As 2018 draws to a close, most of us are craving salad and exercise after over-indulging at Christmas. Veganuary is a popular challenge at this time of year, with people around the world giving up meat and animal products for the month of January. Reasons for taking part vary from concern for animals and the environment, through to the health benefits to the individual.
Why I’m taking part in Veganuary
I’ve looked at Veganuary for the past few years and wondered whether to take part. But it has always seemed a bit too difficult. I cook for the whole family every evening. So, if I go vegan for the month, I’ll have to either cook two different meals or feed everyone something vegan.
This year though, something has changed. Firstly, we’ve been edging towards eating more vegan meals anyway. I’m vegetarian and the meat alternatives we eat as a family are increasingly vegan as well. Secondly, I’ve discovered a few types of vegan cheese that I quite like. Cheese has always been the sticking point for me, because I’ve always eaten a lot of it in the absence of meat.
My main reason for wanting to go vegan for the month is because I don’t feel comfortable with the ethics of commercially produced animal products. I am not ready to commit to being fully vegan, but I’d love to get to a point where I remained vegetarian, but with a predominantly vegan diet. After a month of being entirely vegan, this should seem like a much easier task. Additionally, the health benefits of Veganuary will be a much needed boost after the Christmas excess.
How do you take part in Veganuary?
The Veganuary website is an incredibly helpful resource. You can sign up to receive regular emails throughout the month for motivation and recipe suggestions. Anyone who signs up can access a digital copy of a vegan celebrity cookbook.
There’s no obligation to take the challenge in January either. When you sign up, they ask whether you want to start receiving emails straight away, on the first of January or in seven days. A hard copy recipe book is available in addition to the digital one, and the Veganuary blog has some tips and ideas to make it easier to go vegan.
I hope that this will be the start of a lifestyle change for me. Whilst I don’t want to be completely vegan, my ideal scenario would be to only eat animal products on a social basis. For example, if a meat eater is cooking me dinner I’d eat vegetarian rather than vegan. If I’m out in a restaurant with no vegan option, I’d eat the vegetarian option. But at home when I’m doing the cooking, I hope to remain vegan as much as possible even after the Veganuary month is over.
Are you vegan or will you be taking part in Veganuary? Please do let me know if you have any tips to help me on my way!