You’re the kind of person who knows that veganism makes sense to you. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about it for a while. I’m hoping that what’s motivated you to take the plunge is the ethical rationale for veganism.
I’m going to harp on it one more time. Here’s how I see the ethical argument for veganism. We all agree that at the very least, a vegan diet can be equally healthy to any other diet that includes animal products. How do we know this. Because almost all dietetic associations say so. With that as the foundation, the next question we need to agree on is if it is acceptable to cause unnecessary suffering to sentient beings. And unnecessary means pretty much any suffering caused other than the protection of our own life and limb. Most of us would likely agree that causing unnecessary suffering to animals is indefensible.
Then here’s the rub. If we can agree that a vegan diet is adequate and healthy and that causing unnecessary suffering is indefensible, then it means that eating animals products means to contribute to unnecessary suffering. If you are naive enough to think that animals slaughtered and abused for food do not suffer unnecessarily, then go have a look here. I’ll wait. Good, you’re on board now ain’t ya?
Therefore, the only reason to eat meat is for pleasure of the palate. And if that is the case, you are indifferent to unnecessary suffering, you’re callous and possibly even sociopathic. There’s nothing I can do to help you with that.
Even if you were ignorant to this point, you can no longer claim ignorance. Therefore you’ve decided to do the only righteous thing that you can do when confronted with this information, and that is to become vegan. And you’re committed. You want to do it right now, today. I applaud that, and I want to help.
The first thing to do is probably go for a shop. What you’ll likely want to do is to replace any and all animal products that you currently have in your fridge or that you formally enjoyed. So go and buy some soy milk. I recommend Silk. You might also want to try almond or rice milk, though soy milk is most similar to 2% cow’s milk in my opinion. I also like their Original best, but they’re all good, especially the chocolate and strawberry if you have a sweet tooth like me.
You’ll also likely want to get some ground round which is a vegan minced meat option which is good in pasta sauces and lasagnes and chilli. The products I’m recommending are the ones I’m using. They’re not necessarily the best out there, they just happen to be ones that are familiar to me and the ones I have the greatest access to where I live. I encourage you to try other versions that are available where you live.
I’d also recommend you getting some vegan mayonnaise and some vegan lunch meats to make making sandwiches super easy. You might also want to try some of the excellent vegan cheeses that are out there now. I’ve become quite fond of Daiya.
If you’re looking for things to replace items such as chicken breasts or ribs and that sort of stuff, I’ve found the folks at Gardein to offer some great products. And of course there are more and more options coming out everyday. In fact, compared to when I became vegan almost 25 years ago we live with an embarrassment of vegan fake meat choices 🙂 and I ain’t complaining.
Now get yourself back home and ditch all the meat and animal fluids and by products in your pantry and fridge. If this is not possible due to financial constraints then use up the remaining animal products you have over the coming week.
But this is about becoming vegan today. So throw it all out. And now all that you need to do is replace your regular meals that used to include animal products with the vegan versions. So maybe you used to have spaghetti and meat sauce, now you have spaghetti and fake meat sauce. Maybe you used to have steak and potatoes and peas once a week now you just replace the steak with a vegan version of the steak or a vegan chicken breast. Easy peasy.
If you’re used to lasagnas, these are easy to replace with the vegan minced meat. Same with chilli and soups that used to contain animal products. Now you’ll be using vegetable stocks and vegetable based mock meats.
One thing you’ll notice that is missing here is an egg replacement. You’re gonna have to get used to giving up eggs as a food. Especially eating eggs. Sure, you can make a good tofu scramble, but there is not replacement for fried or poached eggs. At least not yet. But that’s not a hardship. Eggs are bad for you. Start enjoying oatmeal, cereals with soy milk or toast and other non egg based breakfasts.
When you’re more skilled and adventurous then you can start playing around with tofu, which is really not that bad. It absorbs the flavors you cook it with. You can make tofu scrambles like I said, and even use soft tofu for making great quiches and other things like that.
Eating vegan today is even easier if you are on a budget. The things I spoke of earlier are easy swaps for animal products, but you don’t actually need them.
Fore example, if you used to have steak and potatoes and peas for a meal, then just have more potatoes and peas. Don’t worry about needing a meat replacement. You don’t. Don’t worry about protein either, you can get all the protein you need on a plant based vegan diet without any fake meats or soy products.
The World Health Organization recommends that we need 5% of our calories to come from protein. Unless you are eating only fruits, you’ll easily get twice that amount or more from a variety of plant foods.
So you don’t need fake minced meat in your spaghetti sauce. Just have a bigger helping of spaghetti and tomato sauce. Make your chili without fake meat or add more beans. Make a stir fry without meat or soy meats and just enjoy it over rice or quinoa. You’ll get everything you need on a plant based whole foods vegan diet except for vitamin B12 which is easy to supplement and vitamin D which you can get from the sun.
If you’re struggling on your road to veganism please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m happy to help allay your fears. I’ve been vegan almost 25 years and healthy all that time. I’m happy to share my experience. Just contact me through the comment section or the contact page.
Shine on peaceful vegan warriors.