How To Become a Vegan : A Guide For Beginners

Your Guide On How To Become A Vegan

Becoming a vegan is by far one of the best lifestyle changes you can make. I come from a Russian-Jewish background and live in a Brooklyn neighborhood that is swarming with kebab and meat restaurants. Beef, chicken, and dairy wasn’t just featured in my life – it was my life. For a guy with my background to go vegan and after being a meat eater for 29 years says something about the virtues of veganism. From overall health to everyday conditioning, the results of a plant-based diet are profound. Mentally, physically, and financially, going vegan has been a net positive. The change in your body and life happens rapidly. Within three days you will already notice a shift.

I’m going to give you a beginners guide on how to become a vegan. This is not a process that happens overnight. I started off as a typical carnivore. At some point in my late 20s, I gave vegetarianism a try. After one year, I became a full fledged vegan. I never had any intention whatsoever to go on this path. For almost three decades, I did not think about the welfare of animals nor the effects that animal products have on a person’s body. The method I outline below will get you into the vegan mindset that has done wonders for me.

Here is what I will be covering to help you become a vegan:

  • The benefits of being a vegan
  • Ethical reasons for becoming a vegan
  • Must-see documentaries on veganism
  • The right appliances to own for a plant-based lifestyle
  • Effective strategies to stay on the vegan path

If you have any questions on the topic or would like some tips to help you get over your carnivorous ways, you can email me directly at theveganmindsetblog@gmail.com . Transitioning to a cruelty-free lifestyle is done easier when you know people who’ve already come out of the trenches. Let’s start talking about the pros of going vegan.

The Benefits of Being a Vegan

About two weeks into becoming a vegan, I began to notice a change:

  • There was a steady flow of energy.
  • A lot less coffee was required to keep the motor running.
  • I was no longer lethargic.
  • That post-meal crash that I have always endured as a meat eater ceased to exist as a vegan.
  • More money was being saved.

Health Benefits of Veganism

Countless documentaries, studies, and doctors have provided glaring reviews of the plant-based diet. A diet comprised of greens, fruits, legumes, and whole-grains has shown to have  exceptional effects on one’s body.

You will dramatically reduce your exposure to heart disease, cologne cancer, type 2 diabetes, and inflammation when going plant-based. Keep in mind that the brand of veganism I subscribe to is a whole-food plant-based diet. I try and avoid potato chips and oreo cookies (FYI, not entirely cruelty-free because of palm oil). I opt in for kale, blueberries, beans, and potatoes – all of which is purchased in the organic section of the food aisle. Avoiding as much processed food as possible is my preference.

If you want extensive information about what this diet does for you, I suggest you head over to Nutrition Facts and browse through the website. The site was founded by Dr. Michael Gregor M.D.

The topic of health and veganism has been beaten to death. I have met people who died because they ate too much steak. For nearly three decades of being alive, I have yet to meet anyone whose in the hospital right now because they eat too much kale. I’ve been to funerals because people died of obesity. I never attended a shiva (jewish tradition to visit the house of a mourner) because the mourner’s loved ones died from a spinach overdose.

Financial Benefits of Veganism 

When you think of going on a plant-based diet, the idea of money does not necessarily come to mind unless you are panicking over how much you will be spending on groceries. The truth is once I went vegan, I actually saved money.

As your addiction to meat and dairy begins to subside, your mindset changes. When I would consume ribs and lobsters, I lived to eat. Once I purged this habit out of my diet, I began to view food from an alternative vantage point – I started to eat to live.

I began to go out to restaurants and fast food establishments far less. We ate at home more often. I still go out with my wife once a week but this is a major drop off compared to the usual three outings we would embark on to binge on pasta with mozzarella. When you barely go out and eat at home more often, you naturally save more money.

Practical Veganism

A healthy diet is a complete diet. I made it a point to get as many nutrients as I could with each meal. I therefore got organized on my food shopping habits. My staples are beans, oatmeal, kale, frozen berries, potatoes, tofu, and rice. These items, even when organic and GMO-free, are inexpensive. For approximately $50 a week, you have 4-5 days worth of meals for two people.

