Going vegan might sound like a big step, but in practice it’s a lot easier to do than you’d think. Some vegetarians find that after a while they just seem naturally to ‘go off’ eggs and dairy produce: they just don’t like them any more.
Others just feel the need to extend their compassion to the cows and calves who suffer greatly in order to produce milk: if you doubt this, read The Dark Side of Dairy, published by Viva! (external link), one of the charities of which I’m proud to be a patron. Hens don’t fare much better, either; the great majority are crammed together in tiny cages and forced to lay completely unnatural numbers and sizes of eggs; even organic, free range ones have a pretty tough time and are then slaughtered when their egg-laying capacity drops.
The many advantages of being vegetarian described in Why be vegetarian? All apply to being vegan, only more so… Being vegan really is best for your health, best for the animals, best for other people, and best for the planet.
- Best for your health because it’s the closest diet to that on which we evolved and has been shown to reduce the harmful type of cholesterol by 29%. In practice, it keeps you slim, happy and full of energy.
- Best for the animals because it avoids the exploitation and cruelty involved in the dairy industry and the production of eggs as well as that of meat.
- Best for other people, because by eliminating the need for eggs and dairy it reduces, even more than a vegetarian diet, the pressure on the earth’s valuable resources of food and water so that there’s enough for everyone.
- Best for the planet because it takes vegetarianism to its logical conclusion. Going vegan will reduce your carbon footprint even more; in fact, if all the world went vegan, global warming would cease to be a problem.
Whatever has prompted you to decide to go vegan, you couldn’t have chosen a better time because there are so many vegan products now available: many different types of non-dairy milk, pure vegetable spreads, ‘creams’, and ‘cheeses’ of all types (and yes, they taste surprisingly like dairy cheese and some of them melt when heated); chocolate, and many ‘mock meats’. In fact, I think there’s a vegan version of practically any food you can think of.
Simply cutting down on normal dairy foods and then swapping to the vegan versions is the first step to going vegan. You can then adapt favourite vegetarian dishes using these foods, and add some delicious vegan dishes to your repertoire. All my books contain a large number of recipes that are vegan, and Vegan Feasts
is exactly what it says it is, and the recipes are easy, too.