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Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society, Inc.
38 East Market Street, Rhinebeck, New York 12572 USA -  845-876-2626
Vegetarian - Vegan - Animal Rights - Health - Nutrition - Environment

The mission of the Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society, Inc. is to promote the vegetarian ethic in the Mid-Hudson (New York) region, educate the community and aid anyone in the pursuit of a totally vegetarian (vegan) cruelty-free and healthful lifestyle.


Winter 2002-2003 Edition

My Vegetarian/Vegan Journey
by Mary T. Hoffman
MHVS member
partner in website www.all-creatures.org

Over twenty years ago, I read in my local newspaper that Columbia-Greene College scheduled a presentation about biomedical research on the notorious and long-suffering Silver Spring monkeys. Having worked in biomedical research as a registered medical technologist while earning my undergraduate degree, I felt compelled to attend the lecture.

The speakers turned out to be Ed Ashton and Mrs. Ashton of the Animal Rights Advocates of the Hudson Valley (ARAHV). The Ashtonsí obvious gentleness, sincerity, and knowledge impressed me. I remember Ed explaining how animal products could gradually be eliminated from a personís diet. I also remember speaking with an attendee who told me she had stopped using all animal products "overnight" in Switzerland, after hearing a talk about animal suffering.

At the time, I had no idea that I was embarking on a journey that would change not only me, but my husband Frank as well. When I told Frank about what I had heard, he joined me in gradually eliminating animal products from our home. We already knew about the cruelty of veal and avoided it. Now we were expanding our awareness by dropping beef and pork! Baby steps! In our ignorance, we actually increased our consumption of poultry and fish; and we continued consuming the same amount of dairy products as before.

As we continued to learn, we reached the point of gradually eliminating more and more animal products until the Thanksgiving Day when we no longer had turkey. It felt good to be free of this self-imposed straight-jacket of "tradition." Dairy products were the last dietary habit to go. Here, Frank led the way. We were not yet fully aware of the inherent cruelty of the dairy industry. But since Frank had minor health problems that seemed to be hanging on, he decided to take the plunge and stop all dairy products. His symptoms vanished!

For another year, I ignored Frankís suggestion that I try eliminating my mozzarella cheese and skim milk. At the time, I did not associate my lingering sore throat with dairy product consumption. The trip to the doctor only prolonged the problem. He gave me sample antihistamines and a prescription for an antibiotic, as well as a printed diet which was the SAD (standard American diet). He advised me about "eating everything in moderation." Frank continued to urge me to try dropping dairy products. And finally in 1988, approximately one year after Frankís "going vegan," I took the plunge. And voila! The sore throat was gone, never to return!

We continue to learn and to encourage others in their "journeys." In January 1998 we started our web site, www.all-creatures.org  to promote compassionate living and a vegan lifestyle according to Judeo-Christian ethics. Our web site outreach has continued to grow to the point where we receive over 300,000 accesses a week, from all over the world, for our 5,200-plus documents. And the journey continues.

Iíll leave you with two of my favorite quotations (and I have many): "To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can have." (Theodore H. White, American political writer, 1915-1986) and "To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often." (John Henry Newman)

Donít be afraid to change!

We look forward to hearing from you

This site is maintained by:
The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation

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