go vegan for the animals

anonymous asked:

I keep thinking about going vegan, but I'm really overwhelmed. I'm not even vegetarian yet. It all seems so daunting, to be so hyper aware of what I'm eating and make sure I plan meals and things, and I'm afraid I don't have the mental energy to do it, or the physical energy to cook all the time, or the budget to buy the right food. Do you have any advice?

I sure do! I’m very happy you reached out to me (and this is a long post so I’m going to sprinkle in pictures of cute animal I took, so I hope that’s okay).

One of the great things about being vegan is that it becomes second nature pretty quickly. You don’t even think about it. Most people only eat a handful of foods, and not only can you find vegan versions of those, your palate tends to expand after going vegan. You start trying new foods you’d never thought of before. I’m so in love with food at this point that it’s a bit ridiculous lol

So after a while, you’ll get so used to knowing what is vegan and what isn’t, and you won’t even think about it. You’ll spot animal-based ingredients like a champ. And if you accidentally buy something with animal products in it, you go “oh shoot” and know for next time. You’ll find shortcuts too. I can skim an ingredients list in seconds and determine pretty accurately if it’s vegan or not (especially because things like dairy, seafood, and eggs have to be highlighted as allergens).

As far as cooking and meal prep goes, you can do as little or as much as you want. My cooking skills go as far as microwaving, turning on the oven, and boiling water. I don’t even own any appliances beyond a toaster and microwave (I’m hoping to add a rice cooker to that, because that makes healthy meals SO MUCH easier to create. You can even put tomatoes or beans in with the rice and cook it at the same time).

(That’s Roy, and yes, his head is as gigantic as it looks.)

Basically, I would look at what you eat now and see how you can start to switch things out. Going vegan is about switching ingredients, pretty much. Animal butter for plant-based butter. Cow’s milk for soy, nut, rice, or oat milk. Animal protein for plant protein. Scrambled eggs for scrambled tofu (or “vegan eggs” you can buy that taste incredibly delicious).

I’ll provide some resources below that will probably explain everything better than I could. But going vegan is so exciting, and while there is a little bit of a learning curve, it will feel less like a chore and more like a whole new part of your life opening up to you. Let me know if you have any more questions!

Vegan on a Budget: 17 Easy & Affordable Recipes

Seven Day Meal Plan

Switch & Ditch (Meat and Dairy Alternatives)

Build a Meal

What Your Plate Should Look Like

Iron-Rich Foods

Protein Powerhouse

25 Delicious Vegan Sources of Protein

Going Vegan on a Budget

Going Vegan for People Who Hate Eating Vegetables

All animals are somebody—someone with a life of their own. Behind those eyes is a story, the story of their life in their world as they experience it. In our culture, we have been encouraged to think of animals as things, as commodities. The great challenge lies in having a change of perception. The realization that they have a life of their own, independent of their utility to me or to anyone else: this is what I am trying to get at when I speak of them as being “subjects of a life.” In this sense, they are exactly like us, equal to us. — Tom Regan