Vegan 101

If you’re planning on eating full plant-based things can get overwhelming quite fast. You find yourself reading loads of ingredient lists and googling for vegan places nearby. Trying to figure out what is vegan and how to adapt your dairy containing recipes to vegan recipes. Yes! It can be fun and exploratory. However, it can be hard as well.

I have become a vegan since the beginning of this year, but about 2 or 3 years ago I developed an interest in veganism. I have found loads of interesting helpful tools that made my slow transition easier and fun. It turned out to be quite long. You can always bookmark the page and read each section separately in order to not get overwhelmed by the information.

Inform yourself

So you want to become vegan. Ask yourself why, there are many reasons to why one can become vegan. For me it started by watching the documentary cowspiracy, it became clear to me that the impact of agriculture on the environment is huge! This was when I became a vegan enthusiast so to say. I started of with eating meatless and reducing the amount of dairy. It was only when I started to learn more and more about the meat and dairy industry that it became easier to fully commit a vegan diet. I had seen videos of animal abuse in farms, but I somehow didn’t think that in the Netherlands this would be common. And what about free range chickens, did I really have a problem with eating their eggs? Learning more and more about these industries the more I wanted to become vegan. I watched earthlings and even though I never finished the documentary (which I hope to do soon) I had learned enough to understand why eating eggs is not as harmless as I first thought. In the Netherlands our eggs have a star rank, according to how ‘good’ the chickens life is. It has 3 levels of ‘better life’ one of the best ranking of eggs– that’s what they say anyway. Well seeing how 3 out of 3 stars chickens live shocked me. How can this be the best of the best life a chicken can have according to this ranking. The chickens lived on fake grass, in a very small housing and when feeding them grass they all went for it as if they hadn’t eaten in months. This is not what a better life should mean for chickens! Also, informing myself about how milk is produced, from inseminating a cow, taking the child away and the age at which the cow is slaughtered compared to their normal lifespan. Hearing about blood and puss joining the milk, no thank you, I’ll pass.

Google it!

If you want to make a non-vegan recipe vegan but you don’t know how? Google it! If you are craving that dairy snack you always loved, Google it! Just type vegan + ‘the name of the dish/snack’ and you will probably get a recipe that you can either use to make the dish or use to adapt your own recipe. There are also many ingredients that you can use to replace things like eggs. Ranging from bananas to chia seeds, if you want more options or an option that fits your wish best, Google it! Trying to find a vegan alternative that you can buy in stores? Google it! For the dutchies I can highly recommend a site that shares many ‘vegan by accident’ products and you can filter it by store or section. It helped me a lot and it saves you time in the shop, you no longer waste time reading all the ingredients lists. No matter where you are from, there must be a place, either a blog, facebook page or instagram account, that share ‘vegan by accident’ products. So check it out!

Vegan challenge

My first month eating vegan, was due to the vegan challenge. It’s a dutch organisation that has a site that helps you to try a vegan lifestyle. You can register and get recipe ideas for a week, or you can simply go to their site and find all there recipes there. They also inform about why and what a vegan lifestyle truly means. It’s all in dutch, if you can’t speak dutch don’t worry there is also veganuary which I believe is quite new. But it is so similar to each other. I would say that it’s important to try it out for a while, especially if you think it’s too difficult or too expensive. Try to incorporate it into your life and slowly transition. It’s all about doing your best. Try not to compare too much to other people for whom this transition is easier. We all have our own way.

Protein, protein, protein! Where do vegans get there protein from?

I don’t want to go into detail about this. Just know that broccoli has more protein than beef!

B12 and vitamine D

These are the only vitamins you need to take when going vegan. How essential vitamin D is depends on the person you ask (and on the amount of sun you receive), but just to be safe, I recommend you to take it :)

It became quite a long list, and there are many more things I would like to share. But overwhelming you with it is not the best way to do so! Let me know if you found this information useful and if you would like me to do more posts about veganism.

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