Hello, new vegan! I was in your (probably leather) shoes just a little while ago, and I want to help you navigate the wonderful world of veganism. I also should say here that I’m not giving out medical advice, I’m not a nutritionist or a doctor, and you should check with those people before making dietary changes. All good?
First, you should know that you don’t have to go all or nothing. I’m a dietary vegan, and even then I do still eat and use bee products. I try to choose vegan options for clothes, shoes, and personal products. I think it’s a personal choice, not some mandate delivered from heaven by the vegan gods. It’s a way of living that should be fun, exciting, and accessible.
Second, get support. I live in the rural midwest. Do you think it’s easy to tell people that you’re a vegan in the land of big beef? The answer is no.
I don’t know any vegans (other than myself) at all. And I only know one vegetarian. Guess what? Now I know two vegans! 🙂 So the internet is a great place to find community if you feel isolated. Start a twitter account! Follow other vegans! It’s a fun world out there, and you’ll get lots of tips and recipes and camaraderie.
Third, learn to cook. Not all vegans know how to cook, and that’s a shame. I think EVERYBODY should know how to cook something. You don’t want to depend on frozen meals and canned junk forever. Start small, work your way up. Normal, every day cooking is fairly simple once you get the hang of it.
I’ve listed some blogs I like on the main page, but here are other places to go and products I recommend:
The Happy Herbivore (beginning cooks and simple meals)
Vegan with a Vengeance (beginner and intermediate, covers a wide variety of dishes)
Appetite for Reduction (intermediate and beginner cooks, more complicated meals)
Vegan Brunch (intermediate, for variety)
Veganomicon (intermediate, I mainly use this for reference)
Viva Vegan! (intermediate, for Latin-inspired dishes)
Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar (beginner and intermediate, for sweets)
Products & Companies I like (or love):
Maoli Perfumes (all natural vegan perfume)
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps (all natural vegan soap)
Alaffia (not everything is vegan, do your research)
Beautiful Curls (I think everything in this line is vegan)
Daiya (best non-soy vegan cheese ever!)
Teese (best soy cheese ever!)
Sweet & Sara (tasty vegan marshmallows, s’mores, other sweets)
Moop (awesome vegan bags)
Freewaters (vegan shoes that help people)
Bob’s Red Mill (lots of vegan and gluten free flours, beans, you name it!)