There are so many things I wish I knew when I went vegan.
Not because my transition period was difficult, but because there were so many obstacles I had to face that I never thought would happen simply because I wanted to be a kinder human.
Maybe you are in a similar position right now. If that is the case, let me share what I know.
You see, there are thousands of activists who are focused on motivating people to go vegan, but I want to do something different.
I don’t know everything, but I do know how to create a sustainable vegan lifestyle that never makes me feel like I am missing out on anything. I’ve been eating plants for the past 6 years, and I cannot see myself going back.
If you are a newbie, this post will help you avoid major hardship.
Here are 3 vegan challenges and how to conquer them:
- Your friends might leave you.
Yes, some of us lost our lifelong friends because they just couldn’t accept that we didn’t want to eat cows anymore. It happens. Could be worse, right?
It’s still scary to think that you might lose people you love, but at the end of the day, are we supposed to walk to the beat of their drum? It’s a cliche, sure, but this truly is your life.
Are you going to ask your friends for permission when it comes to making other major decisions? Opinions are one thing, but we are not talking about the difference in our thinking, we are talking about bowing our heads to please others.
We live on a planet with almost 8 billion people. I’m not a math genius but I’m pretty sure you are capable of making new, better friends if you open your heart to everyone you have yet to meet.
Again, 8 billion people.
I know this is hard to hear because you love your friends, but think about how many relationships ended even though you were sure they were going to last. Nothing is permanent and that’s okay.
- Your body may rebel.
When you stop eating animal products, your body may go through a detox of sorts. Just like drug addicts experience withdrawal when going clean, your body will feel worse before it gets better.
Of course, if you are concerned about the symptoms you should consult with a doctor, but it is usually nothing serious.
If you want to make this phase less uncomfortable, make sure you are drinking plenty of water, maintain a regular exercise routine, and give your body all the necessary nutrients and vitamins it requires.
I also find that eating plant-based alternatives to animal products can help with tricking the body that it is still getting the same foods it is used to consuming. This might not be what you want if you wish to eat a healthier diet, though.
- You will feel uncomfortable and alone, sometimes.
Going from supporting the exploitation and slaughter of non-human animals to thriving on plants is a big, drastic change. It is our personal evolution and we should be proud of ourselves.
But that doesn’t mean there won’t be times when you will feel ridiculed, bullied and lonely.
What personally helped me was finding a community online and taking care of myself. Being your own best friend will save you hours of anxiety and sadness.
And you can reach out to me on Instagram if you need someone to cheer on you! Or you can reach out to anyone else who you might feel called to.
If you are afraid that being vegan is too hard, don’t be.
The fact that you are here, reading this post, trying to understand how to create a lifestyle that you love and adore, means you are more than strong.
You were taught that eating murdered non-human animals was the correct thing to do. You were taught to suppress your compassion and a moral code you were born with. You were taught to kill and exploit the most innocent among us.
But you resisted!
You stood up against the system and decided to make choices that reflect your deepest values.
That takes bravery and because of that, I know you can overcome all and any vegan challenges that might be thrown your way. You came so far already!
When something is important, you do it even if all the odds are against you, is what Elon Musk said a few years ago when he was still normal. Now, I am telling you this. Do it because you know it’s what you need to do, even if you have doubts and fears.
You got this.