Today marks the day that I’ve been vegan for three years! This day three years ago I decided to go 100% vegan, and I haven’t looked back. I have written a whole post about my vegan journey and why I made the choices I did; read all about that here. In this post today I want to talk a little bit about the past year, as well as giving you some advice on how to go vegan, or try to incorporate more plant-based elements into your life.
The past year has been great, vegan-wise, and not much has changed. I’m still very happy in my choice to become vegan and very rarely feel restricted by my choices. I think that one of the highlights of the past year has been seeing so many more companies embracing veganism and offering vegan options. I now rarely find myself in a position where there are no options for me; it’s become so much easier. I do have the benefit of living in London, where new vegan companies seem to pop up all the time. There is a vegan pizza place as well as a vegan kebab shop opening up very close to me soon and I can’t wait!
I am still very firm in my belief that pushing veganism on anyone is the wrong way to go. I would like to think that I am not pushy at all with my lifestyle; I don’t really talk about it unless people ask me and I’m very flexible in terms of where we eat. I am lucky with a great family and group of friends. They’re often more aware of whether there are vegan options available for me, and I’m so grateful for that.
In this post I want to give back to you a little bit and share some of my tips for people starting out with veganism. Specifically, I want to share some tools and resources I used at the start of my journey, and still use often today, that helped me a lot. So here is my Vegan Started Toolkit!
When I first went vegan, I found it really useful to educate myself, and to know why I live a vegan lifestyle. Just remember; people go vegan for different reasons. These sources look at some of the different reasons behind veganism, from ethics to health:
- Cowspiracy: If you want to learn about the impact cattle has on the environment, Cowspiracy is an amazing documentary to check out. I often recommend this one to people who are interested in or just starting veganism, as it’s very informative but also not too daunting to watch.
- What the Health: Produced by the same team as Cowspiracy, this documentary focusses on the impact dairy and meat products have on ones health. If you’re motivated to eat plant based for health reasons, you’ll find this very intriguing.
- Earthlings: This documentary focusses on the ethical issues behind factory farms and other animal-oriented industries. Earthlings is not easy to watch, as there are many disturbing images, but it explores the ethical reasons behind veganism very well.
- How Not to Die: This book, written by Dr. Michael Greger, looks at the top causes for premature death in America, and discusses the foods one should eat in order to avoid such diseases. Not only is it very informative, but it also shows you many reasons as to why veganism is beneficial for your health.
- How to be Vegan: If you’re looking for a bit of an easier read, I recommend ‘How to be Vegan’, written by Elizabeth Castoria. I bought this book when I was thinking about going vegan, and it helped me so much. There are loads of tips in there, as well as some recipes and just generally good advice.
I think social media is a great tool to learn more about veganism, connect with other vegans and find some great food ideas. There’s are a bunch of vegan accounts to follow on social media that will provide you with all the inspiration you need, some of my favourites are:
- Hot for Food: If you’re looking for some amazing recipes, ‘Hot for Food’ is the place to check out. Lauren Toyota, who runs the business, runs you through her recipes on her YouTube channel, and you can also find her recipes of Instagram and her blog.
- James Aspey: If you’re interested in the ethical side of veganism, James Aspey is a great resource and inspiration. His content can be a little confrontational, but it’s very informative and eyeopening.
- Gaz Oakley: Another great resource for recipes and food inspiration is British Gaz Oakley, known online as Avant Garde Vegan. He also just brought out a cookbook which looks to be filled with amazing vegan goodies.
- Veganuary: Although their main campaign is focused on January, they post informative and relatable content all year round.
- Sammantha Margaret: If you want some beautiful pictures of animals on your feed, you need to follow Sammantha Margaret. Her images really capture the beauty of all animals.
There are so many amazing social media accounts and blogs out there that will help you stay inspired and motivated on your vegan journey. If you’re a big Instagram user, simply browse the hashtag #vegansofinstagram to see the many amazing accounts out there!
With veganism becoming more and more mainstream, there are a lot of vegan events held every year. Attending a vegan event or festival is a great way to meet fellow vegans, enjoy amazing food and listen to interesting talks. They’re great fun and a good way to stay motivated on your vegan journey. Vegfest holds and epic festival in Brighton and London every year, and to see which other vegan events are happening throughout the year, check out this list.
Perhaps the most handy vegan tool out there is Happy Cow, which is an international guide of vegan restaurants and stores. Simply go to their website and type in wherever you’re going, and all the vegan options in that area will show up. They also have an app, which is great for on the go. This is especially helpful when you’re travelling, but also for exploring your own area. If you’re new to veganism and still trying to figure out where the best vegan options are around you, check out Happy Cow.
Perhaps the most important piece of advice if you’re planning on trying out veganism: don’t stress. You’re bound to make mistakes every now and then; I still do, three years on. As long as you do the best you can, you’re doing amazingly. The tools mentioned in this blog post can help you on your vegan journey and make the transition a little easier for you. As long as you have a reason in your heart for why you want to continue with veganism, you’re set!
I hope this post was useful for you. If you ever want some more advice, or just want to chat, please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org!
Parts of this post were originally written by me for the Uncaptive Co blog, see here: https://www.uncaptive.co.uk/blog/2018/2/6/how-to-continue-with-veganism-after-veganuary