10 Mistakes That Every Newly Turned Vegan Makes! (You’re Not Alone!)

  • Namrata Edward
  • 1053

Altering your lifestyle and turning vegan can be daunting, and it surely comes with a few inevitable mistakes. We have compiled a list that will help you avoid the pitfalls and take you further in your journey with ease. Don't worry, most newly turned vegans make these mistakes! 

Life as a newly-turned vegan is quite exciting. You feel determined, happy, confident, nervous, and a bit anxious all at the same time. But don’t worry, even if you have been vegan only for a day, the most difficult part is already behind you as taking the first step is always tough. From there on, it gets easier as you move along.

For an amateur vegan, the following points will work as a guide to make your journey smoother than you may anticipate. As for a seasoned vegan, perhaps these will serve as a trip down memory lane.

1. Become A “Vegan-gelist”

You can easily identify a new vegan by looking at their Facebook activity. Their timeline could be crammed with images & videos of animal cruelty, numerous posts in rapid successions, and seldom arguments with meat-eaters and vegetarians on multiple groups. On top of that, it applies in real-life situations as well. Every new vegan goes through this stage before realizing that there are actually several other dimensions to vegan activism.

2. Watch Too Many Videos On Animal Cruelty!

Every new vegan feels helpless about the abuse toward animals, but watching such videos will not accomplish anything. Instead, re-directing your focus on finding solutions by joining support groups, educating yourself by reading blogs, planning nutritious recipes, and feeling the desire to spread awareness to the rest of the world with your newly-gained knowledge is an ideal path.

3. Get Paranoid About Consuming Refined Sugar

We often hear that white sugar is refined using bone char. Now, if sugar isn’t vegan, does it mean that vegans should also avoid jams, jellies, aerated drinks, packaged fruit juices, biscuits, and other similar items? Relax, there is no need to get paranoid. While white sugar in several refineries in the U.S. and Canada is processed using bone char, in India, it is processed using sulphur dioxide, activated carbon from non-animal sources, or synthetic ion exchange resins. More on this here.

4. Could Be Using The Term “Earthlings” Frequently!

Q: How do you recognize a new vegan?

A: They identify themselves as an earthling, refer to cats, parrots, and goats as earthlings, and tell everyone to go watch "Earthlings."

Since many people have turned to veganism after watching the hard-hitting documentary film Earthlings, it's hardly surprising that newbie vegans will relate so passionately to the term; it truly is an eye-opener.

5. Adopt A Highly-Restrictive Diet!

The myth that a vegan diet is restrictive is so prevalent that many new vegans invariably get worked up about it. A vegan diet simply excludes all kinds of animal products. There are no other rules. Sometimes you tend to forget that you’ve started to binge on oily food to make up for the loss of butter, ghee, and cheese, and forgot that there are many creamy vegan dishes they can prepare. There are a variety of plant-based products like grains, pulses, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and vegan junk food that won’t let them restrict their diet? While most Indian street foods like pani puri, samosa, vegetable chow mein, bhel puri, and the likes are already vegan. And as for other food items, you can find vegan biscuits, peanut butter, ketchup, jams, and instant noodles in the market.

6. Are Shocked To Learn That Oreo Biscuits Are Vegan! (WHAT!)

This one never ceases to amaze newbie vegans! How can Oreo cookies with the sweet creamy filling be vegan? It is because the “cream” filling is made up of sugar, vegetable shortening, and synthetic stuff instead of actual dairy cream. Even though, it might not be completely suitable for lactose-intolerant people after all. As mentioned on the website, Oreo has a cross contact with milk.

7. Forget To Read The Labels

A friend opens a packet of Kurkure Puffcorn. You nibble on a few before reading the ingredients list and realize in shock that it contains cheese! Reading labels is not a habit that many of us follow and as a new vegan, it is a trait you need to develop over time. Mistakes happen, especially in the initial few weeks. Just learn from your experiences and soon you will be scanning the ingredients even on a packet of pepper powder.

8. Forget That Honey Is Not Vegan! 

The first few weeks as a new vegan is a confusing time. While a newbie vegan is busy avoiding meat, eggs, and dairy, it might just slip their minds that honey too is a non-vegan item. Honeybees produce honey as food for their babies (larvae) and themselves as in the colder months, they are unable to forage for pollen and nectar from flowers. Read this to find out more.

mistakes as a vegan

9. A Visit To A Restaurant!

When you are at a restaurant, you are prepared to scan the menu and order food without any dairy products. However, there are slight changes that need to be made in terms of communication with the staff. The thing newly-turned vegans forget is that even if the dish doesn’t contain any dairy product directly, it might be fried or toasted in clarified butter. It takes a while to fully understand the pitfalls, but it the best thing to do is order uncomplicated food.

10. Forget To Take A Vitamin B12 Supplement!

Are you taking one regularly? Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is vital for the normal functioning of our brain and nervous system. While both vegans and non-vegans can develop B12 deficiencies, the UK Vegan Society, the Vegetarian Resource Group, and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine specifically recommend that vegans supplement their diet with vitamin B12. If you haven’t started taking a supplement yet, do so immediately! More on this here.

How many of these points can you relate with? What else did you do as a newbie vegan? Let us know in the comments! 


Namrata Edward Kshitij

I am a minimalist vegan on a budget and I share simple and practical tips on how to live a happy and fulfilling life as a vegan in India--without drilling a hole in your wallet. I had my reservations earlier, but going vegan was the best decision I made.

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