Going vegan, or even vegetarian, is not a decision you make on a whim. Often, those who decide to make this switch based on impulses or “because it is trendy” are the ones who quit after a few weeks or months and go on a rant about how “veganism is not healthy for you”.
On the other hand, the goal is to try to find an assertive way to communicate veganism without making other people feel guilty about their choices. Such goal is not always achieved. It is a social psychology matter now more than scientific or evidence-based. It is no secret that many vegans are perceived to be on “a high horse” looking down on people with a superiority complex, and this approach is clearly not the best when it comes to educate and raise awareness.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to finding an achievable balance that can benefit ourselves, the animals and the planet overall. The world doesn’t need a few people doing veganism perfectly but MILLIONS (!) doing it imperfectly. Perfect is the enemy of good.
So, I put together these four-step guide and hopefully it will help your transition:
1. Get informed
- Be ready with an open mind to learn, unlearn and relearn.
- Do some research! There’s a TON of resources available!
- Don’t hesitate in reaching out to people on social media and ask for help. Trust me, the vegan community is more than happy to help and guide you towards a successful transition!
- Watch a documentary online. For instance: Cowspiracy, Food Inc., Dominion, Forks Over Knives, What The Health, Earthlings, The Game Changers. Some of them are on Netflix or even YouTube!
- Watch “The best speech you will ever hear” by Gary Yourofsky on YouTube. Click here for the link.
- Going vegan is a learning curve: you will learn something new every day!
2. Find out your why
- Ethical reasons.
- Animal welfare.
- Sustainability and environmental purposes.
- Health and fitness.
- All of them are legitimate reasons!
- If you want to know more, check my “Top 3 Reasons Why I Went Vegan” post.
3. Do it right
- Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you’re 100% healthy. Make sure you’re not missing out on essential nutrients!
- Start first with your own diet, then move towards other areas in your lifestyle: personal hygiene, clothing, makeup, etc.
- Sign up on Challenge 22, they provide FREE guidance and advice from registered dieticians! Yes, ALL FREE.
- Even though most foods nowadays are fortified with many vitamins and minerals, just to be on the “safe side”, make sure you take a B12 and a multivitamin supplement.
- Check and download a couple of vegan apps that could be useful.
- Get comfortable with reading the ingredients or composition of the products you buy. I am not going to BS you: it is a pain in the ass at first, but believe me, it gets better!
4. Take your time
- IT 📣 IS 📣 NOT 📣 A 📣 RACE! – I cannot stress this enough.
- Some people manage to go vegan overnight, some don’t. I’m gonna say it again, it is NOT a race.
- You could also try becoming flexitarian or vegetarian first, then vegan. Baby steps go a long way!
- Don’t feel pushed to throw out your wool coat, cashmere sweater, leather belt or shoes. Trust me, from a sustainability standpoint, if you already own them, they do better good staying with you than going to landfills!
- Golden lesson to remember: at the end of the day, our sole existence in this planet has an impact. But it all comes down to reducing that footprint as possible without compromising our health, hurting other sentient beings and causing the least damage to mama earth.
In 2020, it is so much easier than you think.
And when you least expect it, veganism will soon become second nature to you.
Make sure you enjoy it!