Curious About Veganism? Here's All You Need to Know
So you’ve decided you’re interested in going vegan. First off, congratulations! Going vegan is one of the best decisions you can make for yourself, the environment, and the animals that call our planet “home.” Once you commit to going vegan, your life—and your relationship with the world around you—will undoubtedly change for the better.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we get it. There is so much to learn about the vegan lifestyle that it can seem a bit dizzying. Consider this your ultimate guide to everything you need to know about going vegan.
At Kinder Beauty, we’re passionate about following a vegan lifestyle because we know how impactful it can be. Change starts with you, and when you go vegan, you’ll see firsthand how much of a difference you can make.
Going vegan isn’t for the faint of heart, and it can seem difficult when you first get started. We promise you that the myriad of benefits outweigh the initial obstacles you might face when you’re kicking things off. Before long, though, you’ll be settled into your new lifestyle.
Today we’re going to share information about everything you need to know to go vegan. We’ll start by revealing what exactly “vegan” means, and how the term differs from “vegetarian.”
Next, we’ll discuss why some people choose to go vegan, the potential health benefits, and the first steps you’ll take on your journey.
What does “vegan” mean?
Perhaps you’ve heard about vegan diets before, but there’s much more to being vegan than avoiding certain foods. If you’re going vegan, you’ll be avoiding all animal products and byproducts. You won’t be eating foods or using products that were created by an animal, even if the animal was not killed in the creation process. Vegans actively avoid all forms of animal exploitation. That means that a vegan doesn’t drink milk or eat honey (though sometimes honey is up for debate as ethical beekeeping becomes more commonplace), nor do they wear a leather handbag or use a cosmetic product made with an animal byproduct like lanolin (from sheep) or shellac (from insects).
A lot of products out there were created from animals, so we get it: being vegan can take some adjusting. Give it some time and you’ll find the products, foods, and recipes that fit into your new vegan lifestyle. You’ll find going vegan rewarding because not only are you making a positive impact on your life, but you’re also making a difference in the world around you.
What’s the difference between vegan and vegetarian?
You might be wondering what the difference is between veganism and vegetarianism.
While they are similar, veganism is more encompassing. While vegetarians and vegans both opt to not eat meat, vegans also avoid consuming or using dairy, eggs, honey, or other products derived from animals. This includes goods like leather and silk, as well as less obvious foods like certain kinds of wine and gummy candies that have non-vegan ingredients.
All vegans are also vegetarians, but not all vegetarians are vegans.
If you’re considering going vegan, eliminating meats can be a stellar place to start. Then, once you’ve successfully cut those products out, you can take the leap and cut out all animal byproducts.
Why go vegan?
There are four main reasons why people choose to go vegan:
- For the good of the animals
- For the environment
- For your fellow human beings
- For your health
For the sake of the animals
If you ask many vegans why they initially committed to going vegan, this will likely be their answer. Animals are exploited all day, every day, for the sake of human consumption and use. Vegans are ardent in their belief that all creatures—not just human beings—have the right to life and freedom. By avoiding animal products, you’re making a powerful statement about animal cruelty and exploitation. When you go vegan, you’re demonstrating true compassion for animals.
For the sake of the environment
It’s no secret that the environment needs our help, and there are so many ways that you can show you care. The animal products industry puts a massive strain on the earth. When you decide to avoid all animal products, you’re reducing your carbon footprint, which is more helpful for the environment than you can imagine.
For the sake of other human beings
Plant-based diets are more sustainable because they only require a third of the land necessary to support a diet that includes meat and dairy. There are increasing concerns when it comes to food and water insecurity. When you go vegan, you’re adapting to a more sustainable way of living and taking a stand against the food systems that disproportionately impact people of lower socioeconomic classes.
For the sake of your health
If you follow a well-planned vegan diet, you’ll get all of the protein and nutrients you need with a few simple tweaks to your diet.
When you go vegan, you’re going to have to learn more about nutrition in order to ensure that the vegan foods you can consume are nourishing your body properly. That really just means you get to learn a lot of fun new recipes and meet some new ingredients like pea protein and soy!
You may find that you learn more about cooking, and you’re likely to end up using products that are packed with wholesome nutrients instead of fillers. In addition to this, if you follow a vegan lifestyle and don’t use anything with animal byproducts, you’ll find that you’ll often use cleaner, more natural products.
Are there any health benefits to going vegan?
In a word: yes. Evidence suggests that there are several health benefits in going vegan. One of the keys to getting those health benefits is being diligent about planning your meals and selecting ingredients that will nourish your body.
The vegan diet can support heart health, lower cholesterol, and reduce your chances of developing several chronic health issues. If you’re interested in going vegan, you can rest assured that you’re doing something good for the planet—and good for you, too.
I want to go vegan. Where do I start?
Once you’ve committed to going vegan, you have to figure out where to begin. You can start by going vegetarian and then gradually cutting out meats and other animal byproducts. Or, you can go “cold-turkey,” cut everything out right away, and never eat a beef burger again.
We also want to remind you that going vegan doesn’t mean only cutting out foods created from animals or their byproducts, it also means not wearing leather clothing, not using makeup created with animal byproducts, and not burning beeswax candles.
Take inventory of the products you own and see how they can factor into your new lifestyle. If you only have leather shoes, for example, you might consider wearing those until they can’t be worn anymore and then getting vegan ones instead of replacing the leather. The same goes for makeup—when you finish a product that isn’t vegan, replace it with something that is.
Other must-know information about going vegan
The most important tidbit we’ll leave you with is this: when you decide to go vegan, find your “why.”
This isn’t a fad diet—it’s a tremendous lifestyle change. It will be difficult and trying at times. It will also be worth it. Still, knowing why you’re doing this will help you renew your commitment to the lifestyle.
We also think that going vegan with a friend or partner can be a wonderful way to stay committed to the lifestyle because you’re on the journey together and you can help remind each other of why you began that journey in the first place.
Going vegan? Stick with us.
We’re passionate about veganism, and we think you will be, too. Getting started can seem overwhelming, but we’re here for you every step of the way. Trust us: you’re doing something helpful for animals, the earth, your fellow humans, and yourself.
Going vegan doesn’t mean having to give up on finding beauty products that you love— that’s where Kinder Beauty comes in. For as little as $23 a month, you can receive a box of vegan, cruelty-free makeup and skincare products that are sure to find their way into your daily routine.
Sources:How much of the world’s land would we need in order to feed the global population with the average diet of a given country | Our World in Data