The Ultimate Guide To Vegan!
Chapter 13. Going Vegan: Where Can I Get Help And Advice?
Whatever brought you to this question, chances are you’re seriously considering going vegan.
We congratulate you on making such a great choice, which is the most ethical way of living with numerous benefits for your health, the animals and the Earth.
They say “the secret of getting ahead is getting started”, but sometimes it seems like it’s easier said than done.
Unless all your friends are already vegan, or, say, you’re a transitioning vegetarian already quite knowledgeable in the area, getting started may actually seem quite scary.
Questions from loved ones, forming new shopping habits and adjusting your lifestyle in general is not always going to be fun and games in the very beginning of your vegan journey.
Therefore, it’s perfectly reasonable to be wondering where you can get help, advice and much needed support.
In this material, we’ll share a few helpful tips and holy grails, so you won’t have to be searching for those for hours and days!
Going vegan has never been easier.
Do your research online.
Fortunately, in the era of internet there is so much information about veganism readily available out there! Just a quick Google search will yield millions of links to various vegan resources.
Be careful and reasonably critical though, as some online advice may be incorrect or even outright dangerous. Stick to reputable large-scale resources, such as PETA (they also have country-specific branches of their website) or The Vegan Society.
At least at the start, be a little bit wary of some websites and blogs. After you’ve gathered enough information, you will be able to find many diamonds in the rough, but when your knowledge is not yet sufficient, this process may be overwhelming.
Some of our 2016 favourites include: Fat Gay Vegan, (my hero!), Happy Cow, Vegan Richa, Fork and Beans and Coconut and Berries but there are plenty of others out there! It also depends on where you live in geographically.
Order a free vegan starter kit.
Ordering a starter kit is a great way to familiarise yourself with a number of useful vegan resources.
These kits, often provided for free by major vegan and animal welfare organisations such as Vegan Kit, usually contain booklets with pro-vegan information and links to resources, recipe suggestions and other amazing goods to keep you motivated and well-informed.
Pay a visit to your favourite bookshop.
If you’re not a big fan of online reading, you can still enjoy reading vegan resources – and chances are, you will be able to find some great picks in your favourite bookshop.
Some of our vegan-friendly literature picks include Eating Animals and Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant-Based Diet.
There are some insanely popular “research-based” books such as The China Study, but unfortunately, this kind of literature is often heavily biased.
There is, indeed, a large body of scientific evidence supporting the benefits of vegan lifestyle, but unfortunately, the “research” literature that makes its way to bookshops usually uses subpar quality research, sadly sabotaging quality work in the area.
Join a vegan forum.
If you want to get a good sense of the vegan community, ask questions and participate in conversations in debates, joining an online vegan community may be a good idea.
As a bonus, you will likely make some friends along the way! There are many communities out there, from The Vegan Forum to various Reddit discussion boards.
Choose one that has the nicest and the most knowledgeable bunch of people, and you’ll learn a lot very quickly.
Book an appointment with a Qualified dietitian/nutritionist.
Contrary to popular belief, modern dietetics acknowledges well planned plant-based diets as a viable alternative to traditional approaches.
If you have any nutrition-related questions, especially if you have additional dietary concerns such as allergies or coeliac disease, consulting a helpful professional is one of the best ways to get reliable, evidence-based advice tailored to your individual situation.
Although you’ll likely have to pay out of pocket, you will probably only need one full consult and a couple of follow-ups unless some serious barriers come up, and the end cost may be cheaper comparing to spending precious dollars on vegan magazines and online subscriptions.
We do not recommend trusting your health and diet to self-proclaimed nutrition experts or alternative medicine worshipers (e.g. naturopaths), as managing a vegan diet with special considerations is hard enough without sifting through their questionable claims.
And there you have it – we hope you found our extensive guide helpful!
Most of all, remember – don’t hesitate to ask for help.
As a famous quote by Ric Ocasek goes, “Refusing to ask for help when you need it is refusing someone the chance to be helpful.