One of the simplest ways we can help animals is by changing what we put on our plates.
But simple doesn’t always mean easy, especially when it comes to changing the way we eat. Food is cultural, social, and emotional. Our diets are influenced by health and psychology, and by what’s available and affordable. And, of course, taste. If we’re not familiar with a dish or don’t know how to make it, we’re not as likely to eat it.
There’s good news, though: You don’t have to do it all at once. You can start small by switching out one ingredient, like using plant-based milk instead of dairy. Or you can start with one day a week…let’s say Monday. The beginning of the week is always a good time to shake things up a bit.
But, wait, there’s more. Much more. You don’t have to do this alone. There are lots of resources out there, from recipes to veganize just about everything to communities to support you as you navigate questions and cravings. In addition to the actions and recommendations in THE ANIMAL LOVER’S GUIDE TO CHANGING THE WORLD, here are a few more:
Meatless Monday: Learn more about the movement, who’s on board, and recipes to help you start off your week meat-free.
The Green Plate: Meal planning, personalized coaching, and an online community from Mercy for Animals will support you whether you’re thinking about trying your first veggie burger or have been vegging for a while.
Try Veg: Compassion Over Killing has a free guide to get you started, recipes, and tips to veganize everything from Easter baskets to classic comfort foods.
VegCurious: If you’re not sure what to do with your veggies, but think you want to do more, this could be the no-pressure resource for you.
Plant-based on a Budget: You can eat more plant-based foods without breaking the bank, and this site is full of money-saving, animal-saving meal ideas to show you how.
The Vegetarian Resource Group: As the name implies, this is a virtual clearinghouse of veggie info.
Your local bookstore is a great place to start exploring plant-based diets offline, from learning more about the benefits of eating less meat and more vegetables, legumes, and whole grains to digging into different cuisines from all over the world. Here are a few titles to kick off your book browsing:
Food Is the Solution: What to Eat to Save the World by Matthew Prescott
Eat for the Planet: Saving the World One Bite at a Time by Nil Zacharias and Gene Stone
Meatless: Transform the Way You Eat and Live — One Meal at a Time by Kristie Middleton
Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
The 30-Day Vegan Challenge by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
Salud! Vegan Mexican Cookbook by Eddie Garza
Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry
Vegan With a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
What are your favorite resources for plant-based eating? Let me know @sfeldstein or use the #meatlessmonday hashtag.
For more tips and resources on animal-friendly eating, check out THE ANIMAL LOVER’S GUIDE TO CHANGING THE WORLD.