The Complete Guide To
Getting Started With Veganism
What, Why, How, When, and What Next?

Everyone claims to be an animal lover, yet hardly anyone is vegan.

Clearly, something is not in sync here.

All going vegan means is using your existing ability for rational reasoning to align your day to day actions with your existing ethical beliefs.

The most prominent and universal of these beliefs is that it is wrong to cause unnecessary harm to animals.

As the following graphic 8-minute video, that documents standard industry procedures that animals go through on their way to supermarkets and butchers, makes abundantly clear...

Eating animals causes them immense harm.


"Yes, but we need to eat animals to survive, right?"

Are you implying that you cannot be healthy without consuming animal products?

As the following video featuring Michael Greger from NutritionFacts.org makes clear...

Not only is eating animals unnecessary for optimal human health but actually extremely detrimental to our health.

So...

If we all believe it is immoral to cause unnecessary harm to animals...

and eating animals causes them harm...

and is also unnecessary...

Then why does nearly everyone eat animals?

Because most people never ask themselves these questions.

These questions have uncomfortable answers.

The only logical result of this line of simple questioning is to stop eating animals.

Most people have been eating animals or animal products three times a day for decades.

The realisation that this habit is in direct opposition to the true direction of your moral compass is an understandably uncomfortable confrontation.

There are lots of excuses people use to avoid admitting the true implications of this conclusion...

But at the end of the day it comes down to just one simple question...

Do you value temporary taste sensations over the life of an animal?

While other animals may not have the same level of consciousness as humans do, they are sentient beings capable of experiencing pain, pleasure, fear and joy. They can feel scared and they can feel loved.

Most vegan's do not believe other animals deserve equal moral consideration as humans, but we all agree on one thing: in their capacity to suffer, all animals are our equals.

Especially when you consider that 21st century technology is at the point where we can simulate the taste and texture of animal foods to the extent that they are indistinguishable from the real thing eating them is becoming even more unnecessary all the time.


So, if we want it to, vegan food can even taste the same.

Before we get into the details of all the other reasons to go vegan, let's look at what exactly veganism is.

Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.
- The Vegan Society

In practice, this means vegans eat a plant-based diet that is devoid of all animal flesh, including fish, cheese, milk, eggs, honey and all trace ingredients such as gelatin, whey powder, casein and beef stock.

Vegans do not buy clothing made of leather, wool, silk, suede, fur or down, as these too are products of animal exploitation, as are things tested on animals such as cleaning or beauty products.

Vegans also avoid supporting or giving money to zoos, circuses, animal racing, hunting organisations, rodeos, bullfights, or any other form of entertainment that exploits animals.


By far the main reason people go vegan is for animal rights.

Because they recognise that there is no ethical way to rationalise or justify eating animals, so they simply stop eating them.

Vegan For The Animals

The argument for ethical veganism is both the strongest argument and the simplest.

No matter how animals are brought up, whether they are grass fed, cage free, free range or any thing else, all animals end up at the slaughterhouse, and...

There is no humane way to kill an animal that has a preference to live.

Humane is defined as having or showing compassion or benevolence which are clearly not compatible with murder.

humane

adjective

having or showing compassion or benevolence
compassion

noun [mass noun]

sympathetic concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others
benevolence

noun [mass noun]

the quality of being well meaning; kindness

When you consider what the term "humane slaughter" actually means, it becomes obvious it's just a meaningless phrase that lets us feel good about our bad habits by putting the true nature of the situation out of our minds.

The ethical argument for veganism can be summarised in the following four points:

1) We shouldn’t harm animals unnecessarily.

2) The consumption of animal products harms animals.

3) The consumption of animal products is unnecessary.

4) Therefore, we shouldn’t consume animal products.

(insta pic with death stats)

fact facts facts
What this boycotting achieves is a rerouting of the flow of money to only cruelty-free companies with the effect of either removing or forcing change upon companies that rely on animal exploitation for their profits. An example of this cows milk businesses changing to plant-based milk due to huge drops in sales.

Today there are vegan versions of every food imaginable and veg-restaurants suitable for all budgets. There are countless vegan chef's on YouTube and an ever-growing supply of convincing vegan meat and cheese substitutes available in supermarkets worldwide.

But the nuts-and-bolts of veganism have and always will be the most widely available and least expensive foods: fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds and legumes (beans, chickpeas and lentils).
Vegan for Your Health
There is no essential nutrient that naturally occurs in animals foods that can't also be found in plants.

