Going Vegan? We're Here to Help!
  • 30
  • May

Going Vegan? We’re Here to Help!

PETA Go Vegan TEvery way you look at it, going vegan makes sense. For animals, for your health, for the environment, for your conscience and even for your wallet!

Our 30-day pledge is the ideal way to try going vegan for yourself. Pledgers receive regular advice and support to help with the transition to a plant-based diet, including a free vegan starter kit. After a month, most people feel great and never want to go back to consuming animal products!

Here at PETA, we’ve all been through the same journey and know that it can take a little while to adjust to a new way of eating, shopping and thinking about your food. This blog post is a place where you can share your experiences, swap tips and ask for advice.

Please use the comment space below to tell us how you’re finding your first month of going vegan. If you have questions, we’ll do our best to respond as soon as we can!

We’d love to hear from more seasoned vegans, too. So whether you’ve been “clean” (of animal products, that is) for 30 days, 30 weeks or 30 years, please share your insights!

Finally, as you embark on this exciting journey to a more compassionate lifestyle, remember: you’re not alone! Every day, thousands of people – including celebs such as Leona Lewis, Thom Yorke, Benjamin Zephaniah and Morrissey – are making the same choice to leave animals out of their diets.

And as we vegans grow in number, our voice becomes more powerful. A cruelty-free lifestyle has never been easier – from high-street fashion to sandwiches in supermarkets, you don’t have to go out of your way to find fantastic vegan options. Got a tip of your own? Tell us about it below!

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Comments

  1. avatar Sawlon Rijal says:

    I am a vegetarian since 9 months. But what is the problem drinking milk, ghee etc??

    • avatar Dan says:

      Hi Sawlon,
      The dairy industry is cruel to animals. Treated as milk-producing machines, dairy cows are genetically manipulated and regularly dosed with antibiotics and hormones. The strain of continual pregnancy exhausts cows and often leaves them lame. When they are worn out and can no longer produce such high volumes of milk, they are sent to the abattoir and killed.

      Find our more:
      http://www.peta.org.uk/issues/animals-are-not-ours-to-eat/dairy/

  2. avatar Anne Rutter says:

    I have been a vegetarian for many years and after watching a DVD by Gary Yourofsky “Go Vegan” I am now a committed Vegan. If Sawlon Rijal need convincing about the cruel way cows are treated I would recommend he get’s a copy of the disc. You will find him on the web.

  3. avatar Anne Rutter says:

    You asked how I feel having changed from a Vegetarian to a Vegan diet. The first thing that springs to mind is – good -that I am no longer consuming dairy products that cause so much suffering to cows and have to say I am enjoying the Soya milk.
    I have bought several Vegan Cook books and am enjoying the Alpro products.
    I have not found it difficult at all as I really have got a mind set which I feel is essential. Health wise I feel better for cutting dairy out of my diet….no more indigestion!

  4. avatar Charlene says:

    Two weeks in on the 30 day Vegan challenge and I know I will never look back. I feel fantastic and look forward to further reaping the health benefits of a cruelty free diet. I have taken the time to educate myself further on the meat, egg and dairy producing industries with the help of such documentaries as ‘Earthlings’ (available to watch for free on YouTube) and am resolute that I will never again participate in the torture and murder of any other living being.

    The small amount of additional planning and reading of food labels is a minute inconvenience while transitioning to a vegan diet; and to my surprise I am genuinely enjoying the discovery of new (to me) and cruelty free foods such as Tempeh and Soy milk. I look forward to learning more and growing in my experience on this journey.

  5. avatar Saurish Sarkar says:

    What are the substitutes of milk and egg as the supplement of calcium ?

    • avatar Gillian says:

      Collard greens, kale, broccoli, okra, oranges, pak choi and almonds are all good sources of calcium x

    • avatar Jiminey says:

      Also try Flax. It is expensive compared to an egg but contains omega 3 and when mixed with water and left for ten minutes gives a result that can be used in baking instead of eggs. Also you can sprinkle it dry onto just about anything.

  6. avatar julie says:

    I feel great, and most of all, less guilty. I love animals. I still don’t know if it is really necessary to take an extra supplement of vitamib B12?? could you help me with that? Thanks!!

