It can be overwhelming when you’re a new vegan and trying to get everything perfectly right. Whether you’re just focusing on eating plant-based or going all the way with eliminating non-vegan cosmetics, clothing, and practices from your life, going completely vegan can be a little daunting. While there are people who will preach vegan perfectionism, the reality is that taking your time and doing what’s best for you (while still respecting the planet and its animals) is far more important. 

So before you quit and reach for that beef burger, here are a few things to think about if you’re feeling vegan burnout and don’t know how to carry on. 

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Figure Out Why You’re Feeling This Way 

Ask yourself what the source of this burnout is. Do you feel like you don’t have many vegan options? Has the pressure of being all-in or all-out gotten to your head? Maybe you’ve just been feeling tired of all the choices you’ve had to make. 

All of this is understandable. Finding the source of your burnout will help you avoid it in the future. If you’re running out of vegan options or craving something non-vegan, get creative with an alternative and indulge in something new to help you go back to being excited about plant-based eating. 

Social media pressure can be daunting but no one is perfect and we’ve all struggled one time or another with vegan burnout. 

Remember Why You’re Doing This

Our actions have consequences. Sometimes we can forget why we are vegan and the water, lives, and emissions we are saving from living this way. Reminding yourself of the good you’re doing and the disturbing and unethical practices attached to the meat, dairy, and egg industries are a great way to re-motivate yourself. 

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Think about something like a steak and what it is, or where milk comes from. The realities behind the perfectly packaged and marketed non-vegan food products are brutal. We know most people don’t want to support them, it’s just more convenient to ignore the truth – but that doesn’t make buying them any better. 

The small steps we take as vegans have big impacts. A vegan diet has the lowest carbon footprint of all diets at 1.5 tons of greenhouse gas emissions a day, while the average omnivore is responsible for 2.5 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. 

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If you appreciate the positive impact you’re having on the world by eating beans, fruits, veggies, grains, and some vegan ice cream here or there, staying vegan long-term and not getting overwhelmed by the changes might feel easier. 

Don’t Rush Into It 

The best advice a new vegan can get is to take it slow. If you quit non-vegan food cold-turkey (or cold-tofurky if you will) you might feel like all these changes are happening too quickly, and you can’t stick to any of them. 

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You need time to make sure the habits you’re trying to instill in yourself stick, so don’t worry about pacing yourself. Cutting out meat is the most important step, then move on to dairy and eggs once that feels comfortable. 

Remember, the key is to become vegan (whether perfect or imperfect) for life, so do what you need to do to make that happen. You’ve got time. 

Get Some Good Recipe Inspo

There are a million awesome and creative vegan recipes out there, but it’s easy to forget that when you’re in a routine. Spend some time on a weekend browsing the web for fun recipes to try out. 

Think about what your favorite non-vegan dishes are and challenge yourself to recreate them with plant-based alternatives. You might be surprised by how delicious it turns out!

At the End of the Day… 

Vegan burnout is real and passing it off as being lazy or undisciplined isn’t very kind or helpful to yourself. Think about what’s making staying vegan difficult and achievable goals you can set to feel better about this new diet. 

If you’ve been vegan for a while and still feel this way, that’s okay too. Veganism is about compassion, and that patience and understanding doesn’t just extend to animals in slaughterhouses. 

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