Many people use the beginning of the year to form new habits: through a healthier diet, becoming more organised, or exercising more regularly. In 2014 Veganuary was launched, capitalising on society’s new year motivation. The campaign encourages people to maintain a plant-based diet throughout January, eating no animal products whatsoever.
The initiative is becoming increasingly popular, with under 2,000 participants in 2014 to over 50,000 2018. The campaign has become so popular that many of the UK’s biggest supermarkets have launched vegan food ranges. Sainsbury’s released their vegan range on December 31, including dishes such as pulled jackfruit (which tastes remarkably similar to pulled pork) and mushroom mince.
Taking part in Veganuary can be hugely beneficial to both yourself and your environment; here’s why you should consider participating.
The moral argument for Veganuary goes without saying: fewer animal products being consumed should lead to fewer animals being bred and used for meat, dairy and other products. Furthermore, the production of animal products can be incredibly taxing on the environment with livestock farming creating a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions.
Taking part in Veganuary, especially if you are unfamiliar with cooking plant-based meals, can encourage you to be more creative in the kitchen, improving your cooking skills. Mara Wilson, a third-year student at the University of Edinburgh, cites cooking ability as one of her main motivations for participating in Veganuary: “During Veganuary I spend more time in the kitchen making healthier meals, while also saving some money.”
Veganuary needn’t force you to spend hours in the kitchen, however; there are many simple vegan recipes that can be put together in no time at all. It might not be something that everyone feels comfortable participating in, for health reasons or otherwise, but if you’re thinking about taking part then go for it!