Veganuary – Not Just for January?

If you’ve taken part in Veganuary this year, congratulations! It might’ve been your first time, or you might be a pro, but either way, you’re part of a record breaking 150,000 people around the world who pledged to remove all animal products from their diet for a month. Which is amazing.

And so is going fully vegan, like, forever.

We only have to watch documentaries like What the Health and Cowspiracy to understand the benefits of a plant based diet on our health and the environment, let alone the benefits to animals.

But benefits aside for a second, how easy did you find Veganuary? Certainly, for many people I’ve spoken with, whether all out meat eaters, pescatarians, vegetarians or the veg-curious, they’ve all been saying the same thing – eating a plant based diet is easy.

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World, Veganism is Coming to Get Ya…

We now live in the age of veganism going mainstream. Veganuary, run by a charity, is thought to have attracted more pledgers this year than Dry January, an official public health campaign.

Cooking plant based meals at home has been made easier by the seemingly endless supply of delicious and simple cookbooks now available to us, and Instagrammers providing us with tasty inspiration all the time. It’s no longer scary, or weird, to say “I’m vegan”.

OK, we might still get secret eye-rolls from the non-believers. Those that think being stranded on a dessert island with nothing but a pig could actually be a reality (what does that pig eat??) and the bacon-butty-or-I’ll-die brigade. But on the whole, the carrot crunching and tree hugging jokes are thankfully now fewer and further between. (Although, the odd tree hug does make a bad day, better.)

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Celebrities are making veganism cool. No mentions of jumping and band wagons here… But as for you, Channel 4, we’re an accepting bunch here in Paradise, but, y’know, an apology would be kinda nice… #asswipe

We have supermarkets offering their own brand vegan ready meals, burgers, mince and sausages. And whatever you think of these meat replacements, big brands offering an alternative is a step in the right direction, and certainly one making it easier to be vegan at home. (But, be mindful of the little guys – trading in your supermarket vegan nuggets for an artisanal, locally handmade butternut squash lasagne helps shift the balance of power, remember.)

Eating out is now easier too. To all you legends eating plant based 20, 30+ years ago, we admire you, we truly do. Today, we have vegan pizzas in high street restaurants. (Don’t forget, hello little guys!) We have a cacophony of plant based milks in supermarkets, fully vegan pubs. Heck, we even have a vegan Cornetto heading our way.

So, how’s February, March and beyond looking for you? All those feelings of freshness, health, vitality and virtuousness… Feel good, don’t they? You could just carry on, you know, being vegan. And if protecting your health, that of animals and the environment, along with all this stuff making it easier for you, isn’t enough, we’ve got vegan cake. LOTS of yummy vegan cake…

Egle Adomelyte