Whether you’re a meat eater or not, some people may want to know what it takes to make the change-especially if you’re considering going vegan for an extended period of time. There are many reasons why someone would want to go vegan, from ethical and environmental concerns to health related issues. You might even be considering going vegan because you think that if more people were on a plant based diet then the world would have less famine and hunger-but is this true?
1. What is Veganism?
According to PETA, “veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” To be vegan is not just a diet-it’s an entire lifestyle. Veganism is about more than what you eat. It’s also about wearing non-leather shoes, using cruelty free body care products, cruelty free makeup, etc. Vegans are not only against the consumption of meat and dairy products but also against any other animal byproducts-such as honey, silk, fur, leather…etc.
2. Vegan diet benefits
A simple Google search of veganism will yield you dozens of results on the many benefits of a vegan lifestyle. One of the most talked about benefits is that it’s healthy! Vegans eat lots of fruits and vegetables, which means an abundance of nutrients and antioxidants and fiber. If you’re looking to lose weight on a plant based diet, there are plenty of vegan websites that can help you out with that as well-just do a Google search for weight loss and vegan! Vegans also save their health by not eating processed foods; breads, crackers, chips, candy…etc.
3. How to be vegan – 10 steps
1) Commit to changing your life-the first step is the hardest one since it means you’ll probably have to give up some of your favorite foods. However, if you can make the commitment to doing it-you’ll be one step closer to the change you’ve always wanted in your life!
2) Change your thinking-remember when people used to think smoking cigarettes was good for you? Well, things like that happen with food too! Eating meat and dairy products was considered normal for a long time. It was in our culture, in our habits and in our history – but that doesn’t mean it’s correct. There are plenty of foods out there that will not only taste good to you, but also do your body good!
3) Do your research-you might have been eating meat and dairy your entire life. That doesn’t mean this is how it has to be! Look up some vegan recipes, look up vegan food blogs…etc. There are many resources online that will give you the tools that you need to make the transition into a meat and dairy free lifestyle.
4) Be patient with yourself-you’ve been eating one way for your entire life; give yourself time to adjust! If you go vegan cold turkey then you’ll probably miss some of your favorite foods. Start by gradually reducing the amount of meat and dairy products in your diet until you don’t crave them at all anymore. It might take a month or it might take six months-but keep with it, you’ll get there!
5) Replace meat and dairy with veggies-veggies are a great source of protein. If you eat a variety of them in different colors, you’ll be able to get all the nutrients that your body needs to function properly while being vegan! Eating a big salad will fill you up just as much as eating steak will.
6) Make vegan friends online-there are lots of websites dedicated to the cause! Whether you’re trying to lose weight, wondering about protein consumption or just looking for some recipes, there is a vegan website out there with your name on it. Try googling ‘vegan blogs’ or ‘vegan cooking blog’. You can also look up vegan forums or communities on Google to get a better understanding of the vegan community, if you’re interested in being a part of it!
7) Try new recipes-with so many resources today online and with cookbooks, there is no reason why you can’t find some great recipes that will help you transition into a plant based vegan lifestyle. Try new foods, without being scared of them! You might find a new favorite food that you never would have tried before becoming vegan.
8) Gain knowledge-the more you learn about why people choose to eat animals and how it affects the environment, the easier it will be to make the transition into a vegan lifestyle. The internet provides incredible access to this kind of information, try googling ‘vegan documentaries’ or ‘meat is bad for you’. You’ll be amazed at what you find!
9) Ignore the haters-you will come across some people who are rude about your choices. They might tell you that vegans are weird or unnatural. Don’t let them get to you, and don’t respond in anger. You’ll be surprised how many people secretly wish that they could go vegan but just don’t know where to start!
10) Be happy-when you become vegan, not only do you feel better about yourself and what you’re eating, but soon enough your whole lifestyle will become easier. Your grocery shopping will be cheaper, you’ll be eating healthier and you’ll save the lives of countless animals each year! All in all, veganism is a positive change that everyone should take part in if they can!
Veganism may seem difficult at first because it requires so much change to people’s daily life. This list reduces the learning curve of becoming vegan, making it easier for you to make this change and experience the benefits of a plant based diet. If you’re considering going vegan then why not give these tips a try? You might be surprised by how easy and fun it can be! Give it a shot and let us know how it goes!