Enjoy the Process of Becoming Vegan

The process of becoming vegan is incredibly rewarding... and sometimes challenging. As you change your lifestyle, you will probably begin to feel a lightness of heart and pride in knowing that you are living according to your beliefs and standing for something greater than yourself alone.

Why are you going vegan?

  • Is it because of animal abuse on factory farms?
  • Do you know how animal products harm your health?
  • Did you hear about the health benefits of a vegan diet?
  • Are you trying to save the environment?

    Share with us NOW!
  • But I remember being a new vegan and feeling that just when I understood one concept about veganism and the food industry; an entirely new and related subject would arise. It was like the kid's story of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie...

    For example, when reading about pesticides in our food supply, I learned about genetically modified foods. That brought me down an entirely new path with a new list of brands and types of foods to avoid in the store.

    Maybe you've just decided to stop eating factory farmed eggs, and as you begin to research cage-free and free-range eggs, you find out that neither term really means the chicken is living a better life. And all of a sudden, before you realize it, you've decided to stop eating eggs entirely, on your way to becoming vegan.

    Try not to get overwhelmed at all the new information, and just absorb and decide what works best for you. Everyone has to decide for herself where she'll draw the line with what she wants to support.

    Some people settle for ensuring they're not eating animals, and others want to be positive nothing they eat was ever in a facility that shares machines with animal products. Either way, it's up to you and you alone have to approve of your choice.

    It's crucial not to be incredibly hard on yourself as you are becoming vegan. In many cases you're completely uprooting everything you thought you knew about food and you are teaching your body all over again. If you make a mistake, there are no vegan police who will come after you. The only judgment of your actions that really matters is your own.

    If you feel a craving for an old favorite food, relax, think about why you really want that food, and if you decide you must have it, slowly try just a small amount and see how it makes you feel. When you're first becoming vegan, it's often better to give yourself a reminder of what you're not really missing rather than completely depriving yourself.

    Never forget that becoming vegan doesn't mean you are now forced to eat the same peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or hummus-on-bagel-with-sprouts every day for the rest of your life. Embrace the colors and flavors of a well-balanced vegan lifestyle and enjoy every minute as your taste buds realize how much more there is to food than meat and cheese.

    And, if you can, try to learn to cook. Or at least learn to cut up and prepare fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans.

    Me enjoying the years after becoming vegan

    Why Are You Becoming Vegan
    in the First Place?

    I often have people ask me why I decided to go to the "extreme" of being a vegan vs vegetarian, and for me the answer is simple; for all the reasons I wanted to be a vegetarian, I had to be a vegan. I loved animals, and being a vegetarian doesn't prevent animal abuse. I wanted to be healthy, and a well-balanced vegan diet is the healthiest diet. I want to protect the environment, and the egg and dairy industry creates environmental hazards.

    When I was deciding to become a vegan, I learned that the "most extreme diet" is actually the one that most people are eating, the standard American diet.

    Many people go vegan after they learn about standard practices on factory farms. From a young age, we're taught a double standard about animals. Our parents read us books about Old Mac Donald's farm and all the sounds animals make, but then we start eating solid food and we're told to eat chicken, fish, and cows. We're taught to love all beings, but then we're forced to eat meat "because it has good protein." For many, all it takes is a little knowledge about what happens on real farms, and then they go vegan.

    We're certainly never taught about what really happens to those chickens and salmon on the factory farms where they're raised for food. In fact, most of our parents and teachers don't know about those amazing cruelties. I feel confident that if most people knew what happened to animals on animal agriculture farms, they would be vegetarians.

    Other times, people become aware of veganism through education about some of the serious environmental consequences of the animal industry. More greenhouse gases are produced by animals raised for food than all of the transportation industry combined. So, for a real environmentalist, it doesn't do enough to simply give up SUVs and incandescent light bulbs.

    Do You Care More About Animals Than Humans?

    Sometimes an anti-vegan person will try to say that I care more about animals than humans, which is simply not true. I care about all beings. In fact, I could argue I care more about humans than most people, because in my perfect world, humans would start eating what is natural for their bodies and would stop developing needless degenerative diseases.

    Along with the travesties to the environment, people suffer from animal agriculture as well. Small family farmers are being pushed out of business by large corporate monopolies who make it nearly impossible to compete with the prices they can offer grocery stores and restaurants. I highly recommend supporting local farms at farmers' markets, CSAs, and pick-your-own establishments.

