I have been vegan for 16 years. My how time flies when you're having fun!
The process is pretty much the same, with a TON of more vegan options these days! When I became vegan the typical "veg" option in a restaurant was a portabello mushroom sandwich. I had so many of them back then that these days I stay away from them.
What helped me in the early days was trying to connect with other vegans and checking out what they ate. I was fortunate to have started out in Norfolk, VA where there were already potlucks and an annual animal rights conference (that just so happened to be at the hotel I worked at!).
It was a process. I was extremely fortunate that I didn't have a battalion of people judging me at every step. The folks I turned to were compassionate towards all living beings, including humans. They offered support, recipes, ideas, and a way of life that has never stopped giving back more to me than I could possibly give.
These days when people ask for help I try to keep it simple. Watch what you eat (Capt'n Crunch is vegan), Try cooking at home more often. Check out vegan cookbooks and pick your favorite. Find a potluck or a meetup. Ask the manager at the grocery store you shop to carry items that will support your new path. Go online and read blogs (like this one!), especially those that have recipes and ideas around what kinds of foods to make sure you include in your meals. We have links here to many such blogs.
Finally, I want anyone thinking about going vegan to know that we have met vegans from all parts of the country (and the world), from small towns to big cities, in the most rural place in the South to Alaska. Wherever you are it is indeed possible to do this!
Thanks for reading! I'd love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post originally appeared on Dan Hanley's website The Gay Vegans. Republished with permission.