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February 20, 2022

Veganism isn't a one-time decision.

It's a succession of decisions that are stored in your subconscious mind. It's a permanent identity, not a passing fancy.

Despite this, 84 percent of vegetarians and vegans give up their diet. That's a success rate of only 16%. For the animals, these aren't exactly reassuring figures.

So, why do so many individuals struggle to maintain a vegan diet?

It all boils down to doing it for the wrong reasons, having unrealistic expectations, a lack of support, knowledge, and skills—all of which we'll go over in further depth below.

It's important to note that we're not passing judgment on anyone who isn't vegan. We're all failing at living compassionately in various ways. We hope you may connect to some of the examples that are preventing you from moving forward.

We recognize that each person's circumstance is unique and that any development is a step in the right direction. So let's applaud and praise everybody who makes a sincere effort to go vegan. We created a podcast episode discussing why people stop becoming vegan if you enjoy podcasts. Now, let's knock down the hurdles that may be stopping you from being vegan, in the hopes of increasing veganism's overall success rate.

You began following a vegan diet only for health reasons.

The health advantages of a whole foods plant-based diet are widely recognized, including reduced heart disease, certain malignancies, type 2 diabetes, and even weight loss (although this is not always the case).

In general, the easiest way for omnivores to understand why someone might adopt a vegan diet is via the lens of health. We as a culture like debating the efficacy of various diets while simultaneously refusing to accept what goes on behind closed doors in industrial farms and other places. Veganism is an excellent way to get started for health reasons. It can, however, readily be the cause of a drop-off.

It's the equivalent of going to the gym. How many of us are truly dedicated to going three to four times each week? Or do you prefer to eat well? We all make mistakes and eat too much pizza from time to time.

So, if you're becoming vegan for health reasons, it's worth looking into the possibilities beyond the nutritional ones. Add films like Cowspiracy, Dominion, Unity, and even A Plastic Ocean to your viewing list. Read vegan books—ours is a good place to start.

On the other hand, if you go vegan in the hopes of being healthier but continue to consume the same sorts of things you did before, you'll quickly discover that you may be a junk food vegan.

Your friends and relatives aren't on your side.

This is most likely the biggest reason why individuals do not stick to a vegan diet. Food and relationships are such an important aspect of everyone's lives.

Being "the tough one" who continually requests a separate supper or has to make different meals for oneself may be tiring, both physically and psychologically.

This continual friction has the potential to shatter you. It's tempting to give up, maintain the peace, and eat the same as everyone else, whether or not there are animals on the plate.

It's impossible to avoid the fact that being vegan is difficult when your husband, children, parents, friends, and coworkers oppose it.

Here are some suggestions to help you stay strong throughout these times.

  • Batch Prepare nutritious meals for yourself and store them in the refrigerator or freezer for later use. Red lentil stew and soup are two of our favorite freezer-friendly dishes. It's cheap, filling, adaptable, and delicious.
  • Prepare vegan-friendly dishes and then add animal products halfway through the cooking process, separating yours first.
  • Introduce vegan days to your household so that the rest of your family can witness the benefits of veganism and how delicious vegan meals can be.
  • Teach your family how to prepare meals on their own. I understand that for some families with little children, this is not a possibility, but there is nothing more powerful than teaching them to prepare their own meals.

    When it comes to dining out, you're entrenched in your previous habits and comforts.

    Sometimes we let our laziness get the best of us. Before you know it, you've eaten chicken two nights in a row and had a cheese and ham sandwich for lunch because of a poor decision.

    The easiest approach to deal with this is to plan ahead of time.

    Consider all of the vegan meal alternatives available during your lunch break, or prepare ahead of time.

    If you're stumped for ideas or aren't familiar with the region, apps like Happy Cow and abillionVeg might come in handy.

    If you have food allergies or are picky about what you eat, ask the café or restaurant to prepare something off the menu for you.

    Most eateries would gladly do it if you give them notice or if you ask for components that they already have in other meals to be combined.

    It will become simpler to make the proper choices as you get more expertise and educate yourself on the wide variety of vegan-friendly meals available.

    You'll never look at food the same way again. The next time you look at that beef burger, you'll see a living animal. When you look at that milkshake, you'll witness the mother cow being torn away from a wailing tiny calf.

