6 tips for going vegan
Veganism has risen hugely in prominence and popularity over the last five years. Thanks to a better understanding of the lifestyle and commitment required, it’s easier than ever to go vegan. Whether you’re considering going vegan for health, animal welfare, environmental, ethical or dietary reasons, there are a few key things to consider. Below are six key tips to help you go vegan.
Going vegan means a shift in the foods you eat. If you’re going straight into a vegan diet from a meat-eating diet, you might find it quite difficult. It’s best to slowly cut down on animal products to change your mindset and to accustom your body to more fruits, vegetables, beans and grains. Going vegetarian can help if you’re transitioning from a diet that currently includes meat – see it as a stepping stone on your journey to veganism.
Being vegan means you need to be unafraid in the kitchen! Don’t be scared to try lots of new recipes, to experiment with techniques to help vary textures and get handy with your spice rack. Vegan food isn’t just salads anymore, and luckily there are plenty of vegan cookbooks and food blogs that can provide exciting inspiration to help you get creative in the kitchen and get excited with your new diet adventure.
While vegan diets can be incredibly healthy when you first change from a diet that includes meat and dairy your body can take time to adjust to this new form of nutrition. It’s important to make sure you aren’t losing any essential minerals and vitamins so chat to a nutritionist or dietician to check you aren’t at risk of any deficiencies.
Animal products can crop up in unlikely places, including vaccinations and pills. If you have a long term health condition that requires injections or tablets regularly, you might need to consider this carefully if you want to have a very strict vegan outlook. Always speak to your doctor if you are considering a vegan lifestyle and diet to ensure you aren’t at risk of compromising your health.
Makeup and toiletries
Animal testing is still unfortunately all too common when it comes to makeup and toiletries. Over 10 million animals are tested upon and die every year. Fortunately, many brands are moving to vegan formulas or to eliminate animal testing and products from their ranges and it’s easy to find your favourite products with vegan-friendly stickers. Look for specific ‘not tested on animals’ labels or a clear vegan formula notice. The ‘leaping bunny’ is a great marker for showing no animal testing was involved. You can find vegan shampoo, conditioner, soap, hair dye, lipstick, moisturiser and more in online stores and even on the high street.
Clothing and fashion
Vegan fashion might sound odd, but it’s more about choosing sustainable clothing that isn’t exploiting people, animals or the environment. Upcycling clothes is a great way to revive an old item, but if you want something new, look for companies with sustainable fashion commitments and environmental pledges. Organic cotton, wool or recycled materials are great options for clothes that support a vegan lifestyle. Try and choose clothing that is locally made to reduce your carbon footprint with shipping too.
If you love leather and silk, there are some great fake alternatives, such as vegan leather or ‘pleather’, and for vegan-friendly silk look for peace silk, synthetic spider silk or ramie.
The most important thing to remember about going vegan is to manage it in stages. Start off with small changes you know you can incorporate into your lifestyle and work your way from there to live more ethically, sustainably and environmentally friendly.