There are more options for vegans than ever before, whether you’re in a restaurant, a supermarket or grabbing a snack on-the-go
This is a welcome sign of the rising global popularity of veganism – something that was reflected at the start of this year when a whopping 168,500 signed up to our Veganuary pledge, compared to 59,500 the year before and 3,300 in 2014 when it first started.
That was just the beginning of a phenomenal year of growth for the vegan movement, as 2018 has seen more and more shops adding vegan ranges, chain restaurants offering vegan menus and the number of Google searches worldwide increasing massively from a popularity score of 17 to 88 in a decade.
So it is arguably easier than ever before to become vegan…but, as with introducing any big lifestyle change, that doesn’t mean you won’t face any challenges. Below, are five simple ways you can try to overcome those obstacles and make the move to veganism once and for all:
- Find support from fellow vegans – you might be lucky enough to have friends and family who are vegan to help you in your transition. However, if you don’t have any vegans in your close circle then you may well be able to find a supportive community online – there are lots of local groups on Facebook (as well as our Veganuary Group of course!) where you will find both long-term and newly-converted vegans sharing recipes, restaurant reviews and potentially arranging to meet up. A quick search online will help to connect you with like-minded people who will be a great source of motivation and inspiration.
- Know your ‘trigger foods’ – there might be foods you absolutely love and that form part of your regular social calendar (Friday night pizza anyone?), and that you know may be a barrier to sticking with veganism. If you can identify what these trigger foods are in advance then you can find alternatives – which are now more readily available than ever – which mean you can still enjoy your usual social activities without falling off the wagon. So, if you do usually share a pizza with friends on Friday – have a vegan version in the freezer, or if going to the cinema with a bag of milk chocolate is your thing, try swapping it for popcorn or dark chocolate.
- Plan ahead when eating out – restaurants are becoming ever more vegan-friendly, but you can make it as stress-free as possible by planning in advance. Check online or phone ahead to see what suitable options they have on the menu. If you don’t see anything already on the menu, don’t worry – often if you email or phone them beforehand and explain that you are vegan, they will be able to create an alternative dish for you.
- Carry snacks wherever possible – if you know you’re going to be on a long journey or will be in a situation where purchasing food is not going to be easy, make sure you are armed with snacks. Feeling hungry – or should that be hangry – can make you feel like you have no choice but to eat something non-vegan. Fortunately, there are plenty of snacks to be found in the free-from aisle of the supermarket (such as flapjacks and brownies), or of course there’s always fruit, nuts and crisps.
- Remind yourself why you’re trying veganism – we know that there is a whole range of reasons people want to go vegan, whether it’s for the animals, the environment or health. Whenever you feel your commitment might be wavering, it can be worthwhile re-focusing on why you started down this path in the first place. There are plenty of books, films, magazines and online resources that can help to re-inspire you and re-strengthen your resolve. If it helps, you can even carry a note with your personal reason on it as a mantra.
So, with these simple tips, plus the rise in veganism making it even more accessible, it should be easier than ever before to not only make that move to becoming a vegan – and making it stick!
There’s never been a better time to try vegan! Sign up for our 31-day pledge for daily meal inspiration, tips and more.