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Should I Go Vegan?

10 January 2017

Here's a New Year's resolution you might have been thinking of last month: going vegan. Back in 2015, Food-Navigator-USA, a trade website covering trends in the North American food and beverage market, proudly declared that "Vegan is going mainstream" and, last week, Franklin Graham, one the country's leading evangelicals who is going to swear Trump next week, declared that he, too, would finally be saying goodbye to the joys of the flesh. Was it just yesterday that abandoning pork chops made you Lisa Simpson? Should you, too, be jumping off the vegan cliff?

Over at PETA, the answer is a certain and deeply devout yes. Not only does flipping vegan mean less animals being maimed in a vicious factory farm system where animals are treated less like living beings and more like crops waiting to be pulled from the earth, but it can also be a great way to lose some cholesterol, reduce your carbon footprint and, most importantly, have an adventure. "If you're bored with your daily routine and eating the same foods, there's a whole new world of vegan food for you to explore," PETA proclaims.

So, what are some of the most important things to know before making this kind of dramatic dietary shift? "Keep it gradual," Nzinga Young over at The Huffington Post recommends. If you haven't gotten out of the swing of meat-eating already, Young says it's okay: "You don't have to cut everything out at once." Gradual changes to your diet are far more likely to stick than going cold turkey after your New Year's turkey binge. Here's are few more neat tips and tricks!

1. Knock back the Vitamin B12:

The hunt to find your non-meaty protein sources gets a lot of jazz, but getting this vital vitamin is about as essential as breathing. It can only naturally be found in animal products and not getting enough in your diet "can cause anemia and nervous system damage." What's a veganator to do? Some plant milks, soy products and breakfast cereals come fortified with the B12 built right in, and your corner druggist can sell you supplements. Check out VeganHealth.org for some vital facts.

2. Restaurant Woes?:

Have vegan dining options not arrived at your hamlet? Buzzfeed recommends turning to your nearby Chinese, Thai, Ethiopian, or Indian restaurants-- "Every town has a Chinese restaurant and every Chinese restaurant has tofu," Ginny Messina, a registered dietician, told the viral content machine. Another trick: many a Subway and Taco Bell joint have been a meatless enclave for communities with dietary traditions eschewing the ham, also.

3. Treat yo self:

You're making great decisions. You're abandoned the red meat and you've got decades of health ahead of you. Bake a vegan cupcake.

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