How to Transition into Veganism in 3 Steps
There are several reasons why people voluntarily toss out their once-sacred supplies of bacon, get rid of their “favorite” leather jackets, and stop buying gelatin-infused skincare products in order to go vegan.
The three main categorical reasons that people choose to go meat-free, egg-free, dairy-free, and fish-free — for you newbs who don’t know — are for their health, the environment, and animal welfare.
If you’re thinking about making the change, but not really sure how to do it, this article is perfect for you.
I’m going to outline the three main steps to transition into veganism.
Just so you know, anyone can do it.
No seriously, anyone.
And, to be honest, everyone should do it.
(That’s the environmentalist and animal lover in me talking).
Veganism is a whole new way of thinking if you’ve been brought up in a meat-oriented family or community.
The meat and two veg thing is an ancient recipe for human dinners around the world probably since we could put food over a flame.
Now that we’re not animals in the wild, though, we have choices.
And, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but veganism is on the rise.
There’s very good reason for that.
People are starting to find out the truth about what happens to animals as they become food. They’re starting to get sicker from what they’re eating and begin looking for healing remedies. And, they’re hearing the buzz about global warming and wondering what they can do to help.
All signs point to veganism.
Now, you may be thinking:
“I don’t want to be that difficult person at dinner who needs special meals.”
“What do I even eat?”
“I’m not sure I like salads that much.”
Wherever your knowledge is on the scale-of-understanding-veganism (a totally made up scale I just created), just know that once you get settled into veganism, your life will feel exactly the same as it does in this moment.
What I mean by that is that everything overwhelming you about going vegan right now will soon feel like normal life and you won’t even think twice about it.
This concept mostly pertains to food, though, I must be clear.
Once you go vegan, you can’t unsee and un-know what you’ve learned along the way.
As in, the food stuff will become totally normal. The rest of it may be hard to grapple with no matter how long you’ve been vegan.
You can’t erase the videos from your brain of what happens to animals in slaughterhouses and you can’t forget the facts of what’s happening to your body when you eat an animal product. You also may have a hard time ignoring the fact that eating meat is the #1 way to leave a carbon footprint on our dying planet.
So, if even 1% of you has thought about veganism, but then got scared…please just keep reading.
It’s normal to be weirded out by it, but let your conscience guide you.
Okay, let’s break down the steps of transitioning into veganism so you know exactly what to do from here.
Step 1: Decide on either an overnight change or the phase out. Commit to your choice.
You know yourself.
You know if you’re the kind of person who can do something right away and stick with it or if you need to take baby steps.
No judgement here for whatever works for you.
If you’re the kind of person who needs to cut something out in order to draw a line in the sand, then you’ll likely cut out animal products in one go.
Some people can’t do the in-between dance. They need black and white instructions. What they can do and what they can’t do.
If you’re a “quit cold turkey” kind of person (not really a vegan pun now is it?), then either pick a specific day or just start tomorrow with cutting out animal products from your diet.
You’ll still inevitably need to do some learning, but were you to start tomorrow, your awareness would heighten instantly because you’re already thinking about what you can and can’t eat.
Take it one day at a time, but keep moving forward.
If you’re a slow and steady phaser-outer, then pick one category of animal products and commit to cutting it out of your diet. Pick a timeframe that works for you before you cut out the next category.
Maybe one week you cut out dairy and the next you cut out fish.
The week after that you eliminate chicken and the following week is eggs.
Then a week later, it’s goodbye to beef and then seven days later you no longer consume pork and bacon.
If you know you get overwhelmed with massive change, this could be the right approach for you.
Stay consistent and just focus on one thing at a time.
Step 1 is to decide if you’re going vegan all in in one shot or if you need to ease into it.
Do you, but be honest with yourself. If you choose the latter option, will you stick with it or not?
Easing into things slowly sometimes causes complacency and you don’t end up changing anything in the end.
Make a plan to cut something out in a steady timeframe and repeat until all animal products are gone.
If you’re doing it all in one shot, take it one day at a time.
You can do this.
Step 2: Educate yourself well.
Now that you know what approach you’re going to take to go vegan, you need to get your butt into a learner’s chair and educate yourself. I mean so with the utmost respect.
Take some time to learn about what veganism is and why it’s a way of life.
If you claim to be a lifelong learner, you’ll love this part. You might not like what you learn, but you’ll certainly be a wide-eyed student who has their world flipped upside down in the process.
If you’re not huge into learning, don’t worry.
There are loads of different options for digesting information about this lifestyle.
Whatever your preferred learning method is, there’s something out there for you.
Blogs (like this one!)
Good, ol’ fashioned printed books
And even just conversations
You can delve into any of these to find out why going vegan is A) a thing and B) so incredibly important in our world today.
The reason it’s important to educate yourself well in regards to veganism is because once you know WHY people go vegan, you’ll start to “get it.”
Vegans are not brain-washed freaks.
Veganism is not a cult.
Veganism is not a religion.
All we’ve done is recognize that as far as is possible and practical, we can exclude the use of animals in our food, entertainment, beauty products, clothing, and other areas. So, we do just that.
Vegans do not eat, use, consume, or subscribe to the practice of animal cruelty as much as possible.
Once you recognize how much we use animals on a day-to-day basis, how they’re treated as they’re turned into products for our consumption, and why our planet is suffering from these widespread habits, you’ll likely start seeing why veganism is the way we need to go as a species.
Without getting into all the details of why people go vegan (you can read that here), I’ll just give you three main categorical factors as I mentioned at the start of this article.
Animals are sentient beings who can feel pain and want to run from harm just like humans do. Some animals are even as smart as humans at certain ages. When we realize that all animals want to live happy lives just like we do, it makes it difficult to see them as food. There’s no difference between a dog and a pig; a horse and a cow; a cat and a chicken. As a society, we’ve grown used to the idea that some animals are here to serve us and others are here to love. But, when you dig deeper, you’ll learn there’s a whole undercurrent of injustices occurring and when you recognize your part in it, you’ll likely want to change.
The planet is dying from our over-breeding of animals. By breeding animals into existence, we are contributing to the over-population problem that drives our planet’s temperature wayyyy up. Animals give off methane, which warms the atmosphere. The more animals that exist, the more the planet’s temperature rises, the more the icecaps melt, and the more the planetary homeostasis shifts into a more chaotic state. Plus, all the extra animals on the planet need food to live. The extra grain we feed to farm animals can actually solve world hunger if we hadn’t bred them into existence.
People are sicker than ever from consuming animal products. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and so many other life-threatening illnesses are on the rise and often directly linked to the consumption of animal products. Humans are destroying their bodies for the sake of a sexy Big Mac they just saw in a commercial and it isn’t pretty. Obesity is actually killing people more than famine is. Your body needs plants; it doesn’t need dead carcass.
Educating yourself on veganism not only includes the foundation of why people go vegan; it also includes the how people live as vegans.
This means what foods they eat; what beauty products they use, what clothing, shoes, cars, etc. they buy; what types of entertainment they don’t participate in…and so much more.
Learning about alternatives is crucial for living a successful vegan lifestyle.
I’m telling you, the phrase is no longer, “There’s an app for that.” It’s, “There’s a vegan version of that.”
We live in a time of amazing cultivation where vegan options are cropping up everywhere.
Why buy something that’s caused an animal harm if you can buy the cruelty-free version?
Learn how to cook vegan food. Get creative.
Learn what restaurants serve vegan food. Eat there.
Learn what nutrients your body needs and how to get them.
You have a whole new world to explore, and I promise you, I’m here to walk you through it all.
Step 3: Find the right vegan community for you.
Speaking of walking you through it all, you need some vegan comrades to take you through your transition into veganism.
You can’t just sit at a table full of meat-eaters and expect to find support for a vegan diet there.
Veganism isn’t just any diet.
It’s not a diet like the ones that make you count calories or weigh yourself in every day; it’s a diet based on morality.
You are eating, buying, and consuming products that now align with certain morals.
So, being around other people that are aligning their morals with what they’re eating, using, buying, etc. will likely be a more supportive environment to help you as you navigate this new space.
Veganism can be really fun.
It can also be confusing and overwhelming.
When you hang out with or start associating yourself with other vegans, you’ll surround yourself with people who have gone or are going through the same exact thing as you.
Being with like-minded people can help a lot when you’re trying to understand what cheese alternatives to use, how to talk to people about veganism, or how to get involved in the activism community.
There are vegan Facebook groups, local activism groups (such as The Save Movement and Anonymous for the Voiceless), local vegan societies (Google your closest local group), and even apps where you can find vegan friends or romantical vegan dates! ;)
Find the right group for you so you can be supported through this change with people who understand exactly what you’re doing.
They’ll be able to help you with local recommendations like vegan food, vegan healthcare products, and even vegan meet-ups.
If you want to be around other “veg-curious” people in the online space who are transitioning into veganism, you are most welcome to join my free Facebook group: Craving a Peace Insiders Community.
We talk about the whole scope of going vegan from shopping to cooking to health to fitness…you name it.
We’ve got the confusing vegan thing covered without the judgment.
Come on over, we’d love to have you be a part of this growing community.
If you have any questions about transitioning into a vegan diet, please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.