A vegan diet can be very healthy if you know what you're doing. Despite what many people have been raised to think, you CAN get all of the necessary nutrients your body needs without eating animals and the stuff that comes out of them. Studies have also shows that vegans are less likely to develop certain kinds of cancers (colon and breast cancer for example). Vegan food is also delicious, and once you get the hang of it you will never want to go back to eating dead bodies!
But I didn't go vegan for health reasons, I stopped eating animals because I believe it's cruel and unnecessary to exploit and slaughter them for our taste buds. A life is worth more than that. We no longer need to rely on eating them as we once did. Now it's out of pure selfishness. You are absolutely right about the way people have been taught to feel towards pets and other animals that we consider food. We are raised to think of them as nothing more than products. We have even made up words to further remove ourselves from the idea that we are eating animals. We call pigs "pork", cows are "beef", and birds are "poultry". Think about how strange it is that we have chosen only a handful of animals that we consider it okay to exploit, slaughter, and eat. It's okay to eat a baby cow, but not a puppy. It's fine to eat a turkey, but not an eagle or a peacock. We can skewer an entire pig and rotate it over an open flame, but can you imagine the outrage if you did the same thing to a cat at your next BBQ? Why have we decided that it's okay to harm certain animals, but would feel disgusted and outraged to see or hear of other animals being treated the same way? If someone treated a dog in the same way pigs raised for pork are treated, they would go to jail for animal abuse. We know it's wrong to hurt animals. Everyone knows that. So why do those beliefs go out the window when it comes to breakfast, lunch, and dinner? If we can live our lives without exploiting and harming other animals, then why wouldn't we?
If you don't already know how to cook, then you should start learning. It will make the transition much easier if you can cook for yourself. As for the things you should watch out for, protein is easy, but you may need to make an effort to get enough iron by eating lots of leafy greens, beans, lentils, etc. Always make sure to include lots of vegetables, beans, whole-grains, nuts, and seeds in your diet. Don't listen to Daisy. She has it out for vegans, and thinks we all survive on handfuls of pills each day. I don't take any pills because I eat a balanced diet. I get B-12 from fortified almond milk, which I would drink anyway because it tastes great. Many people who DO eat meat need to take a B-12 supplement, so it's not just a vegan issue. Being a healthy vegan is easy if you're willing to do some research.
Check out these website for some recipe ideas: