1) Upgrade! Go Home-Made!
Now it’s easy to fall into the pit of despair when you walk into Tesco. First of all, before heading out, create a notepad of ‘must-have ingredients’ that you should own as a vegan. One is definitely tofu. If you check out social media, or personal profiles like on Instagram (@MizzVeganista), you will find that there is a huge ‘database’ of food, supplements and drinks that are readily available, so there is no need to panic!
So once you have created a mental mind-map of your food web, start buying raw ingredients and creating your own home-made meals. At the end of the day, as long as it tastes good, who really cares if those foods should even go together? 🙂
One recipe I like to make at home is getting some piri-piri powder and adding this to a block of chopped and fried tofu, which you can scramble up for breakfast, too! For dessert, often supermarkets are great at catering for vegans, which seems surprising, right? For example, all supermarkets have their very own range of vegan ice creams!
[Picture 1: 4U Free-From Chocolate and Strawberry Ice Creams]
But nothing beats home-made, because you don’t have to stick to the limitations of ready-meals or just raw fruit and veg (which is still beautiful!), because it means you can eat the way you want, and you also get very, very good at cooking!
[Picture 2: BBQ Tofu Fillets with Vegenaise and diner-style fries]
Home-made will always be king, because you know exactly what is going into your food, and you know that it will definitely taste incredible!
2) Join a community
So, being a vegan is pretty much a constant battle. If you are the only vegan you know in person, it could be detrimental to your emotional wellbeing, so join a community. If you meet like-minded people, they will always help you, and pretty much instantly.
Facebook groups such as “Vegans United” have thousands of eager-vegans waiting to answer your questions. (Trust me, I’ve asked some pretty random questions over the years, and everyone answers, without batting an eyelid!).
One thing I must stress is this… just like every community, there are passionate debates and disagreements. There are nice vegans, passive vegans, no-idea-what-I’m-doing vegans, super-helpful vegans, and some unpleasant vegans, so don’t be discouraged if the occasional negative comment is thrown your way (’cause hey! We’re all fighting the good fight, right?) and plus, for every one bad comment, it will be outnumbered by the positive 10:1.
Never, ever be alone! The community is there to ask questions and have them answered, for ranting to begin and for minds to be reassured, so if you have a query on veganism during pregnancy – the best restaurants in your area – or which products are best for living on a budget – they have your back!
3) Prepare your arguments
It’s not the lifestyle that discourages you from keeping cruelty-free, it’s the backlash that you are definitely going to receive.- But that’s okay! I got you covered…
“But bacon, though?” and “Where do you get your protein?” Are among two of the most FAQs that you – unfortunately – have to answer every time, just to hold up the fort for the rest of us.
Are you the sort of person that can listen to sonnets of inspirational vegans, but when it comes to actually reciting that information, (normally during an argument) you really, just really can’t?
Need some quickfire answers, you do. Here you go, Young Padawan Learner – memorise these, and use them wisely:
a) Where do you get your protein? – Veggies, seitan, hemp, nut butter, beans, non-dairy milk, quinoa, tofu, lentils, tempeh. Next!
b) Isn’t it really expensive being vegan? – Your food bill can be reduced significantly, whilst containing higher-quality and more nutritious food than those found in an omnivore’s. The key is to buy unprocessed foods in bulk and not giving in to the expensive ready meals that charge extortionate prices just for being labelled ‘vegan’. Natural foods stores like Holland and Barrett sell great-quality and long-lasting grains and additional extras to add to your cart that last for months.
c) Don’t you miss eating meat? – There are two ways to approach this:
- I did, but you will be surprised how amazing the meat-free alternatives really are today! For example, Fry’s vegan burgers taste exactly like beef, and fill you up all day! And fried seitan tastes like KFC! I can’t tell the difference! Go out and experiment for yourself!
- Ever since going vegan, I have really lost my appetite for meat, connecting cruelty with the food that was on my plate. It has really opened my eyes, and I have been experimenting with so many more foods since giving up meat.
d) But humans have canine teeth for eating meat? Duh! – Nothing needs to be said here. Just show them this pic. Then, optionally, go on to tell them why our ancestors are not the greatest role models, and if we lived by the ways of our ancestors, we would still be cave dwellers.
e) What’s wrong with dairy and eggs, they don’t involve killing? – Yes they do. Slaughterhouse ‘workers’ artificially inseminate cows on the so-called ‘rape-rack’, then when they give birth, they take their offspring away to either be killed within a week (if they are male), or if they are female, go through the very same process of being ‘raped’ as their mother. Their mother will continue to be artificially inseminated for the rest of their life. Finally, when the animals used for dairy and eggs are ‘dried up’, they take them to slaughter. Meat and dairy are part of the same cycle, and they are not mutually exclusive.
In consequence, nearly all dairy cows and layer hens are sent to slaughter at less than half their natural life expectancy; – vegan.com/answers
I will keep adding to this list as I go, but so far here are your 3 Ways of Mastering Veganism!
As always, here is a unique vegan website to read up on! – https://plantspace.org/
Keep it Vegan 💚