Is there a right or wrong way to go vegan? So many of my friends ask me how to go vegan the right way. I used to say there is no right way. I used to say, it’s not rocket science. While that phrase still applies in some ways, I feel a little differently about it now. There really is a right way to go vegan, if you want to stay vegan.
Get excited about it.
Becoming vegan should be an adventure. You’ve just opened up to a whole new way of life. You’re saving your fellow animals. You’re saving the earth. You’re trying tons of delicious new foods you’ve never had before. It’s exciting as all get out. So, get into into it. Embrace it. Have a great time with it. Shop at new stores, grow your own, go to farmer’s markets and spread the word. Your enthusiasm may save a life.
Forge new pathways.
Your brain is set up to do things the way you always have. In some ways, going vegan is like beating an addiction. You have to set up new pathways in your brain. The old ones will still be there, but if you use the new ones often enough, you won’t be tempted to travel the old. Pretty soon, they’ll be so overgrown, you won’t even think about them any more.
Think in new terms.
Last week I learned a valuable lesson on my journey to veganism. I woke up realizing that in order to become completely vegan, I had to change more than my diet. I had to change my entire perspective on eating and life in general. I had to think about food in different terms. I had to realize that the foods I used to consider treats were not treats at all. They were killing me. That’s no treat! Because of that epiphany, I developed a whole new way of looking at life altogether.
Focus on your reasons for going vegan.
Going vegan the right way takes the focus off what you give up. Going vegan isn’t about giving up meat and dairy. In most ways, it’s not about that at all. It’s about what you get in return. I have so much peace of mind, now. I know that what I eat makes a difference. I know that what I eat harms no one. It feels so good to know that I’m on the right path. By focusing on the right things, I know I’ll be vegan for the long term.
This is a big one for me. I’m a bit of a people pleaser by nature. I like being accepted. Unfortunately, I’ve never been a mainstream kind of girl. So, all through my 50 some years, I’ve been apologizing for my differences. Well, no more. Going vegan the right way means I have to leave that behind. I’m determined to be myself, no matter what other people think of my choices. I will speak up. I will promote my causes. Anyone who can’t except me for who I am isn’t really my friend anyway. Are you ready to go vegan the right way? If so, don’t apologize for it. Be proud of who you are and what you stand for. Most of all, enjoy the adventure that is your new life! You deserve it.
This article was previously published by Jaipi Sixbear on Yahoo! Voices