Since there were no vegan restaurants nearby my job, I packed my own lunches and breakfasts. As a meat and dairy eater, I would spend about $20 a day on lunch at work. As a vegan, my total daily cost for food dropped to about $3.50 per day. I won’t get into the long-term savings you encounter because of all the sicknesses you prevent due to your new bulletproof diet. It is not often that you can take on a new regiment where your life and money are both spared. Veganism does just that.

Ethical Reasons For Becoming a Vegan

Being a vegan as previously mentioned has very compelling evidence demonstrating how the lifestyle can drastically improve your health. You not only give your stomach and organs a break, but your pocket and checking account also see a benefit. These are all good reasons to become plant-based but they focus only on you. There is another party involved when you consume meat and diary products. I am talking about the actual victims of our eating habits. We need to consider what it is we do as a society to factory farmed animals.

The nutritional aspect of veganism helped me stop consuming animal products. The ethical dilemma is what has sustained me on this path. Anytime I get any urge to consume fried chicken or clam chowder, I think about the victims who were used and abused to get to my plate.

I have never been one to think too deeply about the treatment of animals within the animal agriculture industry. Like most Americans, I thought the lives of pigs, cows, and chickens were relatively tame and simple. My understanding of their lives was based on zero evidence. It was all assumption. I thought once they were born, they would eat all day, sleep all day, and once fat and juicy, they would die a painless death so I can eat them at a later occasion. I was wrong. The cycle of violence that actually happens is tremendous.

The Truth On Animal Cruelty

One video I would like to recommend is this one by Gary Yurofsky. This is a life changing video. You will look at your poultry and steaks with a whole new perspective.

I am going to briefly go over the ethical dilemma of the two items that I would eat most often during my carnivore days.

Dairy
How does one’s mother produce milk? They need to be pregnant. Cows are no different.

The average American drinks 44 gallons of milk per year. The average amount of dairy consumed by Americans is 276 pounds per year. That means to continuously produce the supply needed for the dairy demand, cows need to be in a constant state of pregnancy until their bodies give out.Cows are artificially inseminated by large syringes. This of course is rape to put it in the plainest of terms. They are forced into pregnancy. Shortly after that, their baby calves are taken away from them to be used as produce elsewhere within the meat and dairy industry.

Imagine we did this to human women. Picture a world where we chain up women, continuously rape them, impregnate them, steal their children before they can have a moment to be with their newborn, and then take away their milk so it can be resold. This wouldn’t just happen one time for a woman. It would keep happening over and over until her body would shut down. If this isn’t something you would want to happen to a human, why is it okay for it to happen to a female of another species?

Eggs
Hens typically produce about a dozen eggs per year. The eggs you purchase at the store are not the byproduct from the usual dozen-egg-per-year production. Farmers force these hens to produce well over 120 eggs within 12 months. That is ten times their normal capacity.

Imagine making a woman give birth not one time per year, but ten times. This would be physically and mentally excruciating. This is what we are doing to hens. In addition to the over-exertion we are causing these creatures, their beaks are cut off with a hot blade at birth. The reason for this is because the chickens become so neurotic in the small spaces they are living in (the infamous “cage-free” environment), they tend to peck each other to death. By slicing off the beaks, the farmer’s inventory stays intact.

Dairy and eggs are two foundational foods every American eats. The level of brutality for both is insurmountably high. Poultry and beef is not any better. For more information on the treatment of these animals, you can visit PETAs website. They do a good job of going over the true nature of industrialized animal farming. If your health isn’t necessarily that important to you, think about the lives of animals who are just as smart and compassionate as our own pet dogs and cats.

Must watch documentaries 

My wife was the first out of us to go vegan. In the beginning, she saw a PETA video on poultry and beef. For purely ethical reasons, she stopped consuming both but continued to eat dairy. Eventually, even dairy became morally problematic for her. I was willing to give veganism a shot but I needed hard facts to get me over the edge. A PETA video wouldn’t cut it.

Cowspiracy and What The Health

Kip Andersen is the creator of Cowspiracy and What The Health, two highly recognized documentaries discussing the topic of industrialized animal farming. Cowspiracy examines the environmental impact that the animal farming industry has on the world. You hear on the news how fossil fuels and cars are the main contributors to climate change. This is propaganda. Cowspiracy goes into great detail presenting the evidence that it is actually the meat and dairy industry which cause the most harm to our planet. This was the first documentary I saw on climate change. This alone made me pledge I would do my best to never eat an animal product again.

