The Vegan Tool Guide

The advice, tips, food, resources and habits of long-term vegans. 

About the Guide

I interviewed over 30+ vegans who have all been leading a vegan lifestyle for well over 10 years. This guide contains the distilled experience, wisdom, advice, guidance, tips and hacks you won’t find anywhere else. 

This is a unique look at the people who are living proof that you can live a long and healthy life in a vegan lifestyle. The idea was born out of my own innate fear that a plant-based diet may not be healthy in the long-term. This fear was fuelled by the amount of misinformation out there about the longevity of a plant-based diet. I soon came to realise that I was not the only vegan worried about this aspect of veganism. 

When I reached out to the vegan community for help with this article I was simply amazed at the number of vegans who had been leading this lifestyle for well over 10 years. In fact, the average was 17.5 years across all participants and the longest was 35 years!

I hope that this article can be an invaluable source of information and guidance to all vegans out there.

The Participants

Before you get started with the guide, here are some interesting stats about the participants:

This article is not intended to be read from start to finish, it is much like a tool guide. There are 5 parts: Transition, Food & Nutrition, Lifestyle, Practicalities and Longevity. 

Using the menu below you can jump back and forth as you like. I highly suggest highlighting and copying anything that jumps off the page, that feels useful or resonates with you. 

Contents

Part 1 – Transition

Why Vegan?

Transition Time

Reaction from Friends & Family

Initial Challenges

Advice for New Vegans

Recommended Resources for Transition Period

Top 5 Tips for Transition

Part 2 – Food-and-Nutrition

Managing Nutrition

Key Nutrients

Essential Foods

Essential Shopping List (Download)

Simple Meals

Favourite Food Brands

Supplements

Top Resources for Vegan Cooking

Top 5 Tips for Vegan Cooking

Part 3 – Lifestyle

Cosmetic Brands – Men

Cosmetic Brands – Women

Household Products

Clothing Brands

Make it Yourself (DIY)

Part 4 – Practicalities

Weekly Grocery Spend

Cooking Frequency

Top 10 Tips for Eating Out

Vegan Hacks

Useful Apps

Part 5 – Longevity

Top 5 Tips for Sustaining a Long-term Plant-based Diet

What Keeps You Vegan?

How Veganism Benefits Your Life

Has Veganism Changed You?

What Other Positive Habits Have You Adopted?


Part 1 — Transition

65% of participants went from vegetarian to vegan after discovering the truth behind the dairy and egg industries.

Why did you go vegan?

Angie, 45 (UK) — “It was a transition from vegetarianism in my late 20’s… but back in the old days, I didn’t have the internet so information wasn’t readily available. I used to write out to animal welfare places asking them to send me information, so when I discovered the horrors of dairy farming I decided that 100% vegan was the way forward. And I’ve never looked back.”

Barry, 44 (UK) — ”Why did I go vegan? Simply because I thought, and still do, that animals have a right to a life free from pain and suffering and as a moral person I did not need to contribute to that suffering. Later on, these ideas developed further and I realised that veganism was better for me healthwise, better for the planet, and better for humanity”

Holly, 31 (UK) — ”I went Vegan at the age of 17. After 5 years of being Vegetarian, I couldn’t sit back and ignore how hypocritical my choice to continue using animal products was. When I realised that drinking milk was akin to eating veal, and consuming eggs was as bad as chucking a male chick into a grinder, I knew I had to change.”

Henry, 40 (USA) — “As a lifelong vegetarian, I always kind of knew that it would be morally better to extend that to not eating any animal products, including dairy. I learned that the line between the meat and dairy industries is non-existent.”

Lady Love, 45 (UK) — “The BBC showed a Cow being killed with a sledgehammer. I love animals. I was screaming. No more dead animals. Sent me down the animal rights path, found out dairy was just as bad & became vegan.”

How long did it take for you to fully transition?

45% transitioned to vegan overnight and the remaining participants took anywhere from a few weeks to 5 years.

Chris, 42 (USA) — ”I stopped eating meat on the spot and never looked back. Dairy, other animal products took a little longer but those were gone in good time too.”

Max, 56 (UK )— “Transitioned to 100% raw vegan over a period of 6 years, once I had reversed my illness.”

