It’s Veganuary!

Happy New Year! New year means new resolutions. And there’s no better resolution for the planet, for animals and for your health than turning vegan!

Since 2014, new year has meant Veganuary. This non-profit organisation has created the best way to entice people to try vegan in the new year with a pledge to go vegan for the month of January. They have a lot of resources for pledgers to help them with the transition, and obviously the goal is that they will stay vegan beyond January (around half of the pledgers do, according to Veganuary).

The organisation has done a tremendous job over the past few years to raise awareness of veganism, and their work creating new vegans has pushed a lot of businesses to launch new vegan menus and products during January. And the good thing is that these are usually here to stay!


Why try Veganuary?

Being a new year resolution, there’s no surprise that the top reason pledgers gave for trying Veganuary is health (46%). 34% are doing it for the animals and 12% cite the environment. 

There’s no bad reason to go vegan! First, yes you are going to feel better. Taking care of your body should be a priority for every one, as we only get one! Your energy is going to increase, as your body won’t be exhausting itself trying to digest meat and dairy. Over the course of the month, you’re going to start feeling the benefits on your health. 

The climate emergency is real, and we all need to act now. Whilst we need to keep pushing governments to enact strong legislation to combat climate change, we also need to do all we can to minimise our personal impact. And the most impactful decision we can make, is to turn vegan  Animal agriculture is responsible for as much emissions as all forms of transportation combined. It’s a change that everyone can make now, and that cumulatively could steer us in the right direction.

And finally, the most obvious benefit will be on the countless animal lives you’re going to spare. Animal agriculture is hurting billions of lives every year, and we need to stop speciesism

Our Veganuary tips for newcomers

Veganuary is great for eating out. Lots of restaurants are going to launch new vegan dishes, sometimes even a full vegan menu. That includes many of your favourite places to eat out. That’s especially true in big cities or with chains. So a lot of times, you will just find new vegan dishes at your usual eating out or lunch spots. Veganuary’s website has a full section dedicated to highlighting these places. 

To go further, it’s also great to try vegan restaurants and eateries. Happy Cow is the best app to find vegan establishments wherever you are in the world! You will be surprised by the number of delicious options you’ll find.

Of course, you can’t eat out every day. Cooking vegan at home requires a change of focus. Most Western cuisines are centred around meat as the main element of a dish. Veggies are relegated to being “sides”. Whilst in many cases you can replace the meat centrepiece of your daily dishes with a delicious meat substitute (and a lot of these will be launching for Veganuary), in the long run, you will find that changing your focus to cooking a meal using different whole foods, veggies, nuts etc. will satisfy even better. You’ll find new flavours, new combinations… There are so many places to find delicious vegan recipes online (you’ll find some our favourites at the end of this post).

When shopping, going vegan often easy. Of course, a lot of you kitchen staples are already plant-based (peanut butter, jam, pasta, chips and many more). A lot of products require just a simple swap, like cow’s milk for one of the many plant-based milks available (almond, oat, soya, rice…). Nowadays, more and more supermarkets and brands are properly labelling vegan products, so they’re easy to spot. To find even more and better alternatives, head over to your local health food shop!

Veganuary for vegans

If you’re already vegan, then Veganuary is still an exciting month! If you follow plant-based content on social media, you’re going to get bombarded by announcements about new vegan things. A lot of that is great, as you’ll be able to buy new products at supermarkets, try new restaurants or go back to a place you haven’t been since turning vegan.

But if you’ve been vegan for a while, and you haven’t missed something, you don’t necessarily need to go back to that thing. KFC in the UK has already announced the launch of a new vegan chicken sandwich for Veganuary (available in UK-wide). If you were a customer of KFC before turning vegan, it could be attractive to try this new sandwich. But did you miss cheap fried chicken? Is it worth it going to a place that sells (and profits from) primarily chickens that have been raised and slaughtered in the worst possible conditions? This type of launch is still great news, because it could drive people to veganism, increase the exposure and possibly reduce the number of animals killed, but as someone already vegan, is this where you want to spend your money?

I also always prefer to give my money to a vegan company or restaurant. They share our values and principles. By patronising them, you help them grow and prosper. Giving your business to a restaurant who added some vegan items to increase their reach, but still primarily sells animal products is not helping the vegan community.

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