Polly Urbach, 43, Portland

Year she went vegetarian: 1990

Why: It just clicked in that eating animals was pretty gross, and I didn’t want to be part of a cycle of death and misery.

Favorite veg dish: Thai curry with garlic, ginger, jalapeno, vegetables, coconut milk, lime juice and fresh basil.

Caitlin Kelty-Huber, 27, East Waterboro

Year she went vegetarian: 1994

Why: I went vegetarian as a child after catching a fish on Mooselookmeguntic Lake. It was the first time I ever saw another animal suffer, and the pain was so shockingly visceral and familiar to my own experience that I made the decision on the spot.

Favorite vegetarian dish: My Mum’s red enchiladas, with pinto beans, brown rice and my brother’s amazing pico de gallo.

Leslie Linder, 40, Penobscot

Year she went vegetarian: 1996

Why: I was concerned for the well-being of other animals. For a long time I thought abstaining from meat was sufficient. I later came to understand the equal impact on animals of dairy and egg farming, so I went vegan (slowly) by 2011.

Favorite veg dish: Vegan mac and cheese, especially the recipe from www.theppk.com.

Georgia Jenkins, 30, Portland

Year she went vegetarian: 2001

Why: Initially I became a vegetarian because it was a “cool” thing to do. Many of my friends were vegetarians at the time (though I am the only remaining), and I agreed that hurting animals was bad. Now I am more passionate and can be much more articulate about my thoughts and the reasons why.

Favorite vegetarian dish: BBQ Seitan “wings” from a restaurant called Watercourse in Denver, Colorado. I would do anything to get a basket of those right now!