The start of a new year is the perfect time to make changes for the better and to try something new. Have you considered trying vegan? If not, there’s no time like the present, especially since January has become Veganuary. It is the perfect opportunity to try going vegan for a month, with a vast library of resources at your fingertips. And who knows, you may love it so much you decide to stick with it. So, what do you have to lose?
The first step in your Veganuary journey is to consider what a vegan lifestyle is and why you should give it a go. There is no single right or wrong answer. In general, there are three main reasons people choose to go vegan, and they are all important. You may be inspired by one or all these reasons.
Go Vegan for the Environment
Many people choose a vegan lifestyle to protect the environment. Animal agriculture is a significant contributor to global warming, deforestation, air pollution, and more. Even wild animals are affected by the devastating effects of animal agriculture. Natural environments are often destroyed to make way for farmland leaving animals displaced without homes or killing them. Plant-based diets are much easier on the environment and make more sense. Land used and destroyed to raise farm animals could instead be used for crops that could ultimately feed more people.
Go Vegan for the Animals
There is no humane way to pursue animal agriculture. Consuming an animal’s flesh causes their death. Even the egg and diary industries hurt animals, and then they are slaughtered after their bodies become exhausted. From the time they are born, they are kept in horrid conditions and mistreated for the duration of their short lives. They suffer daily at the hands of humans. All animals are sentient, feeling beings that want to live just as much as we do. For many people, learning the true plight of farm animals is enough to make them want to leave meat off their plates.
Go Vegan for your Health
Study after study has proven that consuming animal products is detrimental to your health. A plant-based diet is proven to improve overall health on many levels. It has been proven that eating vegan can lower cholesterol, blood pressure and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Among other things, they have seen improvement in digestion, sleep, arthritis, and even depression.
Vegan Support For Veganuary
Changing your eating habits may seem like a daunting task, but you don’t have to do it alone. Veganuary is an international charity based in England and Wales. They have four overall goals: increasing participation, corporate outreach, raising awareness, and growing the global movement.
Since 2014, Veganuary has invited people from all over the world to take a 31-day vegan challenge in January. More and more people have taken them up on this offer each year. Over 580,000 individuals participated in the 2021 challenge alone. Many of these participants choose to continue following a vegan lifestyle even after their 31-day challenge is over. But those who do not continue after 31 days are not judged by Veganuary. They are there to offer daily support and advice to help you successfully pursue this challenge and will continue this support if you require it, long after your 31 days are over.
Veganuary works with the corporate world to encourage the development and production of new vegan products. 2021 saw the launch of more than 825 new vegan products and menus. These make it easier than ever to find vegan substitutes for the animal-based products in your previous diet. “For almost every animal-derived ingredient and product, there is now a vegan alternative, and this means that a vegan meal may look and taste exactly like a non-vegan meal; it just doesn’t come with the animal suffering or the same environmental impact.”
This year Veganuary has added “The Vegan Kit: Advice & Inspiration Cards with All You Need to Know to Try Plant-based” which they state is “a giftbox of advice and inspiration cards with all you need to know to try plant-based.” Purchase The Vegan Kit Here.
Take The 30-Day Veganuary Challenge
When you sign up for the Veganuary challenge, you will begin receiving daily support emails for the duration of the challenge. These contain information on products, recipes, and nutrition. You will also find inspiration, encouragement, and facts to guide you through your 31-day vegan journey.
Veganuary can walk you step by step through the transition from meat-eater to vegan, whether you plan to be a 31-day participant or a lifelong vegan. If you have ever considered trying a plant-based lifestyle, now is a perfect time to go for it. The new year is a time of resolutions and changes. You will be doing something extraordinary for the environment, vulnerable animals, and yourself.
* This post was updated from the original in January of 2023*