This page contains general advice on following a vegan diet.
Where can I buy vegan products?
How do I know whether something is vegan?
This will, of course, depend on where you live.
In the UK, you can buy the Animal Free Shopper from the Vegan Society, which lists vegan products available from many manufacturers and supermarkets. You can also consult the database at IsItVeggie and IsItVegan and, for drinks, Barnivore.
Some supermarkets label their vegan products or their customer services departments may have lists of products that are suitable.
Health food shops and wholefood shops are also a good source of vegan products. Some health food shops concentrate on selling pills and potions rather than foods so they aren’t so useful.
Where can I get more information on veganism?
The best people to ask for advice are other vegans. The Vegan Forum has a lot of members willing to answer questions. There are separate forums for different parts of the world, so you can get information relevant to your local area. You can ask for health advice, places to eat, recipes or even find a vegan housemate.
An alternative is the Vegan Buddies forum which is aimed at helping new vegans.
Is the vegan diet healthy?
Yes! As with any diet, you should try to get a good mixture of different foods. Try to eat wholefoods (wholemeal bread rather than white bread, for example) and lots of different fruits and vegetables, particularly those with strong colours.
Use the recipes on this site to help you prepare meals to avoid eating too many processed foods. It is worth taking a little time to learn about the nutrients contained in different foods and what the human body needs. For example, it is generally advised that you should take a vitamin B12 food supplement, or each foods fortified with B12. Again, there is lots of information on the Vegan Society website.
Help! I don’t know any other vegans.
Being ‘a bit different’ to other people can be isolating at times and if you are turning vegan, getting support from others can be very helpful. There are vegans all over the world but it can be hard to find them.
Some places will have vegetarian social groups, or there may be a local contact for a vegetarian or vegan society who can help you. You could try joining animal rights or animal welfare organisations (like rescue shelters) in your area.
You could also look for other people on the Vegan Forum.
It may sound wierd, but there are many dating sites specifically for vegetarians and vegans and those sites will generally let you search for friends rather than romantic partners. This could be a good way to find new vegan friends, though remember to follow all the safety rules, particularly if you are a young person.
My son/daughter has turned vegan and I think they’re going to die!
My parents are really unsupportive of my turning vegan.
When you tell someone you are vegan, you often get a very hostile reaction. People who are completely unqualified suddenly turned into dietary experts and start lecturing you on your choose of an ‘unhealthy’ diet. I’ve come to the conclusion that people feel that their own moral choices are being challenged when they meet a vegan and it puts them on the defensive. Of course, not everyone is like this.
If you have an unsupportive parent (or you ARE an unsupportive parent), get them to read the nutritional advice for vegans and ask them to respect your decision.
|Baked Bean Bake|
|Red Lentil Flan|
|Spicy Lentil Casserole|
|Spicy Chick-Pea Stew|
|Tagliatelle and Mushrooms|
|Sweet Potato Pasties|
|Mushroom Nut Loaf|
|Wholemeal Spaghetti Bake|
|Red Bean Stew|
|Mushroom and Nut Pie|
|Butter Bean Burgers|
|Okra with Cumin and Coriander|
|Aubergine and Butter Bean Biryani|
|Sweet Potato Curry|
|Chick-Pea and Aubergine|
|Yellow Split Pea Dahl|
|Coconut Vegetable Curry|
|Chick Peas and Spinach|
|Jam Roly Poly Pudding|
|Jam Suet Pudding|
|Chocolate Sandwich Cake|
|Chocolate Orange Cake|