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There are a lot of things to consider when making the choice to become vegan, least of which is the flak you’ll receive from both sides of the meat fence.

“Don’t do it! Bacon is just so good,” your friends will say.

“Loving meat is so speciest and bad for the environment,” your other friends will say.

Maybe you don’t have such a diverse friend population, but there is a high probability that there will be people in your life who feel personally affronted, offended, or championed by what you decide to put in your mouth.

For this reason, I say there is only one true rule to becoming vegan: Take everything with a grain of salt (especially the food).

This New Times writer would know.

A few weeks ago, I made the grave error of asking for advice about becoming a vegan via that most 21st century of communication highways: Facebook.

My status drew more than 100 comments.

Many of them gave no cookbook advice, no helpful URL addresses, but instead tried to deter me from such a commie, llama-hugging, tree-climbing, Prius-driving move.

The other side of the fence launched its vegan/vegetarian/pollotarian/pescatarian grenades at unsuspecting civilians. The thought that some folks eat and enjoy meat in moderate, thoughtful ways was too much for some of my Internet friends to bear.

I, meanwhile, just wanted some damn cooking advice.

If you do make the decision to forgo meat, dairy, and/or all animal products, just know: Someone is going to have something to say about it.

Thankfully, some of my friends did provide some great websites to mosey through while I was deciding my vegan fate.

My favorite was theveganstoner.com. It has tons of great, easy, comfort recipes that will make the transition a lot more comfortable.

Another way to make going meatless easier is by allowing someone else to cook a few of your meals.

Big Sky makes a great black bean burger (forgo the non-vegan sauce they add on top) for less than $10.

Linnaea’s also has some delicious and affordable vegan options, from pastries to hot dishes.

After you’ve filled up on some good and healthy grub, head over to Batch and try out some of their vegan cookies. They’re soft, chewy, and will totally make you forget all that pining for milk and chocolate.

Be vegan because you want to be vegan. There are plenty of food lifestyle choices out there that will get you just as healthy and you can keep your meat and dairy.

I am still making the transition. Some days saying no to meat and dairy seems impossible, but I do love the way I feel after a day free from animal products.

Calendar Editor Maeva Considine compiled this week’s Bites, and it was totally meatless. We want a bite! Send your cuisine related news to bites@newtimesslo.com.

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