On the fence about going vegan? Don’t know where to find inspiration or confused about how to shop vegan? As ‘Veganuary’ is now coming to an end, here are some tips that’ll guide you into the vegan lifestyle and allow you to get the hang of a plant-based life.
Veganism is a lifestyle that has many positives to our planet’s well-being, animal life, and an overall ethical lifestyle choice that allows an individual to make a significant impact. As most of us are aware, veganism has grown popular throughout the last decade. Ireland’s vegan reputation is well-admired, and now in Ireland, in the year 2021, being vegan is easier than ever.
Studies about veganism from 2018 have shown that 4.1% of Ireland’s population is vegan. Another has been demonstrated that 49% of Irish people have thought about going vegan to impact environmental and ethical reasons.
Peta has revealed statistics showing that one person being vegan can save up to 100 animals per year. With that, if the number of vegans increases, those numbers will skyrocket; inevitably, one person certainly makes a difference. Following that, there is a link between not eating animals and lowering your carbon footprint. Did you know that animal agriculture is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global warming? There are many positives to going vegan, and the protection of our animals and planet are significant.
“Animal agriculture is the single largest source of methane emissions in the U.S., and methane is 80 times more powerful than CO2 at warming the Earth over 20 years. Nitrous oxide is even more potent—it is 300 times more warming than CO2.” –Peta.
- Top 10 Vegan Make-up Brands to try this Veganuary
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- Dublin Going Vegan
other vegan resources
Many vegan influencers and activists are full of information regarding veganism. There are hundreds and hundreds of educational videos on the lifestyle and facts about the effects of non-veganism on animals and the planet. Vegan accounts I would undoubtedly recommend following would be:
- Earthling Ed: Both on Instagram and YouTube, he has an array of information about compassion and justice for animal rights and environmental issues. Ed is a great educator on the topic of veganism as his videos go into depth on different matters revolving around animal rights.
- Angelina Nicolle: Instagram and YouTube, I have been following her since the beginning of my vegan journey. Her YouTube is certainly more light-hearted and fun, which she also shares healthy vegan recipes and “What I Eat in a Day” videos that give inspiration if you are stuck on meals or what to cook when you start out being vegan.
- Wear I Live: I stumbled upon her YouTube once upon a time and was captured by her videos as I noticed that she too, is plant-based. Wear I Live makes lifestyle vlogs and plant-based recipes, again, like Angelina giving inspiration for recipes and showing how second-nature plant-based eating can become. Her videos are very much enjoyable with such beautiful aesthetics with a great attitude on a plant-based lifestyle.
- The Happy Pear: The Happy Pear both have a vegan/vegetarian cafe in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, and recipes on their social media sites. Steve and Dave give an abundance of vegan recipes and share how to cook vegan on a budget. You can also find healthy, vegan ready-made meals in Supervalu Stores. These plant-based twins have made veganism easy and accessible to the Irish nation. They have a selection of cookbooks on shelves that give inspiration for healthy and easy vegan meals.
- Peta: Peta is one of the largest non-profit animal rights foundations with an abundance of information that includes recipes and animal rights/justice. There is a Free Vegan Starter Pack that you can order from their website, an informational pamphlet that can help start you off on your vegan journey. This Starter Kit is available for everyone to order on their website.
At first, a vegan food shop can be daunting. You ask yourself, what do I buy? How do I know if this is vegan? To make things easier for yourself try your best to look at what you can eat and not what you can’t. It is essential to make sure you have your stables: oats, pasta, rice, tins such as beans, chickpeas, black beans etc. From here you can shop at your taste, whatever your favourite fruit or vegetables are.
- Aldi: I could not recommend this store enough for vegan food shopping. Their selection is phenomenal. It is at a reasonable price, making shopping vegan more accessible and affordable. Their range, “Plant Menu,” offers a vast selection of frozen foods for easy meals and things you wouldn’t notice the difference if they were vegan or not. Aldi also offers vegan yoghurt and plant-based milk such as almond, soy, oat and coconut. There is an alternative for most things in this store. Not only does it offer food, but Aldi also has a variety of vegan wines that are labelled vegan at the back (a lot of wines are non-vegan, but Aldi makes this easier).
- Lidl: Lidl is an amazing supermarket for fruit and veg in particular; the prices are affordable, and they also have a bakery section where you can find vegan bread (just look out for the milk and egg allergens!). Most breads are vegan, such as bagels, wraps, whole-grain, and white bread. Each shop varies, so make sure to double-check, however, Lidl are great for marking things as vegan and not just vegetarian! They also have vegan pizza options, tofu, ice-creams and yoghurt!
- Vegan Cheese/Meats: Ireland’s selection of vegan cheeses and meats has grown in the past few years, and now there is a wide collection of these products. It’s easier to find vegan cheeses and meats in major supermarkets, such as Tesco and Dunnes in Ireland.
dining vegan with non-vegan friends/family
Our social lives are important to us, and it can certainly be difficult when you are starting your vegan lifestyle. Luckily, in 2021, there is an option for vegans almost everywhere, allowing you not to feel excluded from your social gatherings. Examples of non-vegan restaurants with vegan options in Dublin include:
Irish Vegan Instagram Accounts
A few Irish Vegan Instagram accounts are constantly on the ball with what is new in and foods you love that you may not have known that are suitable for vegans! Many things are vegan that are not labelled vegan; these accounts show the wide range of items on our supermarket shelves that are suitable for plant-based eaters!
Don’t worry if you slip up or make a mistake, becoming vegan is a journey, and your effort and mindfulness is just as significant as being the “perfect” vegan. A plant-based living will eventually become second-nature with practice, as well as your familiarisation with recipes and how to cook plant-based. Vegan today is very different from vegan ten years ago, the accessibility is phenomenal, and the vegan scene thriving more than ever.
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