Veganuary 2018

Although gym memberships and Dry January have become common in recent years for people who want to make positive changes at the start of the year. A new trend has made an appearance this year with some people are attempting to go vegan for an entire month. If you haven’t heard of Veganuary, it is a charity inspiring people to try being vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year. Over 120,000 people, according to the Veganuary campaign, have signed up to stay meat and dairy free for the month.

Although I haven’t taken part in the movement this year, I do love the idea and there are certainly so many reasons people decide to try vegan. I am vegetarian and plant-based for the most part; I just love feta, halloumi, natural greak yogurt and eggs, but I guess this is part of the January challenge.

Researching the movement further, I feel that there are several reasons for the large engagement in Veganuary. Animals are a large catalyst, as well as a lifestyle change and the impact they make on the environment. The challenge is a huge part too and also many seem to have combined Veganuary with their ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ to give themselves the healthiest start to the year. For people that were not even veggie before this month, they might have even experienced and discovered a whole new world of taste and flavour.

The four main reasons why people go vegan:

Animals

Production of food and clothing causes them to suffer in innumerable ways.

Health

Research shows that health is the second biggest reason people go vegan. Cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease as all key benefits.

Environment

Going vegan is one of the easiest and most effective ways to help our planet.

Nutrition

Veganuary allows people to expand their knowledge to the vast range of vegan sources of protein, vitamin B12 and everything in between!

If I am honest, I did used to think that veganism was extreme. Even a couple of years ago it was much less common to be vegan and it would have been so much harder to find a number of plant-bases alternatives. I feel it is great seeing the growth of it recently. I feel that Veganuary can help to spread the message about veganism, allowing people to be more open-minded and  normalise the word ‘vegan’.

The thing that I love the most is that the wider awareness of veganism increases the  demand for vegan products which I really enjoy purchasing myself. This means that lots of restaurants and stores are starting to release more vegan options and snacks.

Having said all this, I do feel that being vegan is still not commonplace and this Veganuary challenge and starting to cut out animal products can be a major lifestyle change and therefore difficult to adjust when people first begin. I definitely praise anyone who has taken part and are attempting the movement.

Over time I feel that it has become easier to maintain a vegan lifestyle. Next year might be my year to try the challenge. Even being veggie, once you know what you’re looking for in labels, you know where to go for food, you know the vegan options in restaurants/shops, it makes it so much easier.

Rachel

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