We’ve written the brief definitive guide to going Vegan, “Vegan Lifestyle 101: The Ins & Outs of Becoming A Vegan” and now we’re here to give the ultimate list of all things Vegan. All the best resources for information, food and the lifestyle we’ve rounded up and written about to give you everything you need to be vegan and succeed. This list isn’t just for those making the transition either, it’s chock full of information to refresh and inspire even the most seasoned vegan.
Having access to quality vegan educational information is essential to living a vegan lifestyle. Knowing why you’re vegan, why specifically you don’t eat animals or their by-products, knowing what foods you avoid and what you will include and having basic nutritional information all make the difference in your level of understanding, thus impacting your commitment and influence your ability to engage others in discussion about your diet. The following is an exhaustive list of information resources to not only get you started on your vegan journey, but also educate you extensively and serve as information you can come back to time and again for a refresher.
Books About Vegan Nutrition
- Becoming Vegan: Comprehensive Edition by Melinda Davis and Vesanto Melina
- How to Go Vegan by Veganuary
- Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by T. Colin Campbell
- The China Study by T. Colin Campbell
- Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life by Brendan Brazier
Books About Animals, Animal Welfare and Animal Agriculture
- Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating by Erik Marcus
- Why we Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows by Melanie Joy
- Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
- Animal Liberation by Peter Singer
- Eating Animals by Jonathon Safran Foer
- When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and Susan McCarthy
- The Animals Agenda by Marc Bekoff Bekoff and Jessica Pierce
- Forks Over Knives
- What the Health
- The Cove
- The Most Important Speech You Will Ever Hear by Gary Yourofsky
- This Speech is Your Wake Up Call!! By James Aspey
- 101 Reasons to Go Vegan By James Wildman
Every person has unique health challenges so it is often hard to subscribe to a one size fits all approach when it comes to supplementation. While some do not believe supplementation is necessary with a balanced diet and adequate access to year-round sunshine, most vegan experts agree on the following three supplements as essential for all vegans regardless of dietary choices or health challenges.
- Vitamin B12- Essential for healthy nerve functioning, keeping blood cells health and making DNA. The best form of B12 is methylcobalamin. Companies to check out: MyKind Organics B12 Spray, Global Healing Center VeganSafe B12
- Vitamin D3 – Essential for healthy bones and teeth, combatting depression and potentially weight loss. Be sure it says it is from algae or a vegan source as most is from lanolin or fish. Companies to Check Out: MyKind Organics, Whole Earth and Sea D3, MyKind Organics D3
- DHA – Essential for a healthy functioning brain, reducing risk of heart disease and combating depression. Company to Check out: Schizandu DHA
Complement is a vegan supplement that has the top three nutrients.
If a multivitamin is something you’re considering and not sure if it’s the right choice or you would definitely like to take one but aren’t sure which one, we’ve written a guide to our favorite vegan multivitamins.
When going vegan, most people first think of all the foods they will no longer consume. All meat including fish, dairy products from any animal, eggs from any animal, bee products and so forth. Most of the ingredients become second nature to vegans to check for and they don’t have to worry about whether an item is vegan or not. We’ve shared a few of our favorite resources to help determine whether an item is vegan if it’s questionable as well as what items to check thoroughly to be sure they haven’t snuck any animal ingredients into.
Foods That May Not Be Vegan (Always check the labels!)
The following is a list of foods that may not be vegan either due to processing methods like using Isinglass or fish bladder in wine or due to hidden ingredients like casein in non-dairy cheese. It’s shocking just how many foods are unnecessarily vegan, but it’s always important to read labels just in case, and if eating out to ask specifically if food’s contain animal products.
- wine – can use a variety of animal products including fish bladder
Check out Barnivore, a vegan guide for their extensive list of wine brands and whether they are vegan-friendly or not.
- beer – can use a variety of animal products including fish bladder
Check out Barnivore, a vegan guide for their extensive list of beer brands and whether they are vegan-friendly or not.
- dairy free cheese – may contain milk in casein form
- veggie burgers – may contain milk or eggs
- fake meats – may contain milk or eggs
- bread – may contain milk or eggs
- chocolate – may contain milk, even if it says dark chocolate
- energy and snack bars – may contain collagen, gelatin, egg whites, whey or honey
- Worcestershire sauce – typically contains anchovies
- vegetable soup – may actually use an animal broth as a base
- vinaigrette – may contain milk, fish, eggs
Vegan References and Apps
While a google search can usually help you figure out if a food is vegan or if a restaurant has vegan options, sometimes an app is an easier solution that you don’t have to search and sort through for answers. The following are out favorite apps and websites to help you figure out if it’s vegan and find vegan food fast (cause we all know hanger is real!).
