Updated: Aug 11, 2019
Well here we are, new year, new goals and ambitions. New outlook on life and the things that are important to you and your family. This is the year you’re going to write that book, lose those few extra pounds, travel somewhere new or save for that next big thing. This is the year you are going to be your best ever and you are going to try something new.
What if I told you that there was something you could bring to your daily routine that would improve your state of mind, your energy, your relationship with the world around you and improve your health?
Have you ever considered going vegan? To most non-vegans the thought of giving up animal foods, products and byproducts seems like an impossible task. Change is always daunting but I’m here to tell you that change is also good!
I’m sure you’ve heard of veganism, perhaps you’ve even caught wind of Veganuary - the month long movement encouraging non-vegans to give the lifestyle and mindset a try in a safe and supportive atmosphere.
In the spirit of trying new things here are 5 easy switch-outs you can try this month to start transitioning towards a lifestyle free from animal cruelty. You may find that the way you feel after making these few small changes will inspire you to continue on towards transitioning to a go vegan lifestyle, or at the very least you may learn about something new that will become your new favorite thing or go-to (like tempeh! yummmm).
There is an absolute abundance of information available today covering everything from why veganism is an important step towards preserving our planet to improving your health and the call for ethical treatment of animals. Read as much as you can about other people’s transitions to veganism. Watch a few of the many available movies and documentaries that are out like Hungry for a Change, Food Inc., Vegucated and Earthlings to start to understand the motivations behind the go vegan movement.
Loose the Dairy
You may be surprised to learn how many milk, cheese and dairy alternatives are available on the market and how satisfyingly delicious they are. Check out these to start and see which ones you like most!
An extensive product catalogue including almond, soy, coconut, cashew and oat milks, a variety of coffee creamers and dairy-free yogurts
Daiya Foods (https://daiyafoods.com)
An impressive range of cheeses in block form, sliced, shredded, cheese spreads, sauces and even cheesecakes!
Best known for their frozen desserts, Tofutti makes ice-cream, ice-cream sandwiches and more in a variety of flavors as well as cream cheeses, sour cream and ricotta
Stop Investing in Animal Derived Materials
Consider what animal hide leather, animal fur, wool and other garments you have that are made from animal by product you could live without. I know it can be very difficult to purge - even if you feel like it’s the right thing to do. Items carry sentimental value and there are financial constraints. You can give items away to friends or take them to a clothing swap. You can have a little closet sale or give them to a second hand clothing store. When making new purchases be mindful about what material they are made of and rebuild your closet vegan.
Start Reading Labels
When you go shopping for your regular groceries start reading the labels. Not only is this smart practice to know exactly what it is that you’re consuming but you’ll start to notice there are many ingredients in your current diet that are in fact vegan and with that knowledge you can start building around it!
The idea of cardboard-like flavorless meat substitutes is a thing of the past. This is in many ways the best time ever to become vegan as the market has responded to the demand for quality vegan meat substitutes. There have been major improvements since the movement first started, you will be surprised how many satisfying options are available! Try making your favorite meat dishes with a meat substitute instead.
Follow others who are immersed in the lifestyle and let them inspire you everyday to keep evolving.
Mississippi Vegan - Timothy Akron on instagram shares heartwarming recipes, ingredient information and makes vegan cuisine fun and very relatable.
The Curious Chickpea - Eva has an extensive recipe catalog that covers everything from breakfast, side dishes, desserts and entrees.
The Vegan Society - This website is an excellent resource covering a huge range of lifestyle topics including family, school, fashion and travel. They also have other ideas for your go vegan moment.
From My Bowl - Caitlin focuses on an easy-to-follow and budget friendly vegan lifestyle.
Going vegan is a very personal decision and is your own to make. It’s not about being right or wrong or being ‘perfect’, it’s about being the best human you can in harmony with both yourself and the Earth we all share. Whether you adopt veganism as a way of life is totally up to you, but we hope that by taking a few steps towards a cruelty-free lifestyle you’ve discovered some new and exciting things that you will enjoy adding into your everyday life. With anything new and different, taking the initiative to learn more about it before making a decision one way or the other is really important. We hope that this article has encouraged you to continue to learn and investigate! There’s so much to try and experience, why not start today!