had to switch medications as well, I felt great.

    In the fall of the year I turned 63, I had some back aches and tightness while exercising. I assumed it was the GIRD, and once the new medicine kicked in, I felt better. In mid January, I was doing some hills with my friends. They were steep, and I wasn’t used to it yet. I was lagging a little behind my buddies. I hate the cold too. I was complaining that breathing the cold air was making my teeth hurt. Eventually I went to the dentist, and my teeth were fine. I got the tooth pain on the treadmill in my nice warm house too. I decided to see my doctor.

    My doctor didn’t like my EKG. He sent me to a cardiologist that day. The cardiologist said based on my symptoms and the EKG, he wanted me to have an angiogram right away, so I did. The angiogram revealed a 70 percent blockage in my left coronary artery and 100 percent blockage in the right coronary artery. The collaterals from years of exercising kept me alive. I had a drug eluting stent installed in the right coronary artery. Now I was suddenly an old man with a stent taking all kinds of medications.

    I hate medications, and I like my active lifestyle. At my first post-op meeting with the cardiologist, I asked about reversing heart disease and getting off medications. He made some offhanded comment about Dean Ornish and the “Rice and Beans” diet that he said very few people can stick to. I read Dean Ornish’s book and put his plan into action immediately. At that point I was still eating egg whites and drinking skim milk.

    Not long after I read Caldwell Esselstyn’s book on reversing heart disease. By March, I was a full fledged vegan, and have been for over a year. My cardiologist, unfortunately believed in keeping me medicated for the rest of my life, so I got a recommendation for a new cardiologist in my area from Dr. Esselstyn. I hope to be weaned off of statins, and effient (a blood thinner). My new cardiologist has taken me off atenolol (a beta blocker used to reduce blood pressure and heart rate), and reduced my aspirin from 325 mg to 81 mg.

    I’m back to lifting, back to hills, and reducing medication. This is all because I am plant strong. As a side benefit, my weight is lower than it was in high school. This is the first time I’ve ever been able to maintain a weight loss without counting calories. Go veganism!

  46. Diana June 29, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    I am 63 years old. My son became vegetarian at 16 and vegan at 17. He is 31 years old now. My daughter became vegetarian in 9th grade and vegan a few years later. She is 21. Their reason for being vegan is philosophical. I became vegetarian for philosophical and health reasons. I became vegetarian due to the influence of my children. That was about 8 years ago, although for the first two years I ate salmon ta few times. I realized that I couldn’t call myself a vegetarian if I still ate fish–even if it was just once a year! My son made that very clear to me.
    I am in the health and fitness business and know that we would all be much more healthy eating a plant-based diet. With the exercise and my vegetarian diet I look and act much younger than my years.I am healthy and have so much energy and can do physical things easier than most of my students that are a third of my age. I am proud to tell them about the vegetarian lifestyle and show them films about health and eating and our relationship to animals, people and the environment. I want them to know the impact that we have on life here on earth.
    I am still finding it difficult to become vegan. It’s easy to go out to eat and find vegetarian dishes, but much more difficult to find vegan options at a regular restaurant. If I go to a party it’s easy to find vegetarian food but much more difficult to eliminate everything that may have eggs or dairy. I know that dairy is not healthy for humans and I consume very little, but it is hard to give it up totally. At some point, that will happen.
    With the help of my kids and their great vegan cooking I am happy that I am almost there!

  47. Salette Andrews June 30, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    My father died of a massive heart attack when he was just 43, and I was only 17, the second of five young children. I began reading about the connection between diet and heart disease, and eliminated red meat, eating only some poultry, fish, egg whites, and low-fat dairy. In 1989, I visited a turkey farm with my son’s kindergarten class, and we eliminated all meat from our diets, and began to use only low fat dairy and egg whites. In 2002, my 17-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia, and I began to learn about the connection between animal protein, especially milk protein, and cancer, and I eliminated dairy and eggs and went vegan.

    I am now 53 and healthy!

  48. Bonnie Wheeler July 6, 2013 at 5:19 am #

    My husband has been a runner all his adult life. A few years ago at age 64 he was regularly running with a man a year or so older who was on a pretty strict diet. With lots of time to talk while they ran, my husband asked about the diet, and a few days later a copy of Dr. Esselstyn’s “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” showed up at our door.

    My husband read it and was intrigued, but suggested that I not read it because he didn’t think I’d want to make big changes in our diet. So of course I had to read it, and was 100% convinced that switching to the Esselstyn/Fuhrman/Ornish/McDougall diet would give us the best chance to enjoy good health as we grew older.

    We made the change to a plant based/no oil diet nearly three years ago at age 63 and 65. We both still run and are not on any medications and feel great. Additionally we also both dropped to what we weighted in 9th grade despite eating boatloads of plant based foods. I’ve enjoyed cooking more than ever before as I’ve explored the meatless and dairy-free cuisines of the world.

    The original motivation for the plant based diet was our health; now I have learned that not only is a plant based diet the best for human health but it’s also the best for the health of the planet and all its creatures. We eat this way for our grandchildren – so that we’ll be around to enjoy them. And as more people follow a plant based diet, we hope that our beautiful planet will be healthier for generations after us to enjoy. I am so grateful that we learned about the ways the Standard American Diet is harmful to us and to our environment, and happy that we made the change.