DoubleCheckVegan – This website is super easy to use. Simply copy and paste your ingredient list of any product whether it’s food, beauty, household cleaners etc and the engine searches the database of 2,200 items that aren’t vegan or may not be vegan. This is great to save as a favorite on your phone for grocery shopping.
Is It Vegan? – This app is so easy to use and requires minimal effort to determine if a product you’re looking at is vegan. You simply scan a product barcode and it analyses the list of ingredients and will tell you whether it’s vegan or not and provides a report to explain why not.
Happy Cow – Happy Cow has long been an amazing source for finding vegan-friendly eateries all over the world. The app can help you locate vegan restaurants as well as local eateries that have vegan options, making it a must-have for any vegan.
VegaHolic – Powered by Barnivore, this app is all the information Barnivore provides you on their website in a concise easy to use app form. Perfect for those who enjoy going out to restaurants, bars or even just weddings!
Best Vegan Cookbooks
A simple search on Amazon for vegan cookbooks will yield you pages upon pages of results. While it may be easy to find a cookbook if you have a specific interest, such as vegan diner food, most general cookbooks are harder to sort through and figure out which are worth buying. We’ve got the ultimate cookbook post coming up, but for now, here’s a sneak peek at some of our favorite cookbooks. These cookbooks feature delicious, nourishing vegan food that has an emphasis on easy to source whole foods.
- Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes
- Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Simply Satisfying Plant-based Recipes
- Eaternity: More than 150 Deliciously Easy Vegan Recipes for a Long, Healthy, Satisfied, Joyful Life
- Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen
- Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking
- The Homemade Vegan Pantry
- The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen: Meat-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free Dishes from the Healthiest Region Under the Sun
Best Vegan Recipe Blogs
We’ve written a guide sharing our top ten favorite vegan blogs online here.
Sample Grocery List
Going vegan can seem overwhelming at first and can make it hard to figure out what to buy at the grocery store. We like to put an emphasis on choosing whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts and seeds and peppering in items that appeal to you like nut cheeses, vegan beef crumbles, sausages etc. Finding a few recipes you want to try can be an easy way to shape your grocery list or just having daily staples such as smoothies, salads and bowls can help because you typically use the same ingredients or variations of them (swapping out seasonal fruit in your smoothies, swapping out tahini for cashew butter in your dinner bowls or choosing different leafy greens for your salad). However you plan your groceries, we’ve given a sample list here to help inspire you.
Staple pantry items:
- Brown Rice
- Rolled Oats
- Whole Grain Pasta
- Canned Chickpeas
- Canned Black Beans
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds
- Nut butter such as peanut butter, almond butter, tahini
- Dried fruit such as dates, figs, mulberries, mango
- Canned Diced Tomatoes
- Pasta Sauce
- Canned coconut milk
- Milk alternatives such as Milkadamia macadamia milk, Oatley oat milk, Tempt hemp milk
Staple refrigerated and freezer items:
- Leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, spinach, curly kale
- Fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, apples, oranges, lemons
- Fresh vegetables such broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, carrots, eggplant, zucchini
- Butter such as Miyoko’s or Earth Balance
- Milk such as So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk, Califia Almond Milk, Malk Cashew Milk
- Cheese such as Daiya Shreds, Treeline Cheese, Miyoko’s Kitchen, Kite Hill Cheese
- Yogurt such as Coyo, Forager Project, Daiya, Cocoyo, Ripple
- Coffee creamer such as So Delicious, Califia, or Milkadamia
- Cream Cheese such as Kite Hill or Tofu
- Tempeh, either soy based or hemp is available
- Meat alternatives from companies such as Tofurkey, Field Roast, Gardein and Beyond Meat
- Frozen vegetables such as broccoli, corn, peas, cauliflower, spinach
- Frozen fruit such as strawberries, wild blueberries, pineapple
Staple countertop items and seasonings:
- Fruit such as avocados, bananas, tomatoes, mangoes
- Vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash
- Onions and garlic
- Nutritional Yeast
- Apple cider vinegar
- Tamari or Coconut Aminos
- Coconut Sugar
- Superfoods and Extras:
- Raw cacao powder
- Raw cacao nibs
- Goji berries
- Hemp Seeds
- Green powder mix
- Protein powder from pea, rice, hemp, or a blend
A truly vegan approach is not just focused on dietary changes, but a true shift to a lifestyle of compassion. Being vegan encompasses fashion, furniture, community, medicine and even pet food if you choose. Veganism extends into all areas of our daily lives as we seek to eliminate animal suffering and pain by reducing our use of by-products as much as is possible and reasonable. As The Vegan Society states:
“Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”
This lifestyle shift can seem challenging but it gets far easier with knowledge, time, and commitment. The following are out favorite resources and tips for living a vegan lifestyle.
