Published by PETA.

I have been battling my weight since I was 10 years old. It seemed as though I would never achieve my weight-loss goals, and I could slowly see that my health was worsening as I got older. At 167 pounds, I could barely go up stairs without losing my breath. As a teenager, I had to take acne medication and scrub my back with special acne soap. It seemed that I was heading down an unhealthy road.

I saw an exposé on the Korean dog and cat meat market, and I cried very hard. I have always loved animals. After I saw the video, it occurred to me, while watching my mother cook pork chops, that there was no difference between the pig we were about to eat and a dog or a cat. At first, I was afraid of what people would think about my decision to go vegan. After all, I was born and raised in Texas, where I was surrounded by meat-eaters. But the results were amazing: I lost 10 pounds without even trying. My skin cleared up, and I no longer had to use acne medication. Six months after going vegan, I had the peaches-and-cream complexion that I thought I’d never have. And I dropped more than 30 pounds—without even giving up “ice cream” (I love Soy Delicious and Soy Dream!). It’s so nice to wear tank tops in the summertime instead of the big T-shirts that hid my weight and the acne on my back.

Going vegan was like being given a new beginning. My eating habits before made me feel heavy, guilty, and bogged down. Now, I feel light, healthy, and energetic. Being vegan really enables me to live my life without obsessing over counting calories. I basically eat whatever I want, and I walk to work to get a little exercise. My family had a lot of questions at first, but after seeing all the positive changes, they became very supportive. Now, instead of eating hamburgers and chicken nuggets, I enjoy the Boca brand faux alternatives—Boca Chick’n Patties are my favorite. It has never been easier to go vegetarian, and it is definitely the best decision I’ve ever made.

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