I guess I've been from one extreme to the other. I was raised in an average American diet, meat came wrapped in saran from the grocery store. As I grew up I formed my most annoying quality, I question everything. Where does the meat come from? Then my second most annoying quality, I want to try it myself.
It didn't take long for me to go from, hunting, fishing, and butchering my livestock, until I was "not that hungry". Although with children, I wanted to have well balanced meals (back in the four-square-meals-a-day time period), but I also wanted them to learn the reality, that meat doesn't just grow in styrofoam trays. From their early teens they were brought up with little meat, mainly lacto-ovo vegetarian.
We raised dairy goats and chickens for eggs. We had meat rabbits off and on. And when dairy goats have male kids, well they turn into bucks, and they are hard to get milk from. My children learned the reality of mating, birthing, raising, butchering, dressing, cooking, and eating meat products.
So for me, it was a gradual thing. I'm allergic to eggs, but I kept dairy in my diet for many years. I have been lacto-vegetarian over seven years. We sold off the last of our livestock about five years ago.
In the last year or two we have eaten mainly rice, lentils, vegetables, fruits, non-GMO soybeans, I make soymilk, soy cheese, and tofu. I guess it seems plain and boring, but we like the simplicity of our diet. We don't buy meat, eggs, or dairy products. I recently got marshmallows, a rare once a year thing. I completely spaced the gelatin.
When the last kid flew the coop, four years ago, my husband and I just drifted away from foods with animal products. We also stopped buying pre-packaged foods. In the last few years we've become more aware of the industrial treatment of animals. Until now, where we question the animal use in most everything.
But! We have six dogs, and they eat meat products, they have a lot of our "leftovers" which leads them to be semi-vegetarian. When a friend has a deer, antelope, rabbit, or cow, we get the scraps for the dogs.
Another, But! We just bought silk long johns and wool socks. I wrestled with this for weeks. I knew it was coming, that we needed them, but I couldn't find something non-animal that would fit our criteria. I will be better prepared for a non-animal option in the future as I'm still searching options.
So I'm not vegan. I guess I'm "intentional". I think long and hard on what I'm doing, what I'm buying, if I really need it. We have become very minimalistic since the kids left home. I hate buying anything, and I sure don't want an animal involved if I can avoid it.