As veganism becomes more widely accepted, the body of information available grows ever more complex, innovative, and finely detailed. Unfortunately, such a labyrinth of resources and perspectives can be very difficult for a total beginner to navigate.
Here are some tips on what to do to start your vegan journey:
- Use traditional recipes you are comfortable with, and simply replace animal-based ingredients with vegan ones, such as faux meat and vegetable bouillon.
- The Internet is your best friend. Browse vegan recipes, and when confused about certain ingredients, Google them. Here is one simple recipe I use for a creamy sauce – I like to use this for pizza and dilute with plant milk or water.
- If you eat out a lot, use the Happy Cow app to locate vegan eateries near you. Also browse “eating out vegan” to find tips on eating vegan in non-vegan restaurants.
- There is power in community. When you feel the need to ask a specific question, or simply desire the company of fellow vegans, look into Facebook groups such as the following:
“Surrounding yourself with the right company is the key to success.”
Additionally, here are some points of perspective to take during your journey:
- Focus on exploring new recipes and replacing ingredients in familiar ones. Focus on what you can change and move forward.
- Do not be attached to a label. Focus on progress, not just the end goal. Meaning: if you are currently eating 60% vegan, then focus on increasing your veganism to 70%. Baby steps are okay – every runner starts their life crawling after all!
- There will be slip ups. Remember that the future is not yet made and the past doesn’t define you.
- There will always be people who try to bring you down because you are not yet 100% vegan. Understand that they come from their own perspective, and that your journey is your own, not theirs. All roads may lead to Rome, but who arrives there the second they think of it? No one.
And voilà! You have begun your vegan journey. With these points in mind, I hope it will bring you many exciting, creative, and rewarding experiences transitioning to a more compassionate lifestyle.
Featured image: Olivia, a goat at Woodstock Animal Sanctuary. Credit Jeffery DelViscio, CC BY-ND 2.0