Becoming vegan was not a gradual transition for me. I watched Earthlings, took a few moments to fully process the message and then made the decision not to harm animals simply because it was convenient to do so.
I am new to the vegan movement, and the first thing people tell me is that “it must be so difficult!” In truth I think the hardest part is making the decision to change – for me the rest was a process. Immediately removing your leather belt and shoes could create more difficulties depending on where you are – but changing the contents of your food cupboards is easier than most people think. Retailers cater to the demands of their shoppers – and twitter is a great place to request items not normally on the shelf. Increasingly there are smaller vendors specialising in vegan products, but my experience has been that these tend to be on the pricey side – of course you may get a more specialised service and there are other plusses to supporting a local provider (travel cost savings, bespoke ordering, value added services, etc).
Vegan sports people are also excellent examples in answer to the inevitable questions around weight loss, muscle gain or impact on performance. David Hayes, David Carter, Serena and Venus Williams to name a few. A favourite of mine is Tofu Guy who, together with his family, is a great encourager on all things vegan and fitness. These have inspired me in my vegan journey as a Running and Fitness Coach. Youtube is also a great source of advice and I would recommend Vegan Physique as an excellent and interesting source.
The best advice I received was to start small and “be driven by your convictions.” I don’t feel guilty when I accidentally eat something that contains eggs or awkward when invited to a meal and the friend confuses vegetarian with vegan…I believe the point is that I am aware of the implications of what I buy and eat and so, going forward, I am selective and intentional in choosing a vegan option. It goes without saying that where you may have any existing medical conditions you should always check with your doctor before making any changes to your nutrition intake.
Becoming vegan will encourage creative cooking and possibly even improve your culinary skills. There are hundreds of vegan sites and at least as many groups that can assist you as you explore changing to a lifestyle that asks you only to think before you eat.