    • avatar Anne says:

      Hi Julie, great to hear you’re enjoying being vegan :)

      B12 is an essential vitamin that once occurred naturally on the surfaces of potatoes, beets, and other root vegetables, but the move away from natural fertilizers has caused it to disappear from our soil. Not everyone’s body or nutritional needs are the same, but nutritionists often recommend that vegans take a commercially available multivitamin or vitamin B12 supplement or eat foods that are fortified with vitamin B12, such as many breakfast cereals, fortified orange juice or soy milk, or nutritional yeast. Hope that helps!

  7. avatar Courtney says:

    I’ve been moving toward this for a few months now. My daughter is 15 months and has allergies and just doesn’t like meat. Going meatless has been a piece of cake but it’s all the other stuff. Vegan cheese on my pizza was pretty gross to me. Found out my coffee creamer wasn’t vegan when I made a call to the number on the bottle and switch that. Saw that my laundry softener isn’t vegan. My dad is razzing me pretty hard and at family dinner there wasn’t a thing for me or my daughter on the menu. I made a quick run and fixed that. Good stuff is I’m really liking The Kind Diet and Chloe’s Kitchen. I’m learning how to cook. It’s so much more work than it was before thought. I can’t sleep at night often thinking of animals suffering. I know it sounds stupid but I really had no idea how extreme. I didn’t know cow’s didn’t just make milk like chicken and eggs. I didn’t know humane eggs still hurt chickens. I was just doing my own thing with no great thought to it. Now that I know I can’t go back but I’m not doing perfect by any means. I am trying very hard to learn the right things to do and share the information. This coming Sunday I told my family I would make dinner, all vegan! Wish me luck or send me a prayer. I know in my heart this is the right choice for me but as it turns out it’s still a struggle. Thanks for all you do and opening my eyes and my heart.

    • avatar Anne says:

      Hi Courtney,
      Thanks for opening your eyes to how animals are treated and choosing a kinder diet! It will get easier and easier over time, as you learn which products are cruelty-free and develop your own style of vegan cooking. Good luck!

  8. avatar Venus says:

    I tried being Vegan, but as I’m only 15 my mum didn’t approve! She said that its restricting what food I can have and stopping me from getting essential nutrients etc. however I am a vegetarian and I have been for over a year. Do you think my mum is right? I do hate seeing the abuse that animals get but I don’t think a vegan diet could work for me. Vegetarian is the limit.

    • avatar Anne says:

      Hi Venus,
      Thank you for caring about animals :)
      It’s definitely possible to get all the nutrients you need on a vegan diet, and in fact plant-based foods are usually much healthier than animal products. You could encourage your mum to check out sites such as PCRM for more info about vegan nutrition (http://pcrm.org/health/diets/), or order our vegan starter kit (http://peta.org.uk/vsk). Once she has more information, she may start to support your choice to have a cruelty-free diet. Being vegetarian is a great first step!

  9. avatar Courtney says:

    What should I be giving my pets? What they have now is Blue Buffalo dry food for my two cats and my dogs. Should they be eating differently too? I did just a small bit of looking for answers on that and it look like vegan wasn’t good for them. What’s right?

  10. avatar Pam says:

    I have been enjoying using lentils and beans to make savoury dishes. I feel cleaner somehow. Also soya milk in a lot of things BUT my morning cup of tea is just not the same without cows’ milk. Even having solved the problem of soya milk separating I just don’t like the taste in tea! Help anyone?

  11. avatar Jodie says:

    I have been a vegetarian for nearly 17 years, but until recently I had never been aware of the cruelty of the dairy industry. I rather naively assumed that cows naturally produced milk for our consumption and that as long as I was refraining from eating meat I was abstaining from any part in animal exploitation and cruelty. How deeply wrong I was! Besides the fact that cows live a miserable existence of pregnancy, pain and eventual slaughter, from a health perspective it has been highlighted to me that dairy is not a particularly healthy option. We are the only species to drink another species milk and to stink milk past infancy! It has become a way of life to consume high levels of dairy. As human beings we think nothing of it, but when you take a step back and evaluate this with fresh eyes, cow milk is not designed for us! I will admit that the first week was hard going! I am a chocoholic and didn’t quite realise how much I consume! But after discovering koko milk and dairy free chocolate, I feel pretty content with my alternative diet. Friends and family have shown concern, mainly with questions like ‘what do you have left to eat?’ But this is down to being misinformed. I am eating more fruit and vegetables, experimenting with new things and similar realising there are some favourites that are still vegan friendly, such as the faithful beans on toast and beloved chips! A friend once said to me on my vegetarianism, why bother! You alone can’t change the world! My answer is, I can’t change the world, but I can change MY world and in turn if that reduces the animals slaughtered or mistreated by even one creature per year, then I have changed that animals world too! I am embracing the power of plants from now on!

