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Why I Became Vegan
by Robert Cheeke
   

Growing up in Oregon, I lived on a farm and had many farm animals as pets. I always had a love and appreciation for animals and from an early age, I was concerned about their well-being. However, it wasn't until Dec. 8, 1995 that I decided to give up consuming meat. My older sister, Tanya, was organizing Animal Rights Week at my high school. I decided out of respect for her (a vegan since the age of 15) that I would become a vegetarian for the week. I attended lectures, listened to speakers, read literature about animal cruelty and watched videos about factory farms and animal testing, and that week of becoming vegetarian has lasted for the past seven years.

Ten months after becoming vegetarian, I became vegan. Ironically, two years after giving up animal products, it was me who organized Animal Rights Week at my high school in Corvallis, OR. I also became active in an environmental awareness group at school called "Students for Peace through Global Responsibilities (SPGR). I was active in promoting veganism for a long time, and I still am through my fitness company. I have been able to promote vegan bodybuilding on a worldwide stage through articles in FLEX Magazine, Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness Magazine, and my through my website.

I love being vegan and knowing that I am having a positive impact on the environment and society. I have more energy than most people I know and I very rarely ever suffer from any illnesses or fatigue. I eat a vast array of natural and organic foods that keep my body fat percentage low, protein intake high, energy levels high, keeping my bones strong, and allow me to put on quality muscle. I believe that an animal-free diet is one of the best things you can do for your health, and the well-being of our environment.