Veganuary is back with 2018 promising to be the biggest ever. Veganuary aims to inspire people to try going vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year. It began in 2014 with 3,300 participants. By 2017, that figure had grown to 60,000, and this year the campaign announced an ambitious goal to help 150,000 people across the globe to take the Veganuary challenge.
It goes without saying that a lot has changed in the vegan world over the past four years with veganism going from niche to mainstream especially in larger cities. It takes only a quick look around the supermarket aisles and on restaurant menus to find more and more plant-based choices. The trend shows no signs of slowing down. This is really good news as reducing consumption of animal products such as meat, fish and dairy is best for our health, the environment and animal welfare.
Taking a vegan pledge for 30 days might feel a little bit daunting, but it is important to remember that Veganuary is all about being inspired and trying your best. It does not have to be perfect. I really like that the campaign itself is really supportive and non-judgmental. Habits are hard to change so this is the best way to encourage everyone to try a plant-based diet.
I tend to take the pledge every year and probably get to be 95% vegan for the month. My weaknesses are milk in my coffee and the odd piece of cheese. I have also found eating out to be quite challenging. Still I have signed up again and am looking forward to January 1st! In anticipation, I have started stocking up my vegan pantry.
Browsing the Veganuary website I have also found quite a lot of resources and information to help me along.
#1 – How To Go Vegan
Launching today is a fun, easy-to-follow and informative guide: How To Go Vegan: The why, the how, and everything you need to make going vegan easy. The team behind the charity Veganuary shares their experience from helping tens of thousands of people to go vegan, offering advice, tips and valuable information for anyone thinking about making the switch – whether for a month, a year or for the rest of their lives.
This isn’t a book that lectures or points fingers. Even when describing some of the more disturbing outcomes of animal agriculture, the charity holds the reader’s hand and guides them through the issues with sympathy and care. And once those reasons for going vegan are explained, the book gets down to the practicalities – the nuts, bolts and beans of how to make the change to a plant-based diet. Starting, of course, with breakfast.
There are chapters on surprisingly vegan foods, label-reading, essential ingredients and how to veganise popular dishes. The book sets out meal plans for a fortnight, using some of the most popular recipes on the Veganuary website, and offers a motivational list of books and films that are regularly cited by Veganuary participants as being influential and life-changing.
#2 – Veganuary Cookbook
As soon as you sign up to Veganuary you get this free e-cookbook to start your plant-based adventure. It is filled with celebrity recipes from around the world from Beyoncé’s Guacamole, John Bishop’s Chickpea Burger, Moby’s Strawberry Shortcake or even Madonna’s Sticky Toffee Pudding!
Some recipes have been given to Veganuary by the celebrity author; others are inspired by what their favourite food is. Either way there is plenty of delicious vegan food to satisfy the whole family.
#3 – Eating Out Guide
Living in London we are spoiled with food choices. Still, finding vegan food can be difficult, especially if you want a meal that can cater to non-vegans too. This is even more challenging when you live in smaller cities. The good news is that more and more places now offer a wider choice of plant-based options.
Veganuary has a very handy vegan restaurant guide which I find very helpful. It not only lists restaurants and cafés but also type of food so you know what to look out for.
#4 – Inspiring Ambassadors
Veganuary has teamed up with a wide range of ambassadors such as Tim Shieff, Sara Pascoe, Evanna Lynch, Jasmine Harman, Jack Monroe, Carl Donnelly, Anthony Mullally, Sarah-Jane Crawford, Derek Sarno, Tammy Fry and Peter Egan.
Vegan athletes, TV presenters, film stars etc… share their experience on how switching to a plant-based diet has helped them lead a more compassionate life while benefiting their health or performance.
Feeling inspired? Kick off the new year by signing up to Veganuary here.