Why We Created This “Go Vegan” Guide

Sarah and I didn’t grow up vegan so we know the struggles associated with transitioning to a vegan diet and lifestyle. We’ve both been vegan for over 6 years and wanted to share what we’ve learned along the way.

To be honest, there were some challenges we had to face alone. While we had the support of family members to make the switch, many of our friends and other people we’ve met online haven’t had the same, loving-and-accepting environment we did.

michael and sarah johnson - make it vegan

We’d like to change that for you!

Reach out to us, whether by leaving a comment below or by email, and we’ll respond with tips and tricks to help you towards your vegan goals. All contact methods are at the bottom of this guide.

The following information is meant for encouragement and will help you go vegan the easy way. If you’re serious about cutting back on animal product consumption to save the environment and live a longer, happier life, this is the guide for you!

For the Animals

Marketing teams from fast-food restaurants and big-named corporations like Tyson, Sysco, Smithfield, and Perdue, love changing the terminology associated with animals in order to sell more “products.”

factory farming

To them, animals are a money-making resource and they know food sounds more appealing when the animal name is removed altogether:

  • “ice cream,” instead of “forcefully impregnated cow secretions, with sugar and pus”
  • “sweet bread,” instead of “lamb brains”
  • “rocky mountain oysters,” instead of “bull testicles”

Let’s go over some word associations to better equip yourself with knowledge:

  • Cow: beef, veal, steak (brisket, chuck, T-bone, ribeye, tenderloin, strip, hanger, skirt, short, flap, porterhouse, flank, tri-tip, rump, top sirloin, tomahawk, Denver, cube), filet mignon, angus, wagyu, and at least 40+ others.
  • Chicken: drumstick, nugget, wing, breast, thigh, egg/eggbeaters.
  • Pig: pork, bacon, ham, spareribs, shoulder.
  • Venison: deer.

Generally, fish is called fish, turkey is turkey, and chicken is chicken.

ching sanctuary in utah

Some Words of Advice

Everyone’s path will be different. Start out small. Some can “convert” overnight. Others might take some time. No matter what, remember the reason you’re doing this.

Why would someone go vegan?

There are many reasons, but some of the most common are:

  • wanting to help animals
  • improving their health
  • saving the environment

Unfortunately, the media doesn’t want people knowing what happens to animals behind closed doors. Animals are marketed as “products” when in reality, they are sentient and emotional beings.

cramped pig pens, factory farming

Factory farming is an extremely cruel and inhumane way to treat animals. To mass-produce meat, dairy products, and eggs, these animals are kept in cramped and filthy conditions. They are deprived of fresh air, sunlight, space to move around, and anything that would make their lives even remotely bearable. Did you know that chickens raised for egg production are crammed into cages so small that they can’t spread their wings? The average caged hen has less than 67 square inches of space — about the size of a sheet of paper. And male chicks (who aren’t used for egg production) are routinely ground up alive or suffocated because they don’t have any economic value.

Dairy cows are kept in constant pregnancies so that they will produce milk, and their calves are taken away from them shortly after birth. Male calves are killed as babies to become what we call veal, and female calves become dairy cows like their mothers.

You don’t have to support this kind of abuse! There are delicious vegan alternatives to all of the animal-based products I use every day.

Convinced going vegan is the right thing for you?

Here are five easy steps to get started…

Step One: Educate Yourself

The first step is to educate yourself about what veganism is and isn’t. Veganism is a lifestyle choice that excludes all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, from meat and dairy products to clothing and cosmetics. So unlike vegetarianism, which simply eliminates meat from the diet, veganism encompasses every aspect of life.

study veganism

Products that contain any kind of animal by-product are not vegan. This includes things like wool, leather, and honey. Cosmetics and skincare products can also be non-vegan if they’re tested on animals or contain ingredients derived from animals. It’s important to read the labels carefully to make sure you’re buying cruelty-free and vegan products.

As you begin your journey towards Veganism, remember that this is new to you and it’s okay to make mistakes. There will be times when you’re not sure if a product is vegan or not, and that’s okay! Just do your best and continue learning as you go.

Step Two: Make a Plan

The next step is to make a plan for how you’ll go vegan.

If you’re currently eating meat and dairy products, it’s best to gradually phase them out over time so your body can adjust. Start by replacing processed meats with plant-based proteins like tofu, beans, lentils, and seitan. And instead of cow’s milk, try almond milk, soy milk, or rice milk. There are many vegan cheese alternatives available now too, so you don’t have to miss out on your favorite foods.

lentils and beans

You may also want to consider transitioning to a vegan diet completely. This can be a bit more challenging, but there are plenty of resources available to help you. There are many vegan cookbooks, websites, and even online courses that can teach you how to make delicious plant-based meals.

going vegan using plant-based milks

We’re continually adding new recipes so make sure to bookmark our website so you don’t miss out!

Step Three: Find Vegan-Friendly Alternatives

One of the great things about Veganism is that there are plenty of plant-based alternatives for almost every type of food. Whether you’re looking for cheese replacements, meat substitutes, or just some delicious new recipes to try out, you’ll have no trouble finding what you need.

go vegan with veggie burgers

There are also many online stores that specialize in vegan products, so you can find everything from cheese to shampoo to ice cream. Just make sure to read the labels carefully to make sure they’re vegan-friendly.

Sometimes, companies will list certain ingredients that are hard to decipher if they’re vegan. The following words are not associated with Veganism and should be avoided:

  • lard: rendered pork fat
  • tallow: rendered beef or mutton fat
  • glycerin: Glycerin is a sweetener that can be derived from animal or vegetable fats. If the glycerin found in your food is vegan/vegetarian friendly, it will also include the word vegan or vegetarian
  • confectioner’s glaze: sugar and resin-based coating that originates from bug secretions
  • magnesium stearate: an additive used to keep ingredients from clumping together. It can be made from either animals or plants.
  • beeswax, shellac, lanolin: substances secreted by insects/animals that are used in various cosmetics and skincare products
  • l-cysteine: amino acid found in animals and is a building block of protein
  • d3: a product of l-cysteine
  • casein: the predominant phosphoprotein in cow’s milk

Step Four: Get Social

One of the best ways to learn more about Veganism is to connect with other vegans. There are plenty of online forums and social media groups where you can share recipes, ask questions, and just chat with like-minded people.

make it vegan community

Check out our resources page to discover the social media influencers we follow and get some ideas on recipes, workout routines, and more!

Step Five: Make It Your Own

As with anything, the more you know about Veganism, the easier it will be to follow. Many great books and documentaries can teach you everything from how to cook vegan meals to the ethical reasons behind going vegan.

watch the game changers

If you’re looking for a quick introduction to Veganism, we recommend checking out our top five favorite documentaries below:

There’s no wrong way to go vegan, so just relax and take things one step at a time. Veganism is a lifestyle choice that benefits both people and animals, so there’s no reason not to give it a try! If you have any questions or need some help getting started, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

We’re here to support you every step of the way!

Kitchen Tools We Recommend:

View our complete list of recommended vegan-friendly resources.

Find us online!

About Michael Johnson

I'm not your typical social-media vegan. I don't have washboard abs, I don't live on a beach, and I don't always eat a smoothie bowl for breakfast. However, I'm passionate about animals and love sharing insights & tips for those interested in going vegan! Learn more about why I decided to go vegan.