Vegan. It's the word on everybody's lips. But it's not necessarily the word on everybody's plate. Veganism has really hit the mainstream this past year, with Gregg's vegan sausage rolls taking control of British news for weeks on end and a constant stream of new vegan products launching in supermarkets weekly. Whilst many people reading this might already be aware of veganism, there is still a stigma associated with the lifestyle. For many people its the weird, sandal wearing, free love, keyboard warrior stereotype that puts you off and for others it's simply too hard to avoid animal products. But fear no more my veg-curious friend, I am here to put a stop to your concern and show you exactly why veganism is not as hard as you might think and why it might be time to ditch the dairy, meat and eggs for good.
So here we go, my top five reasons why eating vegan is easier than you think.
- 1. 60% of your plate is already vegan. "Um no, sorry, I hate vegan food, I've never eaten it and never will!" This is one of the first things I get from people when I mention vegan food. But the basis of any meal is usually carbohydrates; pasta, rice, oats, potatoes... all vegan! Coupled with the veggies and pulses, usually considered a 'side dish', your diet is probably a lot more vegan friendly than you would think.*
-2. You can veganise almost anything. When I made the vow to help animals, the planet and my body I was concerned I would never enjoy my favourite foods ever again. Oh how wrong I was. One swift google of "any dish in the world + vegan" I realised there is nothing that creative food bloggers can't whip up. Mac and Cheese, burgers, ice-cream sundaes, you'll never miss your faves.
-3. You already love animals. A lot of times veganism gets muddled into diet culture as some sort of fad that will help you lose weight, and while it is a healthier diet than one containing animal products for a number of reasons, it is primarily an animal rights movement. Everyone loves puppies, it's in our nature to find them appealing, you probably even own a pet. So if you already love the little fur babies you live with, it's easy to make the connection to support all animals and stop exploiting the ones you don't live with.
-4. The world is becoming more plant-based. Everywhere you go vegan options are popping up, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Tesco; all proudly adding vegan options to their range and it's growing all the time. It's getting easier and easier to have access to vegan options* so leaving the animals off your plate is no longer an inconvenience.
-5. You care about your future. More and more scientific research is emerging about the benefits of a vegan diet for long-term health and the health of our planet. If you're someone who cares about your health and the environment you already understand how important it is to take big steps towards a better future. If you already avoid unhealthy foods its easy to make a swap from meat to veg protein and if you avoid plastic in the supermarket you can easily avoid the meat products too. It's a simple mentality switch isn't a hard one to make.
So what's your excuse?
*Disclaimer. I know that I write this from a place of privilege, I am fortunate to live in the UK which has a wide variety of vegan options at a very low cost. I do not intend to suggest that those living in less privileged societies can make the change just as easily. This article is intended to encourage those with the same privilege as myself to make the switch.*