Happy Veganuary! Veganuary is a campaign to encourage people to try a vegan diet for the month of January. If you’re interested in veganism and want to give it a go, I recommend taking part in Veganuary.
To celebrate Veganuary, I’m publishing a series of posts about veganism during the month of January. These posts will deal with some of the common questions faced by new vegans and assist and support you if you’re considering making the transition to a vegan diet.
One of the most important things to do at the beginning of your vegan journey is to do your research. Veganism is a massive topic and there are so many things to be considered. You need to think about the reasons why you want to go vegan, the health benefits and concerns associated with a vegan diet as well as recipes and meal inspiration. The internet is filled with resources for new vegans, but it can be very overwhelming when you’re just getting started. To help you out, I’ve put together a list of the resources that I found most helpful at the beginning of my transition to veganism, as well as the ones that I reference on a regular basis now.
Forks over Knives: This compelling documentary discusses the health benefits of a plant based diet. It considers whether eating a diet high in animal products can contribute to problems like heart disease and cancer and how moving away from animal products can have a healing effect on our bodies.
101 Reasons to Go Vegan: A presentation aimed at high school students to help you consider the ethical dilemmas involved in farming and eating animals and animal by-products.
Cowspiracy: A sobering look at the environmental impact of the farming industry.
The Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S Nixon: When you’re first learning to cook a plant-based diet, a comprehensive book like this one can be a lifesaver. I read this book two months after I began eating a vegan diet, and it made life so much easier. It is chock-full of recipes for meal inspiration, has pages of tips for negotiating eating out at restaurants and social gatherings, lots of interviews with vegans of all walks of life and great shopping lists in the back. One important thing to note is that this book is focused on plant-based eating, which doesn’t include things like oil and so it’s a tad more limited than a traditional “vegan” diet. But this book is still a great starting point and I highly recommend it.
Veganish: the Omnivore’s Guide to Plant-Based Cooking by Mielle Chenier and Cowan Rose: An excellent book to read if you’re concerned about the nutritional value of a vegan diet. Although the book does have a lot of recipes, they are a tiny bit more advanced than most beginner-friendly books, owing to the fact that the author is a chef. It’s still a great read and very informative.
Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans by Natalie Slater: Most vegan cookbooks are a plethora of salads, soups, curries and other angelic delights. This punk-rock book is brimming with amazing vegan junk food options like pizzas, cakes, cookies, chips, sandwiches and nachos. It’s colourful and creative and so much fun.
Nom Yourself by Mary Mattern: This cookbook is filled with delicious yet simple vegan recipes. You don’t need a stack of fancy ingredients or equipment, and the vast majority of recipes focus on nutritious, whole foods.
All Vegan, All Good: All Vegan, All Good is the shopping hub for cruelty-free clothing and products. If you are looking for good-quality vegan clothing, beauty products and lifestyle products, this website is a great place to start. Browse through the list of shops or search for specific items. This site has saved me so much time when looking for new shoes and beauty products.
Veggieful: This is my most-visited site for finding vegan groceries and takeaway options. Although the site is packed with blog posts about vegan nutrition, recipes and so forth, the real kicker is the comprehensive lists of “accidentally vegan” items at major grocery stores and takeaway chains in Australia. This website will save you so much time scouring ingredients lists and asking waitstaff what you can order. It’s amazing and I love it.
Choose Cruelty Free: A comprehensive listing of all the companies that make cruelty free and vegan cosmetics in Australia. This is immensely helpful as it can be very confusing trying to determine which products are cruelty free in the chemist or supermarket as not all of them are clearly labelled. This website takes all the guesswork out of shopping for cosmetics.
The Cruelty Free Shop: The biggest vegan supermarket in Australia. The brick-and-mortar store is located in Fitzroy. However, if you’re not able to get to the actual shop, you can buy all your vegan goodies at their online store. Featuring everything from groceries to snacks, makeup to lubricant, everything is 100% vegan.
Your Vegan Fallacy Is: This genius website offers smart, snappy answers to the common myths about veganism. It gives you a rebuttal for common snarky remarks such as “Animals aren’t smart enough to matter” and “Vegans can’t get enough protein”. It’s good for a laugh, but it’s also a great educational tool.
Keira Rose: Keira vlogs about a range of topics, including mental health and cosplay. But my favourite part of her channel is her “what I ate” videos which are great fodder for meal planning and her reviews of vegan products. She’s charming, funny and adorable and I’ve learned so much from her channel.
Jenny Mustard: I first discovered Jenny’s channel when I was looking for videos about minimalism and decluttering. In addition to being a genius on these topics, Jenny is a total foodie and gives brilliant advice on simple, satisfying vegan cooking. She’s a master of meal planning and has loads of snack ideas that will make your mouth water.
Plant Based News: A great channel to help you access the newest vegan documentaries as well as interviews with scientists, doctors and health professionals.
Vegan Voyager: Laura’s down-to-earth tone and witty attitude make this channel a pleasure to watch. Featuring great advice for vegan travel, avoiding products with hidden animal content and identifying accidentally vegan products. Loads of delicious junk food and shopping tips.
If you know of any other resources that you think I should add to this list, please let me know. I’m always on the lookout for new vegan books, films and online media to learn from and share.
As always, if you’ve got any questions I’d be happy to try to answer them for you. Drop me an email or leave a comment and I’ll do my best to find the answer for you.