Neil, 56 (UK) — ”I went on a Boxing Day hunt sab in 1983 and after a hard, cold, wet day chasing the hunt around we all went back to the van. I’d left my sandwiches in there and offered to share them with my new sab comrades.

“What’s in them?”

“Cheese and tomato”

“No thanks”

“It’s vegetarian cheese. There’s no rennet in it”

“No thanks, we’re vegan”

“What?”

“We’re vegan”

“All of you” *looks around the van full. 

“Yes”

“Wow, why is that?”

And thus began my journey, as they started to explain their life choice. I asked more questions. I read up more over the next few weeks. Within two months I’d joined them in that then small group of vegans. Within a month or so more I’d joined the Vegan Society.”

What was the reaction from your family and friends?

Linda, 55 (USA) — ”They thought it was a phase or a fad. My family didn’t understand why I was making things “difficult”; friends thought it was “cool”/”different”. I remember about 2 years after I went vegan, my father was still asking me if I was still doing that “vegan thing”. I finally responded that being vegan isn’t a hobby or something I “do”… IT’S WHO I AM. He never asked me again.”

Vic, 40 (Australia) — ”Family and friends were OK with my transition. I was sometimes accused of being too “preachy” in the early stages, but they were otherwise supportive. My parents and in-laws have been terrific in accommodating us with family gatherings at the dinner table, and respect our choice even if they don’t agree with it themselves. My mother has enjoyed adapting traditional Polish food into vegan form, which we and (especially) our child enjoy very much!”

Janet, 58 (UK) — ”They were horrified and thought I gone mad and could not understand my decision.”

Darryl, 36 (Germany) — ”I was lucky that my Mum and brother were making the same changes but my dad thought it was ridiculous. He’d tell me I “needed to eat some meat” every time I saw him, despite the fact that I was in good shape. It’s not his fault, though; I really do believe he’s just a product of the conditioning we all have been through over the years. I’ve since tried explaining things to him and he’s told me he’s too old to make a change. The hard thing is getting people to want to change; not making the change itself. Most of my close friends were fine with it but a few loved to make jokes. One of those, funnily enough, is now vegan and a big advocate for the lifestyle. He took his own path and figured things out for himself and that makes me really happy. It’s funny to talk about books like “How Not to Die” with him and hear how enthusiastic he is when 15 years ago he was the one laughing at people not eating meat. All it takes is education.”

What were the challenges you faced?

Akudo, 26 (USA) – “When I first went vegan, it wasn’t widely heard of. My biggest challenge was making sure my products didn’t have animal products in them- going to school near a Wholefoods helped. Now my biggest “issue” is that a lot of people hate vegans. It’s difficult to wake up and already see so much hatred and anger about vegans, black people, women, and black women because those are all groups I belong to. All of it together sometimes seems like too much and makes me very depressed because I Iove everyone and I’ve never disliked or hated another. It’s hard to constantly give out kindness and consideration only to be handed back hatred almost constantly. 

Another huge pain point is seeing so much cruelty so transparently exposed, EVERYWHERE but seeing people so disconnected and disengaged from basic humanity. Animals’ suffering means less than nothing to people, no matter how much they know is happening because they pay for it and that has been the most emotionally damaging part of becoming vegan. Having my eyes opened is as liberating as it is depressing.”

Rachael, 40 (USA) — ”Social challenges are the most difficult, like being teased by coworkers, or neighbours trying to slip you meat on the sly or friends trying to tempt you into cheese with your wine. I learned that if you remain good-natured, and stay true to the course, the people who tease you will start to become curious and start to ask real questions about being vegan.”

Jennifer, 36 (USA) — ”I missed cheese the most, and vegan cheese in 2008 wasn’t the best, but I ate it!  Sometimes going out to eat was a challenge, as stated above, due to the lack of vegan options.  Whenever I was confronted with a challenge, I just remembered WHY I went vegan– for the animals.”

Gaia, 58 (USA) — ”Any time I changed my diet (which included a period of being gluten-free one of my parents would take a long time to remember my change. When I was a teenager my dad accused me of being self-righteous when I told a friend that I didn’t eat meat. that comment still sits in my head. As I came to know more about nutrition my parents have learned from me and eat a more plant-based diet, I think my partner and (to a small amount) youngest son eat less cheese. But still, when my partner orders Chinese food, she often gets dishes with egg by accident.”

