Everything You Need To Know About Going Vegan

words Alexa Wang

Many people find themselves teetering on the edge of a vegan lifestyle. They understand its purpose, the good it does, and why it would be a wise change. But there are many unknowns. Going vegan is hard, especially if you’re used to eating at the same restaurants, shopping for your preferred brands of goods, and maintaining a diet that already works for you.

Nothing good ever comes without a little bit of effort. It’s undoubtedly tough to fully commit to a vegan lifestyle, but it’s a worthwhile undertaking. You’re going to have to get used to some major changes and rethink the way you go about a lot of your day to day tasks. The good news is that you only need to do this once.

When you figure out how to navigate a vegan lifestyle, everything becomes second nature. You already know what to buy, ingredients to avoid, where to eat, and how to plan your meals. Ultimately, once the changes set in, your life won’t be too much different from the way it was before you went vegan. It’s just a matter of getting there. 

Going Vegan

Animal Ingredients Are Hiding in a Lot of Foods

A lot of things that seem like they must be vegan use animal-derived ingredients. Many new vegans don’t stop to think about honey. Honey comes from bees, which are living things. Bees are raised to create honey, and many of them die in the process. Most vegans (and many environmentalists) consider bees to be on par with every other living thing. They don’t buy or consume honey as a result.

Gelatin is another sneaky ingredient. Gummy candies, marshmallows, and some mints contain gelatin, which is a byproduct of the meat industry. Unless a product specifies that the gelatin used in its creation is derived from plant sources, it’s best to assume it isn’t vegan.

White sugar is in almost everything we eat, whether we like it or not. Added sugars are used to enhance the flavors of food. Sugar is a plant, so it isn’t the sugar itself that’s a problem for vegans. It’s the way the sugar is treated. White sugar is filtered with bone char, technically contaminating it with animal byproducts. 

Carmine, also known as cochineal, carmine lake, crimson lake, crimson lake or carmine lake, C.I. 75470, E120, or natural red 4, is a dye used in food, cosmetics, and personal care products. Depending on its concentration, the tint it provides is anywhere from a pastel pink to a deep true

red. Carmine is crushed beetles. It’s really gross when you think about it, even if you aren’t a vegan. 

Going Vegan tips

It’s More Than Just Food

Leather, wool, silk, and cashmere are all animal-derived fabrics. Whenever you buy a sweater, shoes, a wallet, pajamas, or a blanket, you need to make sure the material these things are made from is of non-animal origin.

There are animal-derived ingredients hiding in cosmetics, healthcare products, and personal care products like soap and shampoo. The hydrolyzed silk in your shampoo and lanolin in your lotion aren’t vegan ingredients.

You also need to look out for products tested on animals. The United States does not require that consumer products be tested on animals before they’re sold in stores. The law only states that they need to be tested for safety. Humans can just as easily be the voluntary, willing test subjects for cosmetics, soaps, and hair dyes. 

China’s laws are different. They mandate animal testing. Every single product available for purchase in China has been tested on animals. This means that countries that sell their products in China have to test those products on animals

This often creates misleading circumstances for the consumer. A brand can claim their products aren’t tested on animals in the United States. That doesn’t mean its counterpart for the Chinese market wasn’t tested on animals. 

Companies can also claim that they don’t test on animals, but every single one of their products are tested on animals. By outsourcing the animal testing to a third party lab and using those findings, the company can absolve itself of the issue. 

You really need to do a deep dive instead of taking a brand’s word for it. Big companies often do some pretty shady stuff to make a buck, and they shouldn’t have the right to violate your ethics and lie to you about it. Thankfully, many devoted and longtime vegans are great about uncovering the truth. A Google search may provide you with all the answers you need. 

Vegan Diets Aren’t Automatically Healthy

Many people go vegan because they believe it will somehow inherently make them healthier. While it’s true that a vegan diet makes it a little harder to eat mass produced junk food or processed fast food, not all vegan diets are healthy simply by virtue of eliminating animal products. 

A whole loaf of bread deep fried in vegetable oil and covered in organic cane sugar served with two packages of Oreo cookies is a completely vegan meal. It’s also a meal no one should ever eat, ever. Under any circumstances. Please do not ever eat that. 

A healthy diet is any diet that involves making balanced choices to intelligently fuel your body. If you aren’t a vegan, something like baked chicken breast is generally regarded as beneficial for your health. There are balanced choices on either side of the line. 

Creating a healthy vegan diet is partially common sense and partially finding workarounds. It’s fairly obvious that preparing fresh meals from whole ingredients, incorporating plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, and chickpeas will usually result in a healthy meal. You may have to look a little harder for other swaps.

Vegan ice cream substitutes are usually just as bad for you as dairy ice cream. They’re packed with sugar, and the ones that don’t use artificial sweeteners that your digestive system has a particular disdain for. 

You’ll need to seek a healthy substitute that works with a vegan diet. Snow Monkey is made with fruit, seeds, and maple syrup. Each flavor boasts tons of beneficial antioxidants. It’s not just healthier because it’s vegan. It’s healthy because it’s healthy. Making swaps based on macros and ingredients will always work out better for a balanced diet, whether or not that diet is vegan.

The Takeaway

Going vegan is a huge commitment, but it’s one that’s worth the time and effort. It may be tricky to navigate at first. You’re going to make some mistakes, and that’s okay. You’ll learn from them and be more mindful about the products you buy and the things you eat. No one is an expert on their first attempt at anything. Following through and utilizing newfound knowledge is key to successfully transitioning into a vegan diet. 

Snow Monkey makes that transition a little easier. It’s the perfect vegan anytime meal. Each pint is packed with up to 20 grams of hemp derived vegan protein and free from all eight major allergens. In addition to being vegan, Snow Monkey is also suitable for a paleo diet. It’s the perfect healthy anytime treat for anyone who wants to intelligently fuel their body. 

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