There’s always going to be a million reasons not to do something. It’s too hard, it’s too expensive, I’ll do it later. I’m here to explain why each of those reasons is wrong, and why you should try out veganism today!
1. It’s too hard
It doesn’t have to be! There’s a million easy swaps for meat or diary items that are no harder. Think about what you had for breakfast? Cereal and milk? Switch out the fatty cow’s milk to delicious, healthy almond milk, or some vanilla coconut milk for a great flavor. Oatmeal? Already vegan! Add some peanut butter and berries, or a bit of dark chocolate. Pancakes? Try frying up some healthy pancakes made with oats, banana, and peanut butter. Feeling trendy? Avocado toast? You bet it’s vegan! Now what about lunch and dinner? The opportunities are endless. People think all vegans eat is kale and tofu, but tons of salads, pastas, soups, sandwiches, and stir fries can be vegan.
It’s not hard at all to make the switch, and you might try some new food you love.
But guess what? Even if you think it seems too hard, you can always take it slow, or star by going vegan one day a week. Every step you take is gonna make a difference for our planet, your body, and animals. Even I have had an occasional “cheat” meal with dairy when I travel or on certain holidays. I find this keeps me from breaking, and quitting all together.
(Salad from Barney's)
2. It’s too expensive
I won’t lie, when I first went vegan 2 years ago, my grocery bill did go up, but once I leaned what I was doing, I actually started spending less money. Canned beans, rice, oats, and grains are cheap. Bags of frozen veggies are just as nutritious as fresh, and are cheap and easy for stir fries. Buying things that aren’t name brand helps too. I get whole packs of tofu for just $1.99 at my grocery store. Meat and fish can be pricey, but veggies and plants aren’t, if you buy smart. Check what’s in season, and what’s on sale, and shop based on that. Avoid the specialty vegan foods that can cost a fortune, and stick to whole foods.
Here’s a few of the meals I make when I’m on a tight budget:
-- 1 carton veggie broth
-- 2 cans white beans
-- 2 cans diced tomatoes
-- 1 bag spinach
-- 1 cup wild rice
-- salt, pepper, cumin, parsley, onion powder
Put everything in a pot, bring to boil and stir 5 minutes
cover with lid and simmer 30 minutes, then serve
Quinoa red sauce:
-- 1 large can crushed tomatoes
-- 1 cup quinoa
-- 1/2 cup water
-- Parsley, chopped
-- Salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, basil
Put everything in a pot, bring to a boil, cover with lid and simmer for 45 minutes, then serve
-- 1 package tofu
-- 1 green pepper
-- 1 red pepper
-- 1 onion
-- 2 cup spinach
-- Salt, Pepper, Turmeric, Garlic Powder
-- 1 tbs oil
Chop tofu and veggies, Saute vegetables until soft, with oil, Add in tofu, crumbled, Stir until crispy, Add seasoning and stir quickly
Serve with a piece of fruit, and toast or veggie sausage, then serve
(Breakfast burrito with tofu scramble, vegan cheese, and chives)
-- 1 jar jalfrezi curry
-- 1 cup rice
-- 1 bag spinach
-- 1 pack tofu, chopped into cubes
-- 1 onion, chopped
-- 1 red pepper, chopped
-- 1 tbs oil
-- 1 cup rice
Sauté peppers, tofu, and onion until soft, in oil, Add in bag of spinach until wilted, Add jar of curry, simmer 20 minutes on low heat, Make rice 1 cup rice to serve with curry
Creamy Broccoli Soup:
-- 1 box veggie broth
-- 2 cans chickpeas
-- 1 cup almond milk
-- 2 cups chopped broccoli
-- Salt, pepper, garlic powder
Head up beans, broth, and milk ingredients slightly. Half at a time, blend until smooth, then pour back into pot.
Mix in chopped broccoli and spices. Simmer until broccoli is soft
3. I won’t get enough protein
While meat, fish, and eggs are great protein sources, beans and tofu are also full of protein. Also, lots of foods you might not expect have protein, and it adds up during the day. Whole grains like oats and wild rice have protein. Do does peanut butter. It’s important to make sure you’re getting the nutrition you need with any dietary change, but it’s easy to get the protein you need on a vegan diet if you’re mindful.
4. I love meat and cheese
I did too! I didn’t go vegan because I hated meat. I did it because factory farming is cruel to animals, and the animal agriculture industry is worse on our environment than the entire transportation industry. But guess what? After a few months, I completely stopped craving meat and cheese and eggs. I actually discovered some of my favorite foods that I never would have tried otherwise. Fried eggplant and tofu in sweet teriyaki sauce is something I never would have tried to make if I’d kept eating meat, and I love it more than any meat. Also, vegan cheese, while not the same, is a great replacement.
Maybe veganism is too big a change for you, but I recommend trying to make at least 1 day a week vegan. If you like it, try more. But start slow. Try the sofritas next time you go to chipoltle, or skip the ham sandwich for a hummus wrap. You might find something you love, and help save the planet and the animals while you’re at it!
(Zucchini pasta with cashew sauce from Desthil)
Vice President of University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Mogul hub. I'm a senior at the University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana. I'm getting a double major in Political Science and Psychology, and my career goal is to become a corporate lawyer.