Forget Dry January, this new year it’s all about Veganuary.
The vegan lifestyle garnered a lot of press last year, due in part to the popularity of food bloggers and Instagrammers who sang about its health benefits, alongside a rise in our awareness of animal cruelty and knowledge of how the food industry really works. Gone are the days of vegans being branded as ‘hippies’ and their diet being scoffed at; there are now over half a million vegans in the UK, and well-known food brands and restaurants including Ben & Jerry’s, Quorn, Zizzi and Carluccio’s developed products and menus to suit.
A record 50,000 people have officially signed up to Veganuary this year, citing various reasons that reflect how much more tuned in we’re becoming as a nation to our own health as well as our environment. The main reason people have for turning vegan is their love of animals – it’s quite common knowledge now that the meat, dairy and egg industries employ inhumane and cruel methods – but health is also a solid point to consider (going vegan can cut out cholesterol, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes), as is saving the environment – did you know that by cutting out meat you can halve your greenhouse gas emissions, and make more of a positive impact on the environment than you would if you gave up your car?
While many worry that going vegan will be costly and complicated, or that they won’t be able to get their nutrients, or that their diet will be boring, all it takes is a little research to make it work for your lifestyle – Deliciously Ella and Oh She Glows have some of my favourite go-to vegan recipes that are always tasty and simple to make, and incorporate all the protein and vitamins that you need. Additionally, websites like PETA and Veganuary.com provide recipes, tips and even a starter kit to set you on your way. I also loved this article on Vice – a tongue-in-cheek look at what to expect when you do Veganuary, which is definitely worth a read!
Veganuary doesn’t have to be restricted to January, either. I went vegan six months ago and couldn’t recommend it more – my skin has never been better and I generally feel less tired, sluggish and bloated. And with stores and restaurants all recognising the shift in popularity towards this lifestyle, it’s becoming more and more easy to incorporate into everyday life.
Would you try going vegan?
– Ellen Kelly, Director and Co-Founder