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I've always had an interest in living in a healthier, more natural way since I can remember. I ended up getting a job at one of the two Health Food Stores we had in town where the owners and employees were vegetarian. I quickly wanted to join ranks. The more I thought about it the more I felt it was something I needed to pursue. Not for health necessarily, but for the animals. I started off by making my husband and I the same food but would replace the portion of meat for me with some alternative without him realizing it. I was so afraid he would be against it enough to stop me from doing it at all. He never did stop me, but he never did join me either. This was when I was in my late 30's. When I was 40 in 1998, I ended up working for the other Health Food Store we had in town. One of the employees and I became close friends and after sharing some of the things I knew was happening to the animals, she became vegetarian, also. I'm not sure how many years later she started losing her hair to the point of having some bald spots and ended up finding out her iron levels were extremely low. She was pushed by her doctor to eat meat to remedy it. This kind of pushed me into doing that as well. So, for a span of about a year, we both ate a small amount of meat. Neither one of us felt good about it and didn't want to continue. My friend got her iron levels back up, but never really believed her low levels were caused by being vegetarian after researching everything she could about it. We went back to being vegetarian but were actually vegan 95% of the time so we decided to jump in all the way on January 1st, 2013. My friend, her husband and I have been vegan ever since. And my friend has never had any more issues with her iron levels being low.