One thing I don’t see enough of is transparency around struggle within the vegan community. When I was starting my journey, it would have been nice to know that others were struggling to make the change too.
It would have been nice to hear that veganism isn’t about doing everything perfectly. To hear that it’s actually about doing the best you can with the information and resources you have. For those reasons, I’d love to share my struggles with you.
Cleaning & beauty products
The most difficult thing about going vegan wasn’t the food, it was finding cleaning products that weren’t tested on animals. Equally difficult to finding cleaning products was finding beauty products for the exact same reasons.
Animal testing is rampant in North America. It is difficult to find products that are not tested on animals and do not contain animal products within them.
Perhaps my biggest piece of advice would be: don’t assume there’s NOT an animal part or product in anything. You will be shocked to discover how many things have animal parts in them, completely unnecessarily.
Take plastic bags for example, lipsticks, beer etc. You will spend a lot of time reading the backs of packages. And even more time cross-referencing crazy multiple syllable words with Google definitions.
What to expect
In my experience, there was an overwhelming amount of words I didn’t understand the meanings of. So I learned a lot about nutrition and what I was putting on and in my body.
Within the first month of switching to a vegan diet, I lost 12 pounds. This was because your body flushes out a lot of toxins and backed up waste. I had changed nothing else in my life except for what I was eating. Weight loss is common.
It’s also important to keep this in mind. It might be worth talking to your doctor about if you’re not already at a healthy weight. I could afford to lose 12 pounds, not everyone can.
We all know veganism is a crucial way to fight climate change. So I’d like to talk about one HUGE thing vegans DON’T tell you about veganism.
It’s impossible to make an informed decision when you don’t have access to all of the factors needing to be considered. When it comes to veganism, this is one area in which I think most vegans could work on.
There’s no point in talking up veganism if it’s going to result in them feeling deceived. The biggest shock to me was that it wasn’t the food change that was the hardest, it was everything else. And I mean everything else.
Veganism isn’t just your diet it’s about not consuming animal products in any way, shape, or form. This extends to clothing, shoes, cleaning products, beauty products, accessories, handbags, vehicles….everything in your life.
Truthfully it’s impossible to be entirely vegan while remaining a part of our society. There are animal parts in so many things involved in our everyday life. Making it is simply not possible to eliminate them all.
For example, car tires have animal parts in them but this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to stop driving a car or using public transportation in order to be vegan.
The Next Step
Veganism is about eliminating as much animal consumption as possible and I believe a significant caveat is; within reason. First in for most you need to be informed on what contains animals to begin with.
There’s no way to sugarcoat this, it does require extensive and ongoing research. At no point will you ever be fully educated on veganism as it is an evolving process. So take it one step at a time.
Swap out items little by little. Avoid setting yourself up for failure if you know massive change won’t be possible for you to pull off. Every little bit helps the planet and the animals and it’s worth making the effort!
If you’re considering veganism, my advice would be to look into vegan blogs. Seek out supportive forums so you can ask real vegans specific questions that you’re curious about. That’s really the best way to make sure that you’re making an informed choice.
I’d love to know…
Can you share your advice for a new vegan?
What is the most shocking thing you’ve learned about the meat and dairy lobby?
Are there any cruelty free and vegan products you love and recommend?
Question of the Week
Should the internet be selectively censored?
Studies have proven that exposure to certain forms of online content leads to an increased likelihood to dehumanize a specific group of people or even commit violent acts against them. Two significant examples to point to are violent porn and hate crimes. What are your thoughts on online censorship for some types of content? Should censorship exist? If so, who controls it, and to what extent? Can we trust them to remain ethical with this control? If not, how do we justify the harm that comes to people as a result of a lack of censorship? Who would be most negatively impacted and why?
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