    Millions are going hungry while simultaneously agreeing to clear-cut their food-rich forests to make room for grazing animals that will eventually go to feed wealthy, fat countries. Because the farming industry destroys the environment, severe weather phenomena is increasing and causing land to erode, and floods and tidal waves to destroy entire countries.

    Some people choose the diet simply for the health benefits of being vegan, perhaps because their doctor recommended it, or because they heard about what it can do for their body. Others start with their personal health in mind, but sustain their vegan diet by learning more about the meat industry's affects on the world around them.

    Related Resources for Becoming Vegan

    Why Are You a Vegan?

    I hear from many people who are on the brink of going vegan, but aren't quite sure if they can make it happen forever. I remember what pushed me over the edge. When I learned what actually happens to dairy cows and egg-laying chickens, I had to give it up.

    What pushed you over the edge? Did you hear about one group of animals being so badly abused? Were you raised vegan? Did you decide to start eating healthier to lower cholesterol or lose weight? Are you looking out for the environment or the economy?

    Share your story of what made you go and stay vegan to help others along their journey.

    Why Did Other People Go Vegan?

    Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

    My First Day As A Vegan 
    I'm 21, and I've been an ovo-lacto vegetarian for the past five years. My initial reasons for giving up the animals was for ethical reasons; I first gave …

    I'm Newly Vegan After Watching Earthlings 
    I'm newly 24 and newly vegan. I joined a group on Facebook called Health Nut, as well as subscribing to Vegie Head. There were so many odd recipes with …

    I Don't Eat Animal Products Because I Don't Have To 
    I watched and "Forks Over Knives," and "Vegucated" on the same afternoon about five weeks ago. Something clicked in my 52-year-old nurse brain connecting …

    I'm Trying to Stay Vegan  
    I am trying to become and stay vegan because I watched Forks Over Knives. I had started P90X, and I was struggling with the nutrition aspect because …

    I Went Vegan For Many Reasons 
    I recently decided to go to the "extreme" of being a vegan vs vegetarian, and for me the reason was simple; I love animals, and being a vegetarian doesn't …

    Shocking Connection Between Animal and Plate 
    I stopped eating animals quite unexpectedly. I was watching a favorite TV program, The Fabulous Beekman Boys , on the Green Channel. Two New Yorkers …

    I Went Vegan After Salmonella in Peanut Butter Recall 
    During the peanut butter salmonella recall in early 2009, we all learned to fear the peanuts, and what we need to learn to fear is the factory farm and …

    Lowered Insulin with a Vegan Diet 
    I am a type 2 diabetic who has become increasingly insulin resistant, despite drastic diets like Atkins and taking large amounts of insulin daily just …

    A Plant-Based Diet Makes Perfect Sense 
    I watched the documentary Forks Over Knives and I finally got why a plant-based diet makes perfect sense. I have decided to follow vegan diet, and …

    Vegan After Watching EARTHLINGS 
    Like many people, I am and always have been an animal lover. I remember growing up always surrounded by animals. About a month ago I watched the film …

    From Non-vegetarian to Vegetarian 
    Most people watch sad and cruel videos that have been uploaded on the internet. After "people" view the videos of farm animal cruelty they decide to go …

    Debeaking of Baby Chicks Turned Me Vegan 
    In 1985, I worked in a mailroom for a large company. A PETA pamphlet came in the mail and before I sent it to the recipient, I thumbed through it. I …

    I'm Vegan For the Health Benefits 
    I had been on two medicines for diabetes, two for blood pressure, and one for cholesterol for about 1-1/2 years when I heard about a Nutrition Boot Camp …

    I went vegan for a life change 
    I went vegan after Christmas this year. Actually, I initiated my new diet with a cleanse/detox purification system from my healthfood store. Wow, did …

    Becoming Vegan For Health 
    I am in the process of becoming vegan for health and I need help! I am motivated because I do not like the way my body feels. I am getting older, more …

    Vegan to Prevent Animal Cruelty 
    I'm vegan to prevent animal cruelty. I was feeling unhealthy and yet "too busy" to think about the food I was eating. I started reading and watching …

    Vegan Diet Weight Loss 
    Vegan Diet Weight Loss I've lost 210 pounds on a vegan diet. In 2005, I was a 40-year old 380 pound woman dealing with a terminal illness, however, …

    Vegan for Good Health 
    Vegan for Good Health I became a vegan three months ago to balance my hormones and to lose weight. I am not sure how long I will stay a "dietary vegan" …

    I went vegan to support the environment 
    I went vegan because I have always cared for the enviroment. I wanted to become a biologist so I could study animals and our affect on the world around …

