[This page is adapted
from Compassion Over Killing's Vegetarian
Starter Guide. For additional information on going vegan, visit the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) Vegetarian Starter Kit online, which includes the Three-Step Way to Go Vegetarian. You can also
to request a paper copy of the entire Vegetarian Starter Kit be mailed to you (for free).]
Each of us deals with change differently.
Some go all out and never look back. Others
like the slow and steady approach, making
incremental changes while keeping sight of
the final goal. Zig-zaggers take a few steps
forward, another one back, one off to the
side, and a couple more straight ahead. And
then there are those who work themselves into
a frenzy and feel paralyzed by the thought
of changing old habits. If you're one of the
above or somewhere in between, try these easy
steps to becoming vegetarian, making the transition
fun and painless.
Substitute a couple of ingredients in your favorite
dishes to make them animal-free. Can't get enough
spaghetti with meat sauce? Smother your preferred
pasta with tangy marinara and throw on some
sautéed garlic, mushrooms, or peppers
for an extra kick. Are you a chocoholic? Fear
not! Try some of the decadent dessert recipes
to satisfy even the sweetest tooth or pick up
a scrumptious Tropical Source®
candy bar. Love tacos? Swap the ground beef
with Textured Vedgetable Protein (TVP), vegetarian
refried beans, black beans, or "meatless"
crumbles, and spoon on a dollop of guacamole
instead of sour cream (or purchase Tofutti®
non-dairy sour cream). Toss on chopped veggies
like greens, onions, and tomatoes, and voila!
You've got a delicious treat just waiting for
you to take that first bite. Making simple substitutions
in your favorite recipes is an easy way to get
used to eating vegetarian food. Check out VegSeattle.com's
and dairy substitutes page.
1. Be vegetarian three days a week for the
first two weeks.
2. Now try five days a week for another two
Add a couple more days of compassionate
eating so you're a five-times-a-week vegetarian
for two weeks. Check out your local grocery's
"natural foods" section or stroll
through the neighborhood health food store.
Pick up some new-to-you vegetarian products
and get creative in the kitchen. Need help
finding a tasty recipe to go with the ingredient
or product? Check out COK's VegRecipes.org
or VegWeb.com's ever-growing recipe
collection for thousands of free, savory
recipes! If you prefer eating out, visit your
favorite hang-out and order a vegetarian dish
here for some dining out tips) or check
out a vegetarian-friendly restaurant and sample
something new. Would you rather whip up your
own culinary masterpiece? Invite over an open-minded,
enthusiastic dinner companion and enjoy your
own home-cooked meal.
3. So, youve been a near-vegetarian
for a whole month.
Congratulations! By rounding out your week
with two more vegetarian days, youve
made it! Give yourself a pat on the back!
Youre making wonderfully positive changes
not only for yourself and the environment,
but for the animals, too.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
As you move towards becoming vegetarian,
try not to be hard on yourself if it takes
some time. Remember that for every animal-friendly
choice you make, you're having a profound
and positive influence on the lives of animals
raised for food, your own health, and the
Being vegetarian isn't about being "pure."
An all-or-nothing approach may be daunting
or lead to short spurts of animal-friendly
living instead of long-lasting dietary change.
By keeping your eye on the prizereducing
the amount of harm done to animalsyou
can gradually adjust your diet for a smooth
Don't forget to congratulate yourself for
each vegetarian meal you enjoy! Even if you
start out being a part-time vegetarian, you're
already responsible for vastly more compassion
in the world. As long as you keep moving in
the right direction, you'll get there at the
pace best for you.
So, be good to yourself and let us know if
we can help along the way!
Changes Make a Big Difference
wanting to adopt a cruelty-free
lifestyle can feel a bit overwhelmed
at first. The key is to do
the best you can. Remind
yourself that while you probably
can't avoid everything that contributed
to animal cruelty, you can still
make a huge difference by adopting
some relatively small lifestyle
changes. Also remember that it's
much better to adopt a partly-veg
lifestyle than none at all.
For some simple
tips on how to adopt a cruelty-free
lifestyle, visit eHow's How
to Live a Cruelty-Free Life.
believe it's vegan!"
PETA has a
list of products that just
happen to be "accidently
vegan," including Hershey's
chocolate syrup, Fritos, Ritz
crackers, and a hundred and one
other products that can be found
in any grocery store. Being vegan
has never been easier!
Most KC grocery
stores carry numerous brands of
meat alternatives in the freezer,
health food, or produce section.Check
out Gardenburger's tasty meat
Sweet & Sour Pork, and
others (look for the asterisked
items [*] on their Web site for
vegan items). Find them at Wild
Oats, Whole Foods, Hy-Vee's Health
Mart, and elsewhere in KC.
Protein? Iron? B-12?
is a common concern for omnivores
and vegans alike. Please see Vegan
for an honest review of nutritional
issues that vegans should be aware
of, and for easy ways to include
a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals,
and antioxidants in every meal.
Need Some Recipe
of down-to-earth recipes, check
out the VegWeb
Recipe Directory. For some
simple, quick recipes, try our