Max, 56 (UK) — ”None whatsoever. I went from a medical write off to a long distance runner who is turbo-fit and also climbs mountains and gained a black belt in karate. What’s not to love? I am a fully focused and driven individual and I don’t let anything stand in my way when I have a major goal to achieve. On social occasions I bring my own food, or eat cooked vegan food when I go out and there are no raw options available. Eating raw is not a religion. I love my food, and if the occasion dictates that I have to eat cooked food, I have it, as long as it is vegan. That’s the one factor I will not compromise on.”

Rachel, 30 (UK) — “I had difficulty accessing enough vegan food when I was still living with my parents and unable to shop or cook for myself. I’d sometimes feel nervous about telling people I was vegan in case they judged me negatively. Eating out used to be difficult, but it’s getting much easier now.”

Anneka, 33 (UK) — ”I think that it was a very lonely life because everything wasn’t super connected then. So, it was very isolating and I found myself being very apologetic for being vegan. So back then they would ask me and I would joke about each to their own and actively encourage them to eat meat and dairy just to get the attention away from me. Socially I always knew that I would have to make sacrifices and I didn’t mind. I paid my dues with dry potato and salad many a time. Weirdly, the psychological side of it didn’t really kick in until a second reawakening for me, probably with social media, where I started making more and more connections, to the animals in the fields, to zoos, everything like that. There have definitely been angry stages, sad stages, hopeless stages.”

Justine, 55 (USA) —“Initially, not many challenges for me. I did have a couple of “slip-ups” in the first couple of years, where I ended up eating cheese pizza when there was nothing else to eat (and wound up very sick within a day or two.”

What advice would you give to those who are interested in veganism or those just starting out?

Lisa, 38 (UK) – “There has never been an easier time to go vegan with so many vegan options out there. Enjoy!”

Janet, 58 (UK) — ”Read up about it thoroughly, a) so you eat correctly and b) can answer questions that you will be asked by family/friends… Plan your diet to ensure you get specific nutrients… Don’t live off ready-made processed foods, they have their place, but they can be full of fat, sugar and low fibre… A vegan diet can be as unhealthy as the next. Don’t become a vegan bore, try to get your point across to family and friends, but don’t be militant about it, turns people off..”

Barry, 44 (UK) — “The best advice is just to try it! Don’t beat yourself up if you stumble or fail! It’s not a race and every plant-based meal or ethical choice is a good one. You can’t actually do it ‘wrong’. If it doesn’t work out you haven’t lost anything. It was honestly the best decision I ever made. I have never looked back and now in my mid-forties am a healthy, happy individual. I’ve always looked young but I am amazed at how ‘old’ my peers look. I am convinced veganism has helped me look youthful into later years”

Darryl, 36 (Germany)—“I’d start by telling them that this will be the best decision they’ll make. I’d also tell them that they should take it slow, do their research, and not jump in without knowing a little about it. There’s never been a better time to transition to veganism and there are so many resources out there to help.”

Akudo, 26 (USA) — “Just do it! Veganize the foods you love to eat. Pay attention to your nutrition and make sure you’re getting everything you need (make sure you know what you need, most people, not just vegans, don’t). Veganism doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be (un)healthy, it doesn’t have to be raw, it doesn’t have to be anything but cruelty-free, so find a way that works for you. Lastly, I would encourage people to try new things. Learning to cook especially will open your mind to new foods”

Krista, 30 (USA)—“Take it slow and don’t be afraid to ask for help. There’s so many of us on social media that would leap at the chance to talk to you about your veganism and do anything to help you.”

There were hundreds of resources provided by the participants. Here were the top 10 recommended:

Earthlings (Documentary)

Earthling Ed (Activist)

Animal Liberation by Peter Singer (Book)

Cowspiracy (Documentary)

Vegan Society (Educational Charity)

Forks Over Knives (Documentary & Website)

Dominion (Documentary)

What the Health ( Documentary)

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer (Book) 

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism by Conari Press (Book)

Top 5 tips for people transitioning to veganism

I asked each participant for their top 5 pieces of advice. Here were the most frequent:

1. Community

35% of respondents said it was important to establish a support network. This included making vegan friends, joining vegan groups on Facebook, signing up to Twitter or Instagram. 

