• Colleen Howell

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Going Vegan

There are a whole lot of things I've learned since making the big switcheroo to the plant life a little over four years ago. Some things I just REALLY wish somebody had told me sooner.

  1. The hardest thing about going vegan is other people. Nope, not animal-based food cravings, not protein deficiency (shocker!), not lack of energy, but other people!

  2. Being a minority in the face of majority is never easy. Living your life on a different path than what society tells us is acceptable will always be heavily criticized. Prevail.

  3. People will often times attack you for just being [vegan] (verbally, don't worry!). Know that it has nothing to do with you personally. You are simply the reminder to their subconscious that what they're currently doing doesn't align with their ethical values.

  4. This is something you can absolutely turn around though. This adversity will allow you to grow as a person, and also allow you to empathize with and in

tersectionally support other social justice movements.

  1. Don't make things so complicated: eat simply. Eating whole, plant foods can be the single most cost effective, easiest means to sustain yourself.

  2. Potatoes, oats, rice, beans and in-season produce are some of the cheapest, most abundant and readily available food there is. Buy your dry food in bulk and produce weekly.

  1. Know your facts. Have solid reason for going vegan and a loaded handbag of facts and statistics. People will always want to challenge you. Be ready.

  2. Get involved in the vegan community. Get on social media, find vegan friends, local vegan events and put yourself out there. I recommend Instagram for starters. Create a vegan-friendly handle name (@sweetpotato_sally) and start searching hashtags (#vegan, #dcvegan, etc.). You'll find like-minded people going through the same things as you while inspiring others with your journey. It helps to have a support system when you may not have it from those physically surrounding you. You may even find local friends you can actually meet up with too!

  1. This community will be the best thing that ever happened to you. Just because you're vegan doesn't mean you are the most compassionate, uplifting, positive, inspirational person in the world. In fact, it just means that you are simply acting on the morals and values you already have. You would, however, be surprised by how many incredible individuals you'll find in the vegan community that fit that bill pretty nicely.

  2. A high-speed blender and a pressure cooker are two of the very best investments. You will use these gadgets more than you ever would imagine, so these couple hundred dollar purchases will 1000% give you serious ROI. Just look in the mirror in a few months ;).

  3. Second-hand is a great economical option as well! These high-quality appliances last forever.

  4. is gold. When traveling or just finding nearby veg-friendly places, this site is chock-ful of all the best vegan, vegetarian and veg-friendly restaurants. It's basically the vegan Yelp.

  5. It goes without saying that doing your research beforehand will make your life a lot easier. Being prepared is where it's at.

  6. You will influence more people than you could ever imagine. Whether you're very vocal about veganism or not, the people you are surrounded by will take notice of your food, your way of thinking and acting. I can't tell you the number of people that have told me the changes they've made in their own lives after finding inspiration in me. What a feeling!

  7. Going vegan will be one of the greatest life changes you'll ever make. It soon becomes much more than just the food you put on your plate. After learning you've been lied to for most of your life, you adapt a new mindset and outlook on the world. You no longer fall victim to sheep-like, consumeristic thoughts, start questioning everything, and actually start thinking for this new self you have discovered. Questions like "why" and "how" become much more frequented. And in the process, you start feeling like a million bucks (or with your new mindset, a million BANANAS!).

  8. Going vegan will be the single best decision you'll ever make. Mic drop.

GC out for now. Talk soon! I promise sooner than last time... <3

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