Firstly there is no right or wrong to becoming a Vegan. It a personal choice that so many people are making in modern society today. You have probably seen the rising number of graphic and disturbing videos or photos being posted around on social media of the mishandling and mistreatment of all animals that provide the human race with meat, eggs or dairy. Before social media and the internet we were unaware of how these animals were being transported or treated in intensive animal farming or industrial livestock production. I know it’s not all farming and production plants but a high percentage do still carry out these heartless acts due to the high demand for meat, eggs and dairy. The saying is true “What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over”. There would be somewhat of a concern if a person didn’t feel any feelings of sadness or guilt when watching one of these video’s or seeing a picture of an animal in distress. I know of people who can’t even watch a full video let alone 30 seconds of an animal being slaughtered. My best friend who has been vegetarian all her life said to me “If you cant kill it, don’t eat it” Fair enough I understand that statement now and yes I know… the ‘Circle of life’ man was given the ability to hunt and survive and billions of years of evolutionary biology we were brought up as omnivores and life is not fair, I’m not throwing an opportunity out there to start a political debate (boring!) I’m just saying we have come a long way since then. There is freedom of choice and now a more modern way of eating. Veganism or Vegetarian has in the last few years become a new trend diet and a healthier lifestyle choice. It is okay to take the risk to go VEGAN!
Very recently I took the step towards this lifestyle change. It wasn’t a spur of the moment decision but something that was unfolding over a period of time for over a year and a half now. I was slowly cutting animal products out of my eating habits. Before then I was a big meat eater, I have a certificate to prove it! Six years ago My husband had me at ‘Hello’ but I had him at ‘I had ribs for breakfast’. I come from a family who love celebrating occasions with meat and food and meat!! Meat was a huge part of my life. So this was a huge step for me to go from who I was to Vegan!
My biggest concern about taking the risk to become Vegan was the imputation behind the whole Vegan slash Vegetarian saga! People in this world are so quick to judge and form quick opinions about others because of what they eat, drink or wear. I just don’t get it! From a higher perspective to me its just survival food and what I choose to put in my stomach. I have seen this with alcohol too, people form an opinion and impression of someone who doesn’t drink to someone who does drink alcohol. Why? We all have freedom of choice. Thru meditation I have become more connected with the earth and the animals. We believe that animals are less intelligent or lesser beings, but in actual fact animals are very smart, they feel the earths vibrations, they feel and can connect with you, animals have a soul too. They should be treated in a more compassionate way. Nature is always watching what we do to it.
I held back for so long to make the transition because of the stigma behind the Vegan or Vegetarian label, I wasn’t sure how it would affect my relationship or my home front or family. I wasn’t sure where to begin or what to eat and “how could I live without Mascarpone Cheese”!!! We all have our weaknesses. I let go of all that and trying to please others and to my surprise my husband was very supportive and my kids thought it was a new adventure mum was on! My mother said the word ‘okay’… so its all good and I am still new on my journey. I have become more conscious of what I eat now. I feel fresh and lighter. So here are some 10 handy steps that helped my transition:
- If your soul really wants to become a vegan then follow the calling of your soul. Write down your reason why you really want this and this will be your motivation to keep going.
- Inform your loved ones on why you are doing this and why this is important to you. Be understanding that they will still have the free choice to eat meat, dairy or eggs and support them on their journey as they will support you on yours.
- Join a Facebook group, pin ideas on Pinterest read a blog or follow a Instagram Vegan enthusiast. There’s local groups on Facebook who you can connect with, introduce yourself as a newbie Vegan and wait for the explosion of help and support its overwhelming and amazing!
- Any new diet or food plan should always be checked out by a general practitioner or dietician to make sure that its safe for your body and well balanced. Have a health check before and after trialing the Vegan lifestyle. Always listen to your body you are the only one who knows your body and what it needs. As with any new diet or eating program maintain your iron, calcium, omega 3 levels and make sure to get in extra vitamin B12 and top up on other vitamins.
- Don’t stress you are not going to know every product that’s Vegan straight away, you will find yourself still eating products that you think is Vegan but will turn out to be Vegetarian which is still okay you haven’t failed, you just know for next time! Teach yourself to read labels on products it helps.
- Dairy might be out but life is not bland. There is alternatives to dairy such as dairy free milk, cheese, yogurts and cream. You have options such as coconut milk or cream, rice milk, almond milk, soy milk or yogurt, nuttelex margarine or butter, cashew cream to name a few…can even make your own Mascarpone cheese! So you can still have cream filled cakes, delish smoothies and divine creamy pasta’s.
- Do your research, there is so much information out there on the internet or in hard copy books and magazines. Make sure this lifestyle is going to work for you. Knowledge is power.
- Be creative with your cooking to keep yourself interested, there is a lot of recipe’s out there and on support group pages to help you along the way. Most packaged and restaurant foods are a no so be prepared in what you like or stay home and start creating your own meals. Try new ways with coconut milk, legumes, peas, lentils, beans, wholegrains and nuts. There are now more vegan options in supermarkets or supermarkets especially for Vegans. Try doing a Google search for local vegan grocery outlets or online shopping.
- Its going to be hard but with ongoing determination and good reason why you are doing this it can be adaptable and achieved.
- Do not judge or give out remarks that will result in guilt or anger to the ones around you who still eat meat, eggs or dairy. Be non judgemental now that you have made your transition. We were are all put on this earth to make our own decisions and experience life in our own way on our own journeys. You can not control the actions of others, you can only control the actions of your own so stay a humble vegan who silently eats proudly. Your contribution to the planet. Well done. If things don’t work out, there is always a back up plan – Vegan 🙂 its all love! Peace out.