First understand what being vegan actually means. A vegan is a person that not only does not eat meat or fish. A true vegan also does not consume any food created by animals or is any bi-product of an animal. No milk, no eggs, no dairy of any kind. They do not use nor do they wear any item or product produced from an animal. A vegan avoids the use of any animal products for nourishment or for any other purpose.
Let’s start by covering some basic facts about vegan’s. Many people will say that if you omit meat from your diet, you will get sick. That is not true in totality. There are many vegetarians as well as vegan’ s out there that are quite healthy indeed. The most important factor here for those wishing to become vegan is to make sure you get all the information you can “before” you stop eating meat & dairy products.
Eating as a vegan or vegetarian is not difficult; you just need to remember where all your vitamins and minerals come from. Here is an example. If you’re not eating meat where will your body’ s requirement of B12 come from? Well you can add soy milk to your diet; it will give you added B12 as well as some other vitamins. What about Vitamin D? That can be taken care of on sunny days.
Protein is always a big concern after all it helps feed our bodies for strong muscle growth as well we need it for our skin, our nails etc. If you’re not eating meat or dairy, where will the protein your body needs come from? Some alternatives would be green vegetables, soy nuts and oats added to your diet.
A question asked many times is; “what about processed foods like vegetable based snacks and such?” They are certainly available these days, but as well they can be and are at many times expensive. What is the alternative? Make them yourself! Not only will you save money, they will be more nutrient rich as well as fresher. My grandmother use to say, and this is something I firmly believe; “you know “exactly” what you are eating when you make it yourself.” Many ingredients can be grown in your own backyard.
Remember while vegan does not always mean Wiccan, Wiccan’s that are vegan not only enjoy the growing of organic items for food, they as well enjoy working with the soil, it allows them feel closer to what is many times referred to by Wiccan’s as Mother Earth. So dig in as they say, and enjoy the benefits of growing some of your own food!
Tips & Warnings
* If wanting to become vegan begin with learning all you can about the diet and lifestyle of a vegan, do your research and be sure it is what you want for yourself.
* Do “not” make such a drastic change if you are a meat and dairy eater, simply if you “think” you should to become Wiccan. I can not state this strong enough. All Wiccan’s are NOT vegan, nor is it a pre-requisite or requirement for being Wiccan.
* If you are still set on becoming a vegan, seek your physician’s approval and/or release to do so.
* The safest way to make the transition is to do it slowly, such a drastic change should not be made over night, and doing so can possibly cause some intestinal or gastrointestinal problems.
* Begin by incorporating vegan products and/or adding more non-animal and organic items to your diet while you lessen the meat and dairy from your diet. Allow your body to become accustomed to becoming vegan; do not shock it into it.
* Do not assume B-12 or any other vitamin, mineral or nutrient is not an issue, or that the body does not need it.
* Invest in a good vegan cook-book to be able to diversify your meals.
* Understand that while vegan diets are quite high in omega 6’s, they are very low in omega 3’s which are needed for growth and development; especially brain and eye development and as well can reduce risk for psychological disorders, immune-inflammatory disorders and chronic diseases.
* Do not allow anyone to tell you, you MUST be vegan if you wish to be Wiccan or wish to practice the Wiccan religion.
* Seek your physicians okay for beginning any new diet, especially one of drastic dietary change.
* While vegan diets can be very healthy, beginning one as with any drastic lifestyle change, without enough knowledge can be potentially dangerous to your health.