Most people think of veganism as a strict diet that does not allow you to eat anything good, delicious, or unhealthy. Many people actually believe that vegans eat salads all day and tofu for special occasions.
The weird part is that not wanting to exploit animals for food, clothing, research, entertainment etc., is seen as a drastic approach to life. Vegans are often seen as radical extremists who violently eat seitan while wearing shirts that say Meat is Murder.
Since you chose to read this post and you heard the word veganism before, I can only assume that you are interested in veganism and have done your research into learning what veganism is and what vegans stand for.
If you have done a thorough job, you found out that vegans, a) want to save the animals, b) want others to save the animals, and c) do not want anyone to exploit animals, but love each other and live at peace.
Does this seem like a difficult lifestyle?
Perhaps at first, especially when you learn that being vegan means not supporting ZOOs and aquariums, not wearing wool and suede – among other skins, not buying products that were tested on animals or contain animals, and do not eat anything, even if it has only a teeny tiny bit of honey in it.
I would add language to that list as well. A lot of vegans do not use animals in a negative way when talking to someone, like saying that someone is dirty or is sweating like a pig, or that someone is a bitch.
The biggest part of the change that occurs when a person decides to change their lifestyle, of course, occurs on our plate. We switch meat, dairy and eggs, for tons of healthy carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes and so on.
Suddenly out taste buds pick up more flavors and we learn how to appreciate a well-cooked meal that is rich in nutrients that our body needs and deserves.
When I became vegan and started living according to my values, I learned that choosing activities where animals are not hurt and buying things that haven’t used animals in any way, is much simpler than previously thought. It may take you a few weeks to get used of buying vegan and cruelty-free – and not paying for exploitation of animals for entertainment or educational purposes – but you are completely capable of learning how to live even more compassionately now.
Do not underestimate your learning abilities to remember what foods contain which nutrients, and which brands are vegan and cruelty-free. Your brain is a very skilled machine that will absolutely not fail you, but you do need to educate yourself on the topic of living vegan.
If you ask (almost) any vegan, they will tell you that your first three steps should look something like that:
- You watch Earthlings (for the animals).
- You watch Cowspiracy (for the environment).
- You watch What the Health (for your well being).
Those three documentaries give you the understanding of why vegans live the way they do, and you get to learn about some important truths that will help you when you find yourself struggling due to too much pressure from your family and friends.
I would also recommend you the following material:
- Skinny Bitch book series.
- Book How Not to Die by Dr Michael Greger.
- Documentary Blackfish.
- Book My Beef With Meat by Rip Esselstyn.
- Book The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and colleagues.
- A book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows by Melanie Joy.
- Speech (can be found on YouTube) titled Best Speech You Will Ever Hear by Gary Yourofsky.
- Speech (can be found on YouTube) titled This Speech is Your Wake Up Call by James Aspey.
- For a less graphic, kid-friendly and educational Sunday movie marathon, watch the movie Okja.
It is all about education and knowing your why.
I have been vegan for 4 years now, but I still continue learning every single day. I never go a day without learning something new about the animals and the industries that exploit them. Every day I also learn about the environment, consumerism and other topics that are important to learn about for our future.
Going vegan can be hard if you are not prepared to put in a few hours to learn, and gain knowledge that will help you sustain a healthy and beautiful lifestyle as a vegan, but it won’t take too long for veganism to become your second skin. Here are some more resources to help you go vegan.
But if you are willing to put in some more work and are prepared to gain even more knowledge, I challenge you to pick a book, speech, movie, or a documentary, that I listed, and watch it or read it in the next two weeks.
I know that some of you might be too busy to spend your time reading heavy books or watching 2-hour documentaries, but you can take 10 minutes and watch a short educational video from PETA or Mercy For Animals (they can be found on YouTube).
Make sure you follow me on Instagram where I share my favourite vegan products, what I eat on a plant-based diet and all the best and most helpful vegan tips you can find.