Changing to a vegan diet is one of the best things that an individual can do for their personal health, for the environment, and for animals everywhere. Better yet, going vegan is simple, delicious, healthy, compassionate, and easy!

The first step to becoming a vegan is to make a commitment to abstain from consuming any and all animal products and byproducts. This includes meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, honey, and eggs. This may seem like a challenge but it is much easier then you think.

Next, purge your cabinets and refrigerator of any products with non-vegan ingredients. If any of these products can be, donate them to a local shelter or food drive, or give them to friends. After cleaning out your kitchen, go to your local grocery store, organic or whole foods market, and produce stand and pick out some new and interesting foods!

There are a lot of new and interesting vegan alternatives available on the market, from fake cheese to tofu-based faux meats, all kinds of vegetables, interesting grains, and savory fruits. Try a few faux alternatives, and also stock up on new fruits, vegetables and grains.

When going vegan it is important to remember to focus on what you are gaining, not on what you are giving up, so be sure to spoil yourself with new and exciting treats from non-dairy ice cream to whipping up a batch of vegan cupcakes or cookies. The best part about vegan baking? You don’t have to worry about raw eggs in the batter, so go ahead and lick the beaters!

For recipes and reference information on veganism, you may want to stop by a local bookstore or library and pick up a few books on veganism and vegan cooking. Also, the Internet is a great resource for new vegans with tons of websites, recipes, and fellow vegans. Books and websites will give you information on everything from the health aspects of veganism, to the deep moral environmentalist and animal rights issues at the heart of the vegan movement.

Once you are ready, you can start to veganize your whole house, from your wardrobe to your cosmetics; make sure that you purge your stash of anything with animal products or byproducts. Trade in your leather jacket for less expensive but equally stylish faux leather, and buy cosmetics and toiletries that were not tested on animals.

Don’t forget to reach out, find a vegan group in your area and attend meetings, rallies, and exhibitions. Go to local vegan restaurants, attend animal rights seminars and lectures, and become active in your new community. Be proud of your choice, tell your friends and family about the benefits of veganism and throw a vegan potluck for you and your friends!