The most important step to being a successful vegan is wanting to be! Motivate your self to cut animal products out of your diet by watching videos online. These videos can be undercover footage of a factory farm, videos of someone cooking up a delicious vegan meal, a video talking about how gross milk is, or anything thing else that can make you feel confident in your decision! This is especially important in the begging when you might still be craving your old favorite meals or when you are just feeling less confident about your decision.
*Remember that if the videos about animal cruelty get to sad you can always watch videos of animals being rescued or animals living in a sanctuary for a little hopeful and happy boost!
2. Find recipes for your favorite non-vegan meal made vegan!
3.Sign up for a vegan mentor
There are many organizations that offer vegan mentor programs. If you are new to veganism, they can be a great tool. You can text or email your mentor with any question you have and they will give advice, and support. If you feel like you are already a vegan expert, sign up to be a mentor. It can feel great to know you're helping spread veganism and its fun to show someone the ropes, and introduce them to all your favorite things.
**You can also purchase remade vegan versions of your favorite foods, either boxed, microwavable or made right there in the store at almost all supermarkets, organic marks, and even places like Wal-Mart!
4.Sign up for PETA 2 street team and messages
If you don’t know what PETA is, it’s an animal rights organization that stands for people for the ethical treatment of animals. PETA 2 is just PETA for young people. They have a “street team” which allows you to earn points for helping animals, and you can use those points towards free stuff! You can also sign up for their messages, which allows you to help animals by sending a simple text. You can also text that number with questions about veganism or animal activism and they will answer them!
5. Join social media communities
There are a billion vegan Facebook groups/communities, twitter pages, blogs, message boards, and pages on any social media site. This can be extremely helpful because it can connect you with other vegans. People post recipes, where they shop for vegan products, advice, vegan news, questions and answers, funny posts, and so much more. There are so many kinds; you will easily find the place that you fit in best.
6. Experiment with cooking!
Take random foods in your house and make your own delicious vegan concoction, find a recipe online and make it your own, take a boxed meal and spice it up! Make cooking fun, and find flavors you love!
*I love making Earth Balance Mac and cheese and then mixing Daiya cheese in the saucepan when you add the other ingredients, it turns into melty cheesy perfection.
7.Try many brands
Don’t just try one brand of, lets say, vegan cream cheese and then decide you hate vegan cream cheese. There are countless different brands for anything you could think of. If you don’t like one brand, don’t remove that food from your diet, especially if that was a main food you eat before you were vegan. Keep trying until you find one you like, each brand taste totally different. Even if you like one brand, you may find you LOVE a different brand. I used to think that I only liked Follow Your Heart cream cheese until I tried Kite Hill, and now that’s my favorite. And just because you love many products of one brand doesn’t mean you wont like a product of a different brand better. For example, I love Daiya shreds to melt in pasta, Follow Your Heart to melt on pizza, Kite Hill for cream cheese, So Delicious for ice cream, etc.
8. Try new foods!
Before I went vegan I was considered a pretty picky eater, but going vegan has changed that. For example I never thought I would eat beans or tofu, but now those are my favorite foods! Don’t be afraid to try new things.
9.Learn to love tofu
I know people are going to read this and think, tofu? Ew! But don’t judge a book by its cover! Tofu is magical! It can be made into ricotta cheese, pudding, or even just flavored, stir fried, baked, etc. Tofu takes on the taste of anything it’s cooked in! Do some tofu research; some websites can go into more detail about just how magical it is, recipes, etc. If your to afraid to cook with it right away, that’s okay, try some sofritas at chipotle, or any tofu dish at an Asian restaurant.
10.Know some basic facts
When you’re a vegan you have to get used to being bombarded with questions. Sometimes people are just curious, sometimes they are argumentative and try to convince you that veganism is not the right choice, and sometimes they may even be asking because they are considering it themselves! Learn some basic facts so that you can properly answer and educate them.
11. Learn to read labels!
Learn to read labels of the backs of food and clothing/cosmetics labels. Look for allergy alerts; they will usually say if there is milk or egg. Things like cosmetics, shampoos, soaps, etc, will usually have the vegan or cruelty free label on the back. But knowing how to read ingredients is important. This website has a list of things to watch out for on labels: https://veganuary.com/starter-kit/vegan-label-reading-guide/
12. Research products
A simple Google search can go along way in finding vegan products like cosmetics, clothing, shoes, coats, etc. Also many websites and blogs will have good lists. You can also write in a social media group you question (“Best vegan eye liner”) and get many helpful answers. There are also apps like Bunny free and many others that can be helpful.
13. Take your time transitioning
I was a pescetarian for a few months, a vegetarian for a year, and now a vegan for three years, and I starting using vegan and cruelty products little by little, one thing at a time. I would not suggest jumping straight into veganism with food, products, and entertainment. Take you time. Do things at your own pace and you are more likely to be successful.
14. Do the best you can
Being a vegan is not about being perfect or cleansing your body. Just do the best you can to make the world a better place. If you accidentally eat something that you didn’t know was made with animal products, don’t freak out. Your human, you can slip up and make mistakes. Just do your best to live a positive life that doesn’t contribute to cruelty.