The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Education & Activism

The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Education & Activism

Maybe you have a friend who’s a vegan. Maybe you’re not quite sure about the differences between a plant-based, vegetarian, or vegan diet. Curious about becoming a vegan and not sure how to get started? As a vegan, you’re doing more than just not eating meats or animal products. Veganism is a lifestyle choice that affects your daily decisions, including the things you eat or don’t eat and the products you buy, such as vegan beauty and skincare products. Keep reading to learn more about veganism with our ultimate guide to vegan education and activism.

 

  1. Differences Between Plant-Based, Vegetarian, and Vegan Diets — First things first: Know the differences between plant-based, vegetarian, and vegan diets. Plant-based diets consist mainly of plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, and legumes, along with products marketed as “plant-based,” which have to be examined if you want to keep vegan. Be sure to read the ingredient list! People who eat plant-based diets may actively avoid dairy, eggs, and meat, but they don’t always cut them out completely. Vegetarians don’t eat meat, but they can eat animal-derived foods like cheese and eggs. In addition to avoiding eating meat and any animal-derived foods, vegans also don’t use any animal-derived products, as much as is practicable. Vegans try not to buy any products or support any activity that supports cruelty to animals.2.
  2. Understanding the Vegan Lifestyle — In order to understand the vegan lifestyle, you must first learn as much as you can about it. That means watching documentaries and films about veganism. Read books and magazines about veganism. Browse through blogs, listen to podcasts, and scroll through vegan websites and apps. Find other lifestyles that intersect with your vegan lifestyle, such as zero waste, minimalism, and environmentalism.
  3. Getting Started with Veganism — Getting started with your vegan journey can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. You might have to start out small to begin swapping out items you already use for vegan ones. For example, if you have makeup that isn’t vegan, start slowly swapping out your current makeup for vegan makeup.
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Activism

4. Educating Others on Veganism — In addition to becoming a vegan yourself, it can be helpful to begin guiding others on their vegan journey. Your friends and family may have heard of vegan beauty products, but they might not understand the importance or beneficial impact of going vegan in their daily lives. While you may be interested in tugging at people’s heartstrings by discussing the positive environmental impact and ethics of humanitarianism that go along with veganism, that won’t resonate with everyone. At least not immediately. To educate others on veganism, you may need to go the route of the favorable health benefits of veganism.

5. Becoming a Vegan Activist — Here’s a general rule: If you’re following so-called vegan influencers who don’t discuss ethics, it’s very likely that they’re not actually vegan and are just eating a plant-based diet. While veganism might not be for everyone, it’s best to follow sources that do follow the vegan lifestyle and aren’t just eating plant-based diets. Being a vegan is about more than just a clean and healthy animal-free diet.

6. Buying Vegan Products — Look at any products you use on a daily basis, such as haircare or skincare products. What can you swap out for vegan products? Start using vegan hair care products if you aren’t already.

7. Health Benefits of Veganism — According to a review from the National Library of Medicine, a plant-based diet may offer a number of cardiovascular benefits such as lower cholesterol levels, improved blood pressure, and better blood sugar control. Knowing these health benefits will help inspire you and others to commit to a vegan lifestyle.

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8. Meet Other Vegans — Being a vegan can feel like an isolating experience. You might be the only person in your family or your friend group who’s a vegan. To feel a little less lonely, or if you want to meet other like-minded people, meet other vegans online or in person. Find a local vegan meetup group near you. Join vegan forums online. Follow vegan subreddits on Reddit. If there’s a vegan shop in your area that you enjoy shopping at, the shop owner may have a bulletin board about local vegan groups or might know other vegans in the area. Start a vegan group yourself, such as a monthly potluck or a discussion or vegan documentary-watching group with snacks.

9. Understanding the “Why” Behind Your Veganism — What’s the reason behind why you’re vegan? Is it for your health? Is it because you love animals? Maybe it’s a little bit of both, or maybe it’s for a totally different reason. Whatever your “why” is, it’s important to remember the greater purpose behind your veganism. The truth is that when you meet other vegans or become a vegan activist, you might find others trying to sway you one way or another. Stay true to yourself and remember how many others, both people and animals, you’re benefiting by being vegan.

10. It’s Okay to Not Know Everything — Learning about veganism can be overwhelming. Actually putting everything into practice can be straight up stressful. There’s more than one source for understanding veganism. Because there are so many different resources out there, along with a variety of theories out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Allow yourself grace and know that it’s okay not to know everything.

 

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