Here we are in 2018, still stuffed from our Christmas dinner and making those New Year’s Resolutions that probably aren’t going to last to the end of January. For many, the New Year means new beginnings – trying new things, creating new habits – which makes January the perfect month to try going Vegan!
The vegan diet has been growing in popularity over the years, with help from organisations like Veganuary, aiming to raise awareness of veganism, and show how easy it is to live as a vegan.
Veganuary is a registered charity, launched in 2014 with the aim of encouraging people to give veganism a try. The founders, Jane and Matthew, knew that month-long pledges worked for many people, and thought January was the best month as it is a time for new beginnings! With information available online including recipes and expert advice, Veganuary aims to change people’s attitudes as well as provide practical support during the transition to veganism.
There are many different reasons a person might choose to adopt a vegan diet and lifestyle. For many it’s about the treatment of animals, and the idea that we should not exploit animals for our own gain when there are alternatives. But there are other reasons for choosing a diet without animal products – including health benefits and environmental impact.
We know that animals can feel pain, regardless of laws passed by governments, when an animal is in pain you can see the reaction. While many argue that animals are treated more kindly than they were in the past in many farms, there have been investigations by Viva! and many other organisations, showing this is not the case everywhere.
Many animals are still kept in cages with teeth and tails being clipped without any pain relief. And then there are newly born animals being taken from their mothers almost as soon as they are born. There is a physical, psychological and emotional pain for animals within the meat industry. It’s so vast and overwhelming that there can’t be a guarantee that animals are not harmed for our own gain, and that is why many people choose to adopt a vegan lifestyle. With many vegan proteins and food sources available, it really is easier than ever to eat that way if you choose.
As of 2012, animal agriculture was the considered the leading producer of methane gas worldwide, primarily released by animals. However it’s also important to note the amount of emissions generated through land use, keeping animals alive and medical treatments. These processes also use a lot of water, so switching to a vegan diet can potentially save fresh water.
A lot of land needs to be cleared to rear animals and grow the food that feeds them in the first place, which is why forests tend to be cut down, which in turn destroys habitats and harms wildlife.
No to mention the added health benefits of eating a vegan diet – as long as you’re not just eating vegan junk food of course! Removing meat and animal based products from your diet can help to lower cholesterol while reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Many vegan sports personalities, athletes and weight lifters have even attributed their improvements to changing to a vegan diet, giving us quite a lot of inspiration!
You can find out more at veganuary.com including links to studies and reports.
Keep an eye out for our special Vegan offers throughout this January! And don’t forget to let us know how your Veganuary goes!