One Does Not Simply “Go Vegan”

goveganFalse. That is exactly what one does.

There isn’t a form you fill out. There isn’t a secret organization that you register with. You don’t need to worry about enduring a hazing ritual or even paying dues. You simply “Go Vegan.”

Anyone who tells you that trying out a new vegan lifestyle is hard, not worth your time, a fad, or just for dirty, hippie freaks is wrong. They are probably speaking from a place of anger, guilt, fear, or misunderstanding. You should obviously ignore what these people are saying. You may even need to remind them of the Veganaut Golden Rule: Blowing out someone else’s candle will not make yours burn any brighter. In fact, it just makes the world a darker place.

When health, environmental, or compassionate reasons lead you to the edge of the vegan pool, there is nothing stopping you from jumping in. You can choose to jump feet first, dive in head first, execute a flawless swan dive, or even make a big splash with the classic cannonball. Whatever mode of entry you use is going to result in you getting all wet and realizing that the water is way more cool and refreshing than the hot, muggy air surrounding the pool.

To “Go Vegan” you will start by taking all the meat, all the different dairy products, and all the eggs out of your house. Some people may choose to finish it all themselves before jumping in. The downside of finishing it yourself is that you will be adding a few days to the transition process that could give you or others time to change your mind. If you’ve been vegetarian or an animal heavy omnivore then you’ve already had years and years of eating the kinds of foods you are trying to get rid of. Ripping the band-aid off is a much more successful way to begin this new lifestyle.

Now you have bags of food you want to get rid of… and choices. Some may be opposed to having others to eat what they have decided to remove from their own diets. I, however, think it is a great idea. The animal sacrifices have already been made- the milk has already been taken, the animals have already been butchered, the eggs have already been factory farmed.  Donating them to people in need is a good way to honor those sacrifices and prevent the waste from being dumped in the landfill. There are other schools of thought of course but most would agree that you should just be done with it once and for all.

Next, you should find a supportive community that can answer questions and offer suggestions. It may feel like a drastic life change for a while- weeks even- but as the days and weeks turn into months, you will start to wonder what the big deal was when you first made the change. There are many places to find this kind of help. I can suggest a very supportive online community in a secret Facebook Group. The patient and caring members are excited to lend a hand, an ear, and even a recipe when you need it. Wondering if honey is vegan or where to get the most iron? They love to answer those questions. You will need to request admission but everyone is allowed in- only haters get kicked out:

After that it is time to start weeding out cleaning products and toiletries and maybe even some clothing. There are tons of vegan alternatives that manage to make a great product without using bits of various animals to do so. Finish up what you already have and then make the switch to the compassionate versions as they run out. I am still in the middle of that process with clothes. I have a wallet and a pair of dress shoes that I have had since before I was a vegan. I won’t buy the leather versions again, but I plan on using these until they fall apart and can’t be repaired again.

In all these examples, the first step is to “Go Vegan.” Just by saying the magic words, it has begun. The next steps are to make the changes discussed above. Is it impossible to live this healthy, environmentally conscious, and compassionate lifestyle? Yes, but only if you never try.


About jasongillett

I'm Jason Gillett, 2 year VEGAN, and a 41 year old family man. My wife & I teach in a FL school. I am using a blog to chronicle our family's new life. View all posts by jasongillett

6 responses to “One Does Not Simply “Go Vegan”

  • Cheryl

    Oh Jason, you are oh so right (as usual). When I decided to “go vegan” three years ago, I did exactly what you said in this post. I cleaned out not only the non-vegan food, but also all the processed foods from my home and donated them to the food bank in my community. I then cleaned out my closet and donated clothes, bags, shoes, etc. to the women’s shelter in my community. As you say, there are things that have already been sacrificed that can’t afford to be replaced like my leather furniture. For the big things like furniture I have forgiven myself for not knowing what I know now when they were purchased.

    The funny thing is when you change your eating habits and begin feeling so much better, and enlightened, you then want to get rid of all toxic products in your life. There are so many safe, cheap, dual purpose products that you already have that can take the place of all the marketed crap that you don’t need. White vinegar is one of those special products that serves in a multitude of ways.

    I encourage anyone who is on the fence, or afraid of what others might think to think for themselves and do the biggest favor to their body by choosing a vegan lifestyle. Every time someone asks if I’m still on a vegan “diet”, I say NO; I live a vegan lifestyle because it goes way beyond food, and it’s not a diet.

    • jasongillett

      You rock Cheryl! I love the cleansing process you described. Any lifestyle change that is kicked off by giving to those in need is starting off on the right foot. The women’s shelter is the perfect place to drop off the things that you don’t want to keep but that still have value. There is so much good that comes from this process- getting it out of your life, finding people in need and donating it to them- it really does honor the sacrifice in the best way.
      THANK YOU!! 🙂

  • The Savvy Sister

    Your image put the smile on my face for the day! Thanks Jason! (hope you don’t mind if I steal it and credit this post)

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