Let’s face it: Transitioning from the Standard American Diet — a dietary regime packed with meat, eggs, and cheese — to a plant-based lifestyle can be rough. But it doesn’t have to be. “The key is to not feel like you’re giving anything up, rather that you are about to radically change your life for the better,” says Lisa McDonald, owner of Sweet Bear Rescue Farm in Flat Rock. As a long-time vegan and animal rights advocate, McDonald knows a thing or two about making the switch from meat to mushrooms, mung beans, and mangoes. Her number one tip this Veganuary (vegan + January) is to find a mentor — someone who can guide you through finding dairy-free cheeses that don’t take like plastic and shampoos that haven’t been tested on animals. “If you can find a mentor, this is a great way to stay motivated and learn some early tricks,” says McDonald. You can look for plant-based buddies through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Vegan Outreach, a nonprofit organization working to end violence towards animals, can also match you with a meat-free maestro. McDonald is currently accepting mentees, too.
To learn more about veganism and Sweet Bear Rescue Farm, visit kindnessempire.com.