I hang out a lot on Twitter – I like the platform because the truth of animal cruelty is readily shared and its very easy to help people understand the reality of the meat, dairy, and egg industries. It’s a massive platform and the vegan community is amazing.
While I nose around and post here and there, I see others posting about wanting to become vegan. Nothing else just “I want to be a vegan” or “I’m thinking of becoming vegan.” There is no real anything after that… and people respond .. and sometimes I respond. And this is where this post comes in.
This post is just my opinion and somewhere I can point people to a single space where I document my thoughts on going vegan – and in more than 140 characters. In your face, Twitter.
So, you wanna go vegan?
I think people are posting their statement because they are hoping someone will give them some insightful advice that will make them vegan and all the world’s problems melt away. Whelp.. definitely not going to get that here.
How to go vegan? My advice is simple: just make a choice to do it. The idea is you don’t eat meat, dairy, or eggs (and for some: honey). Its a choice. When you sit down in front of a meal or when you get your pots and pans together before making a meal – choose to avoid items that do not fit the vegan diet. The good news is there are a LOT more substitutes available for the new vegan and the amount of research available on Mr. Google is insane.
Just make the choice.
Execute your choice every time you face food.
Another question I see in the comments is “What foods should I eat?” – the easiest way to transition to vegan is to look at your current food choices and make the substitutions as needed. Like tacos? Find something to replace the meat. Maybe saute up some mushrooms, cook and season lentils to fit the role, or even buy a meat substitute from your local store. Like hamburgers? Make your own veggie burgers or buy popular replacement burgers. Pasta is an easy one as most dried pastas do not contain anything non-vegan. Going raw or whole food vegan right out of the chute is probably not a good idea – get used to just being vegan then make decisions on how you want to better tailor your diet to fit your health needs.
Anywhoozles, once you start looking at your current food habits, you will find a lot of what you consume is already “accidentally vegan.” No changes necessary – which is about as easy a change (or non-change, as the case may be) as possible.
Even better – because milk and eggs are allergens, these have to be put on the label. And meat is a bit self-explanatory so you should be able to find those accidentally vegan foods pretty easily.
Now, I’ve mentioned a little about store-bought meat substitutes. In my opinion, this is the area of veganism that gets expensive. One argument non-vegan’s make is that eating plant based is really expensive. It’s not unless you start buying a lot of processed meat substitutes or dairy-free treats like ice cream, cheesecakes, cookies, and donuts. That is the part that’s pricey. Beans, lentils, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms… all of these tend to be much cheaper than buying meat, dairy, and eggs.
With all that said, when you get comfortable swapping out ingredients in your regular meal plan to be vegan friendly, you will begin to get a little more confidence and look for new recipes and start cooking with ingredients you may not have used before. It becomes about exploration and adventure … I’ve heard people say (and write on social media) that being vegan must be restrictive … and in reality, it couldn’t be further from the truth. I love grocery shopping and discovering new ingredients and culinary processes … by going vegan there is a good chance you will too (eventually).
So what is so difficult about going vegan?
To be completely honest – being vegan is only made difficult by other people. For some reason when the majority of folks discover your choice, they become experts in every field as it relates to food, nutrition, and health. Plants will have feelings, animals were meant to die, its the way its supposed to be … people make veganism more difficult. But if you have a reason to be vegan, other people shouldn’t stop you. But they will try to be in your way … they will self-appoint themselves to be in your way. And they will do it by making your choice a joke … and then trying to prove you wrong.
I have no idea why some folks do this.. I have my theories, but this is about going vegan and what is easy and what is not. And some people make it not so easy.
My last bit of advice is to find a vegan social group. This can be in your real life or in your virtual space. As I said in the very beginning, I like the vegan community on Twitter. I also belong to a couple Facebook groups that promote vegan eating. Having the support from a larger group of people will help you make changes AND help you get through the times when you want to (or have fallen) fall to some temptation.
If you are reading this because you are one of those people who posted “I want to go vegan” – then I wish you all the best and know you are making a difference in your own life, the life of every animal that is not being slaughtered or exploited for your diet, and the health of Earth.
One person can make a difference.