    The biggest problem that we encounter is that our grown children feel like we’ve changed the rules of family gatherings. We just try to be sure that there’s always something we want to eat as well as something they want to eat at family gatherings, and it mostly works.

  49. gary July 6, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    Hello
    I just started a vegan diet on February 1, 2013 at age 61 after seeing a cooking show on PBS with Christina Pirello. I’ve been taking blood pressure meds since I was 22, hi blood pressure and heart disease run in my family, also acid reflux meds for 10 years. On December 4th 2012 I had surgery to repair a shoulder and it did not go well, they said I had osteoporosis. I’ve had RA since I was 27, now one more thing. I stopped my acid reflux and one blood pressure med the same day I started the vegan diet 5 months ago. Blood pressure down, weight down, and had an upper scope done 2 weeks ago and the doctor said stomach and small intestine look remarkable compared to 3 years ago. This is a traditional MD and he knew what I was doing and said to keep it up and again said he was truly amazed. Can’t wait till to see what 1 year will bring. Now starting to learn how to use my grills with my new life style and so far everything is delicious.

  50. Paul July 10, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    I am now 50, and have been a Vegan for the past 18 months.

    My path to veganism took about 8 years, although I did not realize I was on the path until the end.

    At age 42 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Initially, I was told, “take your meds,” and you’ll be fine. Maybe when you’re in your 70s you’ll need a cane.”

    By age 45 I couldn’t walk, I had blurred vision and cluster headaches, I couldn’t work or support my family and my new doctors (MS Specialists at UCLA) told me that my disease had spiraled out of control, meaning I was among a small percentage of MS patients (3%) who will die directly from the disease within a couple of years. (most MS patients die of related illnesses after many years).

    My doctors did try a radical therapy of chemo, which eradicated my immune system (MS is Autoimmune) temporarily; and while I did not get better, I stopped getting worse.

    I was promptly let go from my job for “not keeping pace with my colleagues during the six months I was in chemotherapy,” so without health insurance (or funds), I had to take my treatment into my own hands.

    I began to learn about the direct connection between food and illness, and modified my diet a great deal, cutting back on meats and processed foods, increasing fish, etc. (A classic Mediterranean diet). In fact, my wife started a Mediterranean Tapas catering business based at the time. Three years passed, and while I was not getting worse, I was in constant pain due to the severe, demyelination on my spinal cord.

    I also had begun to slip back into some old habits and eventually grew worse. So bad, I had trouble standing for long periods of time (i.e., a minute or two).

    I thought it was just an MS relapse.

    Turns out I was bleeding internally with a cancerous tumor in my stomach.

    Less than 24 hours from bleeding to death, I had emergency surgery, and plenty of time to rethink my priorities.

    During that time, I watched “Forks over Knives,” which, among other things, made a strong case for the connection between meat and dairy proteins and cancer.

    With really nothing else to lose (I already had one foot in the grave; the other on a banana peel); I decided to go Vegetarian (at first). Three months later, I decided to go full Vegan.

    In 18 months, I’ve lost 25 pounds. I feel better than I ever have in my life–even before my illnesses (although I still suffer nerve damage pain, it is considerably less intense); and I’ve taken up exercise again (I used to be an avid jogger, skier and tennis player. 20 more pounds and I’ll weigh the same as I did in college.

    As for the Cancer, I had no insurance, no one would sell me any; so I could not afford the precautionary chemotherapy prescribed for my cancer ($approx. $40,000 a year on top of my MS meds which were another $60,000 a year I could not afford).

    So my diet was really my only defense going forward after successful surgery. And while my doctor did not initially support my decision to go Vegan, my last CT Scan was so clean, he said it looked like I had never had the cancer. “Whatever you’re doing,” he said. “Keep doing it.”

    As the son of a doctor, I would never recommend going against doctor’s orders like this; but I do firmly believe my Vegan diet has kept me alive and will do so for many years to come.

  51. Karen Eastridge July 21, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    I’m 55 and I have been a vegan for about 3 years. I didn’t do it for any altruistic reason; I did it for my own selfish reasons. I have Interstitial Cystitis (IC for short). The symptoms are the same as having a bladder infection – unrelenting pain, urinary urgency & frequency, plus nocturia which is so bad it often prevents sleep. And it’s a progressive disease, so these syptoms worsen in severity over time. It’s basically like having a bladder infection for 25 years that keeps getting more intense (painful). I was in such bad shape, that three years ago I saw assisted living in my near future as I had gotten to the point that I couldn’t even vaccum the house anymore. I was willing to do anything. I thought I had nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying the vegan diet, and hey, I could always go back to eating meat. Frankly, I never, ever not once missed eating meat. Honestly, it was a relief not to have to bleach everything after cutting up the meat. It absolutely takes more time to cook vegan meals, but the clean up is way easier because I just rinse things off. I mean, what do I have to wash off of organic vegetables? I decided to go organic and went all the way. I tossed everything out of my kitchen, including the spices. I use unrefined sea salt, organic evaporated sugar cane in place of white sugar, organic stevia (never use Truvia which is highly processed & made by ConAgra) in place of Splenda, organic whole wheat flour & pasta, organic spices, well you get the picture. The only thing I had trouble with was transitioning to stevia. I went from laying about all day without the energy to do anything to now exercising 4X a week. The change wasn’t overnight, but it has been dramatic. I can’t credit the vegan diet exclusively with reducing my IC pain issues because I also started taking Elmiron at the same time and when I fall off the meds, I have to pay the piper for it. I will never go back to eating meat – or dairy – ever!! It’s not just avoiding meat and dairy, it’s also about completely avoiding processed foods and I do mean a complete avoidance. I believe that most of our health problems are linked to our diets, primarily the consumption of processed & GM foods. GM corn is in everything, including your toothpaste. I have so much more energy and my eyes are so much whiter & brighter. Highly recommend to all. Also recommend the RAVE diet DVD authored by a Mayo clinic physician who cured himself of CAD & heart disease with vegan diet within 6 months.

