Hi there. I'm a new vegan; decided to go vegan on August 1 after being a pescatararian who also consumed eggs and dairy for 5 and a half years. I feel horrible for this because I saw Earthlings once a few weeks before that and I tried to be vegan, but it didn't work out because I lacked the conviction and willpower that I have now. I made lots of rationalizations like "oh, it's only that bad in other countries", etc and decided to be a pescatarian...I used to go fishing and crabbing with my parents on their boat, so my rationalization was "family tradition" and "spiritual connection to the animal" because I was sometimes actively involved in catching the fish and crabs. I'm never going back to intentionally consuming animal products...I'm more disgusted than ever before after watching and listening to Earthling Ed and Joey Carbstrong on YouTube; they galvanized my previous commitment to being vegan. It helps that I have no food allergies and this change isn't a huge jump from before...the only dietary change is eliminating seafood, dairy, and eggs. Fortunately, I live on my own and support myself, so it won't be difficult for me. My family is supportive of my choice. Now I've been getting better at cooking. Currently using lots of quinoa and black beans in my recipes and slowly building my skills. I don't know any other vegans and feel alone in this regard. I get reminded me of the cruelty that animals face throughout my everyday life...for example, I volunteer at a local companion animal shelter (cats and dogs) and one of the things I do is cut dairy cheese into small cubes for the dogs; I'm reminded of cows being slaughtered and calves taken from their mothers. I see a friend eat a ham sandwich and I'm reminded of pigs in a gas chamber. The list could go on and on. Is this common for new vegans? Broad question, but how do you best cope with this? Fortunately, I live near Seattle, which has a vegan community and many vegan restaurants. I've never been to a vegan restaurant before and plan to some time this month to celebrate this new start for me.