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6 Things Every New Vegan Should Do

Are you new to the world of saving animals and eating healthy? Welcome! Here are six things that you should do RIGHT now.

1. Eat vegan versions of your favorite meals.

There are vegan versions of almost every meal you can think of—really! “Veganize” your favorite recipes simply by replacing the meat and dairy foods with beans, grains, nuts, veggies, faux meats, and dairy-free foods. You don’t have to go a single day without your favorite meals.

2. Explore thousands of delicious vegan recipes.

You can check out thousands of free vegan recipes on our website, or you can buy one of our favorite cookbooks. You can also peruse your local library for vegan cookbooks—there are hundreds of titles available.

3. Try some tasty faux meats and dairy-free treats.

Low-fat, high-protein faux-meat products, which can now be found at almost every grocery store, can help ease the transition. Dairy-free items, including vegan milk, cream cheese, yogurt, and ice cream, are also readily available at most grocery stores.

4. Sample microwaveable vegan meals and convenience foods.

Always on the run? There are tons of microwaveable vegan meals and convenient snacks available everywhere, from your local health-food store to big retailers like Walmart and Target.

5. Search online for the best vegan-friendly restaurants in your area.

Whatever your budget and wherever you live, you can enjoy great vegan meals while dining out. White Castle, Chipotle, The Cheesecake Factory, and P.F. Chang’s are just a few of the national restaurant chains that offer meat-free meals. Locally owned restaurants across the country are also teeming with vegan options. Check out this handy guide to eating vegan at chain restaurants.

6. Explore the wide variety of meat-free ethnic foods.

Don’t be shy about exploring new cuisines. Ethnic foods like Thai, KoreanChinese, Indian, Mexican, Ethiopian, and Italian are often centered around vegan-friendly foods. Although restaurants in your area are sure to offer delicious dishes, you can also save time and money by making them at home.

Need some more tips and recipes? You can order one of our free vegan starter kits.

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  • Belle says:

    Like so many, I’ve recently become aware of the horrors of what goes on in factory farms, and all farms, really. Though I haven’t eaten much meat for years, I am on the verge of cutting back completely and am working of finding substitutes, how to transition, etc. I want to say how gratifying it is to see the young ages of many commenters here! I do believe that one day we won’t be eating animals like we do now.

  • Sam says:

    Im thinking on going vegiterian and this article has really helped me

  • Karmen says:

    I been vegetarian since I was eight and now I’m eleven. The nutrition from my diet helps me in gymnastics training. I enjoy being vegetarian.

  • veggiegal says:

    after recently becoming a vegetarian, i feel great
    both pysically and emotionally. i love that less
    animals have to be killed because of our lifestyle.
    and pysically i feel very energized. im 15, almost 16,
    and i may be young but i will be vegetarian for life!

  • Heather says:

    I recently became a vegetarian and it’s the best choice that I have ever made. I feel good, I am losing weight- and I am guilt-free. I wish that I could have made the decision long ago but after reading the book Empty Cages by Tom Regan, I have made a lifestyle change and couldn’t be happier! I encourage everyone to read that book or do their own research about what animals go through before ending up on the plate.

  • Bob says:

    I’m 12 and I’ve been a vegetarian for the past seven years.Recently I’ve been thinking about becoming a vegan.

  • Anothersurfer says:

    I’m another guilty omnivore, I typically gather my food myself from the ocean, but am growing tired of spearing fish and cooking food live. And to top it off, I’m starting a relationship with a vegan, so going vegetarian is a must at least to eliminate meal-time issues. As a former chef as well, I am huge on taste and texture… any ideas on brands I can turn to that may not be far off from the real thing so I won’t notice the change as much??

  • cheryl says:

    @anonymous re what was referred to as possible protein and energy deficiencies if going vegan. not sure if that was a serious post or not. if it was serious, please google. there are scores of athletes who are vegan. watch the docu ‘forks over knives’ free on youtube for a couple examples. so many serious olympic and ironman triathalon athletes who are vegan. protein req is only over 2g per 100 calories. and calcium less than meat eaters because we dont eat foods that deplete calcium. good luck to you.

  • Anonymous says:

    I realize that I’m a bit young compared to others on this site. (I will be fifteen in a couple months.) I have been considering becoming vegan for a while now. I have been in cross country, so I haven’t been able to make the transition yet, due to possible protein and energy deficiencies. However, now that the season is coming to a close, I was really hoping to finally do it. Right now I am a straight up omnivore, but I am having growing issues with the exploitation of animals. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to make the transition as quickly and smoothly as possible?

