Hellooo welcome to our first blog of the year 2021 and welcome to Veganuary!
I have to confess when I first heard of Veganuary I thought it was just meant to be a kind of play on words where vegan is blended with January.
Veganuary is actually a non-profit organisation which encourages and supports people and businesses to go vegan for one month, and last year half a million people took a pledge to try a vegan diet.
Obviously you can do this for any month of the year and for more than a month, but it flows with January where people usually make their new years resolutions and set goals for the year, kind of like going to the gym or 'Dry January' where people pledge to not drink for one month.
A lot of people like the idea of cutting out animal products from their diet but don't know where to start, or find the thought of going cold turkey straight away too daunting. But the idea of trying vegan for one month is more doable, and after one month you could just revert back. Hopefully after one month of trying vegan food you’ll see its really quite doable. And you don’t have to go fully non-vegan afterwards, perhaps carry on with being vegan once a week, or one week a month, or even 1-2 meals a day! (Although the best would be to go completely vegan 😀)
So why would you consider trying vegan or going vegan?
There are three big reasons: your health, the environment, and protection of animals.
People look into veganism for any of these three reasons. The great thing is once you get into it, it doesn’t matter what your initial reason was, and to find out that it has these other benefits to it just makes it awesome.
There is a major epidemic happening right now apart from COVID-19. That is the epidemic of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, which are strongly linked with diet and the over consumption of meat and animal products, specifically cholesterol and saturated fat.
In addition processed meat such as sausages is listed by the World Health Organisation as being carcinogenic - they increase the risk of bowel cancer. And red meat including beef, lamb and pork as being probably carcinogenic.
There's even a recent study that suggests that a plant based diet may reduce your risk of getting severe COVID-19 symptoms!
Animal agriculture is one of the main causes of environmental damage, where huge amounts of resources such as land, water and food are used to breed animals just for human consumption, wrecking the environment, whilst at the same time almost 800 million people globally are undernourished.
And last but not least there’s the obvious animal protection aspect. Over the decades society has made us detach further and further from our natural world and the animals that inhabit it with us to the point where we don’t see any problems with the abuse of cows, pigs and chicken whilst at the same time are reviled by the thought of eating other animals such as dogs.
That is not to say that going vegan is not without challenges, the main one is the social aspects such as eating out with friends and family gatherings which can be difficult to navigate or negotiate and may require some major adjustments. But you could be vegan on all the days that you aren’t socialising for example, or see if your friends are ok with going to a vegan restaurant with you. These lifestyle style changes and what is possible and how far you want to go are deeply personal choices and vary for each person, you need to test to see what works for you.
On the other hand in some places of the world vegan food is very available and then it becomes fun to explore the vegan scene right in your home city!
For sure with the dawn of plant based meat and non-dairy products such as oat milk the reasons for continuing to eat animal products are becoming less and less compelling. Come with us into the future!
Some great resources:
Also check out vegans on social media such as YouTube, Instagram and Tik Tok -
Some suggestions here:
YouTube: Pick Up Limes, Peaceful Cuisine, Cheap Lazy Vegan, Avant Garde Vegan
Instagram: @PlantYou @PengVeganMunch @herbifoods
These are just to get you started, there are many more, find someone who suits your style!
There are also a plethora of vegan Facebook groups, more than likely one or two that will be in your city or hometown which you can join to ask for locally relavent tips and advice.
Just to be clear, there are many ways to be vegan, many types of food which are vegan, just explore and see what works for you. You can be a vegan which eats only healthy food, or eats unhealthy food, or a vegan who cooks everything from scratch, or only buys ready made vegan food. I would recommend leaning more to the healthy side of course, just be mindful of this.
I hope you find this post useful or helpful. Consider going vegan, or consider going vegan for a month, a week, a day, or even one meal! (Preferably more than one meal in the year!)
And just know that if you decide to go for it we will be cheering you on all the way!
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