“One to change a few. A few to change many. Many to change the world. It all starts with one.” – Anonymous
Living vegan is the number-one way to help animals, heal the planet, and improve your health.
Vegan living means:
- Respecting non-human animals and recognizing that they have a right to live their lives on their own terms free from violence and oppression by humans.
- Making choices that do not harm or exploit other species such as eating an animal-free diet; purchasing clothing, cosmetics and other products not made from other animals; and supporting activities that promote the well-being of non-human animals and the health of our planet
While most of us say we oppose animal cruelty, not everyone lives life according to these values. When we eat the flesh, milk or eggs of non-human animals, wear their skin, fur or hair, or use products that were tested on other species, we subject them to barbaric violence, a life of suffering, and a horrible death. By living vegan, you’re contributing to the global effort to end violence inflicted upon other animals by humans.
While more people than ever are taking small strides to protect our planet, many don’t understand the devastating impact animal exploitation has on the environment. By living vegan, you’re helping restore and replenish polluted oceans, rivers, forests and other habitats, as well as cleaning the air we breathe.
The research is clear: a vegan diet is healthiest for humans. By living vegan, you can prevent and reverse heart disease, improve cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. Eating foods from plants also reduces your risk of contracting many other illnesses including cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension and obesity.
The Top Five Tips for Going and Staying Vegan
- Get support. There’s no reason to do it alone when you don’t have to. Find a mentor, and connect to others who know the path and share your values. Ongoing local and online support are available through community organizations and Facebook groups, which your mentor can suggest based on your preferences.
- Explore and be adventurous. With new vegan products added to the shelves every day, vegan restaurants popping up across the US, animal-free menu items growing ever more popular and non-vegan companies developing vegan product lines, you can now go vegan, have your (cheese, burgers and) cake, and eat it too! Veganize your favorite meals by replacing animal products with cheese and meat substitutes, vegetables, fruits and other animal-free options (e.g., you can use bananas in place of eggs in certain recipes). Your mentor is experienced and professionally trained, so they can recommend particular products, meal ideas and recipes based on your preferences; if you don’t like to cook, they can recommend meal plans, restaurants and types of cuisines that cater to vegans.
- Stay connected to what inspires you. Your knowledge and passion fuel your life choices. Visit our Sanctuary, read a book, go online, watch a documentary, and talk to others who share your values. This will help you stay inspired.
- Seek information. Your number-one ally is your mentor, who’s here to support you with any questions, concerns or challenges that may arise. They can point you to plenty of resources for you to explore. Don’t be shy. Ask for help.
- Celebrate your successes. There’s nothing more important to sustaining success than celebrating the victories. As you progress on the path toward vegan living, take the time to acknowledge and appreciate what you’ve accomplished. If you eat a non-vegan dish accidentally at a party or because you don’t want to burden the host, don’t fret — reach out to your mentor to discuss how to better address similar situations in the future. And instead of worrying about your lapses, focus on your growth. This will help you remain positive and motivated.