You may have heard or seen the phrase ‘Veganuary’ recently online. But what is Veganuary and why is it so important?

Veganuary is an annual challenge run by the non-profit organisation Veganuary. It began in 2014 and the mission is to encourage people to eat a vegan diet for the month of January. Amazingly, a record 500000 people have signed up to Veganuary in 2021 highlighting how popular the challenge has become.

What is a vegan diet?

A vegan diet encourages a plant focused diet and avoid any animal products such as meat or dairy. There can be variations in how people interpret animal products. Some will avoid products such as honey and others choose to consume it. Subsequently, there is a difference between a vegan diet and a vegan lifestyle. Those who chose a vegan lifestyle are more likely to have chosen to for ethical reasons. They avoid animal products in all aspects of their lives including clothing or toiletries.

Why 2021 is a good year for vegans…

The UK major supermarkets such as Tesco, Aldi and Asda have all released new vegan ranges for the month providing lots more options. The way that supermarkets and food chains have embraced Veganuary has been game changing for vegans providing more options and replacements than ever before.

Why people go vegan…

There are a number of different reasons for choosing to reduce the amount of animal products in their diets. These include opposing animal suffering, improving health and reduce the negative impact of their diet on the environment. The environmental impact has come to forefront of the vegan discourse most recently with more and more research revealing the positive impact it