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It’s happening. You’ve decided to go vegan. Now here’s how not to lose the buzz.
So, you’ve watched Okja and staggered out of a viewing of Earthlings. You’ve finally given serious thought to where milk actually comes from. Finally, you are ready to ditch all things animal-based.
Slow Vegan is here to help you with your transformation.
Here are some tips to help you start moving towards a plant-based diet - one part of the vegan lifestyle.
There are those among us who have the strength to go cold turkey on animal products overnight (no pun intended).
I am not one of them.
Full confession: I can admit to having gone vegan, not once but twice, and each time painfully slowly.
Trust me when I say, I know how you feel. It is no easy task to be faced with giving up the foods that have brought flavour and memory to all past life events entirely in one day, particularly when surrounded by the stresses of daily life.
The biggest hint to not falling off the wagon to ‘vegandom’, is to practise what you preach.
To my mind, veganism is the life choice that promotes kindness and compassion… so be compassionate to yourself.
Instead of trying to drop spare ribs, pizza and chocolate milkshakes all in one go and becoming bogged down in depression and giving up when you cannot… be realistic that it will take time and agree with yourself that you should have the space to do it.
I would encourage you to make a hit list.
First, think of all the foods that you love and will find a challenge to give up.
Some of these you can whittle away by finding obvious replacements for. With others it isn’t so easy. Take these foods and sort them into two categories: one for convenience, and one for taste.
For me, this meant things like ‘boiled eggs’, ‘cow's milk on kids’ cereal’ appearing in convenience.
Eggs were an easy protein source to rely on with two grumpy toddlers needing lunch five minutes ago. The children were familiar with cow’s milk and sticking to this meant stress-free meals.
Both were easy solutions to throw in the trolley when shopping with two crying children, a forgotten shopping list and ten more toddler-appropriate meals to plan with a postnatally-fogged brain.
My foods for taste are a shadier bunch that featured old favourites such as smoked salmon, blue cheese and milk in tea. More on those later. I feel like I am at confession here, but hey, we are all in this together.
I pinned the lists to the fridge and set myself the task of attacking it as and when I could manage it.
So in the week that you start a new job, or your partner is sick or it's your child’s birthday and everyone you know is descending for dinner, you understandably won’t have time to find a new solution or even remember that the list exists.
No need to plunge into the abyss of guilt and give up veganism as something that is unachievable.
There are quieter weeks, and when you get to these moments, you can look at the list, try some alternatives, and then have the satisfying moment of crossing another cruelty-based product out of your life for good.
The goal is more than worth it.
Going properly and permanently cruelty-free can take some people longer than others.
Charlotte Meyer zu Natrup is an ardent animal lover. She writes both fiction and non-fiction, and teaches secondary English, and with these gently seeks to promote compassion for all animal friends. She currently lives in Germany with her husband, two toddlers and two British short-haired cats, where she is mastering German and working on her first novel.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.