On one of my first volunteer travel trips, I was in Europe volunteering to help street dogs. It was an amazing experience, but the strongest memory that has stuck with me for over a decade was the shock I felt when everyone but me ordered meat to eat at the end of our first day.

We had all traveled half way around the world – to help dogs. We had all invested thousands of dollars – to help dogs. And we had spent the entire day working hard at a shelter – to help dogs. Yet no one paused to think about the cruelty inflicted on the cows, chickens, and fish they were ordering.

I love being vegan, because three times a day I get to make the world a better place – by simply not doing something. It is the easiest way to give back! I don’t have to write a check or log a volunteer hour to do good – I simply make a different food choice.

If you are willing to fly around the world volunteering to help chimps, elephants, or dogs, you should take some time to consider what you can do every day to alleviate suffering. It is easier than you think. Here are some resources to get you started:

How to Go Vegetarian/Vegan Guide

Vegan Society

Vegan Starter Kit

Happy Cow Vegetarian 101

Many more resources are available. My main recommendation is to take it slow, learn all you can, and find a routine that works for you. You could start with “Meat Free Mondays” (http://www.meatfreemondays.com/) and gradually work toward a cruelty-free diet.

Going from being a meat eater to a vegetarian or vegan is like going from having a horrible diet to being a healthy eater: you just have to learn to make new choices. Good luck! Post any questions you have here; I am happy to help!