Here are the top recommended online communities:

Facebook Groups
Twitter — People to Follow

If you create an account, go to my page @memanmevegan and follow everyone I follow. You will have an instant vegan community at your fingertips. I can’t recommend Twitter enough, it’s been a constant source of positivity and relentless support for me and I know it is for thousands of others. 

Instagram — People to Follow

Here were the most popular people recommended to follow on Instagram. You can follow me @meman.mevegan

2. Educate yourself 

32% of respondents said it was imperative you educate yourself on veganism. This included animals rights, recipes, nutrition and how to speak about your veganism to others. 

Top Resources

3. Take it slow

30% of the respondents advised that you take it slow. That you relax and don’t be too hard on yourself when starting out. Slips ups and setbacks are inevitable but you should continue. 

Don’t put so much pressure on yourself!

4. Establish your reasons

Our long-term vegans said that it’s important to first understand why you want to be vegan. I wrote about this when I first started my website over a year ago. Write down why you want to be vegan. Is it for the animals, health, environment or all three? 

It’s important to know why because the people around you may just question you about it…all the time. Be true to yourself and hold your ground. You will have situations in which people try to talk you out of it or devalue your choice. Knowing why your vegan and being confident with that reason helps.

Remember, going vegan is not a diet change. It’s a values change. 

5. Use Alternatives 

The majority of respondents said utilizing the meat/cheese/dairy alternatives now available is a great way to help with your transition. It’s not wrong that you still crave animal products after deciding to go vegan. It’s the flavours and textures you are craving. Alternatives are improving each week. Try them out and see which ones you like. 

Part 2— Food and Nutrition

Do you manage your diet/nutrition and if so, how?

58% do not track their nutrition and 54% regularly eat ‘superfoods’.

Vic, 40 (Australia) — “The main thing I do is try to maintain as balanced a diet as I can to ensure I’m getting my nutrients from whole foods and/or fortified processed vegan foods.”

But I still indulge in vegan junk food from time to time!’

Krista, 30 (USA) — ”I track everything I eat in a free iPhone app called Cronometer.”

Gary, 61 (UK) — ”Not really to be honest, just eat a varied diet.”

Darryl, 36 (Germany) —“Not really. At one point last summer I tracked all of my calories for a month using Cronometer. It was a lot of work but I wanted to see where I was at with my nutrition. Not a day went by when I wasn’t getting a great ratio of macronutrients (for me, that’s 60% carbohydrates, 20% protein, and 20% fat), all of the essential micronutrients (I supplemented B12 by taking tablets or using B12-fortified nutritional yeast), and all of the essential amino acids (protein). Having all this information in Cronometer was great as when I was asked where I get my protein I could actually show people the breakdown of my day and see how shocked they where that I could hit all my goals without eating meat or dairy. I actually got a few non-vegan friends to try tracking their calories and they were surprised to see how far off they were with regard to meeting their daily nutritional needs by eating a traditional diet based around meat and dairy.”

In your experience, what are the key nutrients vegans should focus on getting enough of?

The majority of respondents said B12 was the main nutrient vegans should focus on getting enough of. Others suggested thinking about Vitamin D, omega-3, iron and calcium.

Barry, 44 (UK) — “The only thing vegans ‘naturally’ struggle to get is Vitamin B12. For years I never bothered with it but as I have got older and have read studies about B12 deficiency and memory in older persons I decided a few years ago to make sure I got enough by supplementation.”

Christina, 33 (UK)—“I know I should probably keep a closer eye on this, but I think as long as you are eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruit, veg, carbs, protein, the occasional treat, then the main thing is to be healthy and happy. If you aren’t those two things, it’s time to re-assess. I know when I’ve had a particularly unhealthy few days, I need to re-adjust my diet and get back on track.”

Stella, 50 (UK) —“People always worry that vegans aren’t getting enough protein, but it is present in so many foods that it isn’t a great concern. Your focus needs to shift to calcium, good oils (omega 3 and 6), and ensuring you are getting plenty of vitamins (such as D and B12), and minerals (such as iron). It is easy to obtain the majority of these through food, but I would recommend a supplement for B12 if you are not consuming foods that have it added.”

Stephanie, 26 (UK)—“Carbs are super important, so I eat a lot of carbs to keep my energy up & keep me feeling full. Besides that, I don’t focus on specific nutrients too much. I find that when people focus on eating healthy in general, every day, they get plenty of nutrients.”

