Are you interested in trying to go vegan for 2016 or even just to try it out in January 2016? There are lots of resources out there and I’ve collected a few of them on this page. Also, please feel free to email me if you have any questions or need support along the way, especially if you’re in Toronto, since that’s where I live, and that’s one of the main cities I know. (but this is an open offer to anyone anywhere.)
I went vegan in the late 90’s. I was young and living in Alberta, which even to this day has a bit of a reputation of being meat-heavy (though Edmonton is amazing for vegan options). It was a bit strange to be the only vegan I knew in real life, but that’s still not a completely foreign experience for people even with our changing world. Veganism is more and more common, and it’s easier to find food and friends than ever before, but you can still encounter resistance or misunderstanding and it can be frustrating, especially in the beginning, when you discover that many people, including people you respect and love, don’t see the world the same way you do.
So feel free to reach out by email or by twitter or on facebook if you ever need a quick word of encouragement, a restaurant recommendation, an ingredient replacement, or something else in the veganism sphere.
Be nice to me and I’m usually pretty friendly 🙂
Resources in Toronto
Going out to eat:
I think having a social support network is essential to have a good time being vegan. If all of your friends are reacting negatively to what can become a fairly major lifestyle change, it’s nice to have a friendly haven of support to turn to. Here are a few options:
- Toronto Vegan Meetup (and on Facebook)
- Toronto Veggie Meetup (and on Facebook)
- Toronto Vegetarian Association Groups
- The Toronto Vegan Facebook Group
- Toronto Vegan Book Club
- Vegapalooza on Facebook
Farm Animal Sanctuaries in Ontario
Why vegan? Meet the animals other people call food. Many of these sanctuaries offer regular tours, open houses, and events. Follow them all for maximum adorable farm animal pictures and information.
- Wishing Well (like them on facebook) –
- Happily Ever Esther (like them on facebook)
- Cedar Row (like them on facebook)
- Ruby Ranch Pig and Farm Animal Sanctuary (like them on facebook)
- Refuge RR (like them on facebook)
- Ralphy’s Retreat (like them on facebook)
- Pie Bird Farm Stay and Sanctuary (like them on Facebook)
- Vegan Kit – covers the how’s & why’s and offers recipes, touches on health and environmental aspects
- 30-day Vegan Challenge – This is one of my favourite resources to recommend – it’s not free, but it is put together by one of my favourite vegans – Colleen Patrick-Goudreau can be your vegan pal, 24/7 in this great book and online program. She offers straightforward recipes, advice, and information. Also check out her free Food For Thought podcast
- Post Punk Kitchen Forums – Connect with vegans around the world online in a friendly welcoming environment.
- Veganuary – sign up to their mailing list and get helpful information sent to you throughout the month of January.
- PCRM 21-day Vegan Kickstart
- Plant Based on a Budget – veganism can be affordable and fun. Pricing is based on USA produce costs, but gives you an idea of how much making a meal will cost.
- Fatfree Vegan Recipes – not always fat free, but a nice collection of recipes in varying levels of difficulty.
- Post Punk Kitchen Recipes – Recipes from the brilliant Isa Chandra Moskowitz (creator of cookbooks like the Veganomicon, Vegan Brunch, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and so much more.)
- Vegan RD – a fantastic, level headed nutritional resource for new or seasoned vegans.
- PCRM Nutrition and Health Information
- Nutrition Facts with Dr. Gregor – loaded with informational videos on a variety of health related topics.
Wondering how veganism and the environment connect?
Human Rights and Food Justice
For me, there is more to veganism than just food, or even just animals right to exist. You can delve into the rights of migrant workers involved in food production and harvest.
- Food Empowerment Project
- Justice for Migrant Workers (not vegan, but focused on people and based in Ontario and focused on the Canadian Temporary Foreign Workers working on farms.)
- Sistah Vegan – Food justice, race, and critical intersectional writing by Dr. A. Breeze Harper
- Cowspiracy (available on Netflix)
- Ghosts in our Machine
- Forks over Knives (available on Netflix)
- Vegucated (available on Netflix)
- Peaceable Kingdom
- Speciesism: The Movie
- Earthlings (graphic content – I have never seen this film, but it is frequently recommended.) & Unity
- Blackfish (available on Netflix)
- Maximum Tolerated Dose
- Your Daily Vegan has compiled a frequently updated list of Vegan related movies available on Netflix
There are so many books out there, and the Toronto Public Library has SO MANY. Just search for “Vegan” and you’ll find so many great cookbooks and more. You might be surprised at the quantity of books available for free at your own public library, so check them out.
Please feel free to add any recommended resources or things that have helped you along the way in the comments