If you can’t quite believe that the start of a brand-new year is upon us, then join the club. Perhaps it’s as we get older; time goes far more quickly, and BOOM January is here! Not that I mind at all, as each year (since 2014), January 1st marks the start of Veganuary – the month encouraging you to go vegan for 30 days.
“Veganuary is the world’s largest vegan movement, inspiring people to try vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year.”Veganuary
Now in its 8th year, the Veganuary campaign has seen 192 countries try vegan for the month with an amazing 1,000,000+ people taking the pledge. Of these, 98% would recommend Veganuary to a friend, isn’t that reassuring? And it’s not only individuals, brands and businesses are also proof that the demand and interest in veganism is rising, as more than 1200 new vegan products and menus were launched in Veganuary 2020 with more than 600 businesses taking part. Find out more stats on the Veganuary website.
You may have seen that global leadership teams at Nestle, Bloomery, M&S, Quorn, Tesco, PwC and EY among others are encouraging their employees to take the pledge as they are doing themselves as individuals. (source: Plant Based News)
How can you get involved?
First things first, take the pledge! All this means, is you sign up on the Veganuary website for FREE and in return receive emails, tips, exclusive recipes and a rolling update on the month to encourage you to keep going.
Secondly, get your friends and family involved! One of my best tips that I offer when asked about “how to go vegan” is to have a support bubble around you. Not only will they encourage you and understand what you’re doing, but getting them on board, too, means you can swap recipes, chat about how you’re finding the challenge and get excited together.
Thirdly, opt for vegan options in supermarkets and on restaurant menus. We all know how consumerism and demand works… the higher the demand for vegan products, the more the market will expand (and the cheaper products will become!). There are some truly amazing vegan products on supermarket shelves – that aren’t all about “fake meats” either. From vegetable tarts, to vegan chillis and plant-based cakes and bakes, there’s a lot to try out.
Find the recipe for these Vegan Cranberry Donuts on the Topic Skincare website here.
What if Veganuary seems a bit overwhelming?
Over the years, living a vegan lifestyle has become second nature to me and I cannot imagine living any other way. However, when talking to friends and family, I can appreciate the difficulties and the barriers. As a society, we are predominantly non-vegan and this way of eating and cooking has become engrained in us – so turning the tables overnight can seem rather daunting.
So, take baby steps. Veganuary is a great way to try it out with no strings attached.
Being fully plant-based may not be everyone right now, but it needn’t be an “all or nothing” approach. Lots of people making a few small changes make a much bigger impact than a few full-time vegans.
There are a few things that really help:
- Read up: education is key and this “reading” to read is two-fold. A) Read up on new recipes, flavours, cuisines and ideas that you’d enjoy making each mealtime a joy and not something to endure. B) Take time to read about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle not just for your own health and wellbeing but for the planet and the animals. Having a little more knowledge about WHY you’re doing this can be really motivational.
- Start with simple swaps: a couple of years ago I wrote a few posts that have already helped so many of you. Simple Dairy Hacks and Swaps Part I and Part II you can make, how to switch up your eggs and how to take on a more plant-based lifestyle. Being able to swap products like-for-like makes Veganuary much easier.
- Enjoy it and don’t be hard on yourself: we all make mistakes and slip up from time to time, so don’t be too hard on yourself if one morning you have a non-vegan croissant – it doesn’t mean you have to write the whole day off! Start again with your coffee and have oat milk for example.
This is by no means and full list of everything you will want to know about veganism and Veganuary, so I encourage you all (vegans, non-vegans, the plant-curious and those who like a challenge) to read up and do some research and find your own passion and motivation. It’s your personal story and mindset that will change your life (or just your January).