Max, 56 (UK) — ”B12, Omegas, vitamin D3.”

Lisa, 38 (UK)—“Iron, B12 and protein are the big ones but I have never had a problem with any and never been deficient in any and I am on Team GB for my age group as an athlete 

What foods are always in your cupboard and fridge?

I asked each of our vegans what foods are always in their cupboard or fridge in an attempt to draw up a basic vegan shopping list. You can download a printable version below

Please note that cheese, meat, milk, butter, chocolate and yoghurt all refer to the vegan versions of these foods. 

What is your ‘lazy’ go-to vegan meal at home?

So what do our veteran vegans cook when they want to eat something quick and easy? Here were the top suggestions:

I recently interviewed The Dirty Vegan and asked him:


What is your go-to vegan meal when you can’t be arsed to cook?

Raw veg and hummus dip.

What meal would you cook for non-vegan friends? 

My 5 bean chilli, I love it.

Favourite vegan food brands?

The top 10 vegan brands recommended by our participants were:

What supplements do you take (if any)?

51% of participants take a B12 supplement, 29% take a multivitamin, 9% take Vitamin D and 16% of participants don’t take any supplements at all.

There was a general emphasis on B12 throughout all the participants. Even those that did not take a B12 supplement said that they were aware of the importance and will start taking one at some point in the future. 

Those that do not take any supplements at all emphasised the importance of a varied whole foods diet. 

Top Recommended B12 Supplements:





What resources do you use for cooking?

Here is a list of the most popular sources participants recommended for cooking:

Websites
Books

Top tips for those new to plant-based cooking?

1. Use the Internet

Most of our vegans said using the internet such as Google search and Pinterest were by far the best ways to start cooking vegan. There is so much information out there!

2. Start Simple

Try starting with simple and quick recipes. My ‘5 Lazy Vegan Recipes’ article is a good start. I also like Veganuary’s Quick & Easy section of their website. 

3. Experiment

I love that this came up amongst the majority of our vegans because I think it is absolutely crucial that you get experimental in the kitchen as a vegan. It’s great to try new foods, new methods and flavours. I’ve learnt to love so many new foods in the last few years. 

4. Buy a Vegan Cookbook

A great way to start cooking is by getting a book that tells you exactly how to do it. You can see our participants’ recommendations here. 

5. Embrace Vegetables & Use Alternatives

Vegetables are a lot tastier and versatile than you probably think. Start making vegetables the main event of your dishes. Find your favourite meat alternatives and start incorporating them too. You can find the most recommended brands here.

Part 3— Lifestyle

What vegan cosmetic brands, if any, do you use?

Men

Please note not all brands below are 100% vegan, some just sell vegan products. If in doubt, always look for the Leaping Bunny logo. Make sure you check out the meman mevegan store too. 

Skincare

Shaving

Aftershave

Deodorant 

Shampoo & Conditioner 

Dental 

Women

Please note that I have linked to the specific products for each brand BUT NOT all the brands below are 100% vegan, some just sell vegan products. If in doubt, always look for the Leaping Bunny logo. It’s always worth using the Logical Harmony website to be sure before buying. 

Cleansing

Make-up Remover

Exfoliating

Masks

Toning

Serum

Moisturizing

Sunscreen

Primer

Foundation

Mascara

Liner

Eye shadow

Blush

Lips

Makeup Brushes

Nails

Haircare

Perfume

Other Recommended Women’s Vegan Cosmetic Companies:

What vegan house products do you use?

Here are the top recommended house cleaning products. Always double check for the Leaping Bunny logo.

If in the UK, you can use the Vegan Womble website to find vegan household products. 

What vegan clothing companies, if any, do you buy from?

Any vegan DIY methods you use?

Food
Cleaning
  • Vinegar as a natural disinfectant (cleaner)
  • Vinegar and bicarbonate soda to unblock drains
  • Laundry detergent
Cosmetics 

Part 4— Practicalities 

How much do you spend on food per week (average)?

The average weekly food spend was $48/£38. Most participants stressed the importance of having a well-stocked dry store cupboard.

How often do you cook in the week?

42% of participants said they cook their meals every day. Most people cook each weekday and indulge at restaurants/take-a-ways at the weekend. 

Top 10 tips when eating out?

I collated all of the tips provided and have given the top 10 below:

1. Do your research

The internet is your best friend. A click of button and you should eb able to find vegan-friendly places nearby. 

2. Look at the menu online 

Most restaurants now have their menu on their website or their Facebook page.

3. Email/call them beforehand

Most places are happy to discuss your options. This will save you a lot of time. 

4. Learn to ‘Veganize’

This is a vegan skill you must learn. You learn through practice. Look at what can be swapped out or removed to make a dish vegan. 

5. Don’t be afraid to ask

Ask your waiter to help you out, speak to the chef or even the manager. But don’t be afraid to do so because 9/10 they will be willing to assist you. 

6. Express gratitude

I’m happy this was mentioned by so many of the participants. I think its important vegans are friendly in restaurants and show appreciation when they are helped. It helps restaurants become more vegan-friendly. Maybe they even start adding vegan dishes to the menu as a result. 

7. Use Happy Cow

The Happy Cow website and app allows you to find vegan-friendly places at the click of a button. Use it! 

8. Eat at vegan places (when possible)

If you have the option then support your local vegan business as much as possible!

9. Speak to the Manager/Chef

If you literally have no idea what you can eat even after trying to ‘veganize meals then don’t be afraid to speak to the manager or chef. Some of the best restaurant experiences I’ve had were when I spoke to the management first.

10. Be Nice

Unfortunately, not all people are friendly and that includes vegans too. If there are no options on the menu, don’t make a fuss about it. Just speak to someone nicely to see what can be done to accommodate you. 

Do you have any special vegan hacks or tips (meal planning, food prep, special equipment etc..)?

Here were the top vegan hacks provided by our participants:

1. Always make your own hummus (If making with dried chickpeas always add baking soda when soaking) 

2. Buy a spiralizer 

3. Meal planning

4. Learn to read labels

5. Buy a yoghurt maker

6. Always have frozen bananas!

7. Buy a pressure cooker

8. Batch cook and freeze

9. Always carry snacks 

10. Buy a decent blender or juicer

11. Always press your tofu, microwave with marinade for 8 minutes and leave in fridge overnight

12. Unsweetened apple sauce instead of eggs

13. Cook Linda McCartney’s sausages in the microwave

Most Useful Apps

1. Happy Cow

Helps find vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants in your area no matter where you are in the world. 

2. MyFitnessPal

Tracks your nutrition and calories.

3. Fussy Vegan Scanner

Scan the barcode on grocery products to find out if the product is vegan or not.

4. Cronometer

Just like MyFitnessPal above but focused on whole foods.

5. Food Monster 

Created by the guys over at One Green Planet. Instant access to 1000’s of vegan recipes. 

6. MySupermarket

Compares supermarket prices so you can shop smarter. 

7. Twitter

Join an amazing community of supportive vegans. 

Part 5— Longevity

What are your top 5 tips for sustaining a long-term plant-based diet?

Here were the most popular answers to sustaining a plant-based diet long-term:

1. Know Why

By far the most popular tip given by our participants. Know why you are making this choice. 

2. Eat Healthy, Balanced and Varied

Make sure you’re eating healthy foods in abundance. Don’t sip into the junk food vegan life and be conscious of your nutrition.  

3. Community

Use your support system of family and friends. If you don’t have one, find one. If you can’t find one get online and be part of one. 

4. Don’t Give Up

Keep at it, always. 

5. Educate

Never stop learning about animal rights, cooking and keep up to date with vegan news. Never stop trying to teach others. 

What has kept you vegan all these years?

I was going to create another top 5 list for this question but I soon realised that the answer for pretty much everyone involved was this:

Compassion. 

Each participant stated that their deep compassion for animals, people and the planet kept them vegan. 

How would you say going vegan has benefited your life?

Akudo McGee, 26 (USA) — “It’s made me more aware of the world around me and the feelings of others. Since a young age I’ve also learned to be more conscientious and considerate, cook and learn for myself, and to be independent. I’ve never been a conformist but I’m often-times too shy to stand up for myself, I will always, however, stand up for animals and I think that is what really helped establish my sense of self. My ability to stand up for those I knew needed me, imprinted in me a love for justice, equality, and understanding, while making me unafraid to stand out, even if I was standing alone.”

