Do I Need a Lot of Willpower to Give Up Animal Products?

This is also known as “I could never give up cheese”, which is probably the most common reason people give for not becoming vegan.

Twenty years ago, those who chose a vegan diet did not have the wide range of convenience foods we have today, and there was undoubtedly compromise and for some, willpower was very much required. Today, that is not the case. There is a vegan version of pretty much everything – from cinnamon rolls to sausage rolls and from ‘chicken’ pieces to ‘beef’ pie.  And while most people find there is no big deal switching to plant-based versions of their favourite products, the two most common concerns are about chocolate and cheese. Neither should be a cause for concern…trust us!

There are lots of vegan chocolates out there, even vegan versions of your favourite bars, although you may have to order those online. In the UK, you’ll find plenty of options at sites like or you can help fund campaign groups by buying your chocolates from or

In the US, start with a site like In Australia, try In Canada, have a look at Just take a look at the range these sites offer – you’ll be amazed.

But you’ll find vegan chocolates on the high street, too! Look out for brands like Moo Free, Booja Booja and Vivani, and don’t forget to look in the Free From sections and in healthfood stores. A quick scan of the labels will reveal that quite a few, including Frys chocolate cream and some of the Ritter brands are vegan. (Cocoa butter is vegan, despite what is sounds like.)

As for cheese, there is a reason why people say they can’t contemplate life without it: it’s addictive. Scientists have found that the casein it contains triggers the brain’s opioid receptors and is linked to addiction. Yikes! It’s time to kick that cheese habit.

There are lots of vegan cheeses now available, from Greek-style feta, to blue cheese to cream cheese. Supermarkets stock them, as do health food shops. Some are better than others so shop around until you find the ones you like best. 

There really isn’t a huge amount of willpower needed to choose a vegan version of your favourite food over a non-vegan version. But if your head and heart say you should be vegan but there is a little voice in there niggling away at you, telling you it’s not necessary, you can get all the willpower you need by seeing the impact our food choices have on animals. Have a look at these investigations to remind yourself what animals are put through on farms and in slaughterhouses.

In the UK:

In the US:

In Australia:

In Canada:

Thinking of trying vegan?

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