You have watched the Dominion documentary, or even the Earthlings documentary, or a friend told you about veganism and you have seen the light. What next?
Although we have had plants on our tables all our lives, suddenly the prospect of eating only fruits and vegetables can be daunting, especially if we are coming from a lifestyle where we constantly have animal based meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. The jokes and taunts directed at vegans don’t help matters at all either. I can assure you of one thing though, you will not have to join cattle at the pasture to fight for tender grass shoots. Everything you are accustomed to eating can be veganized. As a matter of fact, the animals used for meat live and thrive predominantly on plants, and that’s their entire source of protein.
Now that you have made the decision to go vegan, there are two ways you can go about it. The Cold turkey method and the baby steps method.
The cold turkey method
You could decide to go the cold turkey way and eliminate all animal products from your diet, and life, instantly. The first thing to do is remove all animal based food products from your pantry and fridge, then replace them with plant-based options. For example dairy can be replaced with plant milk. Plant milk is readily available all over the world in most stores, and you can also find coconut yoghurt and plant-based cheese quite easily. Spreads made with milk solids and similar spreads can be replaced with a vegan margarine which is also readily available.
As for animal product based wear, such as leather, fur and wool, it’s really up to you to decide what to do with what you already have. Once you have embarked on your vegan lifestyle, you should cease further support to this cruel and abusive industry by not purchasing any more of these products. Should you decide to dispose of what you already own, you could donate the fur and wool items to animal shelters. These items could be useful for keeping the animals in these shelters warm.
Check labels to make sure nothing you consume is made with animal products, or tested on animals.
The baby steps method
The other method of transitioning to a vegan style is the gradual replacement of animal products with vegan ones over a stipulated time. This is known as the baby steps method. You do want to have a time frame for the transition otherwise you could be in the baby steps method indefinitely!
One way to do it is to replace one meal a day with a vegan alternative for a week. For example, have a vegan breakfast for one week, and the next week have a vegan breakfast and a vegan snack and so on. Continue this way until all your meals in a day are 100% vegan. Most people find this method easier to stick with and fun.
The same thing can be done for other items such as articles of clothing. Anytime you have to replace an item, replace it with a vegan one.
Whichever of the two methods you choose, the most important thing is to stick with it and save as many animals as possible. Both methods are effective.
Let us know which method you prefer, and if there is anything we can do to help!
The Vegan Society Team.