Helen Culyer, 45 (UK) — “I feel healthy. I feel confident and happy with my lifestyle. I feel whole.”

Henry Babcok, 40 (USA) — “It has been liberating.”

Jennifer, 36 (USA )— “I’m living in accordance with my conscious and my beliefs, and I am so happy about that. I have met some amazing people. I have eaten some amazing food. Going vegan is the single best decision I have ever made.”

Vic, 40 (Aus) — “I lost 40kg in the transition. I started enjoying vegetables. I’ve made so many close friends. Most of all, I’m happy every day when I think of the harm I’m no longer contributing to.”

Darryl, 36 (Germany) — “I’m more mindful, I’m healthier, and I don’t have to feel guilty after eating a meal.”

Do you feel you have changed much as a person?

Barry, 44 (UK) — “I was a good person and a moral person before going vegan. I consider myself a compassionate, empathic person and I try my best to be a good person every day.

I don’t think veganism ‘changed’ me, rather it was a natural extension of who I am and how I view the world.”

Christina, 33 (UK) — “I’ve been vegan so long that I don’t know how much I can attribute just to being vegan, but I would say that being vegan makes you much more aware of your impact on the world around you — it reaches far further than your plate, it’s how you choose to live your daily life.”

Henry, 40 (USA) — “I feel like I’ve gradually been changing toward the better in subtle and profound ways. Becoming vegan has been one important part of that. It’s hard to imagine myself not being vegan at this point. It’s really not difficult nowadays.”

Margot, 55 (USA) — “I am more calm and centered and able to see past someone else’s traumas”

Max, 56 (UK) — “Hugely. My overall wellbeing has improved beyond measure. I am much more conscious and focused.”

Rachel, 30 (UK) — “I’ve always cared about animals and the environment, going vegan was just putting it into action.”

Chris, 42 (USA) — “It’s made me a more compassionate person in general. I look at everything I do through the same lens that made me go vegan — I try to be a good person to any and all living creatures, and to just “do good” whenever possible.”

Have you adopted any other positive habits in your life as a result of going vegan?

Here are all the positive habits adopted by our participants since going vegan in order of popularity.

More Ethical 

Over 50% of people said they were generally more ethical. Most people mentioned buying organic, fairtrade and local products where possible. Some mentioned driving their car less and cycling more. Others talked about ensuring their clothes were made ethically too or opting to only buy from 2nd hand stores. 

Healthy Habits 

Again, over 50% reported eating healthier, being more active and practising mindfulness through meditation.  

Compassion

Many people said that their compassion extended into many areas of their lives including relationships with family and friends. Many also said they had become far more charitable, giving money to those in need or wildlife projects around the world. Many even started volunteering for beach/street cleanups in their community. 

Less Waste

32% of people said they were actively working towards less or zero waste. 

Cooking Skills

Many people said their cooking skills had improved significantly and they were far more experimental with food. People also reported eating a large variety of foods.

Nutritional Literacy

Participants also reported that they knew more about nutrition. They understand what foods they require to be healthier and more vital. 

Spiritual

Some people said they had become more spiritual as a result of going vegan. That they felt more connected to the planet and the universe. 

Nature

Participants also said they had a greater appreciation for nature and wildlife. They found themselves wanting to spend more time in nature and less time in the city.

Focus

Many said they felt they were more focused with work, commitments and personal projects as a vegan. Some mentioned that they had developed a better mindset to help make positive changes in their life. 

Less stress

A significant amount of the participants said they feel less stressed. That they could see stress within others and were better able to help them. 

Assertiveness 

As a result of activism and standing up for the voiceless, people reported they had become more confident and assertive as a result. 

Gardening 

Some participants expressed love for gardening and growing their own food.

Conclusion

I think it’s fair to say that if any of you thought for a moment that maintaining a plant-based diet was not possible long-term, those thoughts have now been put to rest.

This guide was extremely useful to me and I hope it serves you the same. I enjoyed putting it together and I will be expanding my research to create an even more comprehensive guide to veganism using other experienced vegans knowledge. Watch this space!

Acknowledgements

I would like to say a huge thank you to all the vegans that helped to create this guide! Thank you for taking part! You can follow all our vegans on Twitter using the list below:

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