Cook vegan at home. This is a pretty easy task with a wide variety of tasty vegan recipes available over the internet such as vegweb.com and the spread of vegan cookbooks, such as Veganomicon, available at most bookstores.
Start with fast and easy vegan foods. This could include bean burritos, spaghetti, salads, veggie burgers, chili, french fries, tofu lasagna and veggie stir fries.
Learn how to cook vegan. Check with your local co-op at themix.coop for cooking classes on vegan cooking and baking.
Vegan diets can be healthy at all stages of life. When eating a diet based on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, a few nutritional needs of vegan diets are often of concern. With a little planning, none of these are hard to reach:
- Calcium: Kale, broccoli, calcium-set tofu, fortified orange juice, and almonds are good sources of calcium. Unless you’re eating a lot of these and other high-calcium foods regularly, you may want to take a mineral supplent. For healthy bones, be sure to get adequate exercise and vitamin D, and avoid excessive amounts of caffeine, sodium, and protein.
- Iron: Many plant foods are high in iron. Beans, tofu, whole wheat and spinach are just a few examples of iron-rich foods.
- Protein: Protein requirements are easy to meet on a vegan diet, since protein is readily available in most plant foods. Tofu, lentils, peanut butter, and brown rice are all good sources of protein.
- Vitamin B12: Plant sources are not reliable sources of B12, so supplements should be taken. They are available at grocery and natural food stores. You can also use some nutritional yeast, found at co-ops in the bulk section or prepackaged. It’s tasty sprinkled on top of your foods or on popcorn!
The quest for personal purity is practically impossible. All around us are items connected in some way to animal suffering: some brands of white sugar (bone char used in processing), beer and wine (animal blood, egg whites, etc. used in refining), bicycles (animal fat in tires), roads and buildings (animal products used in curing concrete), medicine (tested on animals).
Any steps you can take to remove your support from animal exploitation are valuable. Alleviating the suffering of others is the essence of veganism. Regardless of any other beliefs we hold and however else we choose to lead our lives, we can make a conscious decision to act from kindness and compassion rather than habit and tradition.