How to Go Vegan guide and vegan cookbooks

So, Have I Gone Vegan? (A Veganuary Update)

Tomorrow marks my three-month Veganiversary. But I’m still not calling myself a vegan.

Why not?

The answer is a little more complex than I realised so bear with me.

As I talked about in my Veganuary post, I always planned to commit to going completely vegan for the month of January. I then wanted to finish up any non-vegan items in I had my kitchen (chai latte powder, I’m looking at you) before deciding whether or not I’d convert to and stick with veganism.

Veganuary 2018 survey results - 62% of participants to stay vegan
Image credit: Veganuary.com

Well, here we are approaching the start of April and I’ve not had a single chai latte in 2018.

Every time I’ve considered having something non-vegan, I’ve felt really guilty. I wasn’t talked into this by anyone, I didn’t make a huge deal out of it, and I have nothing to prove… Yet I still can’t bring myself to drink that damn chai.

As many other Veganuary participants reported, sticking to a vegan diet has been easier than I expected. I am genuinely surprised that I haven’t caved and eaten an entire wedge of brie in one session or ordered a triple-cheese pizza in a moment of weakness.

Yep, I was one of those vegetarians who vegans hated for saying “but cheese!”. Giving up eggs was easy, switching to plant-based milk and yogurt even easier, but cheese has always been the main hurdle standing in my way to crossing over to the dark vegan side.

Yet, it turns out that I can live without it!

Mind. Blown.

I mean, I do have to actively avoid the cheese aisle in supermarkets, I’ve tried nearly every “cheese”, cheeze and sheese on the market (my local Sainsbury’s thoughtfully has the range stocked on the end of an aisle), and I’ve swapped my hangover cure from cheese on toast to avocado and tomato on toast. Healthier, at least!

Veganuary 2018 Survey Results - Reasons for staying vegan: 82% easier than expected, 86% learned more about veganism movement, 67% improved health
Image credit: Veganuary.com

Speaking of health…

I can’t actually say that I feel healthier in general. This is definitely my own fault, though. I seem to have decided that it’s my duty to purchase absolutely anything and everything that’s been veganised; I’ve bought everything from from pies to pizzas, cheese to chocolate, and even vegan Cornettos (!), my justification being that I want to support the people and brands lovely enough to veganise their goods.

I guess I also want to prove to myself that I can still eat almost anything I want to. Including comfort food and treats.

My next challenge is definitely to cut down on vegan junk food!

Veganuary 2018 Survey Results - Health Improvements of Respondants - 66% Overall Health, 60% Energy Levels, 52% Body Weight, 49% Skin Appearance, 57% Mood
Image credit: Veganuary.com

So after all this, why am I not calling myself a vegan?

I think it’s mostly because of the pressure that I feel can be associated with that label. Being a vegetarian brings on enough questions and criticism; everyone suddenly becomes an expert on health (but protein!), animal welfare (farm animals are loved!) and the environment (your tofu is destroying the Amazon rainforest!), or they try their best to trip you up (are you sure that wine is vegetarian?).

For vegans, the scrutiny is next level. I can’t be bothered with that right now.

There will be some vegans who dislike this stance and feel I should be actively educating others on veganism. But honestly, my dietary choices are nothing to do with other people, be they meat-eaters or meat-haters. I will happily discuss my choices and beliefs with anyone who asks but I’ve never been a “preachy” veggie, so I don’t feel the need to shout about veganism either.

If vegan activism and awareness is your thing, that’s awesome. You do you. I definitely do talk about it, I just prefer a more passive approach. I love sharing tasty vegan food on Instagram, tweeting about awesome vegan initiatives, and waffling on about my beliefs, choices, or latest amazing vegan meal on this blog.

Ultimately, I decided to try out veganism for myself because I feel that it aligns more closely with my ethical beliefs, my love of animals, and my passion for the environment. I’m not doing it to make a point, to be “different” and “alternative”, or to follow a trend. I do aim to stick with it but to be honest, the thought of possible failure scares me so I’m not yet comfortable with the label.

I guess I consider myself a strict vegetarian who is currently trying out an entirely vegan diet, have been for three months, and plan to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.

And for me, that’s enough right now.

Veganuary 2018 Results chart
Image credit: Veganuary.com

Did you participate in Veganuary? Have you stuck with it?

