top of page


Vegan Blogs on Veganism, Health, Animal Abuse, Environment & Recipes

Transitioning to a Vegan Lifestyle : Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Vegan Lifestyle Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Are you considering transitioning to a vegan lifestyle but unsure where to start? Making the shift to a plant-based diet can seem daunting, but with the right guidance and a few practical tips, the journey can be incredibly rewarding and easier than you think. This guide will walk you through the essentials of transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, offering tips and tricks tailored for Vegan curious, beginners and all Vegans looking for inspiration.


1) Understanding Veganism

2) Educate Yourself on Nutrition

3) Gradual Changes

4) Find Your 'Why'

5) Practical Tips

  • Meal Planning

  • Learn to Read Labels

  • E Numbers that are Definitely Not Vegan

  • E Numbers That May Not Be Vegan

  • Veganize Your Favourites

  • Building a Support System

  • Eating Out and Social Events

6) Resources and Inspiration

7) Final Thoughts

1) Understanding Veganism

Firstly, it's essential to understand what being vegan entails. Veganism is a lifestyle choice that excludes all animal products and by-products, focusing on plant-based foods. It’s not just about diet but also extends to avoiding animal-derived goods in clothing, cosmetics, and more.

Donald Watson is credited with coining the term "vegan" and founding The Vegan Society in 1944.

Donald Watson described veganism as a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose. In the early days, veganism was primarily seen as a diet that excluded all animal products, but Watson and others envisioned it more broadly as a philosophy and lifestyle choice advocating for animal rights and environmental sustainability.

Watson's vision for veganism was deeply rooted in ethical considerations. He believed in living without causing harm to animals, and his ideas have significantly influenced the modern vegan movement, which encompasses not only diet but also issues related to animal rights, environmentalism, and sustainable living practices.

The Vegan Society, which he helped to establish, defines veganism as a "philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals."

2) Educate Yourself on Nutrition

Research is key. Familiarize yourself with vegan nutrition to ensure you’re meeting all your dietary needs. Taking responsibility for our own health is important whether you are a vegan or not. Fortunately, it is easy to have a healthy vegan life and to reap the benefits:

For more information please read these:

3) Gradual Changes

Some people go Vegan overnight, but if going Vegan overnight feels too daunting, you can begin by incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet progressively. Slowly reduce meat, dairy, and other animal products. Similarly with your clothing, you can replace your animal based clothing overnight, or you can replace your animal based clothing as and when they need replacing with Vegan clothes. The choice is yours, but what you will realise as you transition to Veganism is that it is easy. It is easy to have a healthy Vegan lifestyle.

4) Find Your 'Why'

Understanding your reasons for transitioning can help stay motivated, whether it’s for health, ethical, or environmental reasons.

For more information please read these:

5) Practical Tips

  • Meal Planning:

Planning your meals can help diversify your diet and ensure you’re getting a balance of nutrients.

  • Learn to Read Labels:

Many products may seem vegan but contain hidden animal-derived ingredients.

Here are 30 non-vegan ingredients that are commonly found in various foods, some of which might not be immediately recognized as animal-derived by those new to a vegan lifestyle:

1. Gelatine: Derived from the collagen taken from animal skin, bones, and connective tissues. Common in gummy candies, marshmallows, and some desserts.

2. Casein: A milk protein found in dairy products but also in some non-dairy items as an additive.

3. Whey: Another milk protein that's a by-product of cheese production. It's present in many processed foods and protein supplements.

4. Lanolin: Sourced from sheep's wool, often used in vitamin D3 supplements and some cosmetics.

5. Shellac: A secretion from the lac bug, used as a coating or glaze on candies and pills.

6. Albumen/Albumin: Egg whites, found in many baked goods and some types of pasta.

7. Carmine (Cochineal): A red dye made from crushed insects, used in cosmetics and as a food colouring (also called E120).

