There are many reasons people decide to go vegan — for some, it’s about the health of their body, while others care about the welfare of animals. Several documentaries released in recent years expose the horrific realities of the meat, egg, and dairy industries. It can be challenging to ignore the facts once you know what is happening behind these factories’ closed doors.
For some, those things are enough reason to switch to a vegan lifestyle — they don’t want to be associated with an industry that causes so much pain and suffering. Others may choose veganism for environmental reasons — animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation combined. The truth is, there are plenty of good reasons to ditch meat, eggs, and dairy and live a compassionate vegan life. Not everyone will share your sentiments, but you will feel good knowing you are doing your part to save the animals.
However, much of your effort will depend on your environment, which is full of traditional, animal-based foods. You might be moving to a new home or traveling for work — and in these cases, it can be challenging to maintain a strict vegan diet. But with careful planning and an open mind, you can successfully stick to your vegan lifestyle no matter where you are.
Here are some tips on how to stay vegan while living in a non-vegan environment.
Research is critical when it comes to living a vegan lifestyle. It can be challenging to know what is vegan-friendly and what isn’t, so doing your research ahead of time is essential. There are plenty of online resources that can help, like Happy Cow and Vegan Travel. These websites list restaurants and stores with vegan-friendly options, so you can easily find what you need while on the go.
If you’re moving to a new city or traveling for work, check the websites in advance to see what’s available. And if you’re ever in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask the locals — they may know of some great hidden gems that aren’t listed online.
Unfortunately, you might not have a choice with the location for moving. If you want to move closer to work, you might be in an area with almost no vegan options. Fortunately, you can still find a vegetarian restaurant. Vegetarian diets are more common, so there are usually a few vegetarian restaurants in most towns and cities. While they’re not strictly vegan, you can often find vegan-friendly options on the menu.
When living in a non-vegan environment, it’s essential to stay prepared. You do not have the luxury of finding a nearby establishment offering vegan options. That means always carrying snacks with you if you get hungry, and there are no vegan-friendly options nearby. Nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and dark chocolate are great vegan snacks that will tide you over until you can find something more substantial to eat.
You should also ensure a few easy vegan meals in your repertoire. Plenty of simple vegan recipes only require a few ingredients, finished in minutes. If you’re tight on time, opt for quick vegan staples like pasta with marinara sauce or rice and beans. These dishes can be easily made ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer for when you need them.
Another great way to prepare is by packing a vegan lunch to take to work or school. It will guarantee you have something vegan to eat, even if there are no good options nearby. And if invited to a non-vegan friend’s house for dinner, always offer to bring a dish to share. That way, you know there will be at least one vegan-friendly option.
Keep an Open Mind
Keeping an open mind is essential. Sometimes you can’t find anything vegan to eat, and you’ll have to get creative. That might mean ordering a vegetarian dish without cheese or eggs or asking the server to hold the meat on your salad.
It would help if you also were flexible with your definition of veganism. For some people, being vegan means never consuming any animal products whatsoever. However, for others, it might mean only eating plant-based foods when possible but not stressing about it too much if an animal product slips in once in a while. It would be best to decide what level of veganism you’re comfortable with for your eating habits.
Most importantly, you do your best to stick to your vegan lifestyle. There will be times when it’s challenging, but as long as you stay prepared and keep an open mind, you can successfully live a vegan lifestyle no matter where you are, even if it is challenging.
Living a vegan lifestyle can be difficult, especially if you don’t live in a vegan-friendly area. However, by researching, staying prepared, and keeping an open mind, you can successfully live a vegan lifestyle no matter where you are. With a little effort, you can make it work!