Since I still cared about my well being, I looked into What The Health shortly after. The film featured medical professionals such as Dr. Michael Gregor, Dr. Garth Davis, and Dr. Neal Barnard. They discussed just about every food we consume on a daily basis and conveyed their true effect on the human body. You will be shocked to find out what’s in cheese or chicken. This was another home run documentary. I cannot recommend both films enough.

A Note on Propoganda:

If you think these films may be propaganda or BS, then where are the libel lawsuits? The meat and dairy industry are extremely well funded and powerful. They are suing vegan brands for naming some of their merchandise as “vegan meat” or “almond milk” for simply using the words “meat” and “milk” in their packaging.

If they are that petty and insecure enough to police your speech, you can bet on the fact that they would sue a filmmaker for putting out a misleading documentary. But they never did sue Kip Anderson. That is because the information presented in their work is accurate and backed up by credible science.

The Best Vegan Appliances

There is only one appliance you need in order to make your transition into veganism insanely easy. That is the nutribullet. I don’t like juicers because they remove the fiber when extracting the juice out of vegetables and fruits. What I do prefer is consuming smoothies that retain the fiber since it has profound effects on preventing cologne cancer, curbing hunger, and working as a natural digestive cleanse.

I have been using the nutribullet for years. It usually requires only a quick rinse under the faucet to be cleaned. I make two things with my nutribullet: smoothies and soup bases.

  • Smoothie: Just throw in whatever fruits and vegetables you want in the nutribullet. Add enough water, coconut water, or almond milk. Then blend. It is simple and effective. You are consuming an entire salad within 5 gulps. You are giving your body 5-15 grams of fiber in one sitting. I typically try and do 1-2 nutribullet smoothies a day.
  • Soup Base: This one’s really easy. One soup base that I make often requires you to boil cauliflower in a pot of almond milk. Once the cauliflower has absorbed the almond milk, add the contents into the nutribullet. Blend it up with various spices. This results into a creamy cauliflower soup.

Veganism can be extremely simple and convenient. The nutribullet is an inexpensive and powerful tool that simplifies 1-2 of your daily meals.

Effective Strategies To Sustain Your Vegan Path

Let’s do a recap:

  • You know the health and ethical consequences of consuming animal products.
  • We know the benefits of a vegan lifestyle.
  • We’ve addressed which documentaries to watch in order to keep yourself informed on the topic environmental and physiological impacts of a plant-based lifestyle.
  • The Nutribullet is the best appliance to use within your regiment.

Now how do you actually stay consistent?

Meditation

I will be the first one to admit I fell off the vegan wagon several times. Ridding yourself of the craving for fatty, meaty, sugary, milky, savory food is not easy. To add fuel to the fire, marketing and advertising has gotten so aggressive, all you see are meat and dairy ad placements at least a dozen times a day.

To stay mentally strong and not be swayed by external influences, all you need to do is stay still. It sounds crazy but it works. I never meditated before in my life. One day I randomly came across a blog and the blogger discussed how in meditation, all you have to do is just sit still and breath.

When I get an urge to break my vegan lifestyle, this is the exercise I practice:

  • I get into an upright position and close my eyes.
  • I begin taking deep breaths.
  • My thoughts are rushing in but I slowly let them calm down and migrate out of my concentration.
  • All I do then is focus on my deep breathing and the moment I am in.

This sounds ridiculous but it works every time. This quick meditation session essentially puts the brakes on your impulsive behavior. Instead of acting out on hunger, you are simply now thinking about the hunger. Instead of living in the moment of hunger, you recognize it and analyze it. By practicing this method, your craving subsides dramatically.

You don’t have to believe me. Next time you are craving a hamburger, just sit on a chair, breath, and do nothing for 5 minutes.

Conclusion

I hope this guide was helpful. If you follow my advice above and read/watch my recommended resources, you will drastically drop your meat and dairy intake. If you are a naysayer of the benefits of veganism, give the lifestyle a shot for five days. You’ve been consuming animal products for decades. Five days of kale won’t kill you. It’s better to experience the lifestyle first hand rather then read about it. Good luck on your journey!

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