  52. jt July 22, 2013 at 5:59 am #

    Hey hi,
    I actually don’t fit your exact criteria…I’ve been vegan for about 45 years now but I am over 50!
    Have to tell you that I was divinely blessed that first month at boarding school when I made the decision…too much to tell via this format but suffice to say, it has become the most important decision of my life in the most positive ways possible.
    Keep up the great work!
    jt

  53. Annie Marion July 23, 2013 at 5:27 am #

    Hi, I’m 54 and am completely plant-based since November 2012. I had been fussing around trying to move that way for several years after having a heart attack at 42 (and read Dean Ornish). But it has been a long road. I read the China Study & Dr. Esselstyn’s Reversing Heart Disease and then watched Forks over Knives. That led to a 30 day “Engine 2″ trial with my husband, and we have not gone back.
    My primary reason is my heart/clogged arteries. My secondary reasons are the factory farming in our country – between cruelty, gross food & pollution, I don’t want any part of it.
    My husband and I have both had very positive results to this, including support (or at least not scoffing) from my cardiologist & regular health care practioner. We’ve lost weight (I’ve lost 35 to date, he’s lost 25), I’ve had chronic inflammation disorders (arthritis, tendonitis, rosacea, etc) disappear. Our numbers have all gone down. My husbands lipids are now lower than they have ever been, and he’s been on statins since he was 21. We feel better, look better and have more energy.

  54. Robert Stanton July 26, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    So inspiring to read people’s stories here! I’m not technically eligible for this because I was 46 when I went vegan, but I thought I’d share anyway just to join in with the general positivity. Like the great majority of the population, I think I was an omnivore who was vaguely uncomfortable with the moral dimension of what I was eating, but quickly looked away. My girlfriend (longtime vegetarian, had been vegan for a few years but relapsed to omni after having a doctor tell her she needed to eat meat to keep her kids healthy – gah!) finally got her bearings straight and went right back to vegan after about 20 years. I read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, given as a gift by my omnivore sister who is interested in sustainability, food history, locavorism, and the like, and thought it was awesome. Since then, I’ve developed many resistances to Pollan’s limited and somewhat hypocritical approach, but I still credit him with inspiring me in the first place.

    I knocked off the meat along with the girlfriend, but kept eating my beloved cheese (I was a big cheese-eater) for about a month. Then I knocked that off to try to address some digestive issues (had no effect), but realized that hey, I actually didn’t crave cheese after about a month! That was more than 5 years ago, and my primary motivation now is ethical, although environmental impact (and, to a much lesser extent, my own health) play into it. Thanks for launching such a great project. I’m now 52, and never happier with the way I eat, the way I feel, and how both of those align with my ethical view of the world.

  55. Catie July 29, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    Hi, I am 58 and have been vegan since Feb 2013. I started investigating for myself the factory farming and live export issues. I was horrified to learn that the dairy industry was just as cruel as the meat industry. I was the biggest Dairy Queen and I never ever thought I would give it up, but it was so easy, I have such a strong conviction that animal products (including chocolate!) hold no power over me, I gladly choose to not partake.
    My husband became vegetarian around March 2013, I’m grateful that I don’t have to cook and serve him meat. Re learning how to cook has been a big challenge for me, I love vegetables and could live on just stir Fry’s and curries but I need to make food interesting for my husband.
    I am deeply ashamed of the many years that I ate animals, I wish I had seen the truth earlier. I would have raised m daughters on plant based diet, they both eat meat and dairy, that saddens me.
    I forced myself to watch some things that I would rather not have seen, it took courage to watch and I shed many tears. I have also read numerous books on animal rights, factory farming and the emotional life of animals, especially farm animals. I have great respect for people like Philip Wollen, Lynn White (Animals Australia), Gary Yourofsky ,Damien Mander, Richard A Oppenlander, to name just a few,
    I have found this path to be very lonely, none of my friends are vegan or vegetarian, all my support comes from online friends, books etc
    I’m the happiest I’ve ever been but also the saddest I’ve ever been too, once you have been exposed to the misery of some animals lives and then their slaughter, I think that sadness will always be there, for me anyway.
    Thanks for reading this.

  56. Trish July 31, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    Hi – I am a 54 year old woman, vegetarian since I was 18 (ate dairy, fish and seafood) and adopted a vegan diet in September of 2012. Influences to go completely plant-based included Jonathan Safron Foer’s book “Eating Animals”, as well as the numerous documentaries and ongoing revelations about the horrendous conditions that farm animals are subjected to and the suffering of dairy cows and their offspring, to produce all things milk-based. I also have realized that the depleted state of the oceans demanded that I forego a rare treat of fresh but sustainable fish. I found it most difficult to give up eggs and cheese, although I did not substitute anything other than an occasional sprinkle of nutritional yeast on some dishes. I am a chef by trade, so I had an easier time adapting than probably most people, and because I’d been meatless most of my life, the change was not quite so dramatic. I do not purchase ‘vegan cheese’ as most of the products I’ve encountered contain casein, and sourcing this enzyme requires calf stomachs. The most significant physical changes I’ve enjoyed include a complete elimination of all arthritic pain (I believe this is a benefit of a dairy-free diet). While my symptoms and pain were limited in scope, they were regular and ongoing, and prominent in my hands, knees and hips (too many years ‘chef-ing’ on yachts). I also no longer have the annoying throat-clearing and stuffy sinuses I dealt with on daily basis. I’ve also noticed that I haven’t had a sinus infection in the past year, and they used to be a regular occurrence. I recently started working with 2 young children, and they, along with their parents, were sick an average of 4 to 5 times each this past winter (Florida), and I am happy to say I didn’t even suffer a cough or cold. I take no medications whatsoever; I supplement with B12 and amino acids, along with iron every now and then. I eat an extremely healthy diet, a good portion of it raw, but still find a struggle with maintaining an ideal weight (ten pounds lighter would be my most comfortable). No sodas, no candy or junk, I do like my glass of red wine and some dark chocolate, but that’s my “bad”. I get blood work done every 6 months, the last one in March of this year, and all of my markers are optimal. I’d be more than happy to share any additional information, and look forward to reading more about like-minded people out there on similar journeys. Many thanks for your research!

  57. Spécialiste de l'éphémère August 6, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    I have been officially vegetarian for 22 years, and I am 52 years old.
    I was before without nowing it!
    I am in transition to vegan for a year or so.
    My first concerns to eliminate meat 22 years ago were about taste (I hate the taste of dead muscles) and health. Then I realised it was the only choice for the planet… for ecology.. for the animals…
    And then I realised eggs where parts of the “meat market” too… so I stopped eating them. I still eat cheese once in a while… mostly when I am not at home. It’s the only animal produce I eat, and I am in the process of stopping this too.
    I have 4 kids; all raised as vegetarians.
    One is omnivore (flexitarian), 2 are vegetarians, 1 is vegan.
    I am pretty sure this will stay the same; maybe one of the 2 vegetarians will go vegan.
    I had 3 vegetarian pregnancies.

  58. Ann August 8, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    For me, becoming vegan was a very gradual process.
    At age 44, I found myself 90 pounds overweight and sick of it! I had tried a high protein diet, lost about 70 pounds, and gained it back within two years.
    Then I read a book, The Okinawa Program, about people on the island of Okinawa, Japan, who lived into their 90-100s in a very healthy, lean manner, and who, among other things, ate little meat and mostly veggies and soy products. I started cutting down on meat, and felt better and better The weight started slipping off, and my energy skyrocketed. I had no plans to go even vegetarian, though, thinking that was too extreme for me, and frankly I thought vegans were kind of strange.
    However, I got the usual questions about protein deficiency, etc, when people saw I was cutting back on meat, so I started researching the issue on the internet to make sure I was doing it right. I saw the films about CAFOs and treatment of animals in those, as well as films showing the intelligence of pigs, chickens clucking to their eggs, etc, and more and more the eating of meat bothered me. So in 2009 I went vegetarian.
    The more I learned about conditions in dairy CAFOs as well as health (I read The China Study and The Food Revolution, which were profound influences) going vegan was much harder – I would stick to it for awhile, and then get irresistible cravings for ice cream and processed desserts. In 2011 and 2012 I tried over and over to go vegan, only to fail each time.
    Then I started coaching with Victoria Moran, and she asked me a question, “What kind of veganism are you interested in?” Uh…I didn’t know there were “kinds.” The low fat high starch kind was the only kind I had known.
    So I started researching the issue, and came across Joel Fuhrman’s books. That struck a chord with me…it all made sense. In 2013, I made a New Year’s Resolution to follow the vegan version of his plan, and everything fell together, thanks to his books and Victoria Moran’s book and coaching.
    Now, life is good! The first 60 pounds disappeared when I went vegetarian, but now the last 30 are gone as well! For good! I ran my first half marathon this spring, everything fits, and numerous people have commented on my weight loss. I no longer have the uncontrollable cravings, and am having a blast trying to cook new foods. Joel Fuhrman’s plan and ideas for Michael Gregor’s website seem to fit my metabolism, and for the first time ever I am keeping the weight off without feeling I am constantly struggling not to eat.
    I hope I can be a vegan the rest of my life, and my plan is to run a half marathon every year til I hit age 100. And as a vegan, I think I can do it!

  59. Ann August 8, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    Forgot to add, I am now 51, and became vegan shortly after my 51st birthday.

