I am the younger daughter of two, so my sister had already moved out when my parents decided to up and go vegan. I grew up in an unusual home food wise- my mother's passion is food and the best way to eat it- so I thought I was prepared for the leap to being vegan.
No big deal.
I was wrong.
The First Thing They Don't Tell You:
You will crave dairy. Some people also have processed meat cravings, but primarily, you will hunger for mozzarella sticks, cream in your coffee, whoopie pies, deep dish pizza... the list goes on. For me, these cravings lasted four whole months. My mom's cravings stopped around month two of being vegan, but my poor dad still struggles with his urge for cheese burgers.
The Second Thing They Don't Tell You:
You are surrounded by people who aren't vegan and who also crare about you. This is a terrible group of people to have around when you are struggling to stay vegan. They will go out of their way to offer you pizza, burgers, cake- without a second thought to what you actually want, just wanting to either make you happy or stop your griping about how much you want it.
These people are enablers- they aren't trying to be bad friends or family, they just don't understand because they have never tried to deny themselves any kind of food.
The Third Thing They Don't Tell You:
Let me be perfectly clear- you can get all your nutritional needs satisfied on a vegan regimen. The key is eating tons and tons of green veggies and plenty of fruit.
That being said, it is very easy in today's modern age to be an unhealthy vegan. Empty calories like bread, potato chips, french fries, carrot cake, bagels, popsicles, pasta (there's a carb heavy pattern here) are often vegan and also not particularly wholesome. In moderation, any of these things can be a fine addition to those veggies and fruits, but if you let them become the core of your daily intake, you run the risk of not getting enough important vitamins and minerals (like iron).
Okay, have I been ominous enough?
Veteran vegans don't tell newbies about these hurdles when they evangelize the magnificence that is the vegan lifestyle, because they don't wanto scare any one off. What is forgotten is that being vegan is great- its wholesome, and delicious and not that hard, really, nowadays.
Just remember, as these things come up in your vegan life, that everyone who ever began being vegan had to deal with them too!