Veganuary – The people choosing to go Vegan in 2018

The start of a new year pushes many people to make changes in their lives through New Year’s resolutions. ‘New Year, new me’, as the saying goes. This year has been no different, although there has been a new trend in how people want to make lifestyle changes; a step towards veganism.

Veganuary means trialling a vegan lifestyle for the month of January, therefore cutting out meat, dairy, and all other animal products. Veganism has seen an increase in popularity recently, with more people being aware of the impacts on the environment that comes from eating animal products, increased concerns over animal welfare, and also the appeal of the health benefits that come from cutting out these foods. However, as the movement towards veganism gains momentum, there are those that are critical, presumably because it challenges the norm. Dahlia Thornton, a young woman taking part in Veganuary, told me she has struggled with people being judgemental since adopting a vegan lifestyle, but it is what she anticipated.

However, she also told me that she has always wanted to become vegan, and Veganuary has given her the perfect opportunity to transition from vegetarian to vegan. She told me her main motivator for becoming vegan was her love for animals, and her ambition to become a veterinary nurse. She says she will definitely be carrying it on beyond January, and even wants to use her knowledge about animals to take part in some friendly activism; educating others and hopefully changing their minds about eating meat.

Another person I spoke to that’s taking part in Veganuary was Sophie Johnson, who’s main motivators for making the transition were health benefits and having animals of her own. She said she wants to ‘feel energised after a meal and not lazy and fat’. Sophie, unlike Dahlia, has from eating meat to being vegan, however said the only thing she is struggling with is cheese as she hasn’t enjoyed the vegan cheeses she’s eaten. She also said that she finds vegetarian food is more readily available than vegan food, and that vegan options can not only be hard to find but can be expensive, which is not ideal just after Christmas. However, she is working around it and also hopes to continue her new-found veganism beyond January.

Arguably, eating plant-based is far less wasteful than eating animal products, due to the vast amount of crops that have to be grown in order to feed livestock. We know the effect farming animals also has on greenhouse gases and deforestation, which is a great motivator to go vegan, even if you aren’t a big animal lover, as these two were. Plus, (providing you don’t take the opportunity to live off chips), its an excuse to eat more veg and cook more. There’s loads more brands providing vegan alternatives now though too, meaning you don’t have to miss your favourite snacks; be that Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, or a pizza at Zizzis.

So if you’re looking to challenge yourself and try something new whilst making a positive change, not only for yourself, maybe Veganuary is the one for you!

 

 

                                                                                                                                                           Daisy Twine

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