I am a Teen Trying to go Vegan, Here’s my Process

Why am I trying to go vegan?

When I told my family I want to go vegan, they always asked me why before any of the logistical questions. Following a vegan diet lowers the risk of cancer, lowers the risk of diabetes, lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, improves your mood, gives you healthier skin, makes fewer green house gas emissions, makes a smaller water footprint, helps save the oceans, and leads to less deforestation. “Sigh.”

These are actually not the original reasons that I decided to attempt to go vegan. It all started when I was watching some youtube, and came across a video that said to watch the documentary on Netflix called What the Health, if you want to make healthier food decisions. So I did. After watching that documentary I moved on to another, and another, until now I have watched around five documentaries about the dangers of a meat based diet. That is how my journey started, and why I am trying to go vegan.

What are the steps I am going to take?

Going into this I am definitely not going to jump right in. There are some steps I am going to take to make sure that I enjoy this. The first step is going vegetarian. Currently I am living with a vegetarian in my house, so for dinner while the rest of my family has hamburgers, I have whatever she has. This has been going pretty well so far, because I am not feeling like I am missing out on much.

The next step I am going to take will be The Transition. In this period I will be figuring out with my family how to make sure I get enough nutrients, and what I will need at the grocery store. I will need a vegan substitute for many things like milk, (I am thinking coconut milk, what do you think?) butter, cream cheese and more.

After this period I am going to become vegan, expect allow myself a couple of cheat meals per week. Ice cream, whatever it is. After this, I am going full in. Those are the steps I am going to take.

What are the challenges I am worried about?

Obviously, there are some challenges that I am worried about. The first is what do I do when me and my friends go out for ice cream? This is weirdly specific, so it could also include, what do I do when I go over to someones house and they are serving hamburgers or another meat based dish?

Another section of challenges is lunches. I am going to actually have to learn how to cook. “Gasp.” Instead of my parent just making me a bagel, I will learn how to make my own vegan lunches. These are the challenges I expect to face.

How do I plan to overcome those challenges?

For my first challenge dealing with friends, when we get ice cream together I can get something from a nearby Starbucks or bakery, or not get something. I don’t always have to get a treat.

When I am going over to a friends house for dinner, I will make sure to let the family know in advance that I don’t eat meat, or if I feel that that is too much, I can always say, “I don’t eat that” and just eat the vegetable side dishes.

I am excited about having a lot of different lunches. There are so many food options to explore as a vegan, and I am excited to have more tofu, edamame, fruits and vegetables. I think that I can learn to love making my own lunches and having great dishes. I think knowing how to cook is an amazing skill to have, and I can’t wait to learn it.

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