Maybe I’m overly optimistic, but I like to consider everyone as being pre-vegan or at least vegan-curious. It will take some longer than others to make the change, but we all have that capacity for change within us. For those of you considering going vegan, you may start by asking the following questions: What is a vegan?
Vegans do not consume any animal products. This includes meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and honey. Additionally, vegans avoid animal-derived ingredients that are used in bath and beauty products (lanolin, casein, beeswax, etc.) and clothing (wool, leather, silk, etc.).
What’s the difference between vegan and plant-based?
These terms are often used interchangeably, but while vegan always equals plant-based, plant-based does not necessarily equal vegan. Being plant-based means that the majority of your diet is made up of plants. The term ‘plant-based’ also doesn’t hold the ethical connotations that the word ‘vegan’ usually does. Veganism is a lifestyle; plant-based is a diet.
Why go vegan?
There are many reasons why people choose to go vegan. Probably the top three reasons are:
Ethical (taking a stand against animal cruelty)
Environmental (fighting the harmful effects of factory farming on the planet)
Health (enjoying the benefits of plant-rich, low-cholesterol eating)
Is it difficult?
Absolutely not! These days, vegan options are available at almost any restaurant, and stores like Walmart and Kroger have many vegan foods and bath products at affordable prices.
How can I get started?
Start simple with meatless Mondays. If you are already vegetarian, consider eliminating animal products one at a time. For example, I started by replacing cow’s milk with almond milk. Then I moved on to vegan butter and so on.
Will I miss out on anything?
As a vegan, the only thing you’ll miss out on is contributing to animal cruelty. No loss there!
Going vegan benefits the animals, the planet, and you as an individual. There are so many great resources out there for the vegan-curious. Want to try a plant-based meal? For some easy and cheap recipes, check out Plant Based on a Budget (www.plantbasedonabudget.com) or It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken (www.itdoesnttastelikechicken.com). Still on the fence? Watch documentaries such as Cowspiracy and What the Health. Are podcasts your thing? Try the Disclosure Podcast by Earthling Ed or The Chickpeeps Podcast. May they change your life as they did mine.
Here’s to a vegan future!