Converting to a vegan lifestyle is a challenging feat for the best of us. But in a time when such changes have been heralded in the press as the single most effective measure we can take to protect our planet, it’s a transition that more and more people are making.
In Andrew Miles’ The Vegan Toolguide, he used insights from more than 30 vegans of 10+ years to compile a comprehensive resource for guidance, tips and advice. In making use of a community who thrive thanks to the power of plants, The Vegan Tool Guide draws on real-life experiences, obstacles and endorsements for profound lifestyle changes.
Here, we share Miles’ top five tips for transitioning into veganism, based on the most frequent answers from his participants.
Embrace the Community
According to 35% of respondents in The Vegan Toolguide, it was important to establish a support network when making the transition to veganism. This included making vegan friends and joining vegan groups on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Facebook groups recommended by Miles include Forks Over Knives, Vegans United, Plant-Based Recipes and Transitioning Support and What Broke Vegans Eat.
It’s imperative to educate yourself about veganism, not just on recipes and nutrition but on animal rights and how to talk about veganism to others. Some of Miles’ top resources include The Vegan Society, One Green Planet, Eating Animals and Dominion.
Take it Slow
Don’t be too hard on yourself when starting out. It’s easy to put pressure on yourself and feel bad when a craving gets the better of you. Slip-ups and setbacks are inevitable at the beginning. Try not to see them as a sign of defeat and continue on your transition.
Establish Your Reasons
Remember that going vegan is not just a diet change, it’s a values change. Long-term vegans in Miles’ tool guide say it’s important first to understand why you want to be vegan. Consider writing down your intentions in bullet points, is it for the animals, for your health, or for the environment. It might be all three.
Knowing why also proves useful when people question you about it (which will happen, a lot) Be true to yourself and hold your ground should people try to devalue your choice.
The majority of people who took part in The Vegan Toolguide vouch for meat and dairy alternatives as a great way to ease the transition. If you’ve consumed meat and dairy your entire life, it’s completely natural that you’ll crave these products after deciding to go vegan. It will mostly be the flavours and textures you’re craving, though, and alternatives are increasingly offering zero compromise to either of these things. Experiment and see which alternatives you like best.
Read The Vegan Toolguide in full on Andrew Miles website, memanmevegan.com