To be vegan is to take a stand against animal exploitation and adopt a corresponding ethical way of living, part of which necessitates a plant-based diet (which can be largely whole plant foods or include processed plant-derived foods) along with avoiding other non-food products derived from animal industries and exploitation. Initially it can be challenging to get on with eating a healthful plant-based diet, especially if your pre-vegan diet was pretty basic and often unhealthful.
After a little bit of practice and experience it can become much easier, like most things, if you aren’t stressing yourself out with restrictive diets you don’t enjoy within the vegan paradigm. There’s a diet within the vegan paradigm that everyone can enjoy while maintaining optimal levels of health, and once you make veganism a habit, you’ll find yourself enjoying the healthier options more than you used to… Trust me, I was a deeply committed vegetable hater for most of my pre-vegan life!
There are lots of different ways to be vegan and many plant-based diet options are healthful. There is no one Holy Grail of eating. We all have different health histories, interests, tastes, and the vegan world is a very large one. There are thousands of edible plants in the world and infinite combinations, and one of those will suit you. If you don’t take an extreme approach – excessively restricting calories or living off deep-fried cupcakes – it’s going to work out with very little effort once you establish a habit of sustainable vegan consumption.
But if you’re a long-term vegan who’s having trouble, then this little page is also for you. Hopefully I can give you a few ideas for improving your happiness and health as well. We all have our less-than-stellar health moments, and being vegan is not the key to endless energy and immortality… although it certainly is a step in the right direction if you’re concerned with longevity. Quitting a plant-based diet – and maybe even joining the ranks of the dreaded bitter ex-vegans – is not going to magically fix your health problems or disordered eating patterns in the long-term, and will probably pile a few extra problems on top of the old. So if you want to science the shit out of this… read on! Okay, it’s not as hard as surviving on Mars… but that was also all about potatoes… 😉
Alternatively if you want help from a rando on the internet with 12 years experience in vegan living, several years experience feeding and raising vegan kids, who’s studied plant-based nutrition (continuing medical education credits) under T Colin Campbell through eCornell, feel free to get in touch! I studied nutrition to help people who help animals and the planet.
Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.