Firstly, if you're here then congratulations. This is your first step in choosing a healthier and kinder lifestyle. Becoming a vegan can feel like a scary step, I mean, you're so used to eating meat, eggs and dairy several times a day that you start to wonder exactly what you'll eat, how you'll cope and where your protein will come from...but don't threat, just read on.
It's Not About Being Perfect
When people hear the word vegan they often think of the extremes and that they'll be required to go to protests, take up activism and preach their lifestyle to everyone they meet. This isn't a thing.
Choosing vegan is all about just doing your very best when it comes to what you eat, what you wear and what you use day-to-day. There is nothing wrong with taking baby steps and there is no need to jump head first into a world you're not quite informed about yet.
Don't Be Scared Of Messing Up
Most vegans will slip up at some point, even the most devout ones but it's not something you need to kick yourself for. Failing at veganism is a common thing but as long as you learn from those mistakes then that's all that matters.
Pick yourself back up, watch a documentary or two and keep going.
Don't Immediately Fake It
Personally, I think jumping straight on the meat and dairy alternatives can be a bad move; especially into the world of dairy-free cheese.
Dairy, especially cheese, is addictive. It's made to be addictive which is why you sprinkle it on everything, why you can eat an entire block in one sitting and why you just want more. It's full of salt and fat, as well as having a heroin-like effect on your brain - once you realise that you'll understand why you crave it like you do,
Give your body the chance to have a reset. Allow the memory of cheese to completely escape you before you try alternatives, they'll taste better if you do and you'll discover that you really don't miss cheese.
Don't Think About It As Missing Out
Often you'll look at how you eat now and try to adapt the meal to make it vegan, instead look for fresh new ideas. Explore the world of vegetables, beans and legumes so rather than thinking "how can I replace the chicken in this meal?" think "what can I do with cauliflower to make it zing?"
Soon you'll start to wonder why you ever added meat to a meal. I make a mean sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry which would simply be ruined if I added dead animals to it.
Find Vegan Friends, Even If They're Just On Facebook
Finding a community of people who are also vegan is a great motivation. Having people who think, feel and eat the same as you can really inspire you and keep you on track.
There is nothing wrong with having non-vegan friends but quite often they just don't understand why you've made this choice. This is ok, they are just like you before you saw the light.
Don't Try To Do Everything At Once
It's a lot to take in. You'll soon discover that lots of things that are common in your life just don't fit in with a vegan lifestyle but trying to go full on, 100% vegan overnight will be more likely to cause you to give up.
So take it step by step. Become comfortable with eating vegan first, after all, this is the biggest cause of animal cruelty, suffering and death. Once you're all good with the foods then look at health care such as toothpaste, shampoo and make-up. Then move on to clothing, household goods and everything in between.
Be Prepared For Stupid Comments
People don't understand, and many vegans were exactly the same before switching. You'll come across stupid comments such as:
- Where do you get your protein?
- Plants have feelings too
- We have canine teeth so we're supposed to eat meat
Either ignore them or, if you feel confident enough then go ahead and challenge them. Earthling Ed has just brought out a new ebook perfect for these types of comments.
Most importantly though, just enjoy it and have fun with food. Experiment, don't be afraid to try something new and remember why you're doing it! If you need help becoming a vegan or have questions then drop us a comment, we're here for you.