    Nobody said it would be simple or pleasant, but that is the unpleasant truth we face. Every time you buy something, you are voting with your cash to either minimize or continue animal misery.

    You don't know what it's like to live a vegan lifestyle.

    As previously said, education is essential to remaining vegan. The why behind the interest that ignited this lifestyle in the first place is created through awareness.

    Watch, read, listen, talk to others, and make connections with others who share your interests. Veganism is getting more and more accessible every day. Veganism is becoming more popular, and for good cause!

    Read up on the optimal plant-based macronutrient profiles for your body type if you want to increase your physical performance. Learn how to acquire protein from plants in a number of ways.

    Join Facebook groups and other online communities where vegan mothers share their most beneficial experiences, advice, and resources if you're pregnant.

    For the wrong reasons, you became vegan.

    Case by case, but I'm not sure how strong a reason that is if you become vegan because Miley Cyrus was vegan. Yes, you may romanticize her and think she's wonderful, but if you don't have a more compelling reason, you're unlikely to continue with veganism in the long run.

    We often have unrealistic ideas of what a vegan diet may do. Search Google or YouTube for "vegan transformation" and spend hours seeing amazing health improvements.

    Perhaps you turned vegan because your partner did, even if you weren't totally convinced. Perhaps you went vegan because it's socially acceptable in your social circle.

    You're stumped as to what to do for dinner.

    I realise how difficult it would be to change your lifestyle to forgo meat, dairy, eggs, and honey if you don't enjoy spending time in the kitchen or have a tendency to burn things to a crisp without intending.

    You may even adore cooking, but you have no idea what to prepare right now. We went through that phase, and for two weeks straight, we ate vegetable wraps for lunch to get our brains around what dishes and ingredients are vegan-friendly.

    It's difficult to run out of ideas with so many cookbooks, food websites, and new goods in mainstream stores. Sure, it would have been a different scenario five or so years ago, but today, knowledge is available everywhere you turn!

    Begin slowly and gradually add other foods once you've mastered the basics. Experiment with new veggies or prepare old favourites in new ways. Experiment using different grains.

    There's always something new to try. The only limit is how far you're willing to go. If you're looking for some inspiration and direction, we've put up a comprehensive beginners' guide to vegan grocery shopping.

    You've built a skewed perception of reality.

    It appears like everyone on our planet is turning vegan. This is on purpose. We sought out vegan friends and coworkers, listened to vegan podcasts, read vegan books, watched vegan YouTubers, and joined vegan communities when we first turned vegan.

    We effectively built a secure vegan bubble in which we could safely discuss our thoughts and learn from other vegans.

    However, we discovered that if you spend too much time in this vegan bubble, you begin to believe that veganism is more widespread than it is.

    The truth is that materialism and animal cruelty have never been greater. However, this is not always a terrible thing. Spending a reasonable amount of time outside of your cocoon.

    For one thing, anchoring yourself in reality reconnects you to why you began your vegan path in the first place. Go to your local grocery store, for example, and conduct some people watching (in a non-creepy way). What do individuals put in their shopping baskets?

    Observing people shop takes us back to a period when our priorities were just flavor, convenience, performance, and price. We never considered the supply chain or the product source (death of an animal).

    Seeing this in action reminds you of how most people still live today, and it should inspire you to keep fighting for your cause.

    Getting outside of your bubble also helps you to communicate more effectively with others who do not share your beliefs.

    Nothing breaks down communication barriers faster than being able to put oneself in the shoes of others.

    To do so effectively, you must place yourself in settings or conversations with others who have opposite viewpoints. We may learn about one other and even recognize the shortcomings in our own journey from there.

    So this is where we propose. To establish your new identity, use your vegan bubble as a safety net. However, after you've become used to your vegan lifestyle, it's critical that you keep informed about what's going on in the world.

    Have you struggled to stick to a vegan diet?

    We understand that everyone's circumstance is unique, and we'd love to know why you've struggled to be vegan. Was it for the same reasons as described in this piece, or was it for something different entirely? Let's start a constructive conversation in the comments section and learn from one another.

    Author: SMART BITES Editor: Martina Zlatkova 

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