Whether you’re thinking of going vegan for the environment or because you care about animals and want to become a healthier you, there’s just as much resistance as there is motivation when it comes to switching to this lifestyle.
There’s pressure from loved ones who might hold negative perceptions about vegans, and then there are the wider social repercussions. The consumption of meat, milk, and other animal products is still rife throughout the world, so going vegan can make everyday social situations more complicated.
All of these and other factors can make it difficult to follow through with your decision to go vegan. Our advice? Start by overcoming the following five barriers, and make your journey to a plant-based lifestyle that much easier.
- Vitamin B12 is Missing From Your Diet
Many people resist the call to veganism because they know meat is a major source of vitamin B12 (a nutrient that’s responsible for red blood cell production in the body).
So, how can you get this vital vitamin? At first, vegans do struggle to find alternatives that contain Vitamin B12. However, a reliable source of vitamin B12 can be found in the form of fortified milk, plant-based foods, and plant-based B12 supplements.
- Facing Negative Perceptions About Vegans
Research shows that people still react negatively to vegans. Sometimes non-vegetarians shy away from associating themselves with plant-based eaters altogether.
If you are thinking of resisting the call to veganism due to these negative perceptions, then perhaps you need to change your own negative mindset first.
Resist the fear of being socially isolated, and realize that your family members and close friends won’t just abandon you because you have decided to change your lifestyle. If you do get ditched by close friends because you made the switch, perhaps your circle needed to change in the first place.
Start believing in your own healthy choices, educate yourself about the benefits of veganism, and your positive results will naturally convince others around you to accept and maybe even emulate your new lifestyle.
- Reading Labels
One of the awesome things you’ll learn as a newbie vegan is to pay closer attention to food labels.
You are what you eat, and while reading the labels may provoke you to leave many products behind on your shopping trip, you will realize how valuable it is to know exactly what you are consuming.
After a while, reading labels will become a natural instinct. In the early days, however, shopping alone can give you that added peace of mind knowing that no one is waiting on you as you read each and every label.
- Your Social Circle is Dwindling
While many newbie vegans fear that their dietary change will make them an outcast, you can certainly find vegan groups on social media, such as your local chapter of the Vegan Society.
This will help you to make some new friends who also share your love for better living while gaining helpful insights on how to succeed in this lifestyle.
- Feeling Unmotivated
There are lots of vegan doctors, nutritionists, bodybuilders, and chefs that you can follow online to help keep you motivated and inspired. In fact, vegan influencers can be a great way to discover the best vegan-friendly hotels, restaurants, and destinations. There are also plenty of resources, like Happy Cow, that make the mission to find vegan-friendly dining options easy and exciting.
Whether you’ve just hopped onto the plant-based lifestyle yesterday, or need help committing to a long-term vegan diet, we hope these tips will help you overcome some of the major obstacles you’ll come across.