More and more people are trying out veganism every day. Every year the number of vegans increases significantly. If you are also thinking of starting your vegan journey, welcome! And congrats for not supporting animal abuse.
Going vegan can be easy for some people and very difficult for some, depending on their lifestyle, diet, and the country they live in. You’ll have to make a huge change in your lifestyle while transitioning to veganism. There are many things people need to know before going vegan. Most people do not have enough information on how to do veganism properly. Here are some tips which may help you with your vegan journey.
Tips for Going Vegan
1-Make the Transition SlowlyMost people go vegan overnight. If you are not able to go vegan overnight, don’t worry. You can make the transition slowly. Depending on your diet, you might face some digestive system problems after transitioning to veganism. If your former diet was predominantly animal-based, you might face more problems than the people whose diets were predominantly plant-based. The common problems that people face after going vegan are bloating, gas, heartburn, and mild stomach ache. You might feel more hungry than before. But these problems will go away with time.
2-Supplement B12Vitamin B12(cobalamin) is one of the eight B vitamins. It performs various functions in our body. It supports the normal function of nerve cells and helps in the production of red blood cells. Our body cannot make B12 on its own. We get B12 naturally from animal products such as meat, milk, and eggs. Since a plant-based diet is deprived of these products, vegans need to supplement B12. There is a common myth among vegans that you can get B12 from plants. This is simply not true. If any vegan isn’t taking a B12 supplement, make sure you tell them the truth.
3-Make a Diet PlanDo a lot of research before transitioning to veganism. Learn the basics of vegan nutrition and plan your diet carefully. Learn about the nutrients which are important to the body and the plants which are rich in certain nutrients. Since plants are less nutrient-dense than animals, you need to eat a wide variety of plants to get all the nutrients in good quantity and stay healthy. Include fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts in your diet. You can also consult a dietitian to make a diet plan.
4-Get Enough Omega 3sFlax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts are the best sources of plant-based omega 3s. Other plant-based sources of omega 3s are kale, spinach, and some green vegetables. If you’re still not sure about getting enough omega 3s, you can take an algae-based DHA supplement.
5-Beware of AllergiesMany people are allergic to soy, nuts, berries, and gluten. If you try new plant-based options but suffer from allergic reactions afterward, avoid eating those foods. Sometimes you can suffer from stomach upset after eating a new vegan product. Suffering from stomach upset doesn’t necessarily mean that you are allergic to that particular product.
6-What About Honey?Honey is the most controversial topic among vegans. Most people say that honey is not vegan because it comes from honey bees. But some vegans argue that eating honey can be vegan if you buy local. Technically, honey cannot be considered vegan because it comes from animals too. For more information on honey production, you can watch Earthling Ed’s video on honey.
7-What About Candies and Chewing Gums?Well, you might be surprised to know that most candies and chewing gums are not vegan. Candies and chewing gums are made of gelatin. People are unaware of what gelatin is made of. Gelatin is a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, and bones of animals, usually cows or pigs. If you are a candy lover, you can try out vegan candies. There are vegan substitutes for almost all types of candies.
8-What About Cosmetics?This might be a little surprising that most cosmetics and beauty products are tested on animals before they are made available in the market. Every year ,thousands of animals, mostly rabbits, and Guinea pigs are used as test subjects to check the safety and quality of beauty products. What to do if you love to wear makeup? There is good news. Some cosmetic companies are cruelty-free, which means the products are vegan and not tested on animals. You can search for vegan cosmetic brands online. You’ll find plenty. 9- Are All Vegan Products Sustainable? If you are vegan for the environment then there are plants you might want to avoid consuming. The production of almonds, palm oil, coconut, chocolate, coffee, and avocados require a lot of water and land. These products contributes significantly to climate change. These plants are unsustainable compared to other commercially grown plants. You can make an even bigger impact by simply avoiding these foods. If you cannot completely stop consuming these products then you can just reduce consumption. The impact of different plant-based kinds of milk differ in terms of land use, water use, and carbon emissions. 10-Don’t Eat Plant-based Meat Alternatives Every Day If you are vegan for your health then eating plant-based meat alternatives every day is a no go. Most plant-based meat products contain too much sodium and are highly processed. They are also less dense in key nutrients as compared to real meat. Most plant-based doctors recommend eating vegan meat twice or thrice a week. You don’t want to ruin your health now, do you?
11-Do Vegans Visit Zoos and Aquariums?No vegans don’t visit zoos and aquariums. Why? The answer is simple. Zoos and aquariums make a profit out of keeping animals at zoos. Animals are enslaved and kept in small cages. Many animals at zoos suffer from one or another kind of psychological problem. Enslaving animals for human use and entertainment is against the philosophy of veganism. What are the alternatives to zoos? If you want to help protect animals then you should support animal sanctuaries. Boycott zoos, aquarium, circuses, and any other form of entertainment which requires animals. 12-Stay Motivated People who are vegan for health and environment are more likely to leave veganism than ethical vegans. There are several reasons as to why people leave veganism. One of the reasons is a lack of motivation. You need to stay motivated and have a strong will to remain vegan. If you ever think of leaving veganism, just remember what you’re fighting for. Is it the environment? Or the animals? Or your health? Make some vegan friends online or in real life. You can go to a vegan restaurant and invite your non-vegan friends and family members. Do Meatless Mondays with your family. Try new vegan recipes every now and then. Vegan food can taste just as good as meat. You just need to have creativity.
A vegan diet will only be healthy if you eat more whole foods than processed foods. At times you might crave animal products. That’s totally fine. You don’t have to feel bad about that. Craving animal products is common.
Keep a positive attitude and stay motivated. If you’re not motivated enough, you might leave veganism at some point. Don’t isolate yourself. Isolating yourself from your loved ones might affect your mental health.
It’s difficult to remain a vegan when nobody in your family supports your decision. At some point, you might even decide to go back to eating meat but don’t give up. Remember the reason you went vegan for. By not supporting animal abuse you’re saving a sentient being’s life.