Okay, it won’t necessarily be easy, but it is entirely possible to be a vegan in college. Honestly. There are tons of vegans out there on campuses. It can even be a great way to meet people who are like-minded and share your interests.
To be clear, it will take a bit of work and some preparation to make sure that you don’t fall off the wagon, so to speak. If you don’t take the right precautions it can, in fact, be a bit lonely. After all, a lot of people don’t understand veganism and they certainly don’t make preparations for them when they plan a dinner or an evening out.
But you can get around it. All it takes is following these five steps to success.
How Vegan Is Your College?
Peta2 made a very useful list which shows how vegan-friendly different colleges are. If you’re still in the selection stage, then how vegan-friendly these schools are should probably be a criterion to decide if you want to apply. After all, more vegan-friendly colleges are going to have more vegans and people who care about such things there.
Naturally, that will make it far easier to find people who share your interests as well as organize events with such people. At the most highly-ranked colleges, you’ll find it far easier to find roommates who share your diet. And that will make cooking so much more fun!
Do You Know Your Stuff?
If you’re going to eat vegan and live a vegan lifestyle you should really make sure you know what you’re doing. After all, a vegan diet isn’t magic. You’ll still need to make sure you get the right vitamins, minerals and all the rest.
It isn’t just that, either. Chances are that if you tell people you’re vegan, somewhere down the line you will get challenged on that front. A lot of people have negative opinions about vegans and their diet. You’ll have to be able to defend your lifestyle. Besides, even if that’s not the case you deserve to know what it is exactly what you’re doing to your body.
Also, you’ll want to know a wide variety of recipes so that you don’t end up bored out of your skull (stomach) because you only know how to cook one thing.
Find Out What Options You’ve Got in Your Dining Hall
A lot of dining halls now have vegan options. So make sure you know what they are. Check out the website of your Dining Services. But don’t stop there. Also, ask the people behind the counter what’s going on and what extra dishes on a day-by-day basis you’ll be able to eat as a vegan.
In that way, you’ll get a bit more variety. And besides, if you’re nice and friendly about it, chances are they might just go the extra mile and make a few more dishes and courses which you can eat.
Don’t Be Afraid to Mix and Match
If two different plates have things that you can eat and other things you can’t, why not ask if you can combine the things you do eat? More often than not, the staff will help you out. Especially because quite often meat is more expensive than vegetables and starches anyway.
Do note, for this to work you’re going to need to make sure the people serving the food actually like you and respect you. So, try to avoid antagonizing them by telling them why meat is evil or any such thing. When people feel judged, they tend to shut down.
James Daily from Flash Essay content writing service tried it the other way around. He recalls how he tried preaching the word to the people serving the food. “Instead of converting them, they started going out of their way to make my life miserable.” In the end, the only option he had was to prepare his own meals. And that cost him a pretty penny more. So don’t do that.
Have a Shopping List
You’ll have to do some smart shopping to make sure that you can have this diet on a student budget. The best way to do that is to make sure you actually have a shopping list.
This will allow you to also check that you’re getting all the essential foods you need and that you’re not depriving yourself. Because it is entirely possible to be a healthy vegan, but it does take understanding a thing or two and ensuring you have the right ingredients.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Veganism is a lifestyle, and it doesn't have to feel like one of deprivation and alienation.
And if you do slip up, it's okay. Accept it, move on, and try again. Punishing yourself won’t help anybody. Not the animals, not the vegan movement, and least of all, you.
Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/group-of-people-sitting-on-white-mat-on-grass-field-745045/