If you’ve recently decided to go vegan, congratulations! You’ve just made one of the best decisions of your life. I was in your position just 7 months ago and I know how overwhelming it can be when you’re starting out. You’re going to hear the same questions repeatedly, people will tell you that you’re going to die of a protein deficiency, and you’ll probably get judged by the vegan police. It’s not an easy transition to make but it gets easier as with time, and it gets better every single day. If you haven’t yet decided to go vegan but you’re considering it, this post is for you too! I know it seems like a huge change, and it is, but it’s the best kind of change. Once you make that leap you’ll wish you had done it sooner. Today I want to share some tips that I wish someone would have told me when I first decided to go vegan.
There are so many things that are not vegan, and you’re probably used to consuming/using a lot of them. If you can’t completely transition overnight thats ok! The best advice I have for you it to start with food. Cut out meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. If you want to eat processed foods still that’s totally fine (don’t listen to the people who will tell you otherwise), check to make sure they don’t have any hidden animal products. You’ll find that modified milk ingredients are unnecessarily in too many things (very annoying)! But, you’ll get used to it and over time you’ll find brands that you know and love. Grocery shopping gets easier, I promise!
Once you’ve mastered the food area you can move onto other things! Take a look at the beauty and hygiene products you use and swap anything that contains animal products or is tested on animals. You can also be more conscious when you’re buying new items like clothes or furniture to make sure that they’re made of vegan materials. Don’t feel like you need to throw away everything you own when you decide to go vegan, you don’t need to completely restart your life. It’s a process! When you run out of your non-vegan beauty products replace it with something that is vegan. If you do decide that you want to go full force and replace your products and some clothes please give them to friends/family or donate them so they don’t end up in the landfill.
FIND YOUR MOTIVATION
It’s hard to be vegan if you have no motivation to do so. Do some research! There are so many documentaries, articles, YouTube videos, etc. that explain the issues with animal agriculture. Watch them and learn. Get angry about the way that animals are treated and how destructive humans are to the environment! Get excited about the benefits of veganism and the positive impact you’re going to have. Visit and animal sanctuary and interact with those beautiful creatures. Find something that lights a fire in your soul and makes you proud to be vegan. If you’re doing it for the right reason, it’s going to stick. If you’re going vegan because you think it’s going to make you skinny (it may or may not) but you don’t care about the animals, it probably won’t stick unless you see results.
IGNORE THE NEGATIVITY
You’re going to experience some negativity from your omnivore friends and family, and even from random people on the internet. Try not to let it get to you. If they’re questioning you about your protein or telling you that cows “need to be milked,” use their ignorance as an opportunity to educate them on some facts. If they’re genuinely curious and are willing to see a different perspective try to respond to people in a positive way and have a mature discussion about veganism. You will run into people who have no interest in hearing what you have to say, they will continue to tell you that you’re wrong. In that case it’s best to just ignore them. It can be so easy to argue with someone on the internet when you’re so passionate about something but it isn’t productive. If they’re really bothering you I suggest deleting or blocking them. Most of the time they’re seeking attention and by responding you’re giving them exactly what they want.
MAKE SOME FRIENDS
It can be tough to be the only vegan in the village. If your city has a vegan community that hosts events you should definitely go to them and meet some like-minded people! It’s so nice to have someone to chat about recipes with and get advice from. If you happen to live in a small town or live in a place where there a vegan is unheard of check out facebook groups and twitter. Facebook groups are a great way to connect with people near you and from all over the world! I’m sure most of you are on twitter but you may be surprised to know that there is an amazing vegan community on it. If you’re unsure of who to follow here are just a few of my favourite accounts:
And you can, of course, follow me: @positivelychels (tweet me and I’ll follow you back!)
DON’T LET YOUR MISTAKES STOP YOU
You’re going to make mistakes, it’s inevitable, especially in the beginning. Rejecting the things that you were brought up to believe can be very hard. There has been times where I accidentally bought candy that wasn’t vegan and only realized halfway through eating it. I almost bought a face mask without realizing it honey in it just a few weeks ago. Don’t beat yourself up over the slip ups. Just remember that moment and learn from it so you won’t make the same mistake again. Also, when you’re farther along in your vegan journey it is just as important to remember these mistakes. There are some people in the vegan community that will put you down for not knowing something isn’t vegan and it’s a very shitty feeling. Please don’t become one of them. As you continue, remember that everyone makes mistakes. We’re all trying our best and no one is better than anyone else.
VEGANISM IS JUST THE BEGINNING
Look back at that motivation you found, if you’re doing this for animals and the environment this really is only the beginning. There is so much more that you can do to live more ethically and sustainably! If you still use plastic, you can work towards getting rid of it completely. If you still eat palm oil, you can stop buying foods that contain it. Humans are seriously destructive creatures and if we don’t start making some major changes our earth is going to go to shit. It’s already started to, but it’s not too late and you have the power to make a difference. Do your research and share what you find with the people around you! You may seem crazy but the rest of the world will catch on eventually, every little bit counts!
I hope that you learned something from reading this post today and I hope that your vegan transition goes smoothly! If you ever have any questions, are feeling discouraged, or just want to talk please feel free to reach out to me on any of my social media (linked in the side bar on desktop or below this post on mobile). If you’ve been vegan for a while and have any other tips you’d like to share please leave a comment below!! If you liked this post feel free to share and subscribe to be notified by email when I post!
“We do not need to eat animals, wear animals, or use animals for entertainment purposes, and our only defense of these uses is our pleasure, amusement, and convenience.” – Gary L. Francione