To kick start 2020 and the month of January, it only seems right that we talk about Veganuary. Going Vegan for January – adopting a plant-based diet, lifestyle and mindset for the month – is such an amazing initiative. Taking the pledge adds you to the more than half a million individuals worldwide who have given up animal products for the month. Since 2014, Veganuary has encouraged people in 178 countries to take the pledge, with more than ¼ of a million in 2019 alone. It is not surprising to hear that last year in the UK, more than 500 brands, restaurants and supermarkets promoted the campaign and launched more than 200 new plant-based products and menus in the market.
Not just for January, the Veganuary non-profit organisation encourages and supports people and business throughout the year to show how amazing veganism really is. And 98% of people can’t be wrong as they would recommend Veganuary to a friend. There are so many reasons to participate and Veganuary have noted that 34% of pledgers do so for the animals, 46% for their health, 12% for the environment and 8% for other amazing reasons.
But this post is not about sounding preachy or judging anyone in any way for the choices they make, I simply want to show off how amazing this campaign is.
While I never took the pledge myself – I had not heard of it before naturally transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle myself – I think it can be a wonderful way to try it out. Without the pressure of being vegan for life, you can see it as a little experiment, a test, something fun to do with friends for a month and see how you feel.
And you can’t “fail”. You may have a moment where you choose something that contains animal products, or you consume something accidentally, but it’s OK. We are not perfect. The important thing is to carry on, let it go and move on to the next meal. It’s similar to people saying they could never be vegan because they can’t give up eggs. That’s fine, be vegan in every other part of your diet and keep the eggs… they’ll probably fall by the wayside after time, anyway. The same with cheese, bacon sandwiches… do everything that you can but don’t deprive yourself as you’ll feel like your life is lacking. And veganism is anything but dull and boring.
Being vegan isn’t for everyone right now but how about for a month? The world will not magically turn vegan overnight but each day more and more people are persuaded by the benefits that it brings – and all of those people can’t be wrong! For me, it was the best decision that I ever made and every time I feed my friends and family a plant-based meal or snack or gift them a cruelty-free present, it feels amazing. It’s quite literally, the gift of life.
All facts about Veganuary are taken from the Veganuary website, linked above.