There are many aspects to consider when beginning to go vegan and to maintaining a successful long-term vegan lifestyle.
The food you eat is often thought of as the central part of being vegan, but there are other things to consider as well.
The materials used in the clothing and accessories you buy and use are important to re-evaluate.
Making sure education is a priority is a critical facet of the vegan lifestyle. The more educated you are on various topics relating to going vegan, the more assured and confident you will be in your lifestyle choices.
But it is also helpful to build a sense of community to have as a support system along with having patience with the learning process.
These 5 Important Steps to Going Vegan are, in many ways, fundamental to maintaining a vegan lifestyle long-term.
1. A Vegan Diet
Often, the first step to going vegan is to have a look at the foods you eat.
One approach is to make an effort to choose more plant-based foods, slowly eliminating the animal-based products in your diet. Or, you could go 100% vegan overnight.
Whatever approach works best for you is the way to go.
If it is the same comforting foods you seek, look for vegan alternatives – there are plenty. Products such as vegan cheeses, meats, and the like abound today.
Otherwise, you can take the opportunity to try new things. Try out recipes and dishes you may never have before.
You never know you might be pleasantly surprised and find yourself with a new favourite dish or snack food.
2. Vegan Clothing and Accessories
Going vegan means that the materials that make up the items you wear and use will need to be taken into consideration.
Many items that may even surprise you are comprised of animal-based products. It will take time to learn just how far the use of animal products extends.
Items such as leather shoes and belts are more apparent, but animal products can be found in many other things that are at first less obvious. There is no real hard and fast “rule” to follow when going vegan as far as avoiding these items.
You will need to decide for yourself which products you feel comfortable using.
The aim of veganism is to cause the least amount of suffering to others as possible. It is not expected, nor would it be realistic for us to be perfect. So, just do your best.
There are many great vegan clothing companies, like Vaute Couture, that you should keep your eye out for!
This brings us to the next important aspect when it comes to going vegan: education.
One step at a time, the learning process will likely be gradual and, at times, frustrating, but it is an all important element.
The more educated and aware of the various facts you are, the more readily you can confidently live vegan and share the lifestyle with others.
People will always have questions. So, the more confident and informed you are the easier it will be to respond to their inquiries or to direct them to quality resources that can help them further.
Education will also help you to more thoroughly understand the ethical reasons for going vegan. Not only can that provide you with your motivation for going vegan, but it can also give you a sense of urgency to create positive change in the world.
Learning about a vegan diet, health, the environment, and especially those whose lives are bettered by you going vegan can certainly provide all the incentive you need, like the residents at these farm sanctuaries.
Building a sense of community around you, whether in person or online, can be essential to ensuring long-term success on a vegan lifestyle.
Community allows you to connect with other like-minded individuals, share ideas and experiences, and know that there are others out there living a life with similar values.
It also gives you a foundation of support that can provide you with a greater sense of confidence especially when you are first starting out.
Having support for the changes you are making can help tremendously. Assistance in answering and resolving questions or concerns you may have can give you reassurance in your motivation for going vegan.
Becoming vegan is a learning process.
Realising that many foods and items you have become accustomed to will be questioned and critiqued can be challenging at first.
Learning about where the ingredients come from will likely take a bit of time, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you have a few trip ups in the meantime.
You may experience some difficulty in breaking old habits or frustration at being unaware of certain ingredients.
But, just give yourself time and keep your focus on the reasons and motivations that led you to choose to go vegan.
Going vegan is, for many, a gradual process that doesn’t happen overnight.
Changing the food, clothing, and other items that you consume and use on a daily basis can be frustrating. However, it is a truly worthwhile endeavour to undertake.
The process of questioning long-held habits, behaviours, and beliefs is not an easy one, but it is the first step on this journey.
As you go along, educating yourself on various aspects of the lifestyle will help to solidify your resolve. The more you know the more you will feel comfortable you are doing the right thing, and the more you will be able to help others who are going vegan.
To address any further concerns or reassurances you may need, building a community of like-minded individuals can give you a sense of belonging in a world that often feels full of resistance.
Most of all, having patience with yourself and the transition process are important to make permanent change.
Going vegan is not difficult. The key is to just take those first few steps.
Deciding to go vegan and acknowledging to yourself your reasons for doing so is the biggest and most important part.
On TheVeganJunction you can find resources on various topics to help you in going vegan.
Here are a few to start:
Find all the resources you need to succeed long-term on a healthy, vegan lifestyle in the Plant-Based Directory.