Becoming vegan, is it for you?
Are you passionate about the environment? Do you advocate for the rights of animals?
If your answer is yes to these questions, you may want to consider going vegan. The word ‘Vegan’ often gets thrown around and can be a confusing term for some.
Welcome to my website where we discuss what veganism is, the challenges you may face and whether becoming vegan is the right choice for you.
First and foremost, what does ‘vegan’ mean? In simple terms, veganism is the exclusion of all animal products from the diet, including meat, dairy, eggs, seafood and gelatine.
There are three main categories that fall under the term veganism. The first is environmental veganism. Environmental vegans tend to focus their ethics on the exclusion of meat and animal products that contribute to the destruction of the environment.
The second is ethical veganism. Ethical vegans tend to be vegan in order to avoid the exploitation of animals of all kinds and will avoid products such as leather and beer/wine that has been filtered through bones, as well as all other animal products. They also avoid, zoo’s, circuses and other environments where animals are used for entertainment purposes.
Thirdly, there are health vegans. This refers to individuals who choose to go vegan based on the health benefits that arise from excluding animal products from the diet.
Although these types of veganism appear to focus on different aspects, the majority of individuals choose veganism for all of the above: ethical, environmental and health reasons.
So, where should you start?
If you think becoming vegan is for you, there are a number of ways to get the ball rolling on your new lifestyle.
The first thing you can do is research the types of foods that contain animal products and make a list. This will allow you to easily avoid these products.
It is also helpful to research the types of foods that you enjoy and find recipes that don’t require that they be made with animal products. You would be surprised how many dishes can be made without dairy or eggs and taste just as good!
For example, there are many pasta dishes that contain cream and eggs. These dishes can often be “Veganized”. There are many pasta brands that don’t use eggs, and dairy can be substituted with a number of items, such as nut milk or soy milk or dairy free cream. This is just one example; there are many more delicious vegan dishes out there.
Once you start the process of shopping and cooking without animal products, you will find that it becomes second nature.
So what happens when you lose motivation and that Cadbury chocolate bar starts to look really good?
When starting a new lifestyle, it’s easy to feel energetic and motivated; however, it’s only natural that after some time, this motivation may slump. In order to successfully stay on the vegan path, you should prepare for the times when your motivation is low.
I would be lying if I said that I had never been tempted to reach for the non-vegan doughnuts from time to time. However, along my journey, I have found ways to keep my motivation up and stick to a vegan diet.
One of the main culprits that affect motivation is the lack of variety within your diet. It’s very easy to find a dish that is easy and delicious and end up making it every night. I have been guilty of this more than once. Although it’s great to find a vegan dish that you love, you have to remember to mix it up a little. There are so many amazing dishes out there that are easy and quick, it would be a shame to miss out on that!
Once you start to mix things up a bit, you may find that you are not craving those non-vegan items as much and find it much easier to skip that muffin at the office and stick to your vegan diet.
Another reason for the slump in motivation is that it’s sometimes easy to forget why you are doing this. It’s easy to start to view veganism as a restrictive diet, as opposed to a lifestyle. As soon as we start to feel deprived, it’s easy to crave all those items we used to enjoy because we tell ourselves we can’t have them.
It’s important to remember why you went vegan.
- Was it because you wanted to reduce the amount of animal suffering by not giving money to those companies?
- Was it because you didn’t want to be responsible for the forest destruction overseas?
- Was it because you wanted to be healthier?
Whatever your reason is, remind yourself from time to time why you’re doing it. There is a reason, and chances are it’s a good one!
If you’re a social person and enjoy dining out, you may find it difficult to stick to a vegan diet when faced with a non vegan menu. However, there are ways to avoid the last minute panic while looking at the menu. The first thing to do when planning on eating out is to look at the menu online. Most of the time you will find either a vegan option or a vegetarian option that is easily turned into a vegan dish. By planning ahead, you are avoiding any awkwardness and you will not have to stress about what to eat or feel pressure to forgo veganism for the evening.
So, is becoming vegan for you?
If you are passionate about animal rights, the environment or even your health, chances are veganism is for you.
Although changing your lifestyle is never as easy as a flick of a switch, there are some ways to make the adjustment easier.
By mixing up the dishes you make, you will be giving yourself more variety and in turn will likely crave non-vegan items less. There are so many amazing vegan dishes out there to experience; it would be a shame to miss out on that by being stuck in a rut!
As well as mixing up your diet, you should remind yourself why you chose to become vegan in the first place. By reminding yourself of all the reasons you went vegan and all the benefits that come with it you may find it easier to continue without too many hiccups!
Becoming vegan is a lifestyle decision like any other. It will take time and patience while you learn the ropes. However, there are so many benefits that come with such a lifestyle. By going vegan, you are no longer contributing to the cruelty of animals or the destruction of the planet. There are also many health benefits to veganism, however that will be discussed in further articles.
If you believe that becoming vegan is for you, follow my website for advice, tasty vegan recipes and the benefits that come from a vegan lifestyle. We aim to make the transition to veganism as easy and smooth as possible and help you each step of the way!