- considering going vegan
- in the middle of transitioning to vegan
- somebody who knows somebody who is going vegan and you want to convince them not to do such a silly thing!
Have no fear! Unless you’re the last person. I won’t be helping you with that one.
If you’re considering going vegan or in the middle of transitioning, here is a helpful list of 8 things you must know.
- It’s going to be a big deal.
“And that’s the way the cookie crumbles.” -Bruce Almighty
Whether you want it to be or not, this is going to be a pretty huge deal in your life. You will try hard not to make it one, but the reality is that it just will be. So much of our society revolves around food and much of our social gatherings happen around the table. If you’re around friends and family who have not given a second thought to the use of animals in their diets, homes, and lifestyles, it’s going to come up. Unintentionally, as you begin to remove animals and their byproducts from your life, others around you will notice. Planning dinners out will families will change. Social events will change. Meetings with coworkers will change. BUT it doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Change isn’t always bad.
On the other hand, and to completely contradict myself, it won’t be as big of a deal as you think it’ll be. Wait, what? Didn’t I just say the opposite? What I mean is that you might be freaking out about how others around you will react or if they’ll see you differently. More likely than not, most of the people around you just won’t care.
- Veganism isn’t about restriction. It’s about trying all the new things without harming others. I had this misconception, as many others do, that I would have to “give up” so much by going vegan. I didn’t realize how much I would gain. We worry about “giving up chicken nuggets or queso or milk chocolate or honey or whatever it is, but all of those things are so EASILY replaceable. I do truly feel like if people realized how easy it is to substitute those things, we’d all be vegan. We’ll get there one day.Instead of focusing on the perceived loss, focus instead on all of the things you will GAIN. You will gain a community of others who share your beliefs, you will gain delicious foods that will make your body feel incredible, and you will gain an appreciation for the life around you.Work on adding to your life before subtracting so that you don’t feel unnecessarily restricted. For example, if you have two glasses of milk plus milk in your cereal, look at all of the available nondairy milks you can try and add to your options. Focus on what you will gain.
- Speaking of gaining, you can put on weight by going vegan. I did. It doesn’t have to happen, but let me tell you what happened to me. Because of my preconceived notion that veganism was uber restrictive, I got excited about every little vegan food I found and had to have them all.
- Hey, did you know Oreos are vegan? Let’s put them in the cart!
- Babe, I found this vegan pizza in the freezer section next to some vegan ice cream, so I went ahead and got them both!
- The Girl Scouts are out again with their cookies and I just found out several of their options are vegan, so I just had to support them.
- Let’s stop by Five Guys on the way home because I heard their fries are the best vegan fries out there!
- Did you hear about that all vegan bakery we have in Kansas City? Let’s go there every night for a month!
I’m only slightly exaggerating here, but you get the point. I had to prove to others (but mostly to myself) that veganism wasn’t restrictive and that anybody could do it. That led to me finding and devouring all of the vegan junk food.
- You will hear the same jokes over and over. You will hear them over and over again until you want to stab somebody with a fork. You thought vegans weren’t violent? Think again! After the millionth time somebody says, “but bacon though” or “I’m a member of PETA too! People Eating Tasty Animals, hardy har har,” you’ll be ready to go with that fork. Just roll your eyes and move along. Don’t give those people the time of day.
- You will get enough protein. Without even having to worry about it, you will get enough protein. Of course you need to contact your doctor because I’m not one, nor do I want to go to school for that long, but here’s what I know. I have never known anybody who struggles with protein deficiency. Conversely, I’ve known many people with health issues such as high cholesterol, increased blood pressure, and cancer that are highly correlated to eating animals and their byproducts.Again, talk to your doctor, but know that you can easily get enough protein by eating a varied vegan diet (beans, legumes, tofu, tempeh, edamame, quinoa, etc.). If your doctor doesn’t support this decision, it’s time to find a new doctor.
- You will stop craving animal products. You will even be disgusted by them. Some vegans choose not to eat out with nonvegans. I don’t choose to limit my interactions in that way, because I feel that every meal I have with a nonvegan exposes them to how “normal” veganism is. I do, however, have to excuse myself from the table or not make eye contact for awhile, especially if bones are involved. I have also found that walking through the grocery store can be a little harder because of certain sights and even smells. I literally gag when I smell raw fish as I’m filling up my cart. The raw meat and the dairy sections no longer tempt me. I also find myself changing the tv/radio when I hear a “we have the meats” commercial. It just grosses me out now.There can be an initial adjustment period where you still crave meat, dairy, eggs, etc. because they’re what you’ve know for your entire life, but I guarantee it will pass.
- You will feel responsible. You may be the only vegan some of your friends and family know, so be prepared for a feeling of responsibility, and the compulsion to hold yourself to a higher standard than before. Regardless of the reason(s) you are going vegan, you’ll want to represent the movement well, so you’ll find yourself going above and beyond to do so. Here’s my advice on representing the movement well. Be the vegan you would look up to. Don’t get militant, because that turns people on the defensive and they become less receptive to the message. Also make sure to give yourself grace. You may mess up from time to time, but give yourself grace.
- You’ll start pushing boundaries in other areas of your life. Seriously, you’ll care less about what is mainstream and acceptable, because you’re already considered weird. It becomes much easier to embrace. Nothing has helped me to embrace my quirks quite like veganism did. I no longer cared about being considered normal because I no longer wanted to be normal. It felt so boring and morally wrong to stay with society, so I embraced all of my weird.
I hope this has eased your mind and has you excited about your transition. Know that I am here to support you in any way I can, so feel free to contact me or comment below with any questions you have.
Also, I have a FREE ebook I want to give you to help you make this transition both simple and fun!