There is little that makes me more smiley and happy than having someone contact me and asking about going vegan.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!
In the time we've gone vegan, we count at least 8 people who have wanted to go vegan too. Yeah for vegan outreach!
It makes us so happy because we know how happy we are and we know how good it is for the people who want to make the change, as well as for the animals and the world.
I get so excited, I write a huge long response. Here's a sample:
Going vegan was one of the best things we've ever done (almost 5 years now!) and I'm happy to help you in any way possible. The great thing is there are TONS of resources out there now, from cookbooks to sites to blogs and podcasts, etc. I even wrote a little "introductory" post about it on my site -http://dailycoop.blogspot.com/2012/06/vegan-kickstart.html- and the cookbooks/writers listed there are our favorites. Colleen and Happy Herbivore both have blogs, sites and pages on FB with tons of info. We also get Veg News magazine which is filled with good info as well.
What's also cool is we never feel like we are skimping on anything. Being big foodies and loving cooking and baking, we make lots of the same stuff all the time. I've added resources on The Daily Coop about baking, but the Joy of Vegan Baking and Chloe's books are great resources. And I'm happy to answer any specific questions.
Some other good sites/resource are Vegan Yum Yum (beautiful and she also has a cookbook - http://veganyumyum.com/ ), Vegan Dad (for kids/comfort food -http://vegandad.blogspot.com/ ) and Finding Vegan -http://www.findingvegan.com/ .
There are some great apps (with sites) if you have an iPhone, such as: HappyCow.net (the app is VegOut, for finding veg friendly restaurants), VeganSteven, VeganXpress, iVegan, Barnivore (vegan beer, wine & liquour guide), Animal-free (lists vegan and non-vegan ingredients in pkgd foods).
Great food options if you don't know already are EarthBalance (the sticks work JUST LIKE diary butter - you can melt, saute, bake, etc. I prefer the tub spread for toast and sandwiches), all kinds of non-dairy milk of course, Veganaise instead of mayo, Gardein and Field Roast meats, Dandies marshmallows, So Delicious ice creams, Go Max candy bars and Daiya non-dairy cheese (OMG, so good! Mellow Mushroom uses it too.)
Some people we know are better with the change than others - but I just kind of brazen through and take to push back. It helps that we're committed on so many levels - animals, health, environment, etc. It makes it easier. When we go to stay at people's houses we bring stuff and cook a lot. So that helps. It will actually be surprising how disconnected people are from their food. You'll find yourself explaining that, yes, dairy milk and cheese, as well as eggs actually ARE from animals too! We ask lot of questions in restaurants, especially about things like bread but it's usually not a big deal and we eat out a lot.
It's a journey but it's a fun one. You'll be amazed how much you learn and how peaceful you feel. It was a benefit I never expected. And do check out Colleen Patrick Godreau's Podcast on iTunes - Food for Thought. It was one of the first things we listened too that helped us a lot.
Yay for new vegans!!!