Hi! I’m Mikayla and I’m a Lifestyle Blogger from Trinidad and Tobago. And I’m also Vegan. Which is what I’m here to talk to you guys about today. Before we jump into that I just want to say thank you to Stephanie for allowing me to publish this post on here. And be sure to head over to my blog to read more from me.
What is Veganism?
According to The Vegan Society, Veganism is “A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”
So now that you know by definition, what Veganism is, here’s why you should aim to adopt such a lifestyle.
Now I’m not going to get into too much detail about this as I have a similar post over on my blog but there are typically three main reasons someone may choose to go Vegan. For the animals, for the environment and for their health. Maybe like me, you’re motivated by all three aspects.
The meat, dairy and egg industries play a significant role in climate change, ocean dead zones, deforestation, the leading causes of death and animal cruelty and suffering, just to name a few.
If you haven’t already, I urge you do do your research. Educate yourself and stay ‘woke’.
How do you go Vegan?
So maybe you’ve decided that you want to go Vegan but you don’t know where to start. That’s why I’m here. I get asked this question often and after having transitioned myself, I’ve picked up a few tricks here and there.
1. Do your research
I said this before, but it’s so important that I have to say it again. Find something that motivates you to go Vegan. Again, whether it be the animals, the planet or your health. This will give you something to work for and make you want to stick to it.
Also, you should do research into plant-based alternatives and figure out what you can and can’t eat. There are so many hidden ingredients that even I didn’t know come from animals.
2. Don’t rush into it
Take your time. I can’t stress this enough. Don’t feel pressured to be an ‘overnight Vegan’. If you did it, or do it, props to you. But not everyone can. Take me for example. I was a pescatarian for a few months, then vegetarian for a year and a half and then finally went Vegan.
3. You don’t need to get rid of your things
Going Vegan means that you can no longer use items made from animals such as leather, silk etc. or products that are tested on animals. HOWEVER, this doesn’t need to be an automatic thing. You don’t need to throw out those leather boots or that makeup that isn’t cruelty-free. What I did and I’m still currently doing, is phasing out my products. As I finish or get rid of something that isn’t Vegan, I find a Vegan alternative and purchase that as a replacement. It’s a process.
4. Don’t give in
This may seem like an obvious tip but it’s soooo easy to give in and eat something that isn’t Vegan. Whether it be out of convenience or due to a craving. Did you know that cheese is as addictive as cocaine? And no. I didn’t make that up just to push the ‘Vegan agenda’. The high levels of casein found in cheese make it highly addictive. So you will probably end up craving it once you’re off of it.
People don’t talk about this enough. But there are ‘side effects’ when you first go Vegan. I experienced headaches for the first two weeks or so. I was also hungry ALL THE TIME because plant-based foods digest quicker than animal-based foods. I also lost weight. But it was all worth it and to this day, I have no regrets.
5. Plan your meals
You’re going to be changing what you eat, where you eat and maybe even how often you eat. Meal prepping and planning could help you get through the first few weeks with minimal stress and worry. I suggest you do this until you’re comfortable, you know what you can and can’t eat and you have a few solid fast food or restaurant options. It’s an added bonus if during the first few weeks, you can cook most if not all of your meals and keep them simple. Eat what you usually would, but substitute the meat, dairy and egg components for Vegan ones.
A common mistake that people make is trying to make the most aesthetically pleasing, beautiful Vegan meals because that’s what they see online. And of course, there’s nothing wrong with trying new things. but when transitioning to a Vegan diet, it can be more beneficial if you stick to what you know and keep things simple until you get the hang of it.
Now, this is not something I personally do, and if you’re in it for the health, you may want to do otherwise. But Vegan alternatives such as mock meats and cheeses can be assets when transitioning. The only downsides being that they’re on the pricier side of things, not as healthy and may not be easily accessible, depending on where you live.
6. Find like-minded persons
The Vegan community has grown so much over the years and there are millions of Vegans out there. It can be so beneficial to find persons with similar ethics and values that align with yours. You can learn from them and have persons to relate and talk to. Vegan Twitter is a great place to find Vegan friends and people within the community and they’re welcoming, for the most part.
7. Utilise Vegan-friendly resources
Due to the quick growth of the Vegan community, more and more resources are popping up everywhere. Not only is yummy Vegan food more accessible, but there are also apps that can help you differentiate between Vegan food and non-Vegan food. Maybe you’ve read a label and you aren’t sure about a few ingredients or you aren’t sure if a certain brand is cruelty-free. Apps like ‘Is It Vegan‘ and ‘Happy Bunny’ can help with this. A simple scan of a barcode and you’ll get all the information you need.
And those are my tips! I hope this post was helpful and I hope you enjoyed.