If you are currently reading this article, it is safe to assume you are possibly considering transitioning over to the vegan lifestyle. Congratulations! The word "vegan" has experienced some heightened popularity over the course of this past year. With the help of the controversial Netflix documentary, "What The Health," a multitude of celebrity endorsements towards the movement, and many other ethical and environmental reasons, people across the world are looking into their dietary choices to benefit their own health. The term "vegan" is much more than a diet. It is a lifestyle that revolves around the constant, conscious decisions to do as little harm as possible in your daily life. This means vegans do not consume any animal products, including purchasing clothing or materials that exploit or kill any animals in the process.  

tea, beer, coffee
Zoe Malin

I have recently been transitioning to the vegan lifestyle after educating myself of the undeniable benefits that come from choosing to live this way.  So in the spirit of my positive experience, I have cultivated my top five tips on becoming vegan in 2018, making it as easy (and fun) as possible.

Tip 1: Find Your Personal Drive

Sunset, sunsets, palm trees, palm tree, Beach, beaches
Denise Uy

Do you love the earth?  Are you looking to improve your personal health and decrease your risk of developing chronic diseases? Do you want to protect and advocate for the ethical treatment of animals? These are usually the main reasons for why people choose to adopt a vegan lifestyle, but there are many more that I don't have the space to list here.  Finding the reason that speaks deeply to your heart is the first step to having a successful transition. If you are ever struggling with cravings or temptation, think back to why you chose to begin this journey, and that will give you strength.

Tip 2: Educate Yourself

orange, citrus, studying, notes, taking notes, notebook, textbook, study snack, snack
Jocelyn Hsu

Take your education towards this lifestyle into your own hands. I highly recommend looking into more than just "What The Health." Some of my favorite resources have been documentaries such as "Forks Over Knives," "Cowspiracy," and "Earthlings."  It is also important to read scientific reports to answer your dietary questions. Making sure that you a have solid base of scientific facts to back up your lifestyle will make the transition much easier, trust me.

Tip 3: Get on YouTube and Pinterest

tea, coffee, date
Justin Shannin

YouTube and Pinterest are truly lifesavers when you are first transitioning to the vegan lifestyle. These sites offer FREE recipes and give tutorials for virtually any recipe you can dream up, vegan-style. Many YouTubers also give their personal stories and share what made them decide to take on this lifestyle, while encouraging you to do so, too. I would recommend the accounts of Caitlin Shoemaker, Cam & Nina, Sweet Potato Soul, and High Carb Hannah.  

Tip 4: Experiment In The Kitchen

porridge, sweet, oatmeal, milk, cereal, rice
Christin Urso

Contrary to the popular belief that it is too expensive to practice a vegan lifestyle, many people neglect to realize that a diet that is high in processed foods will be expensive no matter if it is vegan or not. Vegan staple foods are some of the cheapest foods on the planet: beans, rice, lentils, nuts, oats and potatoes.  Many of these foods can also be bought in bulk to save even more money and trips to the store. There are literally thousands of vegan recipes scattered across the internet that can transform these nutritious and filling foods into memorable meals.

Tip 5: Be Passionate

herb, relish, vegetable, oregano, care, Harvest, Gardening, Garden, farming, planting, Plant, Grow
Alex Frank

Be passionate in everything you do and live by example.  Many people can be intimidated by the vegan lifestyle because it challenges many traditions and beliefs that we grow up surrounded by in Western culture.  Many people fail to recognize how much harm they could prevent by making simple changes to their daily lives.  By living out a positive life, you set the example, and that will draw others to explore the vegan lifestyle as well.  

I have found these tips to be incredibly helpful since I began my transition. The vegan lifestyle saves more than just animal lives. It is just as beneficial to the humans who practice it, too. It is the ultimate embodiment of peace. Like they say, "Be the change that you wish to see in this world."