– or for anyone who’s going vegan for the first time!
It’s a new year, a new decade, and a new chance to start on a brand new journey. This month we’re going full in for Veganuary to incorporate more vegan diet and lifestyle habits during January. People around the world are participating in Veganuary in honor of the animals, the planet, and the people. Are you joining us?
There are lots of reasons you might consider reducing your consumption of animal products (e.g., such as meat, eggs, leather or wool) from your daily routine. Here are some crazy facts to consider:
- On average the vegan lifestyle uses roughly 50% less water than an omnivorous lifestyle which amounts to around 1,100 gallons per day. Learn more with The Vegan Calculator, based on statistics from Cowspiracy.
- Eating a plant-based diet uses significantly less of other resources (i.e. grain, land and time) and may help end world hunger. In fact, a new study found we already grow enough edible crops to feed the current human population and the projected population of 2050.
- Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions – that’s more than the combined exhaust emission from all transportation.
- So by eating less animals, we can reduce our carbon emissions and impact on global warming.
Switching to veganism can be a bit overwhelming and confusing at first. To help with the first step, we’ve got seven top tips for vegan beginners:
1 – Be gentle with yourself
Going straight from 0 to 100 is hard and likely unrealistic. There’s a lot to keep up with and a lot of sneaky animal-derived ingredients in everyday items. So, if you miss something or made a mistake: it’s okay! Just continue to try your best.
2 – Read Labels and watch out for these common ingredients
Labels can be tricky and there are tons of alternative names of animal-derived ingredients that you may not know — especially cows milk-derived ingredients like casein and whey. For a complete list, check out this page from PETA.
3 – Plan ahead – as much as you can
One of the most common deterrents is not planning ahead or forgetting what to order when going vegan. The best way to combat this is forward planning. Before eating out, read the menu and/or call the restaurant to check what’s vegan. And if you’re eating in, Pinterest is a great place for endless vegan recipe inspiration.
New vegans often say they get hungry more quickly, so bring snacks around with you to satisfy that tummy rumble.
4 – Find alternatives to all your favorites/most used ingredients
A good way to start is by identifying the things you consume frequently that aren’t vegan. Do you have milk with your tea? Are you a fiend for cheese in pasta dishes or pizza? Could you go without eating meat entirely?
Once you know your likely downfalls, find alternatives (that you truly like) for your most used items and stock up. A few of our favorites is oat milk, Miyoko’s butter (if you’re in the US), and Follow Your Heart cheese.
Beyond food products, there are other products you might want to switch out for vegan options too. Many personal care products are tested on animals or contain animal-derived products. This includes pads, tampons, and other period products. At Natracare, we’re proud to share that all of our period products are both vegan and cruelty-free.
5 – Drink plenty of water
When in doubt, drink more water. This is always good advice, but especially as we switch meat and cheese for more whole foods that have lots of fiber. So as we increase our intake of veggies and fruits, let’s be sure to up our water intake to minimize any unwanted side effects.
6 – Sign up for support
Adding more vegan habits can be a bit difficult as it takes extra time and conscious decision making. Support from fellow vegheads and Veganuary participants can help the transition feel less overwhelming and isolating.
As our team joins the Veganuary journey, we’ll be creating IG Groups and would love for you to join! So get your friends involved and send us a message on Instagram to let us know you’re interested in joining the party.
7 – Explore why you’re going vegan
This can mean doing online research, reading books on veganism, visiting a local animal sanctuary, or watching documentaries like The Gamechangers or Cowspiracy on Netflix. Whichever you choose, you’ll be informed on the positive impact your new vegan lifestyle has on animals, the planet, and your health! There are endless reasons to take the step to reduce animal products in your daily life, so find one that resonates the most for you to be your motivation.
For some, Veganuary is going to be a breeze. For others, it may be more difficult. Either is okay as we try to make more conscious choices for a better world for the animals and a greener planet for everyone. For more tips, be sure to check out how to be vegan on a budget.