Going vegan was relatively easy for me.
But I know it can be difficult for some people.
Besides possessing empathy, it’s really a mindset game. And like forming a new habit, you need to train it.
Yes, think of going vegan or eating a fully plant-based diet as a new habit.
Just like making the habit to go to the gym daily or the habit of doing the ‘morning pages’ where you just write for 3 pages (equivalent to around 600 words) in your journal daily.
If there’s a will, there’s definitely a way.
So here are 3 small steps you can do now to begin the habit of eating a vegan diet and adopting a vegan lifestyle.
Knowledge is power.
The more you know about something, the better your conviction is.
Most people who aren’t vegan don’t know what really goes on in factory farms. Most people assume that animals live freely on green pastures and live out their lives happily until their natural end.
And most people are disconnected with how their food got on the table. They’re not to blame.
Our society has become so urbanized and sadly, this generally means being segregated from our food source.
Crops grow in villages. High rise buildings in cities.
It’s also a purposeful construct to divide the different classes of humans, but that’s another topic.
Point being is that we should take the initiative to be open to what is really happening.
If we truly value our health at the very least, we should know where our food comes from.
And once we know what’s happening, we can then take action.
Because knowledge without action is useless.
2. CUT DOWN
So you now know the horrors of factory farming and its impact on the environment as well as human health.
What do you do?
The obvious action is to not consume meat.
But it can be difficult for you since eating meat has been a habit you’ve formed (perhaps unwillingly) since you were a baby.
For me, the knowledge came with guilt.
If I continued eating meat, I couldn’t really live with myself in a truthful way. I value integrity and honesty.
So at one point, once the guilt built up and I couldn’t take it anymore, I just decided to go vegan overnight.
But this was after I cut down my meat intake.
If you’re hesitant to go vegan overnight, I’d suggest that you cut down the amount of meat you’re consuming, say only allow yourself once a week.
At the same time, you should increase the number of vegetables you eat to ensure that you get sufficient nutrition.
This is a practice that may help you to eventually get to the habit of not eating meat at all. You could then do the same with eggs and dairy.
Going vegan can be a lonely journey.
Vegans only account for about 2-8% of the human population.
And depending on where you live, it may be difficult to find a vegan community or other people who practice a vegan lifestyle.
But that’s where social media come in.
I found my vegan friends mostly through Instagram at first before eventually meeting them in real life.
To not make yourself feel like you’re doing this alone, you have to reach out to the vegans online, preferably those living in the same country as you.
There’s power in community.
People can help motivate you and strengthen your reason to go vegan.
They can inspire you to experiment different types of vegan food.
They could open your eyes to vegan alternatives to cheese, burgers or your favourite dessert.
Follow them on Instagram or YouTube. Interact with them. Ask them questions.
Now that we’re living at home most of the time due to the pandemic, there’s no excuse for us not to get socially active online.
Practice Makes Progress
You may stumble along the way. You may feel tempted to eat meat or cheese again.
That’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up for falling back.
The difference now is that you know better.
So pick yourself back up and try again. And again. And again.
Remember, the vegan lifestyle is not about achieving perfection.
It’s about your intention to live a better life.
Maybe just for yourself or maybe for the animals and the environment as well.
Either way, it’s a positive step forward.