You definitely don’t regret becoming vegan, but if you had known this important stuff beforehand, it probably would have made your transition much smoother.
- 1. You might need supplements
Although there are good vegan protein and other mineral sources, you can't find Vitamin B12 in non-animal derived foods. So taking a multivitamin, B12 supplement, or a cereal fortified with it is a must. The good news is that you only need small amounts per day - an average of 2.4mcg.
- 2. You don’t have to go complete vegan right away
It’s often unrealistic to think you can completely lead a vegan lifestyle overnight. If you want to go full vegan, try to set a date in the future from when you will begin. This will give you a chance to prepare for the changes. Such examples of changes to make not only include shopping for and eating only vegan foods but also not using any products that contain animal-derived ingredients, not wearing any animal products such as leather, and so on.
- 3. People aren’t always going to get it, but that's okay
Being prepared for questions from people who don’t understand the vegan lifestyle helps you to come to terms with the fact that it doesn’t have to get under your skin. The truth is that this is about YOU, not anyone else. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. You don’t go around asking meat eaters why they are participating in the killing of animals, do you? No (but if you do, read on to the next point!), so it’s really about respecting each other’s lifestyle choices.
- 4. Don’t be 'that' vegan
Sometimes vegans get a bad reputation. Sometimes people assume that vegans are going to lecture them on why they shouldn’t be eating animals, which makes them make general assumptions that all vegans do this. But that’s a stereotype! However, it might be tempting at times to want others to join you on the vegan bandwagon. You might even tell people who are avid meat eaters how animals get killed or you might tell your bestie that she shouldn’t buy a certain cosmetics brand because it tests on animals, before proceeding to let her know exactly how those animals are tested. Although this information is no doubt helpful, there’s a time and a place for it. Your friends might not want to change over to a vegan lifestyle and you are going to have to respect that even though being vegan feels fantastic and you wish you could share it with them. Perhaps someday they will be ready.
- 5. Veganism is growing
That day might happen sooner than you think. Veganism is growing quickly, with celebrities becoming vegan and eateries offering a much greater selection of delicious vegan foods. Being vegan in today’s world is an exciting prospect with many more opportunities for ethical food and fashion than ever before - and that’s just about to get bigger!
- 6. You’re going to have to scrutinize ingredients lists much more
You’ll be surprised where animal-derived ingredients can be lurking. In hard candy, some nail polish, crayons, cake mixes, and even some orange juice brands. So you have to become much more concerned with reading and scrutinizing ingredients lists so that you avoid all things non-vegan. It can feel exhausting at times, but bear in mind that there are constantly new vegan alternatives for many products hitting the market. Do your research, remembering knowledge is power, and remind yourself why you want animal-free products in the first place. If your veganism is grounded in a value-based life decision, you’ll thrive!
*Image: © iko / Dollar Photo Club