  60. AC August 11, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    I am 58 years old, and “going vegan” immediately, from consensus between my general physician and myself. I am not at all a “vegan by morals” person, although I decry the cruelties rampant throughout the animal industry. Eating meat is not “wrong”.

    I never enjoyed eating meat/poultry while growing up, probably because my mother was a poor cook. When I became Eastern Orthodox Christian at age 21, I was happy to accept that Orthodox Christians are vegans for nearly two-thirds of every year. We have many days, and some extended periods, when our religious practice and beliefs prohibit eating meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs. I cook well, and enjoy both vegetarian and vegan foods.

    After undergoing surgery for a serious leg injury in 2003, I remained unable to exercise (particularly running) because of pain. This is permanent, although at “good times” I can walk at a moderate pace. My weight soared from around 115 lb. to its current 180 lb.

    This past December, tests showed that I had passed from osteopenie to osteoporosis. My cholesterol and triglyceride numbers were, once again, bad. (totals drawing near to 300)

    The doctor prescribed Niaspan as an alternative to statin drugs. I had not read enough about rosacea (which I have had for nearly two years), to know what a mistake that would be. The rosacea “exploded”, sending me for the first time to a dermatologist.

    This summer, the doctor suggested a trial of Simvastatin. By the time that twelve days had passed on the medication, I was sleeping for several hours each day, and was too exhausted to do ANYTHING. As the statin drug was the only “new variable” in my life, I read more about it. The 2012 study from the University of California at San Diego confirmed what was happening.

    This past week, I met again with the doctor for a brainstorming session. He did not want to try any more statin drugs, and understood why the niacin-based medication was off-limits. He has had patients who “went vegan” in order to lower their cholesterol and who succeeded (so long as they maintained a vegan diet). The doctor recognized that I have enough experience with vegan cooking and meal planning that I am “a good bet” for making this commitment.

    My husband wishes to join me, from our wondering whether a vegan diet might reduce his arthritic pain. (He, like me, and the entirety of our family, already eats vegan according to the Church calendar.)

    I found this blog a couple of days ago, and have ordered a copy of the recently-published book for vegan women. I look forward to learning from it. Some years ago, I purchased “Becoming Vegan”, by Davis and Melina, which gives me something of a baseline for education.

  61. Fran August 21, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    When I was 51 I was diagnosed with myasthenia Gravis, a very serious, incurable, debilitating neuromuscular disease. I was very sick and on prednisone and other dangerous drugs for 16 years. With the help of tai chi and qigong along with what I thought was a healthy diet (no red meat) I improved a lot but I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to cure myself! Then I read The China Study and Diet For a New America and became a vegan. That was 6 1/2 years ago at the age of 67. I am now 73 and I have been in remission without any medication for 5 1/2 years! If we are what we eat, why would anyone want to eat sick, stressed animals that have been shot full of antibiotics to keep them alive long enough to fatten them up for slaughter!! BTW, my chronological age may be 73 but my physical and psychological age is much lower. I hike up a mountain every day and can run circles around much younger people. :)

  62. Donna September 5, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    Hi Ginny,
    I thought I’d respond to your request to hear from “over-50 vegans.” As a bit of background, I just turned 56 and was divorced in 1993 after 12 years of marriage, with no children, and was a healthy omnivore the whole time. I then became a “convenient vegetarian” in 2000 at the age of 42 after seeing the movie, “Babe.” While watching the movie, I looked down at my dog and knew I would never eat her, so decided I didn’t want to eat other animals either. However, I use the term “convenient” because when I was invited to an omnivore’s house for dinner, or when I had to move back in with my omnivore parents for a number of months to care for my father, I slipped back into eating meat during those times because it was just more convenient.
    In 2012, at the age of 54, I saw the movie, “Forks Over Knives,” and decided to become vegan–again, for the animals. Within a couple of months, however, and without trying, I lost about 8 pounds, from an already slender frame, and it worried me so much that I went back to eating my eggs and ice cream for a few months. But I kept reading online about factory farming, especially in the egg and dairy industries, and decided that ethically, I just couldn’t keep eating animal products.
    I am also an avid gardener with raised beds and many fruit trees and berry bushes, and love to “graze” in my yard, so that added the 4th “plus” to my decision to STAY vegan this time, along with the usual reasons of doing it for the animals, my health, and the health of the planet. As for my weight, for the last few months I’ve been 115 lbs. at 5′-8″ which I know is underweight, but I’ve decided to stop worrying about it, as I feel great. I do have osteoporosis, however, but don’t think my veganism was a factor as I’ve been headed in that direction for over 10 years, but I have recently upped my calcium intake, and have added Vit. D, an estrogen patch, and exercises to my daily routine to help strengthen my bones.
    When I first became vegan last year and told my family and friends, I was extremely disappointed when NOBODY asked me more about it or expressed an interest in perhaps also becoming vegan. I was invited to a dinner party by some long-time friends and they went out of their way to serve me a vegetable enchilada with tofu sour cream while everyone else had pork enchiladas and cheese. Unfortunately, instead of making me feel special and included by having the same sort of meal, because they made a big deal about mine being different I felt ostracized instead.
    Because I received no support from my friends or family and felt very much alone, this spring and summer I went to the Vida Vegan Con (where I met you briefly!) and took a Veg 101 Cooking class and a Master Vegan class, both offered by NWVeg in Portland, OR. What a joy and relief it was to be among people who felt as I did about what they ate! They also finally helped me realize that it seems that no matter what you say, everyone has to come around to veganism in their own time, in their own way, if at all. This has been a huge concept for me to grasp, but I believe I’ve finally acknowledged it. So now, I just try to be the happiest and healthiest vegan I can be, and to share terrific vegan recipes I’ve found. I love all the different vegan foods I’ve discovered and have begun to rely on, especially soy milk, quinoa and chia seeds! By the way, my dog is also on a vegan diet, and was 10 pounds overweight when I adopted her this spring, and has lost those 10 pounds this summer, and is now a svelte 42 pounds. She loves her carrots!
    Although becoming vegan has not brought me closer to my friends and family, it HAS helped me feel more connected to vegans around the world–especially in Australia, where “Babe” was filmed. I have also become a more compassionate person and believe I am finally being true to myself by doing no harm to others each time I sit down at my dinner table to a delicious vegan meal…
    Best of luck with your book and I look forward to reading about folks like myself who have made the switch to better health and a more compassionate lifestyle, no matter the age!

