The hardest things about being a vegan are…

If you’ve made the leap to a plant-based diet, you’ve likely lost count of the number of times you’ve been asked, “Is it hard to be a vegan?” The choice to eliminate animal products from your plate and other aspects of life is a source of great curiosity to others. The reality is that veganism requires a big commitment. Going out to eat becomes a difficult proposition although, as its popularity grows, more restaurants are starting to offer vegan menu items. 

In addition, it takes diligence to examine every ingredient list for hidden surprise ingredients, such as animal byproducts that are not generally identified on the packaging. For example, some orange juice brands contain additives like omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3’s come from fish oil and fish gelatin. Gelatin, which is produced by boiling the skin, cartilage, and bones of animals, is particularly difficult to identify. The list of products that may contain gelatin is long: salted peanuts, beer, candy, marshmallows, jello, vitamin supplements, shampoos, and face masks, to name a few. 

It’s not all about food

What it means to be vegan goes much further than food choices. You’ll need to educate yourself on the great number of products that either use animal parts, like leather shoes and purses, or are tested on animals. And this can mean going without items you’ve taken for granted in the past. You’ll also need to develop patience for the inevitable meat jokes that will surely come your way such as “how can anyone live without bacon?!” 

The topic of animal cruelty often elicits an emotional reaction from the omnivorous crowd because it truly is an awful concept to think about. This has not gone unnoticed by the industry which has begun to adopt wording such as “humane slaughter”, “free range”, and “cage free” to describe their practices. As a vegan, you will undoubtedly have to endure reassurances from others that the animals they’re eating were treated kindly, despite the underlying fact that they were still killed for no other reason than human consumption. 

Getting everything you need

Another hard part of being a vegan is that it can be more difficult to get the RDA of certain vitamins and minerals found mainly in animal products, such as vitamin D3 and B12, calcium, and iron. Make sure you do your research before buying these products because even vitamin replacements may contain animal byproducts, like gelatin, which is commonly used in the coating of capsules and gummy supplements.

Vibrant Nutraceuticals offers specific supplements for vegans that are derived from high quality plant sources , an example of which is our gelatin-free gummies

Is being vegan hard? In some ways it is, but most people discover that the benefits, including improved health, weight loss, reduction in greenhouse gasses, and loss of profits to the industries that perpetrate acts of animal cruelty, far outweigh the difficulties.