8. Isinglass: A substance obtained from fish bladders, primarily used in the clarification of beer and wine.

9. L-cysteine: An amino acid often sourced from duck or chicken feathers, used as a dough conditioner in some commercial breads.

10. Honey: Produced by bees, often used as a sweetener in foods and beverages.

11. Beeswax (Cera Alba): A substance made from the secretion of bees, used in some candies and as a coating for fruits.

12. Royal Jelly: A secretion from honey bees, used in some dietary supplements and cosmetics.

13. Propolis: A bee product used in some food products, supplements, and for its antibacterial properties.

14. Bone char: Charred animal bones, used in sugar refinement for decolorizing.

15. Fish oil: Derived from fish, used in supplements and some fortified foods.

16. Tallow: Rendered form of beef or mutton fat, used in cooking and in producing some soaps and cosmetics.

17. Glycerine/Glycerol: Can be derived from animal fats or plant sources, used as a sweetener or moistening agent in foods, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.

18. Oleic Acid (Olein): Sourced from both animal and vegetable fats, used in various food products and industrial applications.

19. Rennet: An enzyme from the stomachs of ruminant animals, used in cheese-making.

20. Vitamin D3: Often sourced from fish oil or lanolin, used in fortified foods and supplements.

21. Collagen: Derived from animal tissues, used in dietary supplements and cosmetics.

22. Keratin: A protein from animal hair, feathers, or horns, found in some hair and nail supplements.

23. Suet: Hard fat around the kidneys and loins in cattle and sheep, used in traditional British cuisine, including some puddings and pastries.

24. Pepsin: An enzyme from the stomach of pigs, used in some cheese products and to clarify beer.

25. Stearic Acid: Can be derived from animal fats, used as a hardener in soaps and to add texture to food products.

26. Confectioner's glaze (Pharmaceutical Glaze): Another term for Shellac, used in candy coatings and pharmaceutical products.

27. Magnesium Stearate: Often plant-based but can be derived from animal fat, used in pharmaceuticals and supplements.

28. Caseinate: A derivative of casein, used in many processed and "creamier" food items.

29. Cholesterol: Sourced from animal fats, found in dietary supplements and some animal-based products.

30. Elastin: Found in animal connective tissue, sometimes used in cosmetics.

It's noteworthy that for many of these ingredients, there are plant-based alternatives available, catering to vegan dietary requirements. Always check product labels or inquire with manufacturers for specific ingredient sourcing.

In addition to these are E Numbers. Here are a list of E numbers that are definitely not vegan and then those that may not be vegan, this information could change with new production techniques or clarifications from manufacturers. Always check with the producer if you need assurance about a product's vegan status.

  • E Numbers that are Definitely Not Vegan

These additives are derived from animal products:

- E120 (Carmine/Cochineal): A red dye made from crushed cochineal insects.

- E441 (Gelatine): Obtained from collagen taken from animal body parts.

- E542 (Bone phosphate): Made from the bones of slaughtered animals and used as an anti-caking agent.

- E901 (Beeswax): Produced by bees.

- E904 (Shellac): A resin secreted by the lac bug.

- E910 (L-cysteine): While it can be produced synthetically, it's often derived from hair or feathers.

- E913 (Lanolin): Secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals.

- E966 (Lactitol): A sugar alcohol derived from lactose, which is found in milk.

  • E Numbers That May Not Be Vegan

These additives can be derived from both plant and animal sources. Their vegan status depends on how they are produced, which is not always disclosed on product labels.

- E322 (Lecithin): Can be derived from plant sources like soybeans or sunflower, but also from egg yolk.

- E471 (Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids): Can be derived from both plant oils and animal fats.

- E472(a-f): Esterified fatty acid compounds that can originate from animal or plant sources.

- E473 (Sucrose esters of fatty acids) and E474 (Sucroglycerides): Can include fatty acids from animal sources.

- E475 (Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids): As with other fatty acid derivatives, the source could be animal or plant fats.

- E476 (Polyglycerol polyricinoleate): Though usually derived from castor beans, the glycerol component might be animal-derived.

