How To Survive Being A Vegan Today - It's Not That Difficult!
“Paneer tikka, ma’am?”
“No, thank you.”
“Um, maybe not.”
“How about some creamy devilled eggs, then?”
“Thanks, but I’ll pass.”
It begins like this—the larger the party, the lesser the chance for a dairy-free dish on the menu. It’s easy to be discouraged, especially when you pass on tantalizing appetizers and ensuing whispers of onlookers. You can hear them whisper, “What does she eat?” or “She’s on that diet thing”.
Well, turn your face towards the Sun and never look down, superstar, because it only gets better from here.
In a world that is as connected and aware as ours, it is a continuous surprise that veganism can still shock a crowd. A practice that has been around since the early 1800s, veganism is an established lifestyle that extends to more than just one’s food choices. Lifestyle vegans abstain not only from consuming animal, milk, and dairy products, but also from using animal by-products (honey, leather, silk, wool, and the likes). The philosophy is simple—I live a life which chooses not to exploit animals, in all possible ways.
This loaded statement should be one of your proudest declarations, not to be shied away easily by the gasps that ensue after. While the wide-set notion towards this lifestyle is, “Why are you compromising?” and “You’re missing out on all the good stuff!”; there’s a deeper conscious awakening in the ones choosing to go against the crowd. As a vegan, you have made the sentient choice to not look at animals and the environment around you as a commodity available at your hedonistic disposal. As a citizen of the world that is on the verge of a climate challenge, this is your most conscientious decision.
There are, contrary to what people will have you believe, an abundance of alternatives. Although it is easier said than done, being aware of the pointers below will help you go a long way in your vegan life.
Cook What You Like!
Cooking is a stepping stone towards being independent; vegan cooking more so than others. Less complicated than regular cooking, with resources now widely available, it absolves a lot of dependency problems and is eventually a milestone every person has to achieve.
Stay Connected With Your Clan
Attending potlucks and vegan meets are ideal ways to stay connected to the community that really understands you. Potlucks are great for sharing and learning new vegan recipes, satisfying your cravings, and spending time with like-minded people.
Always Be Prepared
Get-together, dinners, formal parties—do not take it for granted that there will be vegan options available. Eat your meal prior or carry a fruit/ dietary alternative, if the location allows it. Identify your hook—the one item you cannot live without, and arrange for it to be made possible. (Eg: If your hook is coffee, then carry soy milk powder wherever you go!) Make it a habit to be prepared; your conviction will only compliment your behavior.
Have The Guts, Gain The Glory!
You are not, we repeat, not, missing out on anything! For every double chocolate chip cookie and a basket of butter garlic naan, there is a substitute. Soy milk, tofu, coconut milk, rice milk, coconut butter, soy margarine, maple syrup, and all the plants in the worlds are your new best friends! They will make all your sweet tooth fixes and instant cravings come true. If you are a newly-turned vegan, invest in finding out alternatives, take your doing the research, and increase your awareness.
Nobody likes a sanctimonious prick, come on. Your choices are yours alone; if your friend chooses to be a complete carnivore, that should have little to do with your friendship. Respect others’ freedom to choose just as much as they respect yours.
You’ve chosen a lifestyle that reflects environmental, physical, and mental awareness. Be proud of yourself for sticking to that every day, and reward yourself with (soy milk-based) ice-cream and treats every once in a while!
Talk And Tell Your Stories
The greatest and most effective tip you will ever receive is this—talk to your family, friends, and relatives about your choices. Also, explain whether they are for ethical, dietary, and/or environmental reasons. Without being pushy, allow them some space and time to understand you. Veganism is about building a kinder, more empathetic planet; and that begins at home!
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