New to Veganism? Welcome!

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 at 6:53 PM by CALF (Sharon) Simply Vegan

Let’s be honest, it can be really hard being new to veganism. I became a vegan just over a year ago and I’ve not forgotten how overwhelmed I was at first. I wanted to share a few tips I have picked up during this past year – if they help you, feel free to use them!

Shopping can seem like an impossible task when you realise how many food items actually contain animal products. However you might be surprised to learn that there are a lot of vegan snacks available in the supermarket already! PETA do a great list of really common food items which are also vegan. A few of the highlights are chocolate bourbon biscuits, Oreos and pink wafers – no need to worry about finding a biscuit to have with your brew then! 🙂

oreo cupcakes

Another thing which really helped me when I first switched my diet over was not obsessing over E numbers and other additives. As I mentioned, shopping can be really confusing at first and an ingredients list can seem like a minefield. My advice is to cut yourself some slack and start by avoiding the obvious animal products such as milk or cheese. The rest will come in time as you learn more and become a more experienced vegan.

Don’t forget that each and every step you take towards veganism is a really positive one and should be celebrated.

Things like leather and suede present another issue. Some people want to dispose of all these items and buy new furniture and clothes, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Similarly there’s also nothing wrong with using them until they are worn out and then buying vegan replacements. No one is made of money and being a vegan doesn’t make you magically rich (unfortunately!), so ignore others and make the best decision for you.

vegan food 2

That brings me onto my next point… when I first became a vegan, I was an unfortunate honorary member of ‘the vegan police’. Yes, I was one of the people frowning at the guy walking along eating KFC and tutting loudly as I looked through my non-vegan friends’ fridges. Let me tell you, this did not make me any friends and it nearly lost me some. People don’t like to feel judged, whether you’re grumbling over their food, religion, or anything else you might disagree on.

I’ve always been a huge believer in ‘live and let live’ and letting people make their own choices. However when it comes to killing other beings, it’s not as if our choices affect no one but ourselves. I understand this and it’s something I still struggle with. But I’ve learned to hold my tongue… and you’d be surprised how many people actually start listening when you’re speaking your truth quietly and clearly.

vegan food

My last suggestion is just to have fun! As vegans, we are aware of the heartache and suffering behind the meat and dairy industries. That’s a heavy burden to carry on your shoulders, so my advice is simply to smile. Try to look for little positives wherever you can, and don’t ever forget to appreciate just how far you’ve come in your own journey.

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