In all aspects of life, change can be scary, especially when you know that it will better your life and alter your perspective. For many people, cutting out the meat and adding more veggies can seem like an impossible feat. Trust me, I come from a family of butchers, so I know exactly where your head is at right now. But, as you’re reflecting on the changes that you wish to make in your life this year, consider why it is that you’re afraid, and if you’re like me then you’ll see that it’s not for the reasons that you originally thought.
If you’re reading this article you’re likely already considering veganism. If so, congratulations and welcome! If you’re not, and you’re completely against a plant-based diet, consider why you’re heart is fighting it. As you go on reading this article, keep your heart and mind open to the possibilities before you.
Veganism: A Growing Lifestyle
The debate over veganism is long and complicated and, to be honest, in this article I’m not interested in trying to sway your opinion. I’m here to guide you through the transition and offer tips from my own personal experience in the hopes that your transition will be smooth and fulfilling. Let’s start by considering why a person would want to become vegan.
The traditional thought that humans need to eat large amounts of animal protein in order to stay fit has been thrown out the window by professional athletes like David Meyer (martial artist and World Championship gold winner), and a number of NFL football players (Theo Riddick, Brandon Mebane, and Bennie Fowler, to name a few).
Studies have shown that those who adopt a vegan lifestyle have more protection against obesity, hypertension, type-2 diabetes, and cardiovascular mortality. They also have a lower risk of cardiometabolic outcomes and some cancers.
A large number of kind-hearted people are going vegan to save the animals. There have long been allegations against factory farms and slaughterhouses about the unfair treatment of animals, and many people are choosing to boycott the entire industry altogether.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has stated that one vegan can save approximately 200 animals per year. That’s 200 animals that won’t be torn out of their ocean homes, or over-packed into barns, cages, and pens.
A common excuse for non-vegans is that ‘the animals would be killed anyway’. But, when the need for animal meat decreases, the amount of animals being slaughtered also decreases. So, one vegan can do a whole lot when it comes to saving lives.
The amount of land and resources that are used in the production of animals for our consumption is staggering. In a study published in Nature Communications, a group of researchers ran hundreds of food production simulations under different conditions, including organic versus high-yield farming and plant-based versus meat-based diets, to deduce which combination would be ‘feasible’ to feed the expected 2050 world population.
Of the scenarios where the entire population consumed a diet entirely of plants, 100% were feasible. Only 15% of scenarios with typical meat-heavy Western diets were successful.
With the growing population, a meat-based diet as it has been in the Western world is not sustainable, and many people are picking up on this fact and adopting a plant-based diet because of it.
Before making the leap to a plant-based diet, it’s very important that you do your research. Your body is going to be going through a lot of changes, some of which you’ll expect and some of which you won’t. Follow these tips to make the experience easier for yourself, and don’t ever be afraid to ask for help.
5 Totally Realistic Tips for Transitioning to Veganism
Make your plate colorful
Use as many colorful fruits and vegetables as you can when making your meals. A visually-pleasing plate will help you to be excited about the food that you’re eating, which will keep you stimulated during your transition.
2. Research recipes and plan your meals
Many people assume that veganism means you will be limited to the foods that you eat. This is a horrible way to view veganism. Instead, consider the number of new foods and spices that will be added to your diet. Research new recipes, and new ways to cook your food so that you can continue your excitement, and make the experience smoother for yourself.
3. Don’t try to do it all at once – be kind to yourself!
Some people can cut out meat, dairy, and eggs all at once, but many people cannot. Everyone’s body is different, and their needs are different. It can be quite a shock to the body if you switch your entire diet overnight. If you need it, give yourself the time to transition to a vegan diet. Transitioning slowly does not make you any less passionate about the cause. Listen to your body, and be kind to it during the transition.
4. Connect with others and do your research
Joining a vegan community is so important during the transition process. Having people in your life that will keep you consistent, offer support, and share recipes and tips will help you to stay on track with your transition.
Until the entire world is vegan, there will always be people that will challenge you. Do your research, and keep refreshing it so that you always have a response to these people.
5. Stock up on whole foods
If you keep buying the foods that you’re trying to cut out, you’re more likely to eat it because you don’t want it to go to waste. To make the transition easier on yourself, only buy the foods that you intend to eat as a vegan. If it’s not in the house, you won’t be as tempted to eat it.
10 Pantry Must-Haves for a Plant-Based Lifestyle
2. Coconut Oil
9. Hot Sauce (my favorite is Sriracha)
10. Brown Rice
When transitioning to a plant-based diet, it’s best to avoid ‘fake-meats’. These are typically soy-based food items that are meant to taste like meat products. While these are fine to eat every once in a while, or if you’re transitioning, they aren’t generally very good for you and should be avoided as much as possible.
Where to Get Vegan Food
When converting to veganism, many people are worried about where to actually get vegan food. With the rise of veganism as a lifestyle, grocery stores are stocking more vegan products, so there are vegan food options at every grocery store. You can also find vegan products at a health food store or a specialty store, or you can grow your own fresh food.
There is a large community of vegans worldwide that have been in the same position that you are now. Transitioning to a vegan diet, and maintaining that diet is not as hard as it once may have been. If you reach out to fellow vegans, do your research, and find ways to remain inspired, the process of transitioning to a vegan will be very smooth for you.
If you get nothing else from this article, know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
 Karl-Heinz Erb, Christina Lauk, Thomas Kastner, Andreas Mayer, Michaela C. Theurl, Helmut Haberl. (2016, Ap. 16). Exploring the biophysical option space for feeding the world without deforestation. Retrieved from
 Lap Tai Le, Joan Sabate. (2014 June). Beyond Meatless, the Health Effects of Vegan Diets: Findings from the Adventist Cohorts. Retrieved from