Okay, I can integrate veganism into my life, but I can’t do it overnight. Is there another way?

Upon recognizing that using nonhuman animals harms them, many people do become vegan immediately. When it comes to clothing and entertainment, this is simply a matter of no longer purchasing materials made from animals or animal products, and no longer supporting rodeos, circuses, and so on.

When it comes to food, don’t just cut the animal products out of your diet. You’ll need to gain an understanding of a healthy plant-only diet so that you can make an “overnight” switch responsibly and sustainably. Be mindful of how to source various key nutrients while eating a plant-only diet. Plan for the shift in where your calories will come from so that you are still consuming the proper amount per day for your sex, age, activity level, and stage in the life cycle. You may find it helpful to read our nutrition guide. Search the web, borrow or buy some cookbooks, and choose some recipes that look satisfying, delicious, and fairly easy to prepare.

For those who simply cannot bring themselves to become vegan immediately for whatever reason, but who want to start moving as quickly and consistently as possible in that direction, the goal should be to remove all animal products from the diet in stages. This is a true incremental approach that recognizes veganism as the goal, rather than cutting arbitrarily chosen animal products out of the diet one at a time.

For example, for cereal eaters, one approach would be to start by switching breakfast every day to plant-only meals. Replace cows’ milk with almond, rice, or soy milk (whichever has the taste you prefer). Choose cereals without dairy products (milk, whey, etc.), honey, and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)—all derived from animal use. Also, regular sugar is typically refined through the charred bones of animals. Organic sugar, beet sugar, and evaporated cane juice do not involve the use of animal-derived charcoal filtering processes.

For a more balanced meal, consider oatmeal with walnuts, fresh or dried fruit, and ground flax seeds. If you prefer a little sweetener, try brown rice syrup or agave nectar.

The following week, institute a vegan-only lunch menu. Then, after two weeks of incorporating vegan meals into the rotation, eating plant-only dinners won’t seem daunting.