Some people become vegan straight away while others tend to opt for a vegetarian lifestyle first. Of course, there is no right or wrong answer and you need to think about what works for you. However, it is good to know the pros and cons of each so that prevent any obstacles in your way.
- Going Vegetarian First
There are quite a few advantages to becoming vegetarian before full-on vegan. One of the most obvious is that it gives you a chance to adjust if you really enjoyed non-vegan foods in your diet and will be tempted to consume them again. By initially starting out as vegetarian, you can still eat dairy and eggs, but you will cut meat from your diet. It’s sort of a way to help you ease into veganism while helping you get used to the lifestyle change. The downside of vegetarianism is that you might not ever make the transition to being 100% vegan. You might also slip back into your non-vegetarian ways because there’s no big commitment that you have made. However, what’s important here is to ask yourself WHY you are vegetarian and have a really strong reason for it. For instance, it could be that you are against animal cruelty. This will also help you understand if vegetarianism is good to take as a pit-stop - or if you should just go into full-blown veganism right away.
- Going Straight to Veganism
Becoming a vegan overnight can feel overwhelming, but it can be done. To make the switch more comfortable, prepare yourself. Set a date ahead of time and plan your diet and lifestyle so that you won’t hit any obstacles. An example of an obstacle is feeling like you’re not eating a varied, nutritious diet (which can be prevented by stocking up your kitchen ahead of time). The good thing about going from non-vegan to vegan is that you commit to a lifestyle choice immediately and, much like giving up cigarettes cold turkey instead of weaning yourself off, it can help you embrace the change quicker. As with any change, it takes 21 weeks to instil a good habit so it’s worth giving yourself time to adjust to your new lifestyle! And remember, everyone’s journey is different. You might find yourself slipping a few times but that is okay. Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to find the right balance for yourself. This is a lifestyle change, not a fad. Although the vegan topic can be quite heated at times, the main thing to remember is that it has to feel right for YOU otherwise it won’t work. *Image courtesy of Dave_Pot /Dollar Photo Club