Veganism is on the rise, and for good reason. It helps your body, the planet, and lots of furry little creatures. However, before you take the leap, here’s a list of 12 important facts you should know.

  1. People will constantly ask you where you get your protein from. There’s great sources of protein in vegetables and grains like quinoa, rice, broccoli, spinach, almonds, lentils, and beans. Or you can tell them that question is “so 2010.”
  2. You don’t have to give up burgers, bacon, or cheese. There are a lot of great alternatives appearing on the market. Check out daiya cheese – great for melting and perfect in a grilled cheese sandwich.
  3. The conversation of taking a B12 supplement will come up a lot. There are pill supplements and injections available. Look into different forms of taking B12 and determine which is right for you.
  4. As every other individual, you’ll need to take a vitamin D supplement, especially during the cooler months. But, many vitamin D supplements aren’t vegan. Whenever you see a vitamin D supplement in the form of D3, try looking for another option. D3 is made with sheep bi-products. You’ll have to look for the D2 form, which you can find here.
  5. Like vitamin D supplements, you’ll find that a lot of supplements aren’t vegan. Look for supplements that are free of gelatin or have a label indicating that they are vegan friendly.
  6. Calcium is easy to get from your diet! There is a lot of naturally occurring calcium in kale, bok choy, almonds, figs, and navel oranges.
  7. You’ll have to learn how to read food labels. Look for hidden ingredients like casein, gelatin, albumin, anchovies, whey, and lactic acid that aren’t vegan friendly.
  8. You’ll also notice that a lot of common products actually are vegan. Checking out that box of Oreos? Go for it! – they’re vegan.
  9. You’ll be helping the planet! The amount of water it takes to produce one burger is equivalent to showering for 2 months straight! Also, a piece of the rainforest the size of a football field is destroyed every single day to raise livestock or grow crops to feed livestock. You won’t be involved in any of that – look at you go J. Check out the documentary Cowspiracy for more facts.
  10. You’ll feel better about yourself and have an overall sense of happiness. Just think, every day you’re vegan you’ll be saving the lives of chickens, pigs, cows, and so many other creatures.
  11. Veganism can cost less. If you shop smart and use rice or potatoes (or any root vegetable) as a staple in your diet you’ll have no problem keeping your grocery cost down.
  12. You might get a little weird, but in a good way. Who would’ve thought you’d ever put raw broccoli into your morning smoothie?

Diana Beirnes is a Ddrops Guest Blogger. She is a nutritionist, cyclist, and Raw Food Chef who loves to experiment in the kitchen. She is passionate about sharing a healthy lifestyle with others and is drawn to coaching friends and family about the importance of food and supplements. Diana believes in a holistic life and practices this by eating vegan, using all natural products, and using recycled products whenever she can.