  12. avatar Justine says:

    Hey!
    I had been a vegetarian for years, and taken steps towards being vegan for the past months. It had always been a political, ethical and environmental choice to drop first meat and fish, then leather, fur, wool, silk, and then non-vegan cosmetics and house products. I stopped buying dairy milk, yogurt and cream, as well as eggs and honey last year.
    The big step was cheese, which I took on the 1st of Jan and three weeks after stopping cheese, I feel really good about this decision. I don’t feel cravings as much as I expected too, even if my partner still has the occasional cheesy snack. I’m happy to replace it with delicious home-made or store-bought vegan cheeses, or other types of snacks like hummus or avocado.

    Our no-wheat/no-meat/no-dairy diet startles our friends and family, it seems that to their view point, when you take those three things away, there is no food left. But at the same time, my colleagues are always envious of my colourful and carefully prepared lunchboxes, and my Instagram food-related posts are very successful, so I must be doing something right. ;)

    Thanks a bunch for the support that Peta and Veganuary provides.
    Love,
    J

  13. avatar Elisabeth Tapsfield says:

    The first week was quite successful and I hardly ate any dairy(I am already vegetarian) but its got gradually worse and now Ive had to reduce it to only one day vegan per week as its really getting me down. I dont think I am mentally stable enough to be completely vegan yet as I suffer mental health problems and have had an eating disorder in the past. I think its really difficult to be vegan and dont agree with you that its easy and my friends and family agree with me that its very hard. I will persevere with it as I am a relgious person and feel my God telling me to go vegan to make up for my sinful past and I do really want to help animals as well. On a more positive note I always have soya milk in coffee and tea when I go to the coffee shop every day now and always use vegan margarine so its not too bad. Eating out is the hardest thing, I went out for my anniversary for a meal and cried it was so miserable being vegan (though I realise it was nothing to what the poor animals suffer). Could you tell me how to replace calcium as Ive noticed a deterioration in the health of my teeth and nails since I tried to cut out dairy, I notice someone else also asked this question and I think its important. Yes, I have made changes for the better towards veganism but am not completely there yet.

    • avatar Dan says:

      Sorry to hear about the struggles finding vegan food at restaurants. Check out our guide: http://blog.peta.org.uk/2014/09/menu-vegan-options-chain-restaurants/

      Calcium is plentiful in the plant world. Good sources of calcium include some dark-green leafy vegetables (such as broccoli, collard greens, and kale), almonds, sesame tahini, calcium-fortified soy or rice milk, some brands of tofu, and calcium-fortified orange juice. By choosing these foods instead of dairy products, you can avoid the health risks associated with cow’s milk—the Harvard School of Public Health says that dairy consumption is linked to high rates of obesity and ovarian and prostate cancers. Harvard also reports that there is a lack of evidence for a link between the consumption of dairy products and the prevention of osteoporosis—Harvard even cites studies showing that heavy dairy consumption appears to cause bone loss!

  14. avatar Gill says:

    Hi, I’m really enjoying my vegan diet and just wonder why it’s taken me so long to do it. I’ve wanted to give up meat for a long long time but always put off thinking that it would be too difficult/awkward/hard to keep diet balanced but the feeling that eating meat was wrong became so overwhelming, and the evidence so harrowing, that I had to do it and it’s been much easier than I expected.
    I haven’t missed anything, it’s mainly just changing habits and reading labels carefully. I’ve got a great vegan cookbook with another on order and I look recipes up online, there’s loads of them on there and lots of advice and encouragement too. I could do with a good general book about being vegan and living a vegan lifestyle because I didn’t realise that glycerin could be a meat by-product (I thought it was a by-product of the oil industry!).
    I’ve always loved vegetables but this has made me look at different ways of preparing them and I’ve rediscovered the pleasure of being in the kitchen preparing lovely food knowing that it hasn’t caused suffering to a fellow creature.
    Aside from feeling much happier that I am not now contributing to the suffering of animals, I feel healthier, my skin is clearer, I’m much more awake in the mornings and I’m sure that will improve further. Eating out is still difficult but I’ve found that, if I ask, they are mostly happy to prepare something suitable.
    One thing I think would be useful (it might be out there but I’ve been unable to find it) is a 7 day meal plan. This would help while you are adjusting and reading up on the vegan lifestyle.

