I went vegan about three months ago after I finally "got it" that animals aren't food or resources. It was cold turkey, and not as hard as I thought. (Tofurkey and MorningStar are doing some amazing things!)
I had a pretty high-level athletic sponsorship until just recently. From it, I hid my dietary choices due to the fact that I knew that in the meat head strength community, it's very manly somehow to buy body parts from the supermarket and eat them. Unfortunately, my assumption proved correct, and I was flamed mercilessly for weeks via a number of venues.
The thing is, I'm not sure why? This was just a couple of weeks ago: http://youtu.be/6frgjPCmzKo
I placed second behind a behemoth with more experience than I, yet I beat a couple of guys in the upper 200s. (Third place was 270 lbs--definitely an omni.)
I'm stronger than ever, in better shape, and the best part is, nobody has to die to fuel my continued success. I took a lot of heat, but I just don't get it. Why murder and torture animals for "extra" strength and muscle? Not to survive, but for a hobby? Seems really selfish and pathetic.
Note that I am more of a "functional" vegan. I don't buy animal products, but occastionaly a dish will come with cheese or is made with eggs (not to my knowledge), and considering it's really too late to do anything at that point, I eat them. Still, this is about .001% of what I used to eat.
I am very happy to be here knowing that there are others having success with a cruelty-free diet. Before I got my sponsorship taken, I was able to get at least 3-4 people to start an ovo-lacto veg or straight up vegan diet, so I have to be a little positive about things.
I've read through a bunch of the intros and am very inspired to keep on this path.
Again, great to be here!