  • Noodles says:

    Hi all, I am seriously considering becoming a vegetarian (possibly vegan in the not so distant future =]) but have already planned and started this in the past only to be put down by my loved ones and friends, any advice on how to deal/cope with these problems?

  • NewVeg says:

    At least half of your diet should consist of fruits & veggies.
    Also try using quinoa, and quinoa or vegetable pastas. Hope that helps.

  • NewVeg says:

    At least half of your diet should consist of fruits & veggies.
    Also try using quinoa, and quinoa or vegetable pastas. Hope that helps.

  • C21 says:

    Hi, my mum’s been a Vegan since…well before my memory exists, and I’ve been a vegetarian for the past 4 years, since i was 17 and my brother is a vegetarian as well. I’ve got to say that a lot of these products are kind of needless, such as the mock-beef, and most of the processed foods. I live in the UK and we have soya butter for those who dislike margerine, and for people who are allergic to soy products, i would suggest getting Oat Milk.

    The stuff in stores is expensive, so buy powdered oats from body building websites (that’s the one i use, it’s super cheap and healthy) and mix it up with water, and you get an oat milk which is high in oats (store bought stuff is 10% oats at best) and tastes great.

    Also, aubergine, avocado and pumpkin are great replacements for mock-meats they’re thick and filling. Instead of buying store-made soups chop up a bunch of root vegetables put them in a pot of water and simmer for an hour, maybe add some lentils, lemon grass or whatever spices you want and you’ve got a great filling soup which if you make enough will last for days.

    One of my favourite things to do when i have the chance to cook breakfast is to make a lentil only quasi-soup, with a little tabasco and soya butter to thicken, whip it up with a whisk, put it on a thick slice bread like sourdough or campagne and then cook cherry tomatoes and spinach in a pan with a bit of water instead of oil and hey presto its a weekend breakfast. Otherwise museli/weetabix with oat milk/soya milk and fruit is a good easy breakfast for the weekdays.

    It costs so much money to buy meat, and the soya replacements found in-store aren’t particularly cheap (though I would recommend Booja booja chocolates as a treat and sometimes you need to buy egg replacement powder for desserts). Really it comes down to how much energy you’re willing to invest. Cooking in this way is cheap and easy, it just depends on if you’re willing.

    Please try not to rely on the mock-meats, it is so EASY to live without but they have their places as a good transitional product for full fledged meat eaters to vegetarian/vegan. Also farm cattle produce a third of all methane in the worlds atmosphere. That’s a little stat that helps stave off meat desires. Cos not only is it true, but it’s gross in a way that people can relate to moreso than death.

  • Brittany says:

    I’ve been a lacto-vegetarian for about 3 months now and I absolutely love it. It’s so fun to challenge yourself every single meal. I’m not totally vegan yet…though dairy has always given be a bad reaction…I just can’t give up cheese. The many different non-dairy milks are the best…but I still can’t get used to fake cheese. Maybe one day!
    In the past few weeks I’ve discovered vegetarian sausages, burgers and different veg variations of my once favorite foods…and words can’t express how happy I am! At cook outs I always come prepared and even get people to fall in love with this food. I’m all for eating organically and now pumping my body full of chemicals…but I think those things in moderation are ok…especially when you get that sausage and peppers craving!
    To the person who was having trouble with their family accepting them as a vegetarian…all I can say is know your facts and stay strong! My friends and family were skeptical at first, now they’re really supportive of my choices :)

    p.s.-it’s not a DIET…it’s a lifestyle :)

  • sherriB says:

    I’ve been going vegetarian for 7 months now and I really enjoy it, but of course,I love the fact that I’m able to show my compassion for animals by eating less meat but, unfortunately I hit a few “road blocks” along the way, especially with family members that don’t really want you to go vegetarian, and stay with meat. Any advice on how to keep the peace with family members so we can all respect other people’s eating habits, especially when we go out to eat at restaurants?

  • ChristinaG says:

    I have to say I was surprised that vegan “meats” taste great! And your not left with that stuffed bloated feeling after eating. My weakness was always sausage so I tried the morning star brand and it was totally satisfying. Sautee up some peppers and onion and you have a great sandwich. Its so much fun discovering new foods.

