What is a vegan lifestyle? How is veganism a practice? Here are some tips to transition sustainably if you are new to the concept.
A vegan lifestyle is not just about making dietary changes and finding alternatives. Even though a vegan diet plays a quintessential role in veganism, the practice is incomplete without inculcating the values to other parts of our lives as a vegan.
So, in layman terms, what is veganism?
It is a way of living with a belief of not exploiting animals for our selfish needs and wants, thus not consuming any animal products as a part of our diet, clothing and any other products we use. A vegan diet excludes meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products and honey. Likewise, vegans exclude consuming products made with animal skin, such as wool.
Why this is called a practice?
We have been socially conditioned to believe it’s okay to domesticate animals, violate and exploit their rights to fulfil and meet our needs. We have been conditioned to think it’s okay to kill animals outside our homes when we “love” our dogs and cats. Veganism hence becomes a practice where you unlearn these habits, let go of our predator instincts and believe that animals deserve a free life in their natural habitat. Believing alone is not enough, it’s important to take steps to change the old actions and adopt conscious decisions to treat animals humanely.
How to transition into a vegan lifestyle?
- It’s important to understand why you want to adapt to a vegan lifestyle. Read different perspectives, ideologies and set your own values. This foundation of values and insights are going to help you immensely in the journey.
- Adapting to a new lifestyle requires a change in old habits. Old habits have to be replaced with new habits, understanding the triggers of cravings especially with food, letting go of certain materialistic needs etc are ways to practice veganism.
- It would be a wonderful idea to be part of a vegan community, to have a sense of belonging. Sharing your experiences with others, and listening to people from different walks of life would be a fantastic way to transition.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Any kind of change takes time. It’s always better to deal with one thing at a time rather than expecting your lifestyle to shift overnight. It’s important to have patience during this change. Simply love what you do and enjoy the process!