    I WON’T GO BACK! FOR THE ANIMALS. <3 <3

    • avatar Dan says:

      Thanks, it is so great to hear how well you are doing! There’s lots of meal plans online, but we’ll thinking about publishing one too. But, seeing how a vegan diet can be so diverse, and everyone has different tastes, it will be hard to find a meal plan that fits everyone!

  15. avatar Audrey Kaufman says:

    Transition from vegetarian to vegan has been easier than I thought! Also when eating out staff have been very understanding. Plus support from other vegans!

  16. avatar Jiminey says:

    It has been hard. I love cheese but my main “miss” is full fat milk in my cup of tea. I love nut milks on/in everything but am finding it hard to discover a substitute for the creaminess of full fat in my tea.
    Quick protein sources have been difficult, I am a marathon runner, but I am sorting this out now with peanut butter as a quick fix and beans, quinoa and lentils for mealtimes :-)

  17. avatar megan says:

    I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly 14 years and after watching videos and looking in to the diary industry I want to be vegan but am finding this a mind field. I changed to apro soya a while ago now and other soya products but what I don’t know is what foods out there are vegan what wines what processed foods you can buy in the shops. Can anyone help with this as I’ve been researching for some time and juat find myself now more confused.

  18. avatar megan says:

    I usually eat quorn which I know is not vegan. I enjoy the amys kitchen foods which I believe to be vegan?? As I work a lot of hours I usually eat fresh on my days off but use a lot of quorn products when I’m working so I’m hoping you may know a quorn vegan substitute?? and if you know how or where I could find out about vegan wines as I do enjoy a glass of wine and know which are vegetarian :)

    • avatar Anne says:

      Hi Megan,
      Yes, Amy’s Kitchen are a great option when you’re short on time – not all of them are vegan, but they should be clearly labelled. We really like Frys’ range of faux-meats, as a vegan (and delicious) alternative to Quorn: http://www.frysvegetarian.co.uk/. They’re available from Holland & Barrett, Ocado and some other places.

      Finally, check out Barnivore for a guide to vegan wine and other drinks – there’s even a handy app you can download! http://www.barnivore.com/wine

      Hope that helps and thanks for choosing a diet that helps animals :)

    • avatar Emma says:

      I’m the same as you… used to be vegetarian and ate a lot of quorn. Just tried soya protein and it’s really similar. You can buy big bags of it from Holland and Barratt :-)

  19. avatar Emma says:

    I’ve been a vegetarian for 16 years and decided to go vegan a few weeks ago. I think because I was already vegetarian I’ve found it quite easy, but I think anyone could do it. It’s actually been really exciting to learn about new foods and to experiment with them. I went on a food shopping ‘adventure’ and bought loads of kale, quinoa, seeds, nuts, fruit, veg and tofu. All the ‘weird hippy’ food as people often put it. I’ve never eaten so well or felt so good. If I could give one tip it would be to do your research! There’s so many helpful blogs and recipe sites out there. Theresheglows.com is a great one – try the quinoa cakes.

    I’ve also been surprised by how inexpensive it is. I haven’t bought a lot of fake, vegan products like ready made items – fake cheese, chocolate, pate etc. That’s where the expense comes in. I did buy a tub of sheesh… vegan cheese. It was expensive but nice as a treat. You don’t need all the fake expensive stuff though. Stick to natural, do a bit of cooking and prep and you’ll be ok. I think I’ve been surprised how many ‘normal’ meals I’ve been able to have. Last night I had vegan fajitas. Beans, chickpeas, kale and butternut squash in spices. Put over brown rice in a tortilla wrap with salsa. Delicious!

    I’ve suffered with irritable bowl syndrome and endometriosis for years, but in the last couple of weeks my pains have disappeared and I’ve felt great. The type of food I’ve been eating obviously keeps you ‘regular’ which helps the ibs. I’ve read it’s the cutting out of dairy, which contains so many hormones, that helps the endometriosis. I can’t see me ever going back. I’ve been enjoying what I’ve been eating so much, I haven’t missed anything food-wise.

    My biggest challenge has been people. There’s a lot of stigma around being a vegan, but ultimately it’s your life, your body and you have to rest easy at night with the choices you make. Don’t let other people make your choices for you.

    • avatar Anne says:

      Hi Emma,

      Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, glad to hear how much you are enjoying your new vegan diet :)

  20. avatar Kelly says:

    I have been a vegetarian for about 8 years but only went vegan about 4 weeks ago. I love it! I’m staying vegan now. Power to the animals! :) x

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