As time goes by, we find ourselves wondering if the growth of the vegan community has made things easier for vegans, or if the lifestyle is still very challenging. The challenges aren’t only food-related, either. It can also be hard for veteran vegans alike to find information, just because of the abundance of it online nowadays.
Either way, we wanted to put together a list of challenges that vegans face on the daily, give some tips to help you overcome them, and provide you with some sources that can come in handy whether you’re looking for a recipe to impress your friends and family, or you’d like to engage with the community. Stay until the end if you would like to know how Vitally Vegan helps the community stay on track with their diet!
Now, if you’ve been a vegan for a long time, or you’re just getting accustomed to this lifestyle, you must have encountered some challenges that all vegans can relate to at some point in their journey. The list is pretty much endless, but we’ve gathered some of the most common struggles vegans come across during their lifetime.
Going Out to Eat
Whether you’re going to a restaurant, to a family or friend’s house, or travelling on a plane, vegan options can be hard to spot, and it can become one of the most stressful activities for vegans. You get nervous beforehand when going out to a restaurant, because you might end up not eating anything at all, and, as a consequence, not enjoying your time with your friends.
Although, in a country like the UK, we can clearly see things getting better with more vegetarian and vegan options (healthy or not, that’s debatable, but vegan, nonetheless), there are still many restaurants that don’t offer a great variety of options, and sometimes your family or friends are not as informed as you about what is vegan, and what is not.
No matter what the situation might be, we have a couple of tips for you that can make those moments less awkward for you.
Plan everything ahead!
Take the wheel by researching the vegan options nearby, and take your friends out to those places. This will help you be less stressed about it, and your friends might end up liking the new discovery!
If your friends end up picking the restaurant, look up the menu beforehand so you can plan your meals based on the options available, or even order something personalized to your taste (remember, you can make any meal vegan!).
Worst case scenario, none of this works, and you’ll have to end up ordering fries and a plain salad. You can always eat at home before going out. This means you’re full, and can enjoy your loved ones’ company without starving or constantly thinking about food.
Regarding family gatherings, you can always take a vegan option with you to ensure you’ll have something to eat.
When travelling, just doing some research ahead about local restaurants and vegan options to make it much easier for you to enjoy your vacation!
Social Settings and Pressure
The media, family, and sometimes even the vegan community itself all still believe the stereotypes about those who decide to follow a vegan lifestyle. During discussions, you might find yourself feeling like everyone is judging your choices, and nobody is willing to support you. So, how do you deal with this kind of pressure, and change the course of the conversation to your benefit?
If your family is sceptical about your decisions, it’s because they worry about your health. It’s all out of love, as misinformed as they might be. We find cooking for them, showing them how extensive are your vegan meals options are and how happy and healthy you are will probably change their point of view towards your choices. Being positive and patient instead of defensive, and remembering the reasons why you became vegan can always help you ground your feelings, and show those around you the benefits of your new lifestyle, without the need to over-explain yourself. Try and be informative now and then, when the mood in the room is right for it, instead of constantly throwing facts at people. It’ll help them see veganism in a different light. Change doesn’t come all at once, but one drop at a time, and patience is key!
Finding Vegan Products: Grocery, Clothing and Beauty
We all know vegan products can be pricey. Yes, it is unfair, but as the community continues to grow, so will the demand for vegan options, and hopefully that will change the current situation.
Grocery shopping: one of the most challenging things for vegans is food shopping. Not being 100% sure whether something is vegan or not can be frustrating, and the options are always limited. Having to read label after label can be tiresome, which is why having apps like "Is it Vegan?" makes it easier for you to find a variety of vegan options in your local supermarket. You can also try and go shopping in a vegan store. Sure, it’s more expensive, but at least you don’t have to keep looking at the labels to make sure the products suits your dietary needs.
Clothing and Beauty: nowadays there are more and more brands that offer 100% ethical and vegan options. Shopping locally can be surprisingly effective when looking for vegan options. Now, not everyone can afford the prices of cruelty-free and ethical local brands.There are big stores that are cruelty-free, but not always ethical. So here’s a list of vegan and ethical clothing brands that have fashionable options at different price points to suit everyone.
The same goes for beauty products. Finding a good quality brand that is cruelty-free and affordable can be tricky, especially when there are still many countries, like France or the UK, that allow testing on animals. However, brands that sell cruelty-free, vegan products are very transparent about it; you can find that information easily when accessing their physical stores, or even when searching for them online. This article by “Cruelty-Free Kitty” just goes to show the amount of cruelty-free makeup brands that exist out there!
At Vitally Vegan, we like helpful and informative lists, and since this article is all about helping new and veteran vegans find good online sources, we made a list of vegan food sources, lifestyle sources, vegan news and social groups to make your journey a little bit easier.
Food & Recipes
The Little Blog Of Vegan is not only a great source for homemade vegan recipes, but also for health advice and even beauty reviews.
Veggie Desserts has a section of vegan dessert recipes for those who have a sweet tooth, as well as healthy vegan meals.
Rebel Recipes is a great source for a variety of healthy, plant-based recipes and vegan treats.
The Veg Space offers easy recipes for comfort food,ranging from hearty soups and pasta recipes to amazing vegan desserts.
Romylondonuk is a London-based, young vegan blogger who shares her plant-based and cruelty-free lifestyle.
Fat Gay Vegan is a very helpful blog for things like finding vegan-friendly restaurants, reviews and event announcements.
Mo'Adore is run by a Glasgow-based blogger who shares recipes, vegan-food sources, restaurant reviews and general vegan lifestyle tips.
For those who like travelling, Vegan In Brighton is a great source, as the owner likes to share her adventures in vegan restaurants and cafes all around the world, as well as giving an insight on the vegan culture in the countries she visits.
The Vegan 8 is a great source of educational content about vegan food, and it specialises in vegan recipes featuring 8 ingredients or less.
The Save Movement is a global network of activists that shed light on farming, advocating veganism, and promoting love-based grassroots activism.
The Vegan Health is a website containing a lot of information for vegans, whether you're new to the diet or a veteran.
VegNews is a global news website that writes about everything vegan; from product releases, to health and wellness news, it’s all categorised so it’s simple for people to get informed.
Veganuary has a great list of local and nationwide vegan groups. Just look up your location, and join in!
The Vegan Society is dedicated to inform people about how to use their skills to be an advocate for animals, as well as how to find ways to get involved in your local vegan community.
Daily tips, and how Vitally Vegan can help
Everyone knows that veganism can sometimes be intimidating. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for your beliefs, and practise those values in your daily life. Our best advice is to take it step by step, and don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re trying to improve a little bit every day, and in the end, that is all that matters.At Vitally Vegan, we pride ourselves on offering you products that can help you on maintaining a healthy vegan diet, and give you a routine to keep you on track. Try out our protein powders to help you start your day with a positive and healthy mind!