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My Veganuary 2018 Updates - Three Months Later

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33 thoughts on “So, Have I Gone Vegan? (A Veganuary Update)

  1. I LOVE this! I’ve been having real struggles with referring to myself as “vegan” recently because of all the weight that comes with the word, as a result of extreme/in-your-face activism, preachy people, the general way that people seem to enjoy having a pop at vegans far more than vegetarians, and so on and so on… I totally relate to this post (and as a former cheese addict, I too try and avoid the dairy aisle even though cutting out cheese really was easier than I thought it would be 😂) love it love it love it

  2. Reblogged this on Just Can't Settle and commented:
    Absolutely love this post from More Than Greens – going vegan was WAY easier than I expected, finding vegan junk food has (as you can see from my posts) been far too easy… but I’ve been in two minds about referring to myself as vegan lately because of the hassle and assumptions that come with the word. Things I didn’t really experience as a vegetarian!

  3. It seems to me that when diet is perceived to be a moral issue, dietary choice becomes like a religion, and judgmentalism and preachiness are often soon to follow. For me guilt does not a pleasant dinner guest make. Thanks for this great, well thought out post!

  4. I really liked this post. You seem very down to Earth! :) I totally relate with you when you say that you don’t like to see yourself as a vegan but more like an animal and environmental lover (I believe you meant this but in other words). It seems like society has this huge necessity to put a label in everything and everyone. Our food choices and lifestyle are something very personal and they don’t need a label to have meaning. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. xx

    1. Thank you so much! Yep, you understood correctly. Maybe once I’ve stuck with it a little longer, the term “vegan” won’t feel like it’s carrying so much weight with me. I guess I worry about going back on it if it doesn’t work out for me and I don’t feel like I should have to explain myself. Hope that makes sense! :)

  5. Great post! <3 It's a shame so many feel a certain pressure using the word vegan though, but I totally understand. It's like 'lables' are a manifesto of sorts which you have to adhear to otherwise you will be judged, and if like me you have a fear of being judged it can make you afraid to use lables. However I personally do call myself a vegan although I am definately not 100% vegan; for example, I do not check things like wine to see whether it's vegan and if in the future I had rescue hens, I would probably eat their eggs because I don't see that as harming animals and thus I would still call myslef a vegan. In the end I am trying hard to make a difference and do what I think is right, which is more than many can say and thus I am learning to be proud of calling myself Vegan and not be afraid of others opinions. You do You <3 Everyone is free to make they're own choices and we as a society should respect that :)
    Lovely to hear your thoughts! Thanks for sharing xo

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! It’s absolutely partly down to the fear of being judged – either as a vegan or as a failed vegan should I choose not to continue at some stage.

      Like you, I am doing my best to make a difference and learning as I go. I hope I will eventually be comfortable referring to myself as a vegan but for now, I’ll just stick with the above! :)

  6. Excellent! I wish you lots of luck with sticking to it in the future. I am so pleased you are still feeling it is the right thing for you. :) It ISN’T easy at first, and as a relatively new vegan (2 1/2 years), I remember the cheese cravings! And I understand completely not wanting to label yourself as a vegan yet. Some reactions to it are simply annoying, but others can be quite hurtful. A lot of people I know simply accept it though, like they would accept someone of a different religion or culture. Maybe it is somehow easier for me as a foreigner here – the eccentric Englishwoman! LOL! Great post, and inspiration for anyone who is still on the brink of becoming a vegan. :)

    1. Thanks so much! :) Most people have been supportive (or at least apathetic) when they’ve asked me about it but there are always those that have to be rude or aggressive and I don’t want or need to deal with that.

      I always really appreciate your thoughtful comments on my posts so thanks again. xx :)

  7. I didn’t participate but I am transitioning slowly from omnivore to vegan. I found dairy fairly easy but meat is hard, especially when my husband is still an omnivore.

    My journey is being catalogued by my instagram @huffleeatsplants would love to see more food inspiration! What is your ig?

    1. Good luck with your transition! I gave up meat over 10 years ago and never struggled with that but it was other animal products (gelatin, isinglass, carmine etc) in so much that I found tricky at first. And now it’s cheese. ;-)

      My instagram is @morethangreens. I’ll check yours out – always like to support fellow HP fans! :)

  8. Yay! This is amazing. I have been vegan since November 1st so I’m still a newbie like you. I definitely refer myself as vegan because to be honest, nobody has ever asked. As you said, what I eat is my own business and I think most people believe this so when I’m a eating in the work canteen or whenever, nobody has ever asked. Have you ever randomly approached someone and asked their dietary choices? It just doesn’t happen in real life.
    I am not going to scream and shout about being vegan but if if does come up, I’m not going to deny it. If they are curious then I’m happy to discuss it (this has happened like once maybe and even then it was only my dad asking). Don’t ask. Don’t learn.
    I believe it is a good thing to label yourself as vegan, then omnivores and vegetarians can see that we are plain normal folk just like them and not the crazy hippies as we are falsely portrayed in the media. Own it!

