Reason People Don't Stay Vegan #1

It's too hard!

The first few weeks/months of veganism are a challenge.  Keep in mind that it's not difficult, it's different from what your are familiar with.  As soon as you acclimate yourself to reading labels, asking questions and doing some research it becomes second nature.  

It is easier to go through the drive-thru of your local fast food joint than it is to buy fresh ingredients and cook at home.  Cooking at home is an event!  It provides a great deal of satisfaction when you turn a few raw ingredients into a delicious, healthy meal.  A meal is a reason to invite friends or family over, a time to stop and reflect on the day, and a time to laugh and have fun.

Reading labels may seem like a laborious task at first.  Having to skim through all of those scientific words and try to decipher if they're animal or not can be a pain.  There are two things you may notice after doing this for a while - 1)  You start to eat more "natural" foods.  These foods tend to have less total ingredients in them, saving you reading time on the aisle.  And 2) Your eyes become a radar for animal ingredients.  Instead of deciphering each and every ingredient, your brain will be trained to pick up on the animal ones.  This will, again, save a ton of time.  Practice makes perfect, and if you slip up a few times the Vegan Police won't come knocking on your door.  Knowing what goes into your food is the crux to staying vegan.

If you don't know, ask!  There is a Russian proverb that says, "There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out."  If you don't know what something is made of, or if it is made with shady practices, ASK!  If you are eating at a restaurant and aren't sure about something on the menu, ASK!  If you can't tell if that belt you really want is synthetic or leather, ASK!  Is this beer filtered with bone char, ASK!  Do some research beforehand.  I think you see where this is going.  Remember, the shame lies in not finding out.

This is a basic primer to overcoming one of the challenges to staying vegan.  I could devote an entire book just to this subject.  Just keep in mind that knowledge is power and no one is going to look down on you for a few slip-ups.  It's happened to us too!

Additional resources-
Vegan Eating Out - A great site that lists what vegans can and can't eat in restaurants.
How To Eat Out As A Vegan - A how-to on what to watch for when eating in restaurants.

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