Vegan options are more expensive than their nonvegetarian counterparts. Can I afford to go vegan?

You’re right that vegan specialty foods, like prepared veggie burgers, etc., are sometimes more expensive than their nonvegan counterparts, but fortunately, they aren’t the only options. Prepared food will always be more expensive than food you make yourself, so buying the ingredients and making them at home will typically save you money. Veggie staples such as pasta, rice, tofu, and beans are much cheaper than meat. The money you save from not buying meat can go toward paying just a little extra for nondairy milk and other staples, like fruits and vegetables. Another suggestion is to buy food in bulk, either at the store, over the Internet, or through catalogs. You can find many vegan mail-order catalogs listed in the classified section in the back of Vegetarian Times magazine.

In addition, consider your health: Fresh, organic fruits and vegetables may cost more than some junk foods, but isn’t your health worth the extra couple of bucks? If you’re still not sure, given the health benefits of a vegan diet, you’ll likely save hundreds or thousands of dollars on health care, which will more than make up for the extra cost of soy milk. For more information on making the switch and to order a free vegetarian starter kit, click here.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind