You feel guilt when you feel like your actions are not lining up with your morals.
So if you’re feeling guilty about not being vegan, it’s because you recognize on some level, that it’s cruel and unnecessary to harm animals to eat.
You can try to suppress guilt, but it will gnaw away at you more and more over time.
I’m not just going to say “go vegan now,” because clearly that’s not working for you.
Instead, we need to start by looking at your thoughts more closely, and finding a more manageable solution.
Why Do You Feel Guilty?
Regardless of if you’re a vegetarian right now, or just eat a standard omnivorous diet, you’ve likely learned about how animal products are made at some point.
From a documentary, blog post, or a vegan friend.
The vast (very vast) majority of animals are raised in terrible conditions on factory farms, and then murdered while they are still young (but full sized in most cases).
It’s sad, cruel, and not even necessary.
So Why Aren’t You Vegan Already? (2 Reasons)
One reason you’re not already vegan is perhaps you’re not completely sure if what you’ve read or heard about animal agriculture is actually true.
Maybe it’s coming from a biased source, or maybe it’s exaggerated.
I can tell you that it absolutely is that bad, but obviously that’s not going to convince anyone. You need to find out for yourself. Watch documentaries, or footage of factory farms on YouTube and see with your own eyes.
If you’re not sure if animals really feel pain and want to live, go visit a farm sanctuary or watch happy cow or pig videos on YouTube.
And that will lead to more questions that you need to find answers for.
Google them, ask friends, leave a comment here, etc. Find the answers you need or the guilt won’t go away.
The other possibility is that you know eating animals is morally wrong, but going vegan is scary.
Before I was vegan, going vegan seemed crazy.
It’s inconvenient, you feel like you’ll miss the foods you eat now, and you might have concerns about athletic performance or health.
The Solution: Try To Go Vegan Slowly
If you’re at this point, it’s clear that you think going vegan is the correct moral decision.
If you want the guilt to go away, you need to at least try to go vegan.
But you don’t need to do this overnight.
You also don’t need to commit to going vegan forever. Diets are not like marriage, you can change them if you don’t feel like you can be healthy and happy on them.
So start slowly with a few days a week without meat, or animal products at all.
You’ll learn a little bit about vegan foods during this time, and you can slowly work towards trying a vegan diet for a longer time period.
Right now that may seem impossible to you. But, I can say from experience, that after you get used to eating vegan, it feels natural and easy. I can barely remember eating animal products, it legitimately seems weird to me today (and I’ve only been vegan a few years).
If you need a bit more of a detailed breakdown, I’ve written a step-by-step guide to going vegan that tries to make it as easy as possible.
One last thing I would suggest is reaching out to any local vegans you know, whether they’re good friends or not. In general, vegans are incredibly supportive of people trying to eat vegan, and can help ease the transition with advice.