aaaahh that’s so good to hear! I’m so excited for you!
When I went vegetarian 9 years ago, I quit meat “cold tofu.” had been contemplating it for a while (I had a crush on an internet celeb who was vegan and looked up to them a lot), then one day right after I ate a plate of chicken I said “mom, i’m going vegetarian.” “but you just finished a plate of chicken.” “yeah i know but i’m going to be a vegetarian now.”
and boom, I was. the only thing that made it difficult at the beginning was the fact that i was only 12 and had no control over what I ate. whatever my parents gave me was all i had. it took a couple months of just eating around the meat on my plate before my parents started to take me seriously and let me have more agency during our weekly grocery shopping.
I didn’t really see veganism as a necessary step until 8 years later. i had pretty much all the standard excuses, like “ice cream tho” and “you don’t kill a cow to make cheese lol silly vegans.” a lot of it was denial, a lot of it was genuine ignorance on my part. I would even “try” going vegan and give up after a couple of days cause I really didn’t see the point.
I watched Earthlings, and that set me straight.
my advice to you is this: really understand WHY you want to go vegan. do your research. we live in a world where eating animals and their products is something that’s so normal, we forget that its an indoctrinated practice. you see advertisements for animal food everywhere you go, and anywhere you eat has the majority of the menu taken up by carcasses and excretions. and I don’t fault anyone for being skeptical about veganism when they first hear about it: for most people, its never been an option.
before you go shopping, before you start planning out your vegan meals, do your homework! make it clear to YOURSELF why you’re making this change. are you concerned mostly about your own health? are you doing this to combat animal cruelty? are you doing this to minimize your environmental impact? are you living your morals? are you turning into an anarcho-socialist?
you’re going to be questioned about your reasons for going vegan a LOT, and you’re going to be under a lot of pressure. it helps to know deep down that what you’re doing is right.
Imo, documentaries are the best way to get your feet wet. here are some of the best and most recommended:
Earthlings ** (it is graphic. very graphic. and absolutely necessary. I would save this one for last)
Cowspiracy (tackles the environmental issues of animal agriculture)
The Ghosts in our Machine
Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death (this one was particularly instrumental for my own transition)
Here are some more, complete with links on where to watch them for free online. and here’s a bigger masterlist, though not all are available for free (unless you look reallllllyyy hard)
Educating yourself is critical. start following some vegan blogs as well. like I mentioned earlier, we live in a world where eating animals is considered normal. it really helps having people around to remind you that its not. my favorite bloggers (some are assholes, some are not–all are vegan and are knowledgeable about it and I love following them) are vegan-yums, vegan-because-fuck-you, vegan-vulcan, necessaryveganism, veganinspo, fightingforanimals and vegansidekick. I follow lots of vegan instagrammers as well, and theres a Vegans of Tumblr facebook group thats full of really sweet people!
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after you’ve made it clear to YOURSELF why you want to stop eating animals, its time to make the change! some people do it gradually, some people do it “cold tofu,” its all up to you; the important thing is that you’re doing it!
if you’re worried about not knowing what to eat, this vegan grocery list was a GODSEND to me. i just bought most of everything on that list, bought NO animal products or by-products during the shopping trip, and played around with cooking my own meals based on what I knew i liked. you’d be surprised how much lower your grocery bill suddenly is…
(I don’t know what your current home situation is; if you still live with your parents, you may not be able to buy all the things you want to try. use your best judgement, and maybe start off small; ask if you can try a plant milk, or a new brand of cereal, or if they can buy more vegetables than they usually do)
I rounded up some of my favorite masterposts floating around, I think at this point its easier just to link to them directly:
Here’s a cute letter of advice for new vegans. here’s a cute post talking about the initial transition.
Another informative post!
an ultimate “why vegan” Masterpost!
and as you follow vegan bloggers, you’ll be exposed to smaller arguments day-by-day to reaffirm what you’re already learning.
it is a rocky transition at first, it really is. but once you’re confident in why you’re doing it, you hardly notice the struggle because you know the payoff.
I totally believe in you, and I will be here if you have any other questions from time to time! do read up on all of these first though :D have fun!