With January, comes ‘Veganuary‘!
If you use social media, you may have seen the term and be curious to know what it’s all about. It’s quite easy to surmise that it’s something to do with veganism, what with the prefix ‘Vegan’, but if you’re unfamilar with the movement, you may want to learn more. Luckily for you, we’ve done some research to bring you this simple guide on ‘Veganuary – what is it, what are the benefits, and how can we all get involved?
What is Veganuary?
Veganuary is a non-profit organisation that aims to inspire people worldwide to try a vegan lifestyle for January and beyond. Think of January as the ‘trial period’, which helps many people to realise that they enjoy being vegan and want to sustain it as a lifestyle choice.
During the 2019 campaign, more than 250,000 people took their pledge to try a vegan diet and more than 500 brands, restaurants and supermarkets promoted the Veganuary campaign. More than 200 new vegan products and menus were launched in 2019 in the UK market alone – how amazing!
As well as the January campaign, troughout the year, Veganuary encourages and supports people and businesses to transition to a plant-based diet as a way of “protecting the environment, preventing animal suffering and improving the health of millions of people”.
What are the health benefits of a vegan lifestyle?
There are some scientifically supported health benefits of being a vegan, as well as the ethical aspects of choosing to be vegan for the sake of animal welfare, and the environmental benefits!
- Studies have shown that veganism reduces our risk of cancer
- Vegan diets can be higher in nutrients such as fibre, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E.
- If animal welfare is something you’re passionate about and feel anxious about, there could be mental health benefits.
- Vegan diets can be lower in calories than non-vegan (if you don’t eat junk food, of course!) so they can be helpful for weight loss. Just look at Simon Cowell!
- Many people find that dairy irritates their skin and tummies – you may find that your skin and digestive issues improve.
- Veganism can have heart benefits and reduce the risk of T2 diabetes.
What environmental and ethical benefits come from a vegan diet?
As well as the health benefits that you could enjoy from being a vegan, there are some environmental and ethical benefits, too.
Environmental Benefits of Being Vegan
Research at the University of Oxford has found that veganism could be the single biggest way for us to impact the environment. Cutting meat and dairy from our diets could reduce our individual carbon footprint by up to 73% – this is huge!
The study also found that if everyone went vegan, global farmland could be reduced by 75% and cause a big drop in greenhouse gases, allow wildlife to reclaim habitats, and mean a big drop in chemicals used in farming finding their way into the environment. It also means a big drop in water use and far less resources being needed to produce the meat that we eat currently.
This means that even if veganism isn’t the way you personally want to go, even making a reduction in the amount of meat and animal products you consume could make a difference.
Ethical Benefits of Being Vegan
- If you don’t believe in how animals are used for the food industry, your choice will mean you’re taking a step back from this and removing some demand for meat.
- Veganism could benefit people in the developing world who use their limited resources for ‘cash crops’ to feed animals rather than to grow food to feed themselves. Less land, less water and fewer resources are needed to sustain a vegan lifestyle so in fact this could reduce malnutrition!
What vegan recipes can I try?
There are so many delicious recipe resources out there – we’ve found some great websites for yummy vegan food! Here are our favourite…
- The Vegan Society (they have some great ideas for babies and toddlers too!)
- Veganuary Recipes
- BBC Good Food
How lush does this vegan chocolate tart look? Scrummy!
This would be great for breastfeeding mums with CMPA babies and anyone with a milk allergy, too. We think it’s so clever that we’re able to create such marvellous meals without needing any animal products – genius.
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4 ingredient chocolate tart by @thelittleblogofvegan 🍫 Ingredients: Ingredients for the crust -200g of plain biscuits (I use GF Digestives) -6 tablespoons of dairy-free butter/margarine Ingredients for the chocolate filling -300g of dark chocolate (I used 70% dark from Vivani) -1 can of coconut milk (cream only) To make the crust Step 1- Line a tart tin with greaseproof paper. Step 2- Place the biscuits into a food processor/ blender and whizz up until crumb-like. Step 3- Melt the butter/margarine and pour into the biscuits and mix together until like wet sand. Step 4- Firmly press the biscuit mixture into the lined tin until its compact. Place into the fridge or freezer whilst you make the filling. To make the chocolate filling Step 1- Open a can of coconut milk, drain the clear liquid part and only use the thick white cream. Step 2- Place the cream into a medium-sized saucepan, and heat on medium until it comes to a low boil. Step 3- Place the dark chocolate into a heatproof bowl and pour over the hot cream. Allow to sit for a few minutes then stir together. The cream will melt the chocolate. Step 5- Pour the filling onto the crust and level with a spoon or offset spatula. Place into the freezer for 2-3 hours, or until set. #glutenfreevegan #vegandessert #vegandesserts #glutenfreedessert #glutenfreerecipe #glutenfreerecipes #veganbaking #bakingvideo #veganfoodie #vegan
How else can I get involved in Veganuary?
As well as eating a plant-based diet for January, there are other ways you can get involved in Veganuary!
- Only use products that aren’t animal tested – the Superdrug guide to cruelty-free and vegan makeup is great!
- Avoid textiles that involve animals, such as leather and fur.
- Strive to learn more about veganism even if you’re unsure if it’s a permanent lifestyle change for you.
- Support your vegan friends by asking food chains to improve their vegan options.
Other ways you can support the Veganuary movement:
Can my children become vegan?
This is a really important question to consider – can a child safely eat a vegan diet? The answer is yes, but they may need some supplements to ensure that they get everything they need, such as vitamin B12, iodine and Omega 3 fatty acids.
No matter what you choose to do, it’s great to know that there’s such a wealth of resources out there for our vegan followers. If you choose to go vegan, you won’t be alone!
Love from Katie & Team BBY. Xx