Being Vegan for 3 years now, I often get questions about my lifestyle from friends who are interested in making the transition themselves. I absolutely love being a resource for people as they make the switch from the omni world into a cruelty-free one and am honored (and humbled) that people consider me an expert of sorts in this area.
What I really enjoy about this time in a person’s life is how many new options are actually opened up for them as they begin this journey. Veganism is often looked upon as a lifestyle of deprivation which, quite frankly, couldn’t be farther from the truth. I can honestly say that my palate has been exposed to significantly more interesting food options as a Vegan than when meat was the center of my dinner plate.
It seems that one of the main questions asked of me is “What is the best way to make the transition?” This is a great question, but one that doesn’t have a simple answer. Not because going Vegan is difficult, but because there isn’t one “right” way to make this switch. This point was made even more clear to me as my sweetie is currently in the middle of this change and approaching it in a way that I hadn’t really thought to do. While the majority of people tend to start to eliminate certain items from their diet (starting with meat, leaving out the dairy etc.) and then onto investigating other products like clothes and personal hygiene items, my sweetie decided to take his own path.
Now I don’t know if he made a conscious decision to transition the way he has (starting with clothing, then personal products) or if it was just something that felt natural to him. He is now working on the diet aspect and instead of eliminating products, he’s eliminated meals. At first this seemed odd to me and I wondered why he hadn’t sworn off (insert any non-vegan item here) entirely yet or hadn’t run to the bookstore to purchase the latest edition of Vegan Freak to read from cover to cover. But as days went by, I saw him making different choices, researching new recipes, and eating fewer and fewer omni based meals. Bottom line is that this is what is working for HIM and so that is what is “right” for him.
It’s wonderful to ask others what they did and if they have any tips on the transition because it can give you some guidelines if you don’t know exactly just where to begin or if you are feeling overwhelmed by the process. (Change tends to be a little stressful!) There are so many amazing blogs, online communities, cookbooks, and online stores to get started (I’ve linked my favorites) and to keep the fire fueled. And with more and more stores and restaurants offering more options, it’s never been easier to go and stay Vegan.
No matter what, though, it’s important to remember to do what feels right for you. When you do, you’ll find the rest just falls into place.