I was delighted to read the July 11 article by Beth Ann Downey, "Locals describe their choice to go vegan and share recipes."
I grew up in a meat-eating household in Altoona.
Although I have always loved animals and hated animal cruelty, I ate animal products regularly. I did so while arguing with my father about hunting at the dinner table - over a plate of dead animals that were invisible to me as beings who had once been alive.
In the 1970s, I read an essay by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy called "The First Step," in which he described his visits to Moscow slaughterhouses and argued that the first step toward a nonviolent life was to get the animal bloodshed out of your system.
I stopped eating meat.
Yet I was still oblivious to the sources of dairy and eggs. I didn't think cow or chicken while consuming those products.
In the 1980s, Peter Singer's book "Animal Liberation," and "The Cookbook for People Who Love Animals" by Gentle World in Florida, opened my eyes to the animal suffering embodied in eggs and dairy products.
One day, I sat in my car at an Italian restaurant in College Park, Md., bawling my eyes out because I could no longer have pizza with extra (or any) cheese.
Then I went inside, ate rigatoni and never looked back.
Even in this rural area of Virginia where I now live, all kinds of vegan products are appearing in the supermarket, and people (not just me) are buying them.
It's very exciting.
Karen Davis, President
United Poultry Concerns