    Going Vegan: Taking Control the Only Way I Can 
    In this world of mass advertising and focus on profits and appearance rather than subtance, I began to feel like a victim. As I read about vaccinations …

    Started With Health, But Got Motivated Because of Animal Cruelty 
    I became a vegan in 3 steps: -I read The China Study and I wanted to be healthy. I wanted my family to be healthy too, but was finding it difficult …

    Veganism Was the Next Step 
    I decided, completely on my own, that I wanted to be a vegetarian when I was 5 years old. Now I am almost 16, and have recently been learning more in depth …

    Veganism reverses inflammation 
    Veganism reverses inflammation Besides seeing all the videos about the treatment of animals on factory farms and all the reports about the huge increase …

    I learned that free-range and cage-free is a lie 
    Up until the end of 2009 I was fat, dumb, and happy thinking the organic milk and "cage-free" and "free-range" eggs I was spending a small fortune on, …

    Click here to write your own.

    Became Vegan Overnight 
    I Became Vegan Overnight I thought I had been a healthy eater for many years by eating a low fat, high protein diet with fruits and vegetables. When …

    Eating Anything With a Heartbeat Contributes to Illness 
    I became vegan after seeing what factory farms do to animals and the feed these animals get actually causes them to be fatter. The antibiotics and medications …

    I Got a Pamplet on Animal Cruelty 
    I was walking in downtown Chicago with a few friends when I saw a group of people handing out what seemed to be just some random paper. I wasn't going …

    Vegan to Prevent Diabetes 
    My cousin is vegan and I feel bad about the things that happen to animals at the slaughter houses. I feel that God shouldn't have to see his people eating …

    Becoming Vegan Was No Big Change 
    Becoming vegan was no big change. Prior to becoming vegan I should note that I took care of my body as best as I could, watching very carefully for cholesterol, …

    Elderly Becoming Vegan  
    Question: How do I get started as a vegan and at 61 years old, am I too old? Answer: I definitely don't think you're too old to become vegan. At …

    Vegan Is The Only Option Not rated yet
    I had been an lacto-ovo vegetarian for about 6 1/2 years, but for the past couple of months the idea of being a vegan really started to interest me. I …

    Honor The Earth With Diet  Not rated yet
    The first time I heard someone talking about being a "raw vegan" I was immediately drawn in even though I had never heard of it before and wasn't even …

    Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet Not rated yet
    Cancer, including mesothelioma*, can affect every area of an individual’s life. One important area to address with cancer is nutrition. A vegan diet, also …

    TV Program on Cruelty to Animals Not rated yet
    Recent footage on ABC TV (Australia) of the incredible, inhumane cruelty to cattle in Indonesia and then sheep (I think in Turkey) made me furious, and …

    Is SiteBuildIt Worth It? Not rated yet
    Question: I don't know how, but my mother stumbled upon your website because I have been telling her how much I don't want to work for anyone anymore …

    Compassionate Vegan Not rated yet
    Be a Compassionate Vegan Most of all, I went vegan because of compassion with and for the non-human beings who are just as good as humans and who …

    Went vegan with my daughter Not rated yet
    I decided- after cutting down and losing 3st over a couple of years- that I didn't miss meat or fish that much so made the decision to go vegan just before …

    We went vegan after a friend died Not rated yet
    Several years ago, my husband and I had a good friend of ours die of a heart attack at age 49. (At the time my husband was 51 and I was 47.) We were …

    I was sick and needed a big change Not rated yet
    I had a lot of health problems due to my bad diet and lifestyle (lots of alcohol and cigarettes and fast food, etc). Finally, I was stuck in the hospital …

    We are vegan because we love animals Not rated yet
    For years I had been undecided on the decision to become vegan. I always had a small idea of what factory farm animals went through since my family is …

    Animals Deserved Better Not rated yet
    I went vegan because I believed that animals deserved better treatment. ...And they still do. I've been vegetarian since I was 19, and I'm 36 now. I …

    Videos on Scientific Benefits of Veganism Not rated yet
    I saw a presentation by a man named Dr. Walter Veith, a scientist who has even done his own experiments to corroborate vegan nutritional findings. These …

    Meet Your Meat Not rated yet
    Meet Your Meat - The life changing 13 minute documentary I've always wanted to be vegetarian. I never once considered being vegan because I was naive …

    Animal Abuse on Farms Not rated yet
    I started flirting with being a vegan when I read the book Skinny Bitch. I love all living creatures and it just brings me to tears to think about the …

    Click here to write your own.

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