Recently, a question that seemed obvious to me came up from one of my readers: how do I start ‘going vegan’? While I thought it had been covered in the FAQ, it turns out that I actually never even touched upon it.
I admire you want to be a vegan – that’s step one. Step two is to analyze the reasons why you want to be a vegan.
Stick with me here while I explain this and really, don’t glaze over this step like it’s obvious – I can’t even tell you the amount of people who approached me this summer saying they wanted to ‘try veganism’ and it didn’t stick. (This may seem offensive to a few of them but I LOVE YOU ALL and thank you for being vegan even for the short time that you were – the water and lives you saved are significant. I just wish you’d stuck with it) Trying veganism is like when you decide you’re going to ‘try Slimfast’ because it seems like an easy enough way to lose weight – if you’re not going to dedicate yourself to changing your body (eating healthy, clean foods and being ACTIVE), don’t bother with diets.
In EXACTLY the same light, if you’re not going to dedicate yourself to changing your lifestyle to being completely cruelty-free, don’t bother going vegan. I’m not saying you are wanting to go vegan for dieting reasons, but I need to add this for the sake of a fully-explained argument: veganism is not a diet. If you are someone who does not care about the animal cruelty or want to end the genocide resulting from this speciesism, veganism will be nothing to you but deprivation from your favorite foods and you’ll resent it. Resenting a clean and earth-given diet for which no creatures have to die is so, so, so wrong to me – and worse, it will most likely lead you to speaking ill about the movement and lifestyle that is veganism.
You need to really care to be a vegan, and be ready to make a real, serious, positive life change. So if you want to go vegan, assess your beliefs and reasons why veganism appeals to you. For me, there are a few reasons that come to mind. To say the least (this ARC article is fully researched and citations can be found for every numerical fact given. The moral of the story: eating animals is horrible for the world and your body).
For a really concrete, to-the-point guide of why you should go vegan and also what to EAT as a vegan, here’s your only needed source: Why Vegan? a booklet made by Vegan Outreach. That link is the .pdf, and it’s beautiful – I mean, there are some graphic images, but it is completely an awesome source.
Step 3 is to give up eating animals. Sounds easier than it is for most people. In the FAQ, I outline steps to take in order to coexist with non-vegan family members – in many ways, these are the steps you yourself must also take in going vegan. First, go through your meal rotation and favorite foods and find what is already vegan – this includes favorite snacks, desserts, side dishes and main dishes, condiments, etcetera. After that, analyze what could easily be made vegan with substitutions (which is everything, but that’s an argument for another article) – by this I mean vegetarian dishes that involve butter which you could replace with Earth Balance or Smart Balance Light. For examples of vegan substitutions and examples of vegan meals, please see this page I created. That page also has links to my specific recipe tags.