Going vegan was probably one of the hardest yet rewarding choices I have made in my life thus far. It's definitely up there with choosing a university, picking a career path, and deciding to add a second degree. They're rewarding in the sense that they are things that I believe is the best choice for me and my future self. I haven't been vegan for very long. I started on April 15, 2016. 

When I first decided to go vegan, after watching a bunch of documentaries on animal agriculture, you could say I knew what I was getting into. No Dairy. No Meat. No Animal Byproducts. I guess I didn't completely realize what that specifically entailed. Coming back home from university and hanging out with friends and family, I began to realize how many things contained non-vegan things. Most meals at fast food restaurants are either made around a dairy or a meat product. The majority of the food in my house was too. I slowly began to realize the extent to which our society is dependent on  the animal agriculture business. Though it seemed like a difficult lifestyle to pursue, I was confident in my ability to see it through. 
Going Vegan | Le Northern Belle
Growing up, my family was the typical meat eating kind. I even remember me and my sister Evelyn literally craving meat if we went a day without it. We loved meat! Bacon, Salmon. Chicken, Steak, Elk, Bison, you name it, I probably ate it! Thinking about it now, it's slightly disturbing, but that was the environment I grew up in. Don't even get me started on dairy. 

The first time I learned about veganism was from my sorority big, Jenn. She had been vegan for some time, and I had wanted to know why she decided to cut out animals and their byproducts. I took in the information but didn't change anything. It was back to the same old lifestyle for me. The next time veganism came up to my attention was after watching Caitlin Bea's video. She had suggested that everyone watch a Netflix documentary called Cowspiracy. The day I watched her video, I had taken a sick day from school. (I was actually hoping that the snowstorm that was planned for that week came in, however, it ended up coming in the next day. Thanks, Mother Nature!) Anyways, with the whole day to myself, I decide to watch the documentary, which goes into what really happens in animal agriculture and how that field is actually the leading cause for not only greenhouse gasses but for many of North America's biggest diseases as well. 

I honestly couldn't believe what the documentary was telling me but after watching a few more on the topic, it was hard to not believe what was being said. I knew that for me, and my new guilty conscience, I had to make a change. A lifestyle change.

Going vegan wasn't something that was easy to do, but I knew I had to do it, especially for my future health. The great thing about it was that I didn't have anyone forcing or lecturing or guilting me into the lifestyle. It was a choice that I came up to myself, but I definitely had a lot of help.

If  you have or are thinking of going vegan, here are some of the tips that helped me the most.

Get Educated

Watch Documentaries, read scholarly articles, and do research on animal agriculture and veganism. Even if you don't want to be vegan, having a better understanding of the animal agriculture business is definitely good to know! You blindly support it by purchasing the products that come from that business. The documentaries that I have seen and highly recommend are:

Forks over Knives
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

Get Some Inspo

If you're not inspired or have no one or nothing to serve as an inspiration, it can be very easy to fall back into your old ways. I like to follow vegan YouTubers and Bloggers, this way I can get new ideas for food and drinks, or learn more about veganism. My favourite YouTubers and Bloggers are:

YouTube Channels
Zhouer of Vegan Recipes
Kalyn Nicholson

oh she glows (she also has a cookbook that is amazing and full of great recipes)
Minimalist Baker 

Going Vegan | Le Northern Belle

Start Now

Whether you go straight into the Vegan lifestyle or slowly assimilate into it, I highly suggest making some kind of a change (even if that change is just incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet) It truly is the small steps that make the biggest differences. 

If you do decide to become vegan, make sure you talk to your doctor and/or dietician before changing your lifestyle completely. Also, make sure you're going vegan for the right reasons. Most people go vegan for health benefits, the environmental benefits and/or the rights of animals. Identify which reasons you side with the most. Knowing this will make it easier to stick with this lifestyle (especially when you're first starting out). The one advice I have for anyone trying veganism is:

It's not as difficult as you may think! Get yourself a vegan cookbook and get creative!

Going Vegan | Le Northern Belle

Keep Healthy Everyone!


© Classic Martha