- E477 (Propane-1,2-diol esters of fatty acids): The fatty acids might come from animal sources.

- E631 (Disodium inosinate), E635 (Disodium 5'-ribonucleotides): Often sourced from meat or fish, though they can be produced from plant starch or seaweed.

- E640 (Glycine and its sodium salt): Can be synthesized or derived from animal sources.

It's essential to research or contact manufacturers directly to determine the sourcing of these E numbers in products they wish to consume. This ensures they are adhering to their dietary preferences and ethical considerations.

  • Veganize Your Favourites

Find vegan versions of your favourite meals. There are countless recipes online tailored for vegan diets.

  • Building a Support System

1. Connect with Other Vegans: Join vegan groups, online communities, or local meetups to share experiences and tips.

2. Educate Your Loved Ones:

Sharing your reasons for transitioning and what it entails can help garner support from friends and family.

  • Eating Out and Social Events

1. Research Restaurants:

Many establishments offer vegan options or can accommodate dietary requests but it is always worth checking ahead.

2. Bring Your Own:

When attending social gatherings, bring a vegan dish. It’s a great way to introduce others to vegan food.

6) Resources and Inspiration

There are countless resources available to aid in your transition, this website for example but there are many others. Books, documentaries, blogs, apps, and social media can provide inspiration, recipes, and support.

Vegan documentaries have played a significant role in raising awareness about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle, including health, environmental, and ethical considerations. Here's a list of 10 popular vegan documentaries that have sparked discussions and inspired many to consider plant-based living:

1. "Forks Over Knives" (2011) - This documentary focuses on the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. LINK

2. "The Game Changers" (2018) - Produced by James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jackie Chan, this film presents compelling evidence about the advantages of plant-based eating for athletes, challenging the traditional belief about the necessity of animal protein for strength and health. LINK

3. "Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret" (2014) - Focusing on environmental issues, this film explores the impact of animal agriculture on the environment and investigates why leading environmental organizations have been so silent on this issue. LINK

4. "What the Health" (2017) - From the creators of "Cowspiracy," this documentary focuses on the health impact of meat and dairy products consumption, questioning the practices of leading health and pharmaceutical organizations. LINK

5. "Earthlings" (2005) - Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, this film is a powerful and informative documentary about society's treatment of animals for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and research purposes. LINK

6. "Vegucated" (2011) - This documentary follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks and learn what it's all about. LINK

7. "Dominion" (2018) - Using drone footage, hidden cameras, and handheld cameras, the film exposes the dark underbelly of modern animal agriculture, questioning the morality and validity of humankind's dominion over the animal kingdom. LINK

8. "Eating You Alive" (2018) - A feature-length documentary revealing the truth behind why Americans are so sick and what we can do about it, focusing on chronic diseases and their connection to diet. LINK

9. "Food Choices" (2016) - This documentary explores the impact that food choices have on people's health, the health of our planet, and on the lives of other living species. It also discusses several misconceptions about food and diet. LINK

10. "Seaspiracy" (2021) - From the creators of "Cowspiracy," this film focuses on the environmental impact of fishing, highlighting issues such as plastic ocean pollution, whaling, and aquaculture. LINK

These documentaries offer various perspectives on veganism, from health and fitness to ethical and environmental concerns, and serve as a starting point for anyone interested in learning more about the impact of dietary and lifestyle choices on our world.

7) Final Thoughts

Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle is a deeply personal and potentially transformative journey. It’s about making choices that align with your values and discovering a new and exciting world of food and flavours. Remember, every small step counts. Be patient with yourself and embrace the journey with an open heart and mind.

In embracing a vegan lifestyle, you’re not just contributing to a more sustainable and ethical world, but you’re also taking a profound step toward a healthier life. Transitioning may come with its challenges, but the rewards, both personal and global, are immense. Welcome to your vegan journey!


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating


to hear about the latest news, blogs and petitions
bottom of page