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5 Tips for Anyone Trying to Cut Back on Meat and Dairy

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Sewanee chapter.

More than ever before, vegetarian, plant-based, and vegan diets are becoming increasingly mainstream. Whether you are trying to make a change for the animals, you want to decrease your carbon footprint, or you simply want to eat a healthier diet, here are some tips to make life easier!


1.      Meatless Mondays Don’t feel pressure to go completely vegan overnight. More than likely, it’ll be overwhelming and scary which won’t be easy to stick with. More than likely, you’re new to this and unsure of how to make these drastic changes all at once. Meatless Mondays are a great way to slowly introduce yourself to a more plant-based diet. By taking one day out of the week to go meatless, you’ll start to find veggie meals that excite you while acclimating to a meatless lifestyle gradually.

2.      Plan, Plan, Plan. Although the world is rapidly becoming more vegan friendly, eating out can still be challenging for someone with an alternative diet. Something I found extremely helpful when dealing with this problem was to always plan. Before heading out to a dinner with friends, check to menu online for vegetarian friendly options. Pack yummy snacks on days you know you’ll be tempted by the neon glow of a McDonald’s arch. Sometimes I’ll even eat a light meal before a group dinner so I know I won’t be left starving if the restaurant is sparse on veggie options. Eating out while vegan can be a challenging experience, but nothing is impossible with a little prep work and determination. 3.      Get on the Internet! Like never before, the internet has an abundance of resources for anyone trying to be plant-based. Vegan bloggers, YouTubers, and Instagram influencers all provide helpful factual and personal information on the benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet and how they personally achieved that for themselves. A quick Google search will pull up dozens of websites with recipes, lifestyle hacks, and educational sources that will help anyone interested in ameatless lifestyle.

4.      Have an open mind. When it comes to restructuring your diet away from animal products, it can seem like you have very few food options left. But there is a whole world of plants out there! Don’t be afraid to try new foods you’ve always been scared of or don’t think you like. Your taste buds change over time, and the more you introduce new foods, the more you’re likely to be satisfied (and come to love!) foods you never thought you’d want to eat.  

5.      Learn the Art of “Veganizing”. The thought of giving up your favorite meals forever is enough to discourage anyone from exploring a vegan diet. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way. All you have to do is google a traditionally nonvegan meal of your choice and dozens of recipes will pop up. Vegan versions of almost every animal product exist, from nondairy milk, cheese, and ice cream to realistic mock meats and everything in between. Plus, don’t forget about the ton of vegan junk foods you probably already love like Oreos, Sour Patch Kids, Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos, and more.


Going vegetarian or vegan can sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Taking simple, gradual steps is perfectly okay and

Darby Duval

Sewanee '20

Darby Duval is a junior at the University of the South pursuing a degree in history with a minor in international and global studies. Born and raised in Georgia but loving life as a student in Tennessee. She is a lover of fitness, veganism, books, the Bachelor franchise, and cows.