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Veganism is on the rise – and while we can’t perfectly count how many there are in the world, best estimates put the global percentage at 0.1% and the US percentage at 6% (up from 0.5% in 2016) with some of the most vegan countries reporting as much as 8% of the population following the lifestyle and diet.
Have you recently become vegan? Interested in becoming vegan in the near future? Here are some of the most common questions asked by those who are new to veganism.
Lots of people incorrectly assume that being vegan and making vegan choices are much more difficult than a “normal” diet or lifestyle is. This is based more on outside perception, and there has never been a more vegan-friendly time in history than right now!
In much the same ways that people shop for products and recipes based on ingredients, personal taste, quick prep times, and other reasons, finding vegan options means looking for them.
All food choices offer cheap options and more expensive options – prime rib vs hamburger, organic vs non-organic, national brand products vs. store brands, the list is endless. Spend some time initially learning the basics of vegan budgeting – learn when certain fruits and veggies are in season (read: cheaper), which stores have great bulk offerings, things like that.
And remember – there are millions of vegans out there now, and even more who have come before you. A quick internet or shopping site search will garner tons of resources for budget-friendly vegan recipes.
Omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans alike are encouraged to take vitamins or supplements at different times in their life and for different reasons. But a vegan diet doesn’t inherently create nutrient deficiency – you just have to know where to look for those nutrients.
A great resource we’ve found is “The Vegan Plate” graphic and article from Becoming Vegan – it even includes a section at the bottom called Practical Pointers, to help break down this study in vegan dietetics.
We live in a “hustle and grind” culture and life hacks are a great way to get helpful info fast. Here are some great beginner tips to help you manage expectations and be kinder to yourself as you start your vegan journey.
Take advantage of all the vegans who have come before you! Rather than emptying your metaphorical plate of all animal products and racking your brains about what foods you should fill those holes with, crowd them out instead.
Make it a bit easier on yourself by finding vegan substitutes for your favorite egg, meat, or dairy products before you remove them from your diet. This makes the first steps of your vegan journey feel more rewarding than restricting.
There are thousands of great resources, both print and digital, that can help you in your transition to veganism. Do some research, join online vegan groups, or invest in a vegan guidebook (you can find one here for free).
You can also either buy or create your own vegan cookbook based on your food preferences, budget, or cooking ability. Vegan.com offers some great insights for new vegans - including this list of 100 Easy Vegan Foods.
It’s easy to cook vegan dishes for yourself, but what about when you’re craving an easy takeout meal or a nice date night? Alleviate the restaurant stress by cruising sites like Yelp, DoorDash, and GrubHub to check out your best options for vegan-friendly spots near you.
Many towns and cities have natural food stores that carry a larger variety of vegan products for you to explore. Take a trip to a food store near you and grab a few new vegan foods to take home and try while you’re forming that vegan food routine.
While you’re out on the town in all your vegan glory, why not rep a cool vegan t-shirt while you’re at it?