  • mssskyddy says:

    I’ve wanted to become a vegan for more than 20 years, and have read books like Fast Food Nation and Diet for a New Planet. But it wasn’t until I started looking around the PETA site and encountered the first couple of seconds of the video narrated by Sir Paul McCartney about the horrors that go on inside a slaughterhouse that I finally had what I needed to call up the discipline to go vegan. I am on Day 7, and have had some ups and downs, but the biggest concern I have is that I seem to be overloading on carbs. How many fruits and veggie servings should I aim for each day?

  • suddenseer says:

    Vaeganism is a healthy eating lifestyle that has amazing benefits. It saves water, and grain and earth’s resources. I am not into worshiping animals, but am in total agreement of the diet. That should still make the animal worshipers happy because every day I eat as a vegan, fewer animals die as a result of what I eat. I still have a leather coat, shoes, and belt.

  • Courtney Cates says:

    I am slowly phasing out animal foods.I am having a hard time cutting cheese out.I have tried a couple of non-cheeses such as Follow Your Heart and really didn’t care for it.I am going to give Daiya a try and I also just today bought a Tofurky Vegan Pizza,which I am going to have tomorrow night for dinner instead.

  • Steph says:

    T–I recently read the book “Skinny Bitch” and it said that the “follow your heart” cheeses were really good. It also gave other brand names of foods they liked the best. I haven’t made it to the store to pick up that cheese yet, but hope it helps!

  • tylar says:

    I am eleven and the rest of my family eats meat. I belive you are never to young to become vegitarian. <3

  • Adina says:

    For those who don’t love all that many vegetables. Me neither. your two new best friends are maple syrup and high heat.

    The trick is to grill, broil, or fry it until the outside carmelizes. Toss veggies lightly in oil, bake at 425 on the highest rack until browned. OR (my current favorite) mix a little soy sauce and MAPLE SYRUP and saute or bake the veggies in this.

  • annie miller says:

    Hello, I am not pro-peta, or opposed to eating animal products for ethical reasons, but believe it is healthier to eat only plant products. I believe many diseases are avoided by our diet, and want to eat vegetarian or better yet, vegan. No dairy

  • Marg Durrance says:

    vegetarian is easy but so far can’t do vegan. bought soy milk & gagged at the taste, also margarine. never have been able to stand it & it isn’t good for you.

  • Sushi-Pants says:

    So I am considering becoming a vegetarian, but the kind that still eats fish and chicken. Hopefully after trying this out, I will be able to give up my love for chicken too. I am not as much of a veggie lover as I wish I was, and I hate beans with all my soul. I also am concerned that becoming a vegetarian will unbalance my diet, and not give me all the nutrients that I need. I need some meat alternatives that still provide the same or similar nutrients. Help?

  • Oana says:

    I am all for eating well but all those dairy and meat alternatives are FULL of chemicals, I can’t even understand half of the ingredients listed there and I don’t think anyone who doesn’t have a degree in chemistry can either. I do not believe in mass production farms and it saddens me to know that many people do not have respect for the animals they eat but at the same time I do not believe in pumping my body with genetically engineered ingredients that could remove rust off my car. Thanks but no thanks.

  • D says:

    T, yes, there are! I am new to vegan and doing research on this. The Follow Your Heart brand does a good job w/vegan cheese. I also just ordered a book on cooking with nutritional yeast. I’m hearing that you can get great cheese oriented dishes by cooking with it, even slice-able. Don’t give up and good luck!

  • T says:

    I would love to become vegan. Cutting out meat is easy for me…but I’m a cheese LOVER!! I tried a rice cheese, but it was nasty both in taste and texture. Does a really yummy non dairy cheese exist?

  • Ashley-P says:

    Hi Kazbe, Thanks for your comment. We do advocate healthy initiatives and try to select a variety of items suitable for everyone. There are several healthy options in this list, from pasta with roasted veggies to fresh veggie sushi. We do our best to accommodate the wide variety of tastes and needs of our readers. Feel free to share some healthy ideas for your fellow readers. Thanks!

  • Kazbe says:

    There is so much rubbishy and high fat food suggested here – no wonder so many of the vegies I know are overweight. If you are going to suggest ways to go vegetarian, at least make it healthy! And spare a thought for those of us who are allergic to soy – as many people are.


    Everything great. I became vegetarian, convinced of the harm I was making to animals, before realizing Mexico has non of all the products you mention above. I try to be creative… but it is not so easy in Latinamerica as you say. I just wanted to let you know, alike to myself there are some people in my country trying to become vegans, but I do not think there is any solution for the time being for us but to continue being vegetarians and inventing or repeating our meals day after day. Unless more and more people become vegetarian (not vegan, because they would die of starvation)and the need of products becomes evident in our countries.