Plants nutrients also come without the added baggage that animal nutrients do. A whole-food plant-based diet is completely devoid of trans fat, saturated fat and dietary cholesterol - three things abundant in animal products that have no purpose in the human body other than to cause disease.

"Appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases."

- The American Dietetic Association

The largest nutrition association in the world.
"The people who eat the most animal protein have the most heart disease, cancer and diabetes."

T. Colin Campbell, PhD

Author of The China Study and Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition
"People feel poorly because they are nourished by foods you wouldn't feed to your dog and cat. The rich western diet is full of fat, sugar, cholesterol, salt, animal protein - all the wrong foods for people."

John A. McDougall

info
"We should all be eating fruits and vegetables as if our lives depend on it - because they do."

Michael Greger, MD

info
"Think about it: Heart disease and diabetes, which account for more deaths in the U.S. and worldwide than everything else combined, are completely preventable by making comprehensive lifestyle changes. Without drugs or surgery."

Dean Ornish

etc
"Meat consumption is just as dangerous to public health as tobacco use."

Neal Barnard, MD

etc
"You cannot escape from the biological law of cause and effect - food choices are the most significant cause of disease and premature death."

Joel Fuhrman

etc
"The most powerful medicine is at the end of your fork, not at the bottom of your pill bottle. Food is more powerful than anything in your medicine cabinet."

Mark Hyman, M.D.

etc

It is not only unnecessary to consume animal products, it is actually very harmful.

Statistically, the number one reason that everyone alive today is most likely to die is heart disease.

A vegan diet is the only diet that has been shown to prevent and reverse heart disease in all stages. That's right, the number one killer worldwide is preventable and curable through a healthy plant-based diet.

video?
Not only does has vegan diet been shown to be incredibly beneficial to unhealthy people, but even those currently in good health might notice improvements.

"This is a message to all those out there who think that you need animal products to be fit and strong. Almost two years after becoming vegan I am stronger than ever before and I am still improving day by day. Don't listen to those self proclaimed nutrition gurus and the supplement industry trying to tell you that you need meat, eggs and dairy to get enough protein. There are plenty of plant-based protein sources and your body is going to thank you for stopping feeding it with dead-food. Go vegan and feel the power!"

Patrik Baboumian

World record holding strongman
info
"A vegan diet is one of the best things you can do for your health and the well being of our planet."

Robert Cheeke

etc
"Once I learned how to be a healthy vegan by eating the right foods my performance improved dramatically."

Brendan Brazier

records, author etc
"Nothing has benefited me more physically, mentally and most important spiritually, then adapting a vegan diet. The best decision I have made as a human for me and the planet."

Tim Shieff

info
"I've found that a person does not need protein from meat to be a successful athlete. In fact, my best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet."

Carl Lewis

info
Vegan for the Planet
Vegan for The Earth
Eating animals is not only undeniably harmful to your own body, but also extremely detrimental to the planet, and therefore all life on it.

cowspiracy stats
How Do I Go Vegan?
Make the Transition.

Go vegan overnight, or go vegan over six months.

The speed isn't the point.

The point is to do it in a way that will make it irreversible.
Education Enhances Effectiveness.

The longer you stay vegan, the greater positive impact your lifestyle has on all the benefits listed above. Hence, effectiveness is key: it's better to take a little longer to transition and have the vegan lifestyle become permanent than it is to "jump in the deep end" only to get disillusioned shortly thereafter.

The best way to make your transition effective in the long term is to educate yourself. Clearly, our culture is not going to go out of its way to educate you about this - in fact it does the exact opposite, spread misinformation about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle - so you need to take responsibility for accurately educating yourself.

I always recommend reading books first, as I find them to be the most information-dense medium, but use whatever way will get the information into your mind the best.

I strongly suggest reading one of the following books every month, watching one documentary every week and watching one of the following YouTube videos whenever you have time, like if you're eating dinner by yourself for example.

Make time to consume the following information regardless of how much you think you currently know about these topics and your veganism will be set with a very solid foundation.
Essential Books
Animal Liberation
by Peter Singer

Has been called "the most important document on animal welfare ever written" by the XXX newspaper.
The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever
by T. Colin Campbell PhD & Thomas M. Campbell MD

Named after the study that was dubbed "the grand-prix of epidemiology" but that actually only constituted one chapter of XXX.

I also highly recommend Michal Greger's best selling book How Not To Die to read after, which will provide more specific information on exactly what the latest science shows is the healthiest plants to eat.
Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs & Wear Cows
by Dr Melanie Joy, PhD

This book succinctly exposes the hidden belief system that conditions us to exploit some animals for our benefit and protect others.

You can see a speech by Dr Joy if you scroll down this page.
Click here for more recommended books, plus book reviews, quotes and highlights.
Essential Documentaries
Earthlings
Earthlings is the never-can-forget look at the process animals go through from living beings to becoming food. This was made in the US in 200X, since then there have been Australian and UK spin off's. While Earthlings is the original classic, it's generally best to educate yourself on things as close to home as possible. I reccomend watching them all.
What The Health
Your one-stop documentary for the health benefits of a vegan lifestyle.

The film's website lists all the sources for all the health claims as they appear in the movie.

There is another film on the same topic called Forks Over Knives which is almost a documentary version of the book The China Study mentioned above. I recommend both.
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

A comprehensive expose of the devastating environmental impacts of animal agriculture. From the same crew that made What The Health, this highly engaging documentary also lists the sources for all the claims on their webite.
Other Essential Videos
Gary Yourofsky's Inspirational Speech

Recorded without his knowledge at Georgia Tech University in 2010, Gary's vast knowledge base and one-of-a-kind charismatic style will give you everything you need to get started with veganism.

Viewed over 4 million times, this speech, from the man who is responsible for turning more than one million people onto a vegan lifestyle, is a vegan-certified must-see.
The Secret Reason We Eat Meat by Dr Melanie Joy
social psychologist
Michael Greger's Evidence Based Nutrition Facts
....
Click here to see more recommended vegan videos.
Further Web Resources

  • Vegan Starter Kit from The International Vegan Association
  • The Vegan Society
  • Addapt.com
  • James Aspey's site?
You're here reading this page for a reason.

Right now there are more vegans on earth than ever before in recorded history.

Due to the internet, it's also easier to connect, learn from and share with all these likeminded people than ever before.

There really has never been an easier time to go vegan than right now.

There are vegans from every conceivable sect in society. From politicians to athletes to actors and musicians to regular working class consumers.

If the information on this page makes sense to you, then what do you think is the most sensible thing to do about it?
What Else Can I Do?
Become a vegan activist.

What's that? You don't want to cover yourself with blood and lay down half-naked in the street playing dead? You don't feel comfortable running into restaurants and yelling at everyone that meat is murder?

That's okay.

There are many forms of activism - at least one is guaranteed to resonate with you.

Types of Vegan Activism:

  • Face to Face Outreach - most commonly seen as talking to people on the streets about the ethics of eating animals.
  • Physically liberating animals from their confines. I would never promote activities that could get you in trouble with the law, but manual liberation is seen as one of the most hardcore types of activism.
  • Cook vegan meals for your family and friends - show them how good the food is, break down the still-existing stereotype that vegan food is bland.
  • Offer more vegan options at your restaurant or cafe. If you're not in a position to make those changes, talk to someone who is, with their interests in mind - mention how much more business it will bring them as word spreads throughout the close-knit vegan community.
  • Start a vegan blog and share your posts with as many people as you can.
  • Write a vegan book or research paper. Even if only your professor reads it - that's enough.
  • Make Youtube videos. If done right this is arguably the best way to get the message out there.
  • Start a podcast. So people on the go can hear the message.
  • Make or wear vegan themed clothing. Very simple way that requires no extra effort on your part to spread the message all day.
  • Relentlessly post and share vegan things on social media.
  • Attend group events such as Anonymous for the Voiceless and DxE. Go to any and every event you can that resonates with you. The more attendees the more power the movement has.
  • And last but definitely not least, simply talk openly with your friends and family about the vegan ideas covered on this page. Our 2016 Vegan Survey showed this had the highest conversion rates.
Find the type of activism that resonates with you. There will be at least one, I promise.

Get Creative. This list is not exhaustive.

Vegan activism could be defined as any way you can manage to get the message from your mind to someone else's.

Just as there is a style of music you would probably prefer to listen to than to me, there will be a way of communicating that works best for you.

Find it and utilise it.

One thing everyone can do right now if they haven't already is to join a local Facebook group and get connected with other vegans near you. This is usually the first step to meeting people and making things happen outside yourself.

Every little bit helps. Even something as small as liking vegan posts on Facebook would count as activism - your carnist friends and family will see the posts you like and the ideas in them will be transferred to their minds little by little.
Further Assistance
Need Help Staying Vegan?

This is a slightly different topic.

You might find this useful (my book link)