Love cheese and hate tofu? 14 vegan obstacles – and how to push past them | Veganism

We all know why veganism is a good idea: it is better for the planet and can be better for our health, while animals shouldn’t be exploited to feed and clothe us. Each step towards the invention of good vegan cheese makes it slightly easier to make the switch. But for many of us, going vegan still seems hard.

If you are a couple of weeks into Veganuary, the campaign that encourages people to try being vegan for the month, you may be considering extending it – 23% become vegan and 43% reduce their consumption of animal products by at least half afterwards, according to the organisation – or perhaps you’re struggling. Here are some of the most common sticking points, and some advice that might help you embrace a vegan life.

‘I can’t live without cheese/bacon/butter/steak’

“We hear that a lot, particularly with cheese,” says Toni Vernelli, head of communications at Veganuary. She advises starting by removing things that you won’t miss, or swapping them for alternatives where you probably won’t notice the difference. “A lot of people are happy having fake meat burgers and sausages.”

A vegan “chicken” nugget, she says, is virtually indistinguishable from a highly processed meat one. “If there’s something you really love, swap that last. It doesn’t have to be an overnight change.” She advises trying a variety of other options – even within the last year, there have been improvements in products such as vegan bacon and cheese.

Plant-based alternatives have come a long way – a vegan ‘chicken’ nugget is virtually indistinguishable from a meat one. Illustration: Steven Gregor/The Guardian

After a few months of vegan experimentation, your cherished foodstuff may become less important to you than you thought. “There’s nothing wrong with saying to yourself: ‘Four times a year, I’m going to have a bacon butty because I can’t imagine life without it.’ You might find that the first time it comes round, your taste buds have…


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