Is going vegan one of your New Year's resolutions?
We've got 3 tips to help you master a vegan lifestyle in 2023!
Is veganism a diet? Yes, veganism is a diet—but it's also more than that. Veganism is the practice of abstaining from all forms of animal cruelty and exploitation, wherever possible and practical.
Every year, hundreds of millions of animals are killed for clothing, entertainment, and cosmetics. Eating meat, dairy, seafood, and eggs is the biggest form of cruelty in the world—but it's far from being the only one. Veganism is distinguished from other forms of vegetarianism by its adherence to the philosophy that animals should not be used as food, clothing or any other purpose.
So how do you go vegan?
As with any new lifestyle change, there are countless opinions about how to go vegan—and countless ideas about what constitutes being a true "vegan." But while we can't tell you exactly how it's done (after all, that would be YOUR journey), here is what we can tell you.
Start with finding your perfect path. This means focusing on your strengths and weaknesses, and your likes and dislikes. Going vegan is very personal, and you shouldn't ever compare yourself to someone else.
So be honest with yourself, and ask yourself the following questions:
How did I get here? What has led me to this point in my life where I'm thinking about going vegan?
What do I like to eat? This is a big one. It can be helpful to write down everything you eat on a regular basis so that you can see what kind of foods work well for your lifestyle.
Once you can confidently answer these questions, you will accept the idea of you becoming a vegan, which does require time and commitment in the beginning.
At this point, you should dig into vegan food! Vegan foods aren't complicated–you can find them everywhere in India. Your default Indian favourites–like dosas, idlis and chana masala—are already made without any animal products. Experiment with new vegan restaurants, attend vegan potlucks, try new vegan products, and try making more vegan foods at home.
After that, try being fully vegan for one day a week, then move to two days a week, and so on. Over time, you'll notice your body adjusting to your new lifestyle (eating more fibre in your diet has a big impact) and it'll allow you get used to new flavours, new textures, and new recipes.
If you like to stay organised, keep a food journal. Journaling helps you declutter your mind, which leads to better, clearer thinking. If you start out by writing out what you eat in a day, you may start to see patterns about what you eat and how you can implement small changes. This simple tool will drastically help move your life into a more vegan-friendly direction.
Once you feel confident about your new lifestyle, you can consider yourself a full-time vegan!
The emotional and mental aspects go going vegan is the most difficult part about transitioning. If you were raised to have specific beliefs, only to learn they aren't true—for example, if you thought dairy cows were treated with kindness and respect and you learn it's false—it can feel deeply confusing to navigate. For many people, this can result in shock and anger.
This is why developing a positive mindset is crucial in adopting this lifestyle.
Yes, the world can be an extremely cruel place. We can’t even comprehend the suffering of billions of animals being killed, hunted, fished, skinned, slaughtered, and used every day. Things happen that make use wonder if people even have any compassion anymore.
But on the flip side, you can find comfort in knowing that every day you have the power to make choices—three times a day, at meals—that will save lives and reduce your carbon footprint. Your new lifestyle represents so much good in the world by leading a positive example, inspiring others to change, and raising awareness about veganism. You'll achieve a level of impact you probably didn't think was possible.
It's not true that we are entirely helpless when it comes to issues like climate change and animal cruelty. The single most impactful thing you can do in your everyday life isn't to stop driving your car or change to eco-friendly light bulbs, it's eating a plant-based diet.
By maintaining a positive attitude, you create within yourself a force for good. You can be rest assured that the world IS a better place BECAUSE you're here.
The third and final way to mast veganism is nutrient optimization. The following vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are important for vegans (and everyone else):
To get these nutrients, you'll need to do a bit of research to discover the foods that are good sources for these nutrients. For example, it helps to know that masoor dal contains more iron per serving than urad dal, or that peanuts contain more protein than cashews. Making these simple changes will drastically improve your health and change the way you think about food!
If you're interested in learning more about veganism, we've covered a lot of the basics to help you or anyone you know. Check out these blog posts you might find helpful: