How to Become Vegan: Testimonials from Newbie Vegans

These testimonials are written by some people who made the transition to veganism, with different results and sensations. Reading them will help you a lot if you want to try to be vegan, as they reflect exactly the same worries, doubts and concerns that you may feel at this moment. It is comforting and encourages you to move forward.

First Testimony. From vegetarian to vegan

When I became a vegetarian, a little over a year and a half ago (I'm now 17 years old), I suddenly stopped meat and heavy foods, and at first I had a hard time (apart from the lack of support from my friends, I was tired ). Now, I want to transition to becoming vegan in a slower (and healthier) way.

First, in the morning, I replaced the glass of milk with a cup of soy milk (at first it took me a while to get used to it, but in the end I find it good and everything, plus there are many brands and you can change).
My diet has hardly changed, I have only increased the consumption of legumes a little. For the “famous” vitamin B12, I take two algae pills a day spirulina. The eggs, which he consumed three a week, now only one, (always from organic farming).

Taking the ideological step towards becoming vegan did not cost me much since I have always greatly admired vegan people.

Furthermore, on the days when I am tempted to eat some dairy, I go to see a dairy farm/factory (I live in an area with a large pork and beef industry) and I see the state they are in, that encourages me to keep going.

Second Testimony. Vegan in transition

In my case, this transition has not yet completely occurred. At home and when I eat outside (in restaurants) I do follow a strictly vegan diet; and I only eat eggs (of course, always organic, I even know the chickens they come from because they live near my house) sporadically when a family member or friend invites me to eat, and only to make the task of thinking about what to make me a little easier. to eat. But come on, even these cases are becoming less and less because with the passage of time the people around me are realizing the tremendous variety of foods that there are apart from those of animal origin. You just have to teach them and open their eyes a little so that they realize all the possibilities that this lifestyle offers.

Apart from what is related to food, I also do not use any personal hygiene product that is tested or that contains animal products, as well as I avoid taking any type of medication (unless it is strictly necessary, and I will knock on wood because it has not yet been given the case).

Another point in which I still cannot consider myself completely vegan is the issue of footwear. The rest of the clothes are completely vegan, but unfortunately I still use leather in my shoes, which I really dislike, but I still haven't found an alternative to stop using it. I know of some pages on the Internet where you can buy vegan shoes in England, but in Spain I don't know of any place where you can do it, thank goodness I also use a lot of cloth sports shoes.

Third Testimony. Vegan step by step

When I decided to become a vegetarian, I thought about radically stopping consuming products of animal origin. But since I had no background and weighing the difficulties I would encounter, and how important it was for me to succeed in the task I had set for myself, I decided to do it in stages.

First I had to learn to appreciate softer types of flavors, and other textures that I was not used to, learn to cook and be creative with vegetables.

First I stopped eating meat, then after a few months fish. Now, after eight years of being a vegetarian and taking as a starting point a 40-day grape cure that I am doing, I plan to achieve what I had wanted from the first moment: a diet of non-animal origin (vegan or vegetal).

I think that the new challenge of stopping consuming eggs, milk and honey is going to be a bit expensive at first, especially because of the eggs.

Until now, when I went with other people to a non-vegetarian restaurant I had no problems. From now on it's going to be more complicated, and I think I'm going to have to be more selective with the places we choose to eat and perhaps more demanding, but on the other hand I think it will also be a form of "protest" and that Let the people around me know of my respect, concern and sensitivity towards beings that most people treat as objects of use and enjoyment.

Another problem that I am going to encounter is going to be my family, who even when I consume milk, eggs and honey, are not at all in accordance with my diet. Now it's going to be even more complicated when I go to eat at my parents' house. The force of habit and social and commercial support means that no matter how much she wants to explain to them, they do not agree and do not understand that she can be perfectly nourished without consuming animal products, and that they do not understand why one of their daughters has developed "so strange."

It is not pleasant to feel different from the people around you, "outside the group", it is not pleasant for a happy and vital act such as eating to become the horror and sadness of having to sit at a table where See your animal friends fallen, humiliated, decapitated, dismembered, cooked and happily devoured by the people you love and appreciate.

It is not pleasant to have to put up with the jokes of meat eaters, nor to have to accept everything with a smile.

It is not pleasant to have to face the people you love so that they accept you just as you are, and I suppose that we have lived this struggle, we live it and we will continue to live it, the people who, born in an environment hostile to animals , we feel that we live in an unfair, violent and cruel world, especially towards these beings who only want to live in peace, without human interference and manipulation, without this animal that one day stood up on its two legs, that calls himself a human being, appropriates the life and death of the rest of the beings with which he shares this planet.

I would love that one day when the years I have lived have furrowed my skin, I open my eyes and can see and know that women and men are more fair, more sensitive, more consistent, more humble, more peaceful, more respectful, more aware of the importance of education and example to new generations, and the great value and importance of the natural world that surrounds them and all the beings that inhabit it.

Despite all the anger, sadness, inconveniences, problems, confrontations, controversy and struggle that animal rights entail, the cause of vegetarians is truly worth living from the strength of our convictions and the example of our lives.

A hug for everyone, congratulations on your choice, strength and courage to continue defending something as basic as the lives of the weak, of those who have no voice, of those who cannot defend themselves.

Fourth Testimony. Difficult transition

I have been a vegetarian for almost 5 years. I have always thought that the most coherent thing is veganism, because it covers all aspects of animal exploitation. However, I have to admit that it is more difficult for me to stop eating dairy, eggs and honey than meat and fish.

In general I tend to consume these products as little as possible, but when I eat out of the house, in restaurants or at the homes of friends and family, I am not so strict. The reason is that there are certain products that, although it is proven that they are not healthy (both for the exploited and for the exporters), I do not consider them to be equally harmful. This worries me because it is a sign that my conscience is not in harmony with my reasoning. I also feel (I can't help it) that I am causing problems for people who are not used to a cruelty-free diet.

On one occasion I firmly decided to be vegan, even when I saw a piece of cheese, in my mind I was seeing clotted blood. But the external pressure was greater than when I became a vegetarian and I was not able to withstand it.

Now I have become independent and I am the one who cooks. I have more decision-making power, but also more responsibilities. What I do is eat one or two free-range eggs a week, reduce my cheese consumption as much as possible and make my own yogurts with soy milk. I hardly even taste honey and I don't buy fur, leather, wool clothing... I only bought some good hiking boots, which will last me. There are "vegan" shoes, but they are very expensive for me and you have to order them by mail to England.

I know that someone who wants something has a hard time, but in my case my commitment goes as far as this. Beyond that it would be too problematic, I would not carry it with conviction, but rather forced and disgusted.

I hope that the fight for animal liberation continues, that there are more and more of us and we manage to change the habits and prejudices of so many people, which is actually what slows down or advances any social change.

Fifth Testimony. experimenting

I've only been transitioning from vegetarianism to veganism for a week and until now I hadn't told anyone, because I was doing it more as an experiment to see what would happen.

I am 45 years old and I have been a lacto-ovo-vegetarian for 25 years. The first 5 years were totally strict, the next not so much because I have given more importance to the relationship with people than to food, not caring on certain occasions to adapt to the circumstances and commit the occasional "culinary sin."

Last week, when I decided to take the step to become vegan so as not to consume anything that came from animal suffering, I was worried about health, habits and all that. I would have to stop eating Pollen, Honey, Kefir, Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, Fresh Cheese and the delicious eggs, which from time to time the neighbor in the country gave us, from his chickens that he has running around there and whose taste reminded me of those eggs. with the strong orange yolk of childhood.

But the truth is that I am really amazed, because now I don't feel any worries at all. I feel good about myself. I eat more comfortably, with more pleasure and more appetite. I have felt a peace, a serenity and at the same time an affection, a sensitivity and a compassion for animals that I had not felt before. I no longer care if one day I will catch any disease due to a certain deficiency, it's like what certain smokers say, who prefer to live several years of pleasure than many more years of discomfort.

It seems incredible to me that in just 6 or 7 days I have felt so many emotions and so much energy. I feel like running, taking the stairs two at a time and I feel younger, more cheerful and much happier.

I think it's been a great start.

Ana Moreno
Excerpted from "Survival Manual for New Vegans