Are you sabotaging your plant-based diet? Think becoming a vegan is too hard? Is the transition to plant-based causing dilemma in your household? There are many things you can try to make it easier. Here are two key areas that helped me greatly when transitioning to a plant-based diet, and they may help you on the path to success. And both are really easy to implement (especially the first).
Watch documentaries about factory farming
I know this sounds incredibly basic or simple, almost too basic to work. That said... I know it worked for myself, and for others - and made all the difference when it came to no longer wanting to eat meat. When I started a plant-based diet initially, it was for health reasons. I watched some related documentaries that didn't cover factory farming issues in detail. My diet wasn't fully plant based, and I was finding it hard to remain fully commited. I craved cheese especially, and still ate it from time to time. Despite never really craving meat, I thought about having the odd meal with meat in it when I was dining out.
That was until I watched Vegucated and then Earthlings. These documentaries show footage that is much more graphic and enlightening on the issues with factory farming, and I no longer even felt like eating animal products (or supporting the industry). Even more, I felt anger towards the industry. And then my cravings for cheese stopped.
Here are links to some of these resources (and please feel free to link others in the comments!)
Warning: There is some very graphic footage in the following documentaries, so if you watch them (particularly Earthlings) prepare yourself. (Of course, that's pretty much the point, isn't it!)
- Vegucated: "Vegucated follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. Lured by tales of weight lost and health regained, they begin to uncover the hidden sides of animal agriculture that make them wonder whether solutions offered in films like Food, Inc. go far enough. This entertaining documentary showcases the rapid and at times comedic evolution of three people who discover they can change the world one bite at a time." View on Netflix. Website.
- Earthlings: This documentary is about "humankind's total dependence on animals for economic purposes. Presented in five chapters (pets, food, clothing, entertainment and scientific research) the film is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, featuring music by Moby, and was written, produced and directed by Shaun Monson." View on YouTube, embedded below.
- Death on a Factory Farm. "Three years in the making, Death on a Factory Farm follows the undercover investigation of Wiles Hog Farm by the animal rights group The Humane Farming Association (HFA), and the resulting court case against it." HBO Site. View on YouTube, embedded below.
Break the omnivore habit cycle
Habit is good and bad. We're all aware of bad habits, like those around food cravings, smoking, and alcohol. And of course habit can also be good. An exercise habit, or a habit of eating healthy snacks after a workout.
Habits, by design, are so ingrained we often don't even notice them.So understanding how habits are formed, and recognizing the ones that we may not even realize we have is key. Therefore, taking stock of when you crave meat or even just feel like eating it, will help you break the cycle. You may discover things that work for you, such as preparing certain foods in advance and always having them accessable. Changing where you locate your food. And so on.
The best resource I have read on this topic is called The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, and it helped me with breaking several negative habits - and not just around eating and diet.
I found this book at my local library, so you may want to check there. You can also find it on Amazon, new or used. If you are having trouble sticking with a plant based diet, I strongly recommend reading this book and applying it to your diet transition.