Three ways to
become a Veg*n
You may not even
need to refer to this page if you've already taken complete steps
to become veggie. But, it's worth remembering that by stopping
meat instantly, there's a risk that you might give in to a meaty
craving ... and that could be the end of all your amazing efforts!
So, if you think you might fall into that category maybe "Option
1" of The Turning Year is a safer bet for you.
The Turning Year is gradual, taking one year
to complete. This method allows you to turn vegetarian in the
most seamless way possible, with little or no craving for meat
by the end of the year.
NOTICE: Before making any extreme changes to your diet, VeggieGlobal
suggests that you seek medical advice first.
This is so you can be individually assessed for any possible nutritional
deficiency you may already have - or in case you have any other
health problems that require a specific diet.
The Turning Year
In the first three months eat red meat
only once a week. (You can continue
with white meats and fish during this period) On the other days
eat either white meat, fish or meat-like alternatives. At the end
of those three months stop red meat completely and replace that
one day each week with a meat-like substitute. Do this for one month.
With red meat now cut from your diet turn your attention to white
meats. Over the next three months eat white meats only once a week.
(You can continue with fish during this period) At the end of those
three months stop white meat altogether. For the next month replace
white meats completely with a meat-like alternative.
With white and red meat now completely eliminated from your diet,
it's time to stop fish. Over the next three months eat fish only
once a week. At the end of those three months stop fish altogether.
For the next month spend time making sure that you have eliminated
all foods from your diet that contain animal derivatives. i.e. cheese
with animal rennet, any sweets which contain gelatine, animal products
in cosmetics. Please also remember: to be a true vegetarian you
should stop buying new leather products as well. (There are great
leather-like alternatives available.)
There are many convincing meat-like
substitutes in all supermarkets. Like veggieburgers, veggie mince,
veggie steaks veggie bacon etc., mostly made from Soya proteins,
which can even contain higher protein levels than meat. Try a few
makes, as some taste identical, if not even "better" than
animal meat. Spicy beanburgers are yummy too.
Soya, tofu, seitan, quorn, and fungi (wonderful mushroom assortments)
are the most common meat replacements. These can be turned into
From the very start of "The Turning Year" you should refrain
from eating cheeses that are not vegetarian.
You won't be loosing out on anything by doing this because there
are many popular cheeses that don't contain parts of a dead calf.
This exercise should subliminally give you a thoughtful insight
into what kinds of foods you are eating and help you realize how
to eat with compassion.
(A famous make of Worcestershire sauce contains anchovy, which is
a fish* - however there are other makes of Worcestershire
sauce that are vegetarian ).
*Products Note: Lee and Perrins Worcestershire
sauce contains anchovies, but there
are vegetarian Worcester sauces available, which you should find
in good health food shops.
In 2004 Bovril became vegetarian and nobody could tell the difference
that the beef stock had been replaced by a savoury yeast mix. This
was great news for veggies. VeggieGlobal even tested the "veggie"
Bovril on some die-hard meat-eaters and none could tell the difference.
But for some ludicrous reason in late 2006 Unilever, the makers
of Bovril, decided to put the beef back. Beside being a loss to
vegetarians it's a mad move by Unilever because instead of gaining
more customers they have lost a few million vegetarian Bovril buyers!
So, veggies remember, Bovril is now NOT vegetarian, and Unilever
will not be producing a vegetarian version.
Options 2 and 3.
2. You wish to
change all in one go.
Make sure you are already
familiar with the veggie alternatives and their relative nutritional
content (see nutrition
guide ) and also where to source the products.
With such a wide variety of options to choose from in most supermarkets,
the choice to stop eating meat and fish immediately has become
far more viable in the last few years.
3. Do it all in one go, whilst avoiding anything designed to
taste or look like parts of an animal.
In other words, not
eating processed meat-like alternatives like Quorn and soy mince
or fake bacon type products. This is quite a lot harder and requires
an educated understanding of alternative diet requirements. You
need to be quite well organised and make sure you eat pulses and
nuts each day, such as lentils, chickpeas, beans, cashews, brazil
nuts etc. More details can be found on our nutrition
The Vegan Year.
Taking the step
Just like the one year approach
to becoming vegetarian you can add a second year taking incremental
steps to become vegan. It doesn't have to be straight after the
vegetarian year. Take your time and consider the vegan step when
it suits you and that you feel confident about your dietary intake
of essential nutrients.
For the first four months reduce and finally stop eating cheeses
and all other dairy products including milk. You may wish to top
up with vegan calcium supplements until you learn how to source
enough calcium from plant based foods such as certain nuts and
dark green leafy vegetables etc. (see http://www.veggieglobal.com/nutrition/minerals.htm#calcium)
For the next four months reduce and finally stop eating eggs.
And finally, for the last four months of the year you can reduce
and finally stop other non vegan foods such as honey. VeggieGlobal
does however raise environmental concerns about certain outmoded
vegan ethics regarding honey consumption as explained
here. VeggieGlobal suggests that
you make informed decisions about the pros and cons of becoming
either a "responsible vegetarian" or orthodox "vegan".
There are arguments for either and it is personal choice.
Choosing products suitable for veg*ns
when you are out shopping can be a minefield of confusion! Although
it's simply impossible to list the name of every product sold in
the world, the next step gives you tables of product types that
you need to be aware of when selecting veggie-friendly options.
To Step 6 > Watch
out For ...