Vegans from different walks of life answer to a set of questions. To know the questions, see this article.

Why and how did you go vegan?

In September 2012 I attended a workshop where I heard about a documentary called Earthlings. The workshop was on a Sunday. On the Monday I started to watch Earthlings. I made it through the first 20 minutes & what I saw horrified & saddened me so much I decided I would start making my way to a vegan lifestyle by eating a vegan breakfast every day. I watched the rest of the documentary in 20 minute sections(which was all I could manage)over the next couple of days. It was difficult to watch. By Thursday my breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks were all vegan.

In hind sight something was sending me in this direction for a good bit of my life. At the age of 14 or 15 neighbours of mine took me up to Cavan where they had part ownership of a pig factory. I’ll never forget the sound of the pigs as they were herded along with an electric pig prod. I was very close to tears but I hid that as the rest of the others with me seemed oblivious to the sound.

In my 20′s I knew vegetarians and a vegan but I didn’t really make the connection with what they were doing. They didn’t really speak about it.

How I survive/thrive as a vegan in Ireland

A year and a half vegan at this point and I am doing pretty well. I would say I both survive and thrive:it depends on what’s going on in my life. In terms of diet and health I thrive and in terms of educating myself I thrive. Little by little I am becoming more bold in explaining to people why I became vegan & I am becoming accustomed to my own and other people’s discomfort when the subject arises. My own discomfort is really a fear that I will be rejected for what I am telling people even though I know deep down it’s really the information people are rejecting and not necessarily me.

For being vegan I’ve been laughed at, pitied and hugged by meat eaters & that will probably keep happening. However, for every one experience like that I have ten experiences where people listen wide-eyed and in disbelief at what I have to say. I’ll never ever go back to consuming animal products. I know it’s often said but it’s true for me that my only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner. I think when you become vegan you lose your old life. Your relationships change:some people make the journey with you when they learn about veganism for themselves, others who don’t want to know may go a different way. Personally I am willing to risk whomever or whatever I lose along the way.