Why Go Vegan?
Veganism is extremely important for three main reasons:
- It’s the single biggest way to reduce your carbon footprint – by up to 73%! Farming fewer animals for consumption means a reduction in greenhouse gases, overfishing, deforestation and water/air pollution
- It helps to end animal cruelty – factory farming animals is inhumane and unnecessary
- It can help improve overall health
If you’re stuck at the start, you’re having trouble maintaining a vegan lifestyle, or you’re just curious – we’ve put together a list of helpful tips to start you on your vegan journey!
Do What’s Best For You: Pace Yourself
Some people are able to jump straight into a plant-based diet and never look back. The reality is, for many people, it’s a little bit harder to make the transition. There’s nothing wrong with that! It just means you need a little bit more time to adjust, as well as an invigorated sense of ‘why’ you’re making the transition.
If you’re struggling to make the switch, try cutting out one non-vegan food group per week. Start by eliminating red meat, then poultry, fish, dairy products, and so on.
Or, make a challenge for yourself. Some people thrive off goals and competition! Grab your friends and make it your aim to go vegan for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, you can re-evaluate how you feel about the lifestyle and maybe some areas to improve. Don’t be too harsh on yourself!
Do Your Research on Nutrition
If you put the ‘vegan’ label on yourself, be prepared for the inevitable question: “but where do you get your protein/iron/calcium from?” It’s a favourite question of distant relatives and new acquaintances, but you don’t have to be an expert on nutrition to give a solid answer.
According to plant-based physician Dr. Milton Mills, “if someone is eating a varied plant-based diet that includes legumes, grains, vegetables, fruits and so forth, as long as they are getting adequate calories it is almost impossible to become protein deficient - that's just a myth,” he said, in this plant-based news article.
The key to any style of eating (notice we didn’t say diet?) is achieving a balance of complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats. Below is a fabulous resource from @davidclearyveganpt outlining some key foods from each macronutrient group.