Becoming vegan can be like entering a whole new world
It's easier than ever now to make the transition. But exploring on your own might feel confusing at first, or possibly even overwhelming at times.
Where do you begin?
How do you know whom to trust?
How do you navigate this new terrain?
'Five Steps to Vegan' is your guided tour
Allow us to help you to feel confident by sharing tips, tricks and insights we've learned over our many years as long-time vegans and vegan educators.
The team at BeFairBeVegan have partnered with the folks at Gentle World to bring you a comprehensive, easy-to-understand, step-by-step guide to becoming vegan.
We invite you to take your vegan future into your own hands, by coming to a clear understanding of what veganism is all about, gaining confidence about your nutritional needs and how to meet them, learning to navigate the consumer world as a vegan, anticipating social situations you might come face-to-face with, and finding assurance that you will have no problem providing for yourself and your family with ease and enjoyment.
STEP ONE: The Basics (20 minutes)
By the end of Step One, you will have fortified your resolve to make your vegan commitment stick, by gaining a thorough understanding of the significance of veganism as an essential personal step toward helping to build the fair and just society we all claim to hope for.
Vegan: Easier Than You Think
For many people, the idea of veganism is still mistakenly interlinked with the idea of “giving things up”. But thankfully, living as a vegan is much easier than it is commonly perceived to be. And the more the vegan population grows, the easier it gets, as plant-based alternatives become more readily available all the time.
More than a Diet, More than a Lifestyle
Although there is a diet and a way of life that go along with veganism, these adjustments to our daily practices are simply an outer reflection of the commitment that the new vegan makes in response to a shift in perception about the sentience of our fellow animals, and the resulting implications for our relationship to them.
The vegan leaves behind the character they previously played, and experiences a return to their true self; someone who no longer tolerates the idea of participating in exploitation, under any circumstances. With this change, we now leave our previous choices (and all the feelings attached to them) in our nonvegan past.
STEP TWO: Being a Healthy Vegan (30 minutes)
Step Two will eliminate any concerns you might have about whether a plant-based diet can offer all the essential elements of a balanced and nutritious diet, as well as giving you guidance about how to make the transition sensibly and healthfully.
Do Our Bodies Require Animal Products?
Many people still hold on to the belief that animal products are necessary for adequate or optimum human health. But what might not be obvious is that these positions may have been at least partially informed by the food industry's influence over national nutritional guidelines.
Is Vegan Healthier?
The word is spreading rapidly that a well-planned vegan diet can offer an improvement in general well-being, while lessening our susceptibility to many of the widespread conditions that are currently crippling the health of our population and monopolizing the resources of our healthcare system.
Where Will I Get My…?
In a standard Western diet, certain nutrients tend to be associated with animal foods, and these can sometimes be a source of concern for new vegans. But thankfully, with more information about plant-based nutrition, and with greater availability of vegan options, it’s no longer difficult to ensure that our vegan diets are not only adequate, but healthy and wholesome.
Optimizing Your Vegan Diet
We encourage our fellow vegans to make it a priority to take care of themselves. Maintaining health and vitality helps us to be more present in everything we do in our lives, including our efforts toward bringing about a vegan world. With that in mind, certain simple principles can help your vegan diet to help you.
STEP THREE: Food, Glorious Food! (40 minutes)
How do you navigate the potentially unfamiliar world of vegan cooking and dining? Let our third step take the guesswork out of this crucial element of your education, and introduce you to the myriad of exciting options you have to look forward to at the vegan table.
What Do Vegans Eat?
This is a question that has become something of a joke amongst vegans, for the simple reasons that a) we’ve all heard it at one time or another, and b) the opportunities are endless for delicious, exciting food free from any animal ingredients.
A quick scroll through the Facebook or Instagram feed of many a vegan can easily illustrate that the myth about a vegan diet being limited, boring or bland is just that: a myth.
10 Tips for the New Vegan
Despite the concerns many people have about vegan living being complicated and foreign, it’s actually a lot more simple and familiar than most would think, even if you’re used to relying on certain ingredients. We’ve included a few super-simple tips to help you navigate your way.
