Becoming Vegan and Getting Involved!
It’s easier than you think
This will be my 3rd New Year as a Vegan (11th as a meat free veggie eater, yay!) and many of my friends interested in my journey have asked me how they can get involved and stick with or transition into the vegan diet in the new year. For me this is an easy question to answer. As an admin and event planner to an active vegan society and founder of an animal rights organization, I get this question quite often from new members. My first answer to the question is always “it’s easier than you think”. I say this because I live in California and even though we are inland, thankfully the word vegan is now not as alien as previously and in some other cities across the country. However, people are always amazed when I tell them I do 95% of my vegan shopping at the local grocery stores. Sure, at first it was like a little mini treasure hunt, but once you know the products you like they are just so easy to find! Also, in the last year in our area (supply and demand, you can contribute to it too!) the supermarket has been grouping many vegan refrigerated items all in one place, score!
Take the time and you’ll be rewarded
Then there’s the typical “well I love cheese , ain’t never gonna be able to give that up” and other similar claims, to which I reply “yeah, I thought the same and then I took the time to find the good stuff!!” It’s all about how you view it. Does maybe a little extra time in the grocery store reading labels add to your shopping… sure…. but what are the rewards? Healthier body, glowing skin, optimal body, less risk of heart and other diseases and the very important one for me: not contributing to any cruelty for my food consumption. For me it was a no brainer to spend the extra 5 minutes!
Become an inventor
So to get back to the first question. Becoming vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite foods. On the contrary, it simply means reinventing them with healthier proteins. If you do the research, you will even find that the foods you make will be equally, if not more, delicious when you recreate them! I have so much fun veganizing things people typically don’t eat vegan that I started a Facebook album on my personal page dedicated to all the yummy foods I make nightly for dinner! Let’s just say I make a mean Chicago Deep Dish Cheese and Spinach Vegan Pizza! And a pretty darn good sloppy joe!
Become vegan and join the fight
There are many reasons for being or becoming vegan. For me, it was a mixture of health problems and my love for animals, especially once I found out being vegetarian wasn’t enough to stop contributing to animal cruelty (I’ll write about that topic another time). I will say it’s got to be something within you that wants to be involved, live with a better diet and more compassion. Then you just go full force into the life style to keep at it. Joining a local vegan society is by far the best way to find support and be involved. Just go on Facebook or meet up and search your city and the word ‘vegan’. There’s bound to be something on there. And if it’s a group that does meet ups or events, by all means go to them! I went to my first vegan society event relocating from Chicago to California and was so thankful to meet like minded people in my new area! If you’re more interested in the animal rights side of veganism, then by all means join in a local protest. If that’s not an option share (or start!) a petition about a topic your passionate about. There are many groups that send out active protest or petition emails that you can sign up for, major ones being Peta and Mercy For Animals. You just simply go to their site and sign up with an email. Or there are plenty of local rescue sanctuaries around, just search on the internet and call them to see if they need help. Once you do any of these to get involved, little by little people will know you’re serious about this new lifestyle and the ones that are supportive will step up. And who knows, you may just find your new best friend doing what you’re passionate about. I know I found a few!
So let me be the first one to wish you good luck on your new vegan journey and have an amazing new year with your new lifestyle, congrats!