A few practical hints for the beginning veg*an.
Vitamins and minerals
What is really important is vitamin B12. If you don’t get enough of that, you can die. The entire B-group is important, and most of all, B12. Remember that while it might take you as much ten years to develop a deficiency, other factors than your diet might contribute, like your overall health condition, your emotional state and hereditary factors.
In general, it’s of vital importance that you know about nutrition. As a vegan you need a more varied diet than before, but that’s ok. It should also make you feel a lot better. Maybe it will mean no colds at all for you.
Iron is another important mineral. Not only for vegetarians, but for everyone.
Let’s say that like me, you feel strongly about living a cruelty free life, how do you make sure that what you bring into your home isn’t contributing to the suffering of animals, or the destruction of the environment?
Some other helpful tips
Photographic film/copy paper is coated with gelatine, which comes from dead animals.
Sugar might contain bone fragments.
Any product, like bread, pasta sauce, ice cream, candy to name a few, might contain animal derived products. Check the list of ingredients. Preferably every time you buy the product. The ingredients can change from one day to another.
Genetically modified products and/or ingredients
If you live in the US that might be difficult to know. Ask at your health food store. In the European Union producers are required by law to list GM ingredients. (So far, what will happen in the future is anybody’s guess).
Pay special attention to corn (maize), tomatoes and (sadly) soy beans.
Make-up, skin care and hair care products can contain animal derived products, synthetic products and in many cases, they might have been cruelly tested on animals. Do a little research before you buy.
I’m not quite sure about what the law says in the US, Canada or Australia. In the European Union that kind of information has to be on the label.
Just be aware that there’s absolutely no guarantee that the products that have been extensively tested on animals are safer than any others.
Of course, if you know that you might have an allergy, you could try testing the new product on a very small area of your skin. If there are no adverse affects then you might risk using it on a larger part of your skin. But use your own discretion. Don’t blame me if you do suffer any negative effects.