Top Tips for Going Vegan

Vegan Outreach Scotland is a grassroots movement that began in the Highlands of Scotland a little over three years ago. Our purpose is to help people make the connection between their lifestyle choices and the exploitation of other species, the devastation of the planet, and the damage to their own health.  
 

As featured in an article in Holistic Scotland Magazine. Many thanks to editor Lynda Hamilton Parker for promoting our work!!
 
    1. FOCUS ON THE WHY NOT THE HOW a strong resolve triumphs over minor challenges. If your determination wavers, watch a few minutes of Land of Hope and Glory, Cowspiracy, or What the Health to re-ignite your resolution!
    2. SEE THE FACE NOT THE FOOD – break lifelong conditioning by picturing the faces behind the food as you walk down the supermarket aisles. Visiting a farmed-animal sanctuary can really with this! After you cuddle a turkey or snuggle a sheep and experience their unique personalities, it’s very hard to go back to eating them.
    3. GET A SUPPORT NETWORK – connecting with vegan friends is essential. Local is best but online is great too! Every region of Scotland has its online vegan groups with periodic meet-ups for discussions, meals, and activism.  Veganuary and Challenge 22 are great resources for support in the early days providing daily tips, recipes, mentors, and dietitians!
    4. KEEP IT SIMPLE – start by veganising your favourite meals. Whether it’s bangers-and-mash or coq au vin there are vegan alternatives for all your favourite products (food and non-food). Research and shop around until you find ones you like – don’t give up! Sure, they might not taste exactly like “the real thing”, but it’s preferable to robbing a living being of his or her entire existence. 
    5. COMMIT TO END ADDICTIONcasein, one of the proteins in milk, produces casomorphins which attach to opiate receptors in the brain – this is why cheese is so addictive! Our top pick for vegan cheese is Vegusto’s award-winning No-Moo Mild-Aromatic at vegusto.co.uk.
    6. YOU’RE ALREADY DOING IT! – there are so many foods that are accidentally vegan! Check out Veganuary’s list of “Accidentally Vegan Products (UK)” in their vegan starter kit.
    7. DON’T WORRY ABOUT PROTEIN – if you are getting enough calories, you are getting enough protein! ALL grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds contain every one of the essential amino acids.  Human breast milk – the perfect growth food for babies – is only 5% protein! If plants can grow an elephant or a rhino – they can grow you!
    8. OWN YOUR IMPACT – the latest research from Science magazine tells us that “avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet”. You cannot be an environmentalist and not be vegan!
    9. GROW OUT OF THE DAIRY “FAIRY” STORY – let’s be clear, calcium comes from the soil and things that grow in the soil – not from a cow. Why drink the breast-milk of another species (yuk!) to get calcium when we could eat green leafy veggies instead? Dairy is acidic. It leaches calcium out of our bones to neutralise this acidity. Countries that consume the most dairy have the highest incidents of osteoporosis.
    10. ALIGN YOUR LIFESTYLE WITH YOUR VALUES – you believe that causing unnecessary suffering to animals is wrong? Then it’s about changing some of the things you eat so that your diet aligns with that value. Then look at household/beauty products, then clothing… you don’t have to do it all at once. It’s about gradually become truer to yourself.
    11. PREVENT EATING-OUT DISAPPOINTMENTS – use the Happy Cow app which lists vegan eateries and options around the world!
    12. KEEP ON LEARNING – a fast and easy way is to subscribe to YouTube channels. Our top picks are NutritionFacts.org, Plant Based News, and Bite Size Vegan. One Green Planet’s Food Monster app gives you 10+ recipes/day plus an archive of over 8,000 recipes!
    13. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU GAIN, NOT ON WHAT YOU LOSE – animals belong to themselves. You cannot “give-up” what was never yours. Gary Francione says: “Veganism is not about giving anything up … it is about gaining the Peace within yourself that comes from refusing to participate in the exploitation of the vulnerable”.
    14. GET ACTIVE!helping others to transition to the vegan lifestyle strengthens our personal resolve. 7% of the UK is now vegan. According to a study in 2011 by Rensselaer Polytechnic, 10% is the tipping point when the rest of the population will follow suit, but we must “consistently proselytise”.
    15. REMEMBER: IT’S ALL YOU! – Vietnamese peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh said, “we are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness”. It is this illusion that has permitted us to exploit, harm and destroy other species and the planet! When we remember our Oneness with all life we can no longer do that. Then, our bodies, our minds, our spirits become the laboratories where change takes place: whatever I change in myself, I change in the world!

For more info, join us on Facebook  and like/follow The Vegan Roadshow.