So you’re thinking about going vegan? Or you want to take small steps to lessen your impact on animals and our planet? Good, you’re in the right place! I’ll share with you some helpful pointers on what to do, how to do it and why it matters on an individual and global scale.
To start off, let’s talk about what vegan means and why people decide to go vegan. Vegan refers to anything free of animal products (i.e. food, cosmetics, clothing, household items). It also refers to a lifestyle, with animal-loving philosophy at its center. People go vegan for any number of reasons, but most people choose based on health perks, dietary restrictions or preferences and/or as a moral statement against unnecessary animal cruelty and murder. No matter your motive, any steps you take toward veganism immediately benefit the world! Take a look at this infographic to see tons of jaw-dropping statistics about how choosing vegan (and the alternative) impact the environment.
The very first step in the “Going Vegan” process should be research. Educate yourself on the subject before making your own decisions. Talk to others, watch movies, read books. Then choose how you want to vote with your food dollar. Here are some good places to start:
Food, Inc.; Vegucated; Cowspiracy; Forks Over Knives; Fast Food Nation; Supersize Me; King Corn; PlanEAT; Food Matters; Change Your Food, Change Your Life
The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan; Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health by Gene Stone; Main Street Vegan by Victoria Moran; Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer; Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis; Ultimate Vegan Guide by Erik Marcus
On the web:
Read my “Holy COWS!” blog to learn more about what goes on in the commercial meat industry
Great all-around site: www.vegan.com/
Link on why vegetarian: www.chooseveg.com/environment
Link on how to vegan shop/meal plan: features.peta.org/how-to-go-vegan
There are numerous instagram, pinterest and other accounts dedicated to the vegan lifestyle and delicious vegan recipes. Simply search for “vegan” and click on whatever you’re drawn to!
The transition process doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start small. Begin by adding more plant based foods to your diet. Organic veggies and fruits, nuts, seeds and whole grains round out the list. Check out this vegetarian food pyramid for ideas on what to feed your body. These foods should make you feel GOOD! Side effects may include: increased energy, clearer skin, weight loss and better mental focus. Fill your fridge and pantry with fresh, wholesome foods. You can’t eat what you haven’t bought and brought back from the store!
Another step you can take is to try to have meat just one less day a week. Meatless Mondays have become popular and you may want to adopt that day of the week as you begin your journey. Once you see how easy having a meat-free day can be, try doing it a couple days a week, then more. It’s important to choose what works for YOU. Know your motive and let that guide and inspire you.
Stay tuned for more blogs on healthy, vegan eating--for people, animals and our planet!