Vegan Alternatives to Animal Foods
It seems to be a golden period for those making the vegan transition, as we’re witnessing a substantial transformation in the consumer products industry. An increasing number of companies are launching with a social objective, such as being eco-friendly or adopting fair trade practices. Many are also beginning to recognize the value in being 100% vegan.
Eating on a Budget
One of the common myths about being vegan is that plant-based diets are too expensive for individuals and families of average or low income. There is no single ‘plant-based diet’, and there are plenty of ways to eat vegan on a tight budget.
A Special Note About Cheese
Many people get used to relying on cheese, especially when they become vegetarian, as a lot of supposedly ‘vegetarian’ options contain this really far-from-vegetarian ingredient. Once upon a time, letting go of dairy meant giving up cheese, but in today’s world, the selection of plant-based cheeses is growing rapidly.
STEP FOUR: Being a Vegan Consumer (30 minutes)
There's more than your choices at the grocery store to be aware of, and our fourth step will help you learn what else you need to be mindful of, and how to find what you need, from clothing and apparel to cosmetics and personal care items.
It can be surprising to learn how much of our material culture is built from the bodies of other animals. Recent evolutions in the consumer industry have given rise to numerous small and big companies that are coming up with vegan alternatives to not only food and cosmetics, but also clothing, shoes and bags, and much more.
Learning to Love to Read Labels
Our relationship with ingredient labels is something else that we can be grateful for, since becoming vegan is, for many, the door into a new world of awareness about the products we buy, and how much has been hidden from us. Taking our consumer power into our own hands is something we do gratefully, and gladly.
Lessening your Footprint
For every perfectly-packaged item you see sitting on the shelf, there is a story. As consumers of conscience, we need to start breaking this cycle, not only by reusing, repurposing and recycling, but also by taking the first, most crucial step of reducing our consumption.
STEP FIVE: Maintaining Your Commitment (30 minutes)
Becoming vegan is not something we do as a passing phase, but many people miss out on learning why being vegan is something you can never 'give up'. Allow us to help you find the resolve you need to face all life's challenges without faltering, and remain vegan for life.
When You’re Outside Your Comfort Zone
There may be times when life takes you outside your own home and your ordinary routine. Being vegan is getting easier everywhere, and it shouldn’t be difficult for most people to find suitable options wherever they go. However, it’s during these times that we might find it more challenging than usual.
Some vegans experience a sense of alienation, particularly at gatherings where food is considered central to the sharing of enjoyment, pleasure and fun. Being clear about what’s important to us can make the difference between maintaining one’s commitment and abandoning it altogether.
The Internet has done a lot to democratize the ability of advocates to share information. Now, individuals are able to make their voices heard independently. Given the burgeoning opportunities, advocates can choose which methods suit their talents, personalities, preferences, and geographic locations.
Being Vegan in a Speciesist World
When we commit to veganism, we do so at the risk of being teased, criticized, or perhaps even accused of committing some sort of offense against society’s expectations that we fall in line. It is how we choose to respond to such an experience that determines whether we triumph over the challenge or allow it to wear us down.
We welcome your participation!
Please share with us your most pressing concerns about becoming vegan so that we can do our best to address them. Submit your questions here.
Frequently Asked Questions
When does the course begin?
The program starts in early January, with individual course modules to be released throughout the month. The full course, from start to finish, will be available on demand starting February.
How much does it cost?
Nothing! We are providing these course materials as part of our commitment to helping to spread the message of veganism, something that we feel is our responsibility toward our fellow animals who suffer in institutions of exploitation as a result of nonvegan consumer choices.
Why should I choose your program over any other vegan course?
We don't believe there is any other vegan course out there that covers the material we are presenting in our program. You might choose to further your vegan education by also pursuing a more detailed course in nutrition, a plant-based diet or vegan cooking, but you won't find anything else that provides such a comprehensive look at what veganism means as a whole.