Veganism is one of the many trends which have seen the light of day in the past few years. It is the practice of abstaining from consuming any animal products and going completely plant-based. Many speculate that veganism is the future of the planet. Research suggests that a vegan diet could potentially prevent eight million deaths from chronic diseases. It is estimated that the world population could rise from 7.5 billion to 10.5 billion by 2050. Since we use about 68 per cent of the world’s agricultural land to grow crops to feed livestock, a vegan future would free up space and leave us with more resources for the people.
Veganism also has many health benefits. A vegan diet can promote weight loss. It can also boost heart health. Eating animal-based foods can raise cholesterol levels, which can lead to an increased risk of strokes. Plant foods are also high in fibre, which is linked to better heart health. It is also proven that a vegan diet can reduce the risks of diabetes and some forms of cancers.
Considering all these benefits, it is no doubt why such kind of lifestyle is growing in popularity day by day. Yet, many find this transition to a plant-based diet to be a difficult one. A few ways to ease this transition are:-
- Motivate yourself
Finding your motivation to transition to a vegan lifestyle is a crucial step, one that many tend to forget. Doing some research into how your food impacts the climate and watching documentaries on veganism is a great way to do so. Some documentaries I would suggest are Cowspiracy and What The Health. Initially, the change will be difficult, especially if you consume meat and dairy daily. However, keep your motivation and purpose in mind, and do not give up.
- Start slow
Taking drastic measures in the initial steps of your transition to veganism is one of the biggest mistakes you could make. Many do this, and then inevitably fail. What you need to do is start small. Cutting off all animal products in one go is impossible. Making one of your meals vegan, reducing the amount of animal-based products you consume in a week or a month, and replacing your snacks with vegan alternatives are some great ways to successfully get started. Every minimal change can aid you in your journey to a vegan lifestyle.
- Get the nutrients you need
Although a vegan lifestyle has its benefits, it can also be difficult for vegans to get enough of the vitamins and minerals which are found in animal products. Iron, protein, calcium and vitamin B12 are some such nutrients. Focus on including these in diet, by either finding vegan substitutes (broccoli and kale for calcium, rice milk for vitamin D). You can also consume supplements to get enough of some nutrients which are found only in animal products (Vitamin B12).
- Curb your negativity
Often one develops some form of hatred and negativity towards other non-vegans while transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. We condemn their non-vegan habits and get mad at them for not following a certain lifestyle. You should remember to not let these negative feelings get to you. Be mindful of the fact that not everyone can afford such a lifestyle. When educating others about veganism, do not let your hate and anger take over you. Be calm and polite. Remember that this cluster of emotions will pass. With time, everything gets easier.