80% Of People Think Going Vegan Is Difficult, But It Doesn't Have To Be
It's estimated that vegans account for anywhere from 2 to 6% of the American population. It's a growing number, but there are still plenty of folks out there eating meat and dairy.
And according to a new study by researchers at the University of Bath in England, meat-eaters aren't opposed to the ethics of veganism. In fact, 73% of the people surveyed (none of which were vegan) called veganism ethical, and 70% said it was good for the environment.
So, why aren't those people vegan? Taste, convenience, and price, according to these findings.
More than 80% of the participants reported feeling that going vegan wasn't easy—a hefty percentage highlighting one of the biggest barriers facing veganism today. But going vegan has never been easier, and with the following tips, you may be surprised to find omitting animal products is easier than you once believed.
It doesn't have to be expensive.
One of the biggest qualms when it comes to going vegan is that it's perceived to be expensive. We're not going to sugarcoat this: if you want to buy the fanciest vegan cheeses, newest meat alternatives, and rare specialty items, you're gonna hike up your food bill. But the same can be said for a quality cut of steak, wild salmon fillets, or a wedge of your grocer's finest Brie. So if you're a little strapped, don't be discouraged. It is possible to go vegan on a budget: Here's how.
Be patient with yourself (and your taste buds).
If taste is another factor keeping you from giving up an omnivorous lifestyle, may we offer this friendly reminder on the malleability of taste buds? One Harvard study found that just a few weeks without animal products will result in changes to your taste preferences. Just a few weeks! If you can power through those early days, you will learn to love your new vegan staples, and your meat cravings may become a thing of the past.
And not only that, but adopting any new diet is going to require some trial and error. Be patient with yourself as you figure out which recipes you like and which ones you don't. Here are five delicious recipes to get you started.
Keep your priorities in mind.
And lastly, making any change in your life, no matter what it might be, feels much easier when you keep your priorities in mind. If you're ready to give veganism a shot for the sake of the animals, the planet, and/or your health, constantly ask yourself, "Why do I want this?"
After all, we already know there are so many benefits to going meat- and dairy-free. Heck, 73% of non-vegans said it's ethical! So it's really a matter of prioritizing what you truly believe. For inspiration, check out five ways to rewire your brain for meaningful life changes.
But hey, don't take it from us—take it from the guy who authored the study. Chris Bryant, M.S., mentioned that over the course of his study, he noticed "substantial changes" as far as what's available for vegans today.
"Supermarkets, restaurants, and even fast food outlets have developed numerous high-quality and affordable vegan options," he says. "Having direct replacements for the foods people know and like makes it easier for everybody to consume fewer animal products."
Indeed, it's becoming easier to go vegan every day. So if you're one of the 80% of people who think it might be a challenge but you want to give it a try, remember these tips. And be sure to check out our master vegan grocery list with a full week of vegan meals to kick off your new lifestyle on the right foot!
Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.