It’s tough for everyone right now but for those who are healthy, lockdown brings an opportunity to try something new, to reconnect with what matters and to explore new ideas. With that in mind, here are our tips for finding the silver lining in these difficult times.

Vegan on Female First

Vegan on Female First

Spend time with food

Many of us rely on convenience foods in our ultra-busy lives. Now, with a little more time to spare, we can go back to basics, and learn or relearn how wonderful simple home-cooked foods can be.

Since not all products are easily available, simplicity is key, which is why we recommend So Vegan’s cookbook So Vegan In Five, which contains 100 recipes with five ingredients or fewer. Also, Jack Monroe’s book Veganish - simple budget recipes that are all fully vegan and many of them using tinned foods you may already have. And if you have something in your cupboard you don’t know how to use then #JackMonroesLockdownLarder is live on Twitter daily at 5pm - just ask her!

Reconnect with your animals

If you have companion animals, you are likely to be spending more time with them, and this gives you an opportunity to get to know them even better and build a deeper friendship.

Training animals does not have to be exploitative, it can be a wonderful way to engage with them and encourage them to use their brains, which are often neglected when everything is done for them. Rabbits, fish, guinea pigs, rats, mice, chickens as well as dogs can learn ‘tricks’. If done with fun and positive rewards for trying, even when not quite succeeding, then you will all get something wonderful from it. Try setting up a mini agility course for dogs in your garden!

Community is everything

If you are the only vegan in your home, it’s more important than ever to connect with other vegans online, and that we show kindness and compassion to one another when there.

We are a community! So why not invite your vegan friends - wherever in the world they may be - to have dinner with you via a video-link platform like Skype or Zoom? Arrange a time, serve up your food and all sit down to eat together!

Staying active

We may not be able to get to the gym or pull on our Vegan Runners shirt and hit the trails but we can stay active at home. There are plenty of free fitness sessions online including yoga and workouts. Perhaps take inspiration from the man who ran a marathon on his balcony and set yourself a new challenge. If nothing else works for you, put on your favourite tunes and dance.

Films to watch

This is a great time to catch up on some of those films you have been meaning to see - Okja, Earthlings, Cowspiracy, Vegucated, Forks Over Knives, Food Inc, 73 Cows, The Game Changers, Carnage and many more are available. Pop some corn and settle in.

Books to read

And it’s the same for books. Try these recommended life-changing reads: Eating Animals (Jonathan Safran Foer), The China Study (T Colin Campbell), How Not To Die (Michael Greger MD), Animal Liberation (Peter Singer), Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows (Melanie Joy), When Elephants Weep (Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson), An Unnatural Order (Jim Mason).

Keep donating if you can

Campaign groups and animal sanctuaries are seeing their funding drop off significantly. If you can afford to make a donation to see them through these hard times, it would be a huge help.

By Toni Vernelli, International Head of Communications

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