  63. Susan September 5, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    During my 50′s, post divorce, I went on many diets, Atkins, South Beach and my go to plan – Weight Watchers. I exercised and lost weight every time but last year at 57 I was at my WW goal weight but my labs were not good, cholesterol of 268! I figured, why work so hard for no results and gained my weight back. Also last winter I was so sick, pneumonia twice, antibiotics 4 times and ended up with C Dif which was horrible! Plus I was heavy and sluggish. I went back to WW and exercising looking for a way to restore my health. I stumbled across a documentary while on the treadmill, Forks over Knives and was intrigued. I searched for more info and watched many interesting documentaries (I couldn’t finish Earthlings, I cried!) and also followed a blog on WW written by “Almost a Vegan” I decided at age 58 to take a 30 day vegetarian challenge after a 48 hour detox. It went so well that I started to “lean into” becoming a vegan. I’ve had a rare bit of cheese and some eggs in baked food. The hardest part is not the new way of eating but the people in my life. My boyfriend feels I’ve changed the rules on him, my daughters tease me! A few at work are supportive but I’ve heard so many times, how are you getting your protein? It has now been 3 months and I just had my physical, my cholesterol went from 268 to 175! AMAZING! I’m hooked and can’t imagine ever going back to SAD. My boyfriend is cutting back his milk consumption and is enjoying sneaking into my fruit stash that I have on hand for my daily green smoothies. One drawback of being a vegan that no one else has mentioned, flatulence! The increased fiber and the beans contribute to that. I’m hoping someone has some advice for me so I will check back. I now believe that I will be quite spry during my retirement years. This months personal goal is to walk 100 miles over 30 days. I find giving myself these 30 day goals is a great motivator. I also blog online through WW and read many inspirational blogs there as well. My only regret is now figuring this out sooner!

  64. Martha September 7, 2013 at 6:56 am #

    I was vegetarian for about 10 years before transitioning to a totally plant-based diet. That was in December of 2011. I am now 65. I had been dabbling in vegetarianism for a long time, had lots of vegetarian cookbooks, subscribed to Vegetarian Times, etc. for a long time before making the switch.

    What made to turn vegan was reading The China Study, then all the other books (I’ve read them all!) out there on plant-based eating, also viewed Forks Over Knives. I am totally committed to it now and will never go back.

    It’s just hubby and I here now, and I am lucky that he is happy eating vegan at home, even does the cooking some times. Eating out he might choose vegan or he might choose a meat-based meal, often times seafood. But he searches for restaurants that I can get a good meal at, which is awesome! He is very supportive.

    One point of disagreement between he and I is that he likes to buy the fake meats. I’d rather not, but I figure it’s a compromise I can make since he is so otherwise supportive. We don’t eat them very often.

    I have not been able to go off my blood pressure and cholesterol meds, which is disappointing. Probably if I gave up the wine, I could, but that’s not gonna happen, haha. I am at a good weight (lost 20# when I first went vegan) for my height, 125 at 5’4″, but would be happier with a lower body fat percentage (now at 31%).

    I have tried to convince my brother-in-law to at least try it, as he has type2 diabetes and is obese with knee problems. I think he’d be willing if it were just him, but neither he nor his wife cook, and admit that they eat mostly frozen dinners. That really saddens me. She dos the shopping as she has celiac disease and needs certified gluten free foods, and get low carb meals for my brother-in-law.

    I don’t know if these things are what you are looking for, but I hope so. I am totally dedicated to this plant-based diet forever.

  65. Carole Eustice September 8, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    I am 76 years old, have been a vegetarian since diagnosed with kidney failure three years ago. At that time, I had to change my diet and as I had been vegan during my 50s, read the “China Study” (and other publications on the vegan/vegetarian life style), I jumped in.

    My partner, now spouse, has been very supportive although she is not a complete vegetarian, she is losing weight and feeling great–I have high hopes.

    In reading these many postings, I, too, lost weight, gained energy, and am working toward getting off my high-cholesterol and blood-pressure meds.

    My kidney function? Normal as of this posting. Once I committed to the vegetarian diet, my kidney function began to improve. Six months ago, my kidney doctor informed me that I need not see him again for a year as long as I kept up my eating habits–Oh happy day!.

    Friends and family have also been supportive, but not always understanding, yet never faltered socially. Many deliberately prepare vegan food just because my partner and I will be at a social gathering. I have actually gotten some great vegan recipes from my “animal” eating friends.

    Good luck with your project, Looking forward to reading the results.

  66. Ingrid M. September 22, 2013 at 7:10 am #

    I am 50 exactly and you could say I’m transitioning to being a vegan. Transitioning because I started very recently. I live in Argentina, probably the country with the highest meat consumption in the world. I never really liked meat all that much but I’ve been a life long dairy addict — and I do mean addict. It was the dairy thing that really kept me from doing this before. I have long agreed with vegans both philosophically and health wise. I’ve also always had a lot of problems controlling my weight. As the idea of using a vegan diet as a way to achieve better health has gained popularity I began questioning my own reasons for NOT becoming vegan. I guess my weight got to the point where nothing I tried was working. I’ve always healthy eating habits by traditional standards so I new I’d have to do something drastic to create a change. About six weeks ago I decided to just go all the way and become vegan. We don’t have a lot of specialty vegan products available here, but I’m a good cook. I make my own almond milk, even my own apple sauce. Before making the decision I had already experimented with the diet. I knew that I felt better when abstaining from animal products. I also love all vegetables, grains, beans, nuts — everything. I don’t crave animal foods unless I’m very very hungry. I find that I feel much better emotionally. There are two reasons for this. One, I am no longer at war with what I eat. (Aside from being vegan I don’t eat sugar, flower, fried food, or added oils.) Two, my philosophy on health, the environment and the treatment of animals is now aligned with the way I live.

  67. paula rothman MD September 22, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    if you are still interested in talking.. we should TALK. I am a 53 yo, transitioning to vegan. I am a holistic MD, and training for my first marathon, have done 20+ half marathons and several tri’s. contact me!

  68. cheryl September 28, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    This year my husband and I turned 70 and as a gift to our selves we are progressing to a plant based diet. We have removed gluten, dairy, and meat from our diet and are learning to eat very different. We started with juicing and now have added a solid supper to our diet. We have been doing this for about 3 months and can not believe how different we feel. I am a gourmet cook and I am having so much fun trying different recipesand learning about products and foods I did not know exsisted. I am so excited about eating whole foods and so I want to share with family and friends but I can not believe the hostility from a lot of people with what we are doing. Sarcasm reigns,
    We both are overweight and see the pounds coming off but the feeling of no cravings, no hunger is amazing and it will be interesting when we have our annual check up to see the lab results.
    Why does it take some of us so late in life to get smart.

  69. Mary September 29, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    I am a 63 year old woman who has dabbled with both vegetarian and vegan diets for twenty years. I agree with the idea that people come to veganism especially in their own time and way. I’ve allowed the needs of my family, especially my children, to dictate the foods I’ve bought, cooked, served and eaten these past twenty years. Now that my youngest child is in college (I had two children in my forties), I find it easier to be vegan. My husband is very supportive but eats animal foods when he eats out. Which is okay.

    I find the various debates about vegan diets to be confusing. For example, whether or not to include added oils, convenience vegan foods such as meat substitutes or TVP, whether or not to take DHA/EPA supplements and/or Vitamin D, etc.

    The greatest struggle I have with being vegan is that after a week or so I feel acutely as though something is missing and I have a general craving. It may be that this is related to needing to eat more protein from beans, tofu, etc. or possibly I’m missing the “umami taste” (not sure I’m spelling that right).

    I feel that every meal or snack I eat that is vegan is good for me, the animals and the earth. So I’m a work-in-progress vegan who hopes to be a fully realized vegan sooner rather than later. I take a small dose of medication for high blood pressure, am 30+ pounds overweight, have arthritis and some kind of mystery skin condition that comes and goes, and have constant sinus congestion. Very many sources of information and testimonials suggest that all my complaints will go away if I am a vegan. I’m not sure that’s true but can’t seem to stay 100% vegan long enough to find out.

    I’ve found these responses to your question directed to vegans over 50 very interesting and encouraging. I look forward to hearing more responses, and to the book you’re researching and writing.

  70. Jenny October 2, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    Hello!
    Yes, I’m kind of late to the (vegan) party. I embraced the vegan lifestyle approximately 3 months ago, & can’t believe what a difference it has made in my life. I am 52 years old, and only regret that I didn’t transitition to a plant based diet years ago. But enough beating myself up! I am enjoying this enlightened way of eating, and will NEVER go back to eating meat and/or dairy. The reason for my switch? ANIMAL WELFARE!

  71. Gale October 5, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    I read with interest the replies from others with regard to becoming vegan later in life. I became vegan in May 2012. My husband was taking Lipitor at that time. While reading the literature regarding statins I suggested to him that possibly his cholesterol could be lowered by a whole foods plant based diet. I had been reading The Blue Zones, The China Study, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, and watched the documentary Forks over Knives. I was convinced that there was merit in the research. I continued to search for recipes and scour the internet for more information on how to make the transition to a healthy vegan lifestyle.
    Our journey began and the rest is history as they say. Our weight has decreased and while I was not on any meds my husband is now on a very low dose of Crestor and with the permission of his Doctor will very likely be discontinuing this med soon.
    Some of our family and friends have questioned our doing this. They think it is extreme. However, we believe that at age 68 & 66 we will be healthier than some younger people. I do think that the vegan lifestyle can be a little isolating if your spouse and family members are not also vegan. We need to communicate with like minded people. In doing so this affirms our principles.
    Thank you for your informative posts.

  72. CGray October 8, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    Hi, I’m not quite 50, but I felt so compelled to reply that I could not resist. Its how I feel all the time now after being a complete couch potato with 0 energy. I recommend that people watch the lecture called “Wheat Belly”. It further enhanced my recovery and in no time I was shooting imaginary jump shots and scraping my knuckles on the ceiling while doing so. I don’t know if I will make a full recovery though from Small Fiber Neuropathy. It is highly paainful, but I do have good days. Aside from the pain I feel like I’m about 21 years old physically and I haven’t even incorporated exercise into my daily routine. I am a raw vegan and it is my hope that PERHAPS by some miracle of sorts that my condition will disappear. If it doesn’t I’ll be okay because I feel certain that I will live to be 100 years old. Up until about a 6 mos ago I was pretty certain I would not see 60. I suffer with an autoimmune disease called Sarcoidosis , however, it has been in complete remission since I started. ALL joint pain has dissipated and sinus issues as well. Nothing short of miraculous so far so why stop believing in it now.

  73. Lieven VAN KEER October 18, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    I turn 54 this november and I became Vegan in 2012( the month of May).
    I ve been a flexitarian for about a year – a year and half or so. Then we got in my evening classes of German here in Brussels some texts on environmental issues, Greenpeace reports on the situation of our oceans being overfished etc. I felt very down for a couple of days, maybe weeks. I started to think about the cruelties being done to our planet, the animals and one night my puzzle seemed being finished, I decided to turn Vegan, and I felt a big relief.
    Healthwise I did not notice any major changes, I suffer from IBS, (irritated bowl syndrome) and it stayed the same way, my cholesterol level, (after 6 motnhs of being Vegan, I had a check up ) stayed the same, I do not feel fitter nor more tired then before. I just seem to be hungry more easily. I put on weihtbecause I found so many tasty Vegan biscuits in the shops.

  74. DHW December 29, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    Having always been an animal lover I struggled with eating meat. However, growing up in an English household with the traditional animal protein as the centre of each meal I believed this was necessary for proper nutrition.

    In recent years (I am now 55yrs), I have watched my parents, siblings and friends develop various diseases, sadly some ending in death. The final breakthough came when a colleague in her early twenties was diagnosed with breast cancer. Another colleague had also had a breast lump scare and had been told to read the book, The China Study (T. Colin Campbell). I also read the book and it was life-changing. From that moment on I have not eaten meat, fish or eggs and have gradually weaned myself off dairy. Although I am now vegan I prefer to refer to my diet as T. Colin Campbell does, “whole-food, plant-based” as I avoid pre-packaged ‘vegan’ foods and try to eat food as close to its natural state as possible.

    I have never looked back. My only regret is that I did not do it sooner.

  75. Bobbi Ornstein January 18, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

    I turned 64 this past December, 2013 and have been vegan for 2-1/2 years and vegetarian for 25. I wish I had been courageous and insightful enough to stop eating dairy many years ago but so grateful that I have finally arrived! Like many others, I have read several books including Eating Animals by Jonathan Foer and Diet for a Small Planet by John Robbins and watched with horror, documentaries like Earthlings. What finally clicked was when I visited The Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York for a vegan hoedown the summer of 2011. Spending a weekend in an environment with rescued farm animals and many people of all ages, each having arrived there because of their love for animals was amazing. Guest speakers with heartfelt stories touched me deeply, as did an afternoon visiting with the beautiful animals that lived there. I felt like I had arrived ‘home’ in a way that touched the deepest part of my heart and head. I went home after that weekend telling my family and friends that I was converting to veganism, and, as one would expect, received a myriad of responses. It took about a month for the complete conversion and I have never looked back.
    My younger son, 19 is also vegan which does feel terrific since he currently lives with me. He actually interned at the Farm Sanctuary last year and had a similar experience as I had.
    I shop at a local Farmers Market every weekend and try to buy local and organic as much as possible. I cook a wide array of plant based foods and feel physically and emotionally satisfied. I feel creative and peaceful in my kitchen in a way that I never felt until I became vegan. I don’t find it difficulty in any way, in fact, it feels so right. My health is great and I am energetic and deeply comfortable. I love knowing that no only do I NOT participate in the horrific slaughter of innocent and sentient beings but that I save the lives of many wonderful animals every day.
    I live in northern Westchester New York and wish that there were more vegan options in restaurants and that I could meet more like minded adults. Hoping to do some fundraising for veganism at local restaurants this year. And so, rather than looking back, I work hard to make certain that my carbon footprint is filled with all the beautiful colors of a bountiful garden.
    If anyone would like information about Farm Sanctuary, please feel free to contact me. Thanks sooo much for doing this.

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