For those who are ready to make the big switch, this will be a total cinch! But to those who aren’t interested, I feel that information like this would be of use anyways because you never know what words will strike a chord…
It didn’t take much for me to want to transition to veganism exactly three years ago. I was already on a basic bitch health kick and would do anything to feel better and get in shape, and the more research I did, the more I found that animal products were possibly the cause of my chronic ailments (like constipation, acne, borderline insomnia, etc.) and decided to cut back on my intake severely. Then, something inside told me to watch a slaughterhouse video to truly see where my “food” was coming from and after that, I went vegan and never looked back! Notice how I describe myself as a vegan and not “plant-based.” When one transitions to a plant-based diet, they are dropping most of the animal products they usually eat (sometimes except for honey) but don’t extend that notion to other parts of their lives; primarily for health reasons. This means they probably still wear fur or leather, do not find animal cruelty as an ethical issue, and will sparingly eat animal byproducts as a treat. Uncool.
Vegans, on the other hand, take animal abuse super fuckin seriously…and I mean that as a good thing haha. They recognize animal suffering as a social error and don’t support businesses that exploit this issue. This means not consuming animal products or its exploitatives of any kind, including food, fashion, makeup, hunting, zoos, aquariums, vivisection, breeding, and a lot more. In my biases, I recognize that I praise veganism and those who live by it, but that does not mean that I think we are superior. Although the lifestyle does alleviate health problems, animal abuse, and planetary destruction, it does not change my philosophy that all animals (and humans too, duh!) are cosmically equal.
Now that I’m done blabbing, lets get down to the nitty gritty! In order to transition to a vegan lifestyle, one would have to:
- Get educated. The reason why most people don’t succeed at living vegan is because of their lack of education before tackling it. It’s too important to do your own research about this serious problem and come to your own conclusions. Of course vegan propaganda exists, where facts and statistics are exaggerated to get people to quit their sick fix; but the more research you do, the more you will notice a consistency in the numbers. Also, the easiest way to learn more about this topic would be to watch the Holy Trinity of Veg Movies: Forks Over Knives, Earthlings, and Cowspiracy; which can all be found on YouTube and/or Netflix. You can also throw in Gary Yourofsky’s “Best Speech Ever” on YouTube if you dare! These awesome films will give you in-depth looks into the health, ethical, and environmental problems that animal agriculture causes; and they’re well-written to the max, too.
- Give up the junk. After thorough research, hopefully you understand the issue at-hand and decide to swap all your animal products with plant ones. This means buying meat, dairy, and egg alternatives instead of using your dollar to support a corrupt industry. But don’t fret, animal alternatives are just as tasty and affordable as the usual stuff! At a typical grocery store, boneless chicken breasts costs about $3.27/lb while tofu is an average of $2-2.50/lb; and if you wanted to be mega healthy, dried beans are around $1.39/lb. Tofurkey sausages, Daiya cheeses, and Beyond Meat chicken strips ring in at about $4-5 max at your local supermarket, but you can also get your proteins in its whole form with beans, plain tofu, and tempeh (and they’re cheaper!). Commercial grocery stores hold inexpensive vegan and accidentally-vegan items also. This step also includes refusing to purchase anything that exploits animals, like animal-tested makeup; fur, leather, down, or silk; going to circuses or zoos; or supporting speciesism in any way. If you just so happen to have an actual leather jacket or makeup from a cruelty-supportive company laying around, it’s up to you whether or not you want to give it away since you were unaware before you bought it; but just remember that it used to be someone’s skin or that someone was harmed in the making of said product, which is freakin horrifying and sad.
- Walk the walk. Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to make this an actual lifestyle! All you need to do is live the first two steps in its entirety, which sounds like an ordeal but it’s definitely not if you give a shit. It may seem like you’re “reducing” your life to constantly checking ingredients of simple foods, bitching at meat-eaters, and being burdened by the lack of support you get in a non-vegan world, but that is completely NOT true. Think about what you’d be gaining: a clear conscience, better karma, better health, social awareness, more compassion toward your fellow human, some corporate detachment, respect toward all animals, reduced environmental impact, and, hopefully, a new cause! So don’t be a Negative Nancy and think about your sacrifices, just be happy that no one was sacrificed so that you may be comfortable; there’s no better feeling than that. Now go get your veg on!
If I’m missing anything or you need any help, don’t hesitate to holla at me! I’d be delighted to vegify you 🙂