Veganism has become a dietary phenomenon over the last couple of years. More and more people are converting to the no meat, no fish and no dairy diet but there’s still plenty of people with uncertainties surrounding this way of eating and whether it could work for them. Well, Veganuary could be the perfect way to find out!
Veganuary is actually a non-profit organisation here in the UK that created the ‘Veganuary Challenge’ which tasks individuals to test out a proper vegan diet for the whole month of January to help you see whether it could work for you.
The challenge is to avoid meat, fish, dairy, eggs and any other food sourced from animal bi-products (such as honey) for the whole 31 days. You should also refrain from wearing or using products made with leather, wool and real fur. Often, end of January, people feel so comfortable with the diet and feel so many benefits that they will decide to stick with this way of eating for the long run.
Here are just a few of the benefits that a vegan diet could bring you.
Many believe veganism to be a healthier way of eating. We become more reliant on what are known as ‘plant-based’ or ‘raw’ foods, such as pulses, lentils, fruits and vegetables, not relying on processed goods. By sticking to these types of foods, you can up your intake of vitamins, reduce the amount of refined sugar and processed sweeteners you consume and opt for less fatty sources of protein and less calorific carbohydrates.
One of the main reasons people go vegan is to stop animals from being bred and killed for human consumption. It is believed that anywhere up to 72 billion land animals are killed for food every year, so it’s no surprise that this is the driving force for people sticking to a vegan diet. Everyone eating vegan at least once or twice a week can help to reduce this.
There’s research to show that the consumption of animal products is also harmful to the environment, so a lot of people do choose the vegan diet for the sake of the planet. University studies have shown that cutting meat and dairy products from your diet can reduce your carbon footprint by up to 73%, which would make massive environmental changes if we all did our bit. A lot of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases come from the full process of using animal products for food, something that could be reduced with veganism.
Although Veganuary is a hugely positive movement and it is definitely worth trying it to experience the diet and see if it could work for you, there are a few misconceptions about veganism, that often coax people into trying the diet that aren’t entirely true…
You’ll Lose Loads of Weight
A vegan diet can be a healthy and balanced way of eating but it is still possible to eat processed foods that are vegan. They are still high in calories and fat, so it is not a tried and tested method of weight loss – you still have to choose the right vegan foods and have an active lifestyle in order shed the pounds.
It is a Much Cheaper OR Much More Expensive Way of Eating
There are often two beliefs when it comes to the cost of veganism: that it is either much cheaper or much more expensive than consuming animal products – neither of which is entirely true. Going vegan can be much cheaper if you stick to fresh produce, but opting for meat and diary substitutes like Quorn and diary free milk can quickly rack up the food bills.
It Is Impossible to Eat Out
At one time, this statement wouldn’t have been so inaccurate as veganism has only become well catered for over the last couple of years. Nowadays, most restaurants have vegan options and even supermarkets have a variety of vegan options in their meal deal section, so it’s not as hard as you would think.
Fancy giving Veganuary a go? Let us know how get on in the comments below!