What's all this Veganuary about?
If you haven't heard about it by now, where have you been? In a cave?
It’s big news. January is now officially (well, ok not exactly official) VEGANUARY! We suspect a few of you are rolling your eyeballs right about now.. Right? But wait. This is not the latest new year diet guilt trip.
Veganuary is an yearly campaign run by a UK non profit organisation that promotes and educates about veganism by encouraging people to follow a vegan lifestyle for the month of January. And it's gone way beyond this year’s new fad. Since ‘Veganuary began in 2014, people signing up has practically doubled every year. 400,000 people signed up to the 2020 campaign!. The Veganuary campaign organisers figured that this represented the carbon dioxide equivalent of 450,000 flights - and the lives of more than a million animals.
Now, that's quite an impact. But it's the sheer number of people who are joining the Veganuary movement that’s really telling the story about where our heads are at when it comes to the environment, health and the meat industry. Seriously, this stuff is ‘woke’ - as the phrase goes.
What is it?
Veganuary participants sign up online and receive a downloadable "starter kit" and daily support via emails. They can grab an online "vegan starter kit" with restaurant guides, product directories, and vegan recipes. Everyone is encouraged to share their January Veganuary journey on social media, creating a ‘worldwide’ community. It basically gets the message out that veganism is easy to do .. easy to try and.. If January is a vegan doddle for you, you just might decide to go for it. For life!
All the info and resources you need about the whole campaign are all here on their website. So, you’ve missed a few weeks. No reason not to make your February vegan.
How to go vegan.
There is so much related info out there now about veganism, from health info, to recipes to tips, to personal stories, there's little point in us reinventing the wheel here. A google of ‘vegan’ will pretty much take you to any information you want. Again, underlining that being vegan isn't the ‘oddity’ it may once have been considered. It’s becoming more of a norm, if anything.
But, what most people out there in internet land seem to agree on is that this is a journey, not an overnight change. It takes time to make lasting changes across all areas of your life. Which is basically what a true veganism lifestyle is about. Veganuary just helps and supports you to take the first steps.
Being educated about not only your diet - where your food comes from, how to replace meat, what nutrients do you need .. but also about everything you consume. Your shampoo, your makeup, your medicines, your clothes, your kids’ food, sweets, your moisturisers … the lot!
The question is … what’s in it? And traditionally, it's never been made that easy to find out. We mean, really find out what’s in stuff.
But, most of us will think of diet first. We know its plant based, and we definitely know there’s NO animals involved. No animal by products or derivatives. Slowly slowly, things are turning in vegan favour.
Supermarkets and food producers are more inclined now than before to state loud and clear if their products are vegan. So it is easier to do! If in doubt, reliable resources like the Vegan Society have loads of excellent information and guides if you’re just starting out.
The NHS, as always, will give you straight talking health info on what you need to think about before you make any changes to your overall diet.
But why, and why now?
Ethically, the veganism movement it's mainly about unnecessary suffering to animals .. do we really need to do this to animals to eat, to survive?
Vegans say an unequivocal ‘NO’. It's not always been a popular stance, but looking at the almost half a million people who signed up for Veganuary last year, it looks like that is set to change!
But also, there is a growing and ever more compelling argument about the environment and the large negative environmental reach of the meat industry. Even if we can be happy meat eaters, can we accept the environmental damage of the worldwide meat industry? That issue may be a bit more pressing on our minds than it once was.
A recent Guardian feature stated that: “The environmental and ethical case for a diet free of all animal products, including meat, fish, dairy and eggs, is compelling. According to research from the University of Oxford, going vegan is the “single biggest way” to reduce your impact on the planet. And that is before you consider the ethical arguments against eating industrially farmed animals, which have an appalling quality of life and are often pumped full of powerful antibiotics that may pose a risk to human health.”
Plant based food for thought!
Veganism - It's easier than you think!
Like any new activity, it can seem daunting to begin with. In your mind's eye, you’re down the health food shop, trying to figure out your mung beans from your quinoa, and probably spending a fortune to buy stuff you have no idea how to actually cook!
Best thing we read today??
A recipe that went like this … Grab all your ‘almost off’ veggies from the fridge, throw in an onion, slow roast them in some organic coconut oil. Cover with a tin of tomatoes, back in the oven for 15 minutes. Hey presto!! A delicious Vegan pasta sauce. Boom. You're done.
Now, are you thinking about the gorgeous melty cheese on top? Guess how many vegan cheeses are out there? Not in little boutique shops, but right in your supermarket fridges. Yep. It’s that easy. Here’s some ..https://www.peta.org.uk/living/ultimate-guide-vegan-cheese-uk/
Accidental vegan stuff!
Here’s the even better news. So much food is already vegan! Loads of savoury sauces, crisps, Marmite (love it, hate it, its vegan!) Mr Kipling apple and blackcurrant pies (yes, you read that right), McVitie’s Hobnobs Choc Chip (contrary to what you might think!), loads of cereals, drinks .. the list goes on and on! So already, before you even start, there's a whole load of ready made vegan food out there.
This is one of the best places to follow what's what. ‘accidentallyveganuk’ on instagram continually posts pics of easily available products that are already “accidentally vegan”! Fabulous!! @TheVeganKindSupermarket
Veganism - its more than food
As we said, veganism goes across the board, and it's more than what you eat. You gotta ask, what’s actually ‘in’ everything. And it's not hard, trust us. Makeup used to be packed with loads of animal by-products. Not so these days. In fact, because more and more people are voting with their feet, or actually, their hard earned cash, manufacturers are listening.
Vegan beauty products are readily available on the high street, and there are many online retailers who have turned the tables on disposable, unethical fast fashion to produce great clothing and footwear ranges that are completely free of animal derivatives.
We here at Organics (ahem) have a few of our own amazing vegan products, we don't mind saying. All because our small independent brands care about their products, what's in them and how they're made. We applaud the efforts made by small brands (especially as our site is dedicated to indy brands .. we would say that!)
Here’s a few ..
Naturorganik natural, organic mouth hygiene products are perfect for vegans.
MetaPora has a gorgeous luxury skincare range - all Vegan!
What about The Coconut Company? They make a wide range of vegan and organic larder products, including these delicious savoury sauces. If ever you wondered how to make lentils exciting!
And Mama Nature has perfect products for new mums and mums to be. All organic, natural, gentle ... and, yep, they're vegan.
Best Tip? Keep trying.
Main thing is, if it's a new habit you're trying out, go slow. Have fun checking out new sites and new info. Read the funny stuff, as well as the serious stuff. It's getting easier in this world to be vegan. But that doesn't mean you won't slip up. And if you do, that's fine! Don't worry about it. Just keep trying.
That is basically what all this Veganuary fuss is about!!
It's not about trying to change who you are. It's just one month where you might try to change a few old habits, and take a chance on something new. Half a million people (and growing) just might have a point.
Have fun with it.