1. That whole “planting seeds” metaphor is working for you
It’s springtime: there are new buds and change is swirling around us. There is nothing that is quite as buzzing with possibility as springtime and using the natural momentum of that can help to propel new growth in your own life. This is a great time for planning your garden and planting some early seeds. Metaphoric seeds of planting what you want to grow for a strong, healthy vegan practice makes a lot of sense during a season that is so much about laying the groundwork to enjoy what we sow. Use this time to build some of the pillars of a powerful foundation: Look within to get very clear on your “why” for those moments when you’re feeling challenged by new changes (going vegan for reasons of compassion seems to be the biggest motivator); find community; take advantage of resources and remember that slip-ups don’t mean failure. Mistakes are a natural process for learning and establishing new habits. If you nurture your seeds well, with attention, consistency and patience, you should be well-rooted for your vegan practice to flourish.
2. That whole “new life” metaphor is working for you, too.
Birds are singing. Trees are coming alive again. The first, bravest flowers are popping up. There’s a freshness in the air. Shaking off the old and creating space for the new makes spring such a welcome departure from the colder months of winter, and shifting toward a new, plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle during the season when so much new life is springing up is perfect timing. Once again, the metaphor can help to undergird and strengthen your conviction. Spring is a time of radical transformation, and shifting toward a life where you’re living in harmony with your values can also be the same. If there is ever a time for growth, it is now when so much is shifting and coming back to life.
3. We have a fresh batch of seasonal veggies to enjoy. It’s also a great time to plan growing your own.
It will depend on where you live — and what continent — but spring means we can start rotating in some fresh, light flavors to replace the winter squashes and apples of the colder months. Check out this handy guide to learn what is in season near you in the U.S., and play around with some recipes. Speaking of seasonal produce, if you’re interested in gardening, a small investment in seeds or seedlings will pay you back many times over with all the herbs, veggies and berries you can grow. Money in the bank, baby! You don’t need to have a yard or much space to garden; consider renting a plot in a community garden or research container gardening to figure out ways to get more produce in your life. Even a pot of fresh basil, mint or parsley on a sunny windowsill can add flavor and variety to your meals.
4. The weather is getting nice to enjoy being outside and feel more of a connection to nature.
After being cooped up for so long, it’s beyond a relief that I can start talking more walks, hikes and bike rides again, and there is nothing like the sunshine and fresh air to breathe new inspiration into a life that’s been hermetically sealed and stale. The outdoors reminds us, too, of the essential interconnectedness between nature and humanity. One of the most tangible benefits of moving away from animal agribusiness is being better stewards for our planet, as the industries that kill and exploit also pollute, burden and drain our natural resources so much. So take a lovely spring walk and connect with one really important benefit of moving towards a plant-based diet.
5. The first farmers markets will be starting soon.
You will have to check where you live due to ongoing coronavirus spread-reduction efforts, but many outdoor markets may soon be opening in a limited capacity. Farmers markets are a great place to support local economies and growers, eat seasonally as well as discover some fun new (to you) flavors. I love farmers markets for finding veggies for pickling if I don’t know what to do with them right away, and it’s just a lovely way to spend an hour or two. Of course, you don’t need to be vegan to enjoy a farmers market, but you may find extra perks as you expand your plate and your palate to embrace more plant foods. Bring your canvas bag and reusable produce bags to reduce waste and plastic use.
6. Longer days mean more time to build a stronger foundation.
The longer days of spring and summer mean we have more awake time to get the most out of our time. Whether you’re learning new cooking skills, reading, watching films, gardening, crafting or just listening to a podcast, it will be time well spent and help you to build a great foundation for going and staying vegan.
7. Warmer weather means you can cook outside, which means it’s time to reignite the grill and get cooking.
Going vegan doesn’t mean giving up one of the best perks of warm weather: grilled delights! Far from it, there are so many amazing veggie burgers, sausages and homemade recipes that are perfect for the grill, you won’t miss charred animal flesh at all. You will be the belle or bro of the block party with a veggie kebab and grilled vegan protein with all the fixings.
8. It’s a great time to freshen up your personal care routine with cruelty-free products.
Your body, mind, spirit and epidermis will thank you, too, when you transition to cruelty-free, vegan cosmetics and personal care products. (Just as a FYI, cruelty-free and vegan labels on these products are distinct from each other: Vegan necessarily means it’s made without animal ingredients and animal testing, whereas the label of “cruelty-free” simply means it is made without animal testing and makes no claims about the ingredients.) I have found apps to be the best way to get your answers right away but if apps aren’t your jam, check out this excellent resource.
9. It’s also a great time to spring clean your home with non-toxic, cruelty-free cleaners.
Whether you go the DIY route or purchase your cleaners, open those windows, enjoy the fresh breezes and know that you are not contributing to animal cruelty and exploitation when you use products that are vegan and cruelty-free. The same issue described in the point above applies to cleaning products, so look for commercial items that tick both boxes at this resource.
10. And it’s a perfect time to freshen up your wardrobe.
Products like leather, wool and feathers are not harmless byproducts but rather co-products that make the meat industry, known for razor-thin profit margins, more profitable. I am not here to tell you what to do with non-vegan clothing and shoes that you already have as that decision is up to you, but I highly recommend freshening up your wardrobe with websites like ThredUp and PoshMark, using the search engines to find animal-free options, or thrifting elsewhere to not contribute to over-consumption. Vegan shoes at all price points can be found with a simple online search.
Happy spring and please check out our free guide for tons of tips and tricks.