Picture shows autumnal, vegan pumpkin risotto, courtesy of Monica Prince, a talented vegan chef and even more talented mother.
As a veteran of this subject for four years now, I know my fair share of the ins and outs of veganism. And trust me, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes throughout the years and some of them so haunting that I’m reluctant to revisit them through this article. But anyways, as usual, I will embarrass myself for the entertainment of others.
1. DON’T BRAG! Seriously. I know you’re proud of yourself for changing to become a vegan and even see yourself as a more well-rounded and ethical person but surprisingly enough, others aren’t as enthused about your change in diet tan you are. Perhaps one would call it an aura of superiority that is inevitable with a drastic and morally challenging concept like veganism. So when you say to your meat-eater friends that “you’ve now turned vegan, and that all meat is murder, and they don’t deserve to live”, it may be a bit of an exaggeration and they may not react the best way to it (which I have tried and tested for you already after a multitude of broken friendships!)
Although it is more ethical and beneficial to us as humans, everyone has their own opinion. Even myself, as a more vocal and out spoken vegan who is passionate about the well being of animals, knows that people have only a certain amount of patience and tolerance for this type of conversation.
2. DO talk to your friends causally about how you’re now vegan and then talk about other interests that you all have in common. Don’t feel left out at all, there are many vegan societies online that you can go on to talk to vegan people about why you went vegan and loads of other related subjects. And even so, diversity in the friendship group is great because variety is the spice of life!
3. Next, I seriously recommend not trying every single vegan alternative (meat and cheese) that is out there when you first go vegan because they wont be as ‘good’ as the original. This will leave you feeling unsatisfied and you may be tempted to go back to your old habits. As well as this, vegan food in itself has its own finesse and flavor which you don’t want to be covered up with bland meat and dairy alternatives. However my only triumph has been milk alternatives that are, in my opinion, vastly superior to diary milk such as coconut and oat. No kidding. They changed my life.
4. Alternatively introduce a wider variety of vegetables, fruits and carbohydrates that you didn’t have before. The most versatile food out there are vegetables so I recommend getting experimental and creative with your food, you may even forget its vegan! This would also be a lot healthier than filling your diet with soya which some people may be intolerant to (me especially!).