It’s easy to go through life on autopilot. For most of us, the things we eat, wear, and purchase aren’t subject to much thought or analysis – we just do what we’ve always done.

When you go vegan, that changes.

Suddenly, you’re reading labels like it’s your job, researching E-numbers you’d never thought twice about, and asking, ‘Why on earth does this contain milk/honey/leather?!’ Going vegan makes you more aware of your actions and the way they impact the world around you – and it also gives you a new sense of purpose.

Instead of going through the motions, you’re making conscious decisions that have the power to genuinely change the world. Knowing that your actions can and do have an impact, you’ll start actively trying to change things for the better – improving your own life and the world around you.

Below are a few ways this new purpose might manifest in your life.

Educating others about veganism

There’s a good chance that you decided to go vegan because you acquired some new knowledge. Taking what you’ve learned and finding new, innovative ways to spread it to others can provide a great sense of purpose. This could mean setting up a vegan blog, sharing interesting statistics on social media, or even just chatting with friends and family about what you’ve learned. Educating others doesn’t have to mean being preachy or annoying, and there are plenty of ways to spread knowledge without shoving it in peoples’ faces.

Campaigning for more vegan options

Now that you’re vegan, you’re probably keen for as many places as possible to provide tasty, plant-based options. You might find a new sense of purpose in contacting companies with suggestions, chatting to caterers at your place of work, or getting involved in larger campaigns around the availability of vegan food. It’s easy to shoot a quick email to a chain restaurant, or pop into a local cafe and recommend a few vegan dishes – and you might see changes sooner than you expect.

Sharing vegan recipes with family and friends

Many people go vegan and discover a new passion for cooking. You might get excited about trying new ingredients, experimenting with different cuisines, and stocking up your spice rack. Sharing your new culinary discoveries with family and friends is an excellent way to show that vegan food can be interesting, healthy, and delicious. Where you once headed to the store for a ready meal, you might now find yourself shopping for recipe books, hitting the farmer’s market, and exploring local independent supermarkets.

Connecting with like-minded people

Going vegan can be a lonely experience at first, especially if you don’t know anyone else who’s vegan. This feeling drives many people to make a new effort when it comes to connecting with others. You might join a local vegan club, participate in vegan forums online, or connect with vegans on social media. You could even set up your own vegan social events if you don’t see any in your local area. What starts as a simple change to your diet could develop in a great way to meet tons of new friends.

Going vegan is more than just changing what you eat. It encourages you to look at the world in a new way, giving you a sense of purpose that might not have experienced before. With 6% of Americans now identifying as vegan, there’s never been a better time to give it a try.