Are you ready to embark on a life-changing journey that will alter your life? Not only will this change save hundreds of animal lives a year, it could reduce your water consumption by 400,000 gallons, reduce your carbon footprint by 7,300 pounds, and reduce deforestation by 11,000 square feet every year! You will be doing more to fight climate change than not driving by 2-3 fold. You will also be increasing your life span as extensive, long term research shows a vegan diet reduces mortality rate by about 18%! Going vegan is probably one of the most profound things you can for your health, our planet, and the animals.
Many people may find the idea of switching from an omnivorous diet to a plant-based, vegan diet daunting and even difficult. This is why we're here to help and to show you that going vegan is really quite simple!
Identify all the animal products you are consuming.
Write a list of all the items you currently eat that contain animal products including meat, meat by-products, eggs, fats such as lard and butter and dairy which can be in the form of casein, caseinate, whey, cream, butter, milk, milk powder, buttermilk, lactose, creamer, cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, whipping cream, and honey. You can also check out this list from PETA of hidden food ingredients that are derived from animal products.
Find plant based alternatives to all your current non-vegan foods at the grocery store.
Now you have a list of food items that are non-vegan. The easiest method is to simply replace them for vegan versions. The most common replacements are as follows:
Replace with vegan meat products which are available at almost every supermarket today. Brands vary from country to country but they are becoming more widely available now.
- Gardein products (porkless pork bites, beefless tips, meat-free turkey cutlet, crispy tenders, chick'n strips, beefless ground, meatless meatballs, barbecue wings etc.)
- Yves Veggie Cuisine (veggie ground, veggie sausages, veggie ham, veggie bologna etc.)
- Sol Cuisine
- Fry’s (burgers, sausages, pies, schnitzels, hotdogs, nuggets, strips)
- Lite Life (burgers and ground - very similar to chicken/turkey burgers and ground turkey/chicken.)
- Vivera (burgers, steaks, kebab strips, fishless fingers)
- Beyond Meats (sausages, burgers, breakfast sausages - very similar to beef.)
- Impossible Foods (burgers - very similar to beef, some people say it is indistinguishable.)
- Look for supermarket own brands of veggie hotdogs, burgers, slices as there are many available in the frozen and fridge sections.
There are many plant-based alternatives to milk available now, including:
- Tiger nut
Many stores now sell alternatives to yoghurt, cream, ice cream, custard and butter. Cheese alternatives can be readily found in supermarkets and even artisan nut cheese can often be found in health food shops or bought direct from sellers online.
- Tofu or chickpea flour - Try using tofu to make scrambled tofu in place of scrambled eggs or chickpea omelets to replace egg omeletes.
- Replacing eggs in baking is very easy in most cake, muffin or cookie recipe. Simply make a flax or chia egg (mix ground flax/chia with water to form a gelatinous paste) in replacement!
By now, you have educated yourself on the foods you were consuming that contained animal products and have started exploring new areas in your grocery store for alternatives. By the time you replace all your animal products, you are already vegan! It's as simple as that!
- Cereal with 2% dairy milk
Veganizing it: Most cereals are vegan unless they contain dairy, honey or animal derived vitamins and there are many vegan versions of our favorite cereals so your new breakfast would simply be a cereal with your favourite plant-based milk.
- Toast and eggs
Veganizing it: Toast with tofu scramble or avocado hummus toast!
Veganizing it: Spaghetti with Veggie Ground by Yves or Meatless Ground by Litelife or Beefless Ground or Meatballs by Gardein.
- Chicken breast and salad
Veganizing it: Salad with chickpeas or marinated tofu
- Egg salad sandwich
Veganizing it: Tofu "egg" salad with whole wheat bread
- Beef burger
Veganizing it: Use a veggie burger such as Beyond Meats, Lightlife, Sol Cuisine, Gardein in place.
- Shepherd's Pie
Veganizing it: Use a vegan butter in place and switch out the ground meat with one of the meatless grounds above.
As you can see, any animal product can be easily substituted with delicious, healthier, plant-based options.