I love being vegan, and as time goes on the more excited I am about veganism and passionate about helping other people make the transition; if that’s what they wish.
I’ve always admired people who can make a change overnight but I’m not one of those people. Sudden and/or massive changes stress me out and I often end up failing. For me, becoming vegan was a gradual process and one with many failures along the way (some made unwittingly, others not).
I’m aware that there are plenty of online resources for going vegan so I’m not going to claim originality for anything I’m about to say. Here’s just what has helped me and others I know.
- Do what works for you – change overnight or gradually
If becoming vegan all in one go and overnight is what works for you, great. Go for it. If you need to do it slowly, that’s fine too. Here are some examples of how to do it gradually:Start by overhauling your diet:There are a couple of ways you can do this.
- Make one meal a day vegan. I think breakfast is often the easiest place to start. If you have cereal it’s easy to find vegan cereals and your cereal may well be vegan without you realising. Then replace dairy milk with a non-dairy alternative. Almond, hazelnut and coconut milk are all popular varieties. Marmite, nut butters or jam on toast are good easy breakfasts too (make sure you get a vegan spread alternative)
- Or become vegetarian first with the aim of eventually becoming vegan when you can.
- Or eliminate one animal product at a time and at your own pace. For example, one week cut out chicken, the next week cut out eggs, the next fish etc until you’ve eliminated all animal products from your diet.
- Build up a repetoire of easy recipes and snacks.
- Find vegan alternatives for your favourite things.
- Linked to this is, know your weaknesses.
Chocolate is a love of mine and sometimes I crave the smoothness and sweetness of dairy chocolate. In these instances dark chocolate doesn’t cut it. So, I always make sure I have some great vegan alternatives that aren’t as rich or bitter as dark chocolate.
- After you’ve changed your diet (which in some ways is the easier part of becoming vegan), replace your beauty products and personal care items with vegan alternatives. Not everyone has got the money to throw away all their non-vegan personal care products to replace them with their vegan counterparts. When I ran out of face wash, for example, I made sure the next one I bought was vegan friendly.
- Vegan shoes and accessories – if money is an issue, you can take the same approach as with the personal care products. There are lots of great online stores now that specialise in vegan shoes.
- Connect with other vegans. I think this one is really important. There’s only so far you can go it alone. Fortunately, thanks to the internet there are a number of means through which you can do this. For example, follow vegan blogs and find vegan forums. Find out about any local vegan meet ups. Here in the UK the Vegan Society have a list of local and group contacts across the UK. Or there’s Vegan Buddy to find individual support.