Vegan fashion is a statement of compassion, and that means no longer wearing or purchasing any animal by-products. Some vegans may choose to continue to wear already purchased pieces of leather for example, so it does not go to waste. Others vegans may find this unappealing as it could reinforce the idea that it is okay to exploit animals for fashion. Whatever you choose, we’ve got the definitive list of what NOT to buy as well as some great resources of where to shop. We’ve also written an article all about vegan fashion including companies to check out here.
Materials that aren’t vegan (and articles about them):
- Leather is made from a variety of animal skins from cows to ostriches to alligators. Contrary to popular belief, leather isn’t sustainable or eco-friendly, and The Green Vegans explain why here.
- suede – Suede is also made from animal skins but it processed slightly differently for a different finish and feel.
- Fur comes from a variety of animals, mainly minks and foxes, although rabbits and other animals are also used. Many faux fur coats have been found to contain actual animal hair, so be sure to buy from a vegan company if you seek out faux fur. This industry has notoriously cruel practices as PETA outlines here.
- Wool comes from sheep, rabbits and alpaca and is often just thought of as just the by-product of a haircut. The conditions of the sheep and how the wool is obtained are often overlooked by are indeed cruel and unnecessary as The Ethical Man points out.
- Silk is produced by silkworms to make their cocoons. These worms are oftentimes killed in the process of harvesting, although not always. While not all worms are said to be killed in the production of “peace silk”, there is still much controversy over their quality of life and how many worms are allowed to live.
- While pearls are products of oysters naturally, the current pearl industry forces pearl production. There is concern that this is bad for the environment and nonetheless exploits a living creature.
Vegan Clothing and Accessory Companies
Vegan clothing companies are popping up left and right with items such as t-shirts with vegan messages to high-end vegan shoes and sustainable vegan fabrics. Even mainstream clothing companies are adding vegan lines such as Reebok, Birkenstock, Tom’s and Hugo Boss. The following are some of our favorite vegan apparel companies from high end to everyday street wear.
- Brave GentleMan
- Hiraeth Collective
- Vaute Couture
- Groceries Apparel
- In the Soulshine
- Compassion Co.
- Everything Vegan
- The Herbivore Clothing Company
Building a Vegan Community
Having support and camaraderie is essential to living a vegan lifestyle. Whether you’ve got a local group you can meet up with or just an online social media space, feeling connected to others who are equally committed and passionate can make this lifestyle far easier and more enjoyable. The following are great places to link up other vegans:
- Potlucks – Check your local health food store for a bulletin board with vegan potluck or meet up information.
- Vegfests – Checking out a local Vegfest is not only an awesome opportunity to delve into your community’s vegan businesses but also a great chance to meet like-minded folks! Check out this list for upcoming Vegfests in your town.
- meetup.com – Meetup is a great way to search for local vegan meetups in your town. You simply sign up, enter where you live and can select how far you want to travel. Search vegan and check out all the local results.
- Facebook – Facebook is filled with vegan groups, from international, to national with every niche, think vegan book clubs, fitness groups, pregnancy etc. Simply search for your interests + vegan or search for your town + vegan. This is a great way to find your tribe and find out about all things new and exciting in the vegan world.
Looking For a Vegan Partner
If you’re looking for your life partner or just want to find a vegan to date, there are a few additional places to check out. We wrote a whole article about vegan dating here too, so be sure to check it out!
- Hunny Bee App – If you’re looking for vegan love, check out this app! Marketed as “a plant-based app for plant-based eaters.”, Hunny Bee is a great free option for vegans seeking other vegans to date. It’s similar to Tinder and offers in app messaging for matches.
- greensingles.com – This website was uniquely created for vegetarians and vegans, those as it states that are conscious individuals, interested in human and animal rights, care about social justice and sustainable living.