How long does it take to become a vegetarian, a vegan or a raw fooder? It can take a long time, or it can take an instant!
When I first found out about vegetarianism in my first year in college, I would say that it took me about 6 to 8 months to switch to vegetarianism after I was informed about it. I joined a womenʻs action group in college and several of the members were vegetarian. When I was asked how I could eat animals if I loved them [which at the time I would say that I did], and informed of the philosophy and ethics of vegetarianism, that idea really struck me. However, it took several months of thinking about it, as well as reading materials and information about being a vegetarian before I finally switched.
I became a vegan in an instant in 1989. I went to a presentation at Whole Foods given by a librarian who was vegan. He told the audience about the link between the dairy industry and veal [and how veal would not exist if it werenʻt for the dairy industry; veal is the ʻby productʻ of getting cows pregnant so that they can be milked; some of the calves are slaughtered immediately, while some are raised in inhumane conditions as veal calves]. As soon as I learned about this connection, I immediately gave up two of my favorite foods: pizza and ice cream! I thought it would be very difficult to give those up, but I think because I really did not want to support the dairy/veal industry, it wasnʻt that difficult for me.
As for becoming a raw fooder, I sometimes went for it all the way - went 100% raw for months at a time, while at other times ate more cooked foods. So, my raw food track has been less ʻcementedʻ than has my vegetarian and vegan track.
So, if you want something enough, especially for ethical or health reasons, then you can switch your position in an instant. Other times, the switch may take longer. I think it depends on oneʻs motivation, as well as social support. Some of us need more social support than others, and it may vary with time. Find a social support group if you can to help you on your journey. Then, the transition may take a lot less time than you think it might!
What about you? How long has it taken you to make a major switch in your life, such as to vegetarianism or something else equally as important? What factors helped you make the switch? What helps you maintain it?