    1. Thanks so much! Yep, I don’t feel the need to walk around with a sign saying “VEGAN!” but will happily discuss it if someone asks. I just generally say I am trying veganism at the moment rather than referring to myself as a vegan. Small distinction but one I’m sticking with for now! xD

      I suppose one of the big reasons I don’t refer to myself as a vegan is because I’m a bit worried about going back on that if I happen to fail… I know it may seem a bit ridiculous but hey ho. :)

  9. Avocado and tomato toast for the win!!! Definitely my go-to whenever I’m craving something creamy and satisfying. I hear you on the controversy the “vegan” label can create – I struggle with this too! My hope is that the more mainstream veganism becomes, the less we’ll get silly questions and comments.

    1. Haha, yes! I am addicted to avocado!

      Glad others understand the pain! I don’t mind people asking about my diet out of curiosity but it’s when they get defensive or arrogant about it that it bugs me. I’m not judging anyone so don’t need judgement either!

      I definitely think veganism is becoming more mainstream. I’ve noticed such a massive shift even in the past two years or so, so who knows where we’ll be in another two?! :)

  10. Thank you so much for your input! I’m also a newly transitioned “vegan” 4 months in April. For me, I make it clear my veganism is strictly diet and I am in a “transition stage” because I own a lot of non-vegan friendly products; leather purses, leather shoes, accessories, hair products ect. I do agree, it seems to be easy to stay vegan after the initial hurdle however, I wasn’t a vegetarian before turning to a plant-based diet.
    Keep up the great work and I wish you the best while you explore vegan choices :)

    1. Thanks for your comment! I think everyone’s “journey” is different and that’s absolutely okay. I haven’t used leather products in years as I gradually phased it out after going veggie over a decade ago. However, it’s only in the past year or so that I’ve switched to all cruelty-free beauty products, as I got more educated on the subject.

      I think going straight from an omnivore to vegan would be a much bigger and more difficult shift so makes total sense to “transition” gradually.

      Happy four months! :)

  11. I totally respect your decision to not call yourself a vegan just yet :) it certainly does get a lot of questions! If you ever fancied trying the Violife vegan cheese it’s the closest I’ve found to dairy cheese without the nasty vegan cheese taste, we love it! x x
    Ellis http://www.elliswoolley.co.uk

    1. Thanks so much! Violife is my fave vegan cheese I’ve tried so far (love their slices and their “parmesan”) but the Sainsbury’s range has some pretty good ones too. Just waiting for a good vegan “camembert” in the UK. ;-)

  12. I can definitely relate to the original ‘cheese’ comments, because I just love it so much.. 😍 Congratulations on sticking with it though, you have a lot more will power than I do! 🤷🏼‍♀️

  13. This is really interesting. I’ve been eating vegan for nearly three years now and I’m not a vegan because I haven’t adopted the full lifestyle but I do find myself reading/ looking into veganism more these days. The scrutiny is unbelievable. A lot of people find the diet completely mind boggling as it is never mind the full lifestyle. Congratulations for sticking to it! And at the end of the day, the word is just a label x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

  14. Oh gosh this is such a refreshing post! I’m a meat-eater but over the last year I have been actively trying to cut it out a bit more. I opt for no-meat days whenever I can and for dinner, I tend to prefer it actually. But I wouldn’t dare talk about it on Twitter because of the bombardment from some Vegans which is a shame because there’s so many Vegan bloggers I know who are lovely and so respectful of others choices. They’ll suggest things, rather than force things. So I absolutely adore your attitude and how you’re doing it for you and that’s it. No strings attached. I’m glad you’ve found it easier than you expected. Good luck with the junk food! Honestly, I wouldn’t have even expected there WAS Vegan junk food!

    1. Sorry for the late reply but thank you so much for your comment!

      I totally understand not wanting to talk about this sort of stuff on twitter. For some people, it’s just never good enough. But I think small changes can make a big difference and everyone has to do things their own way.

      Seriously, SO MUCH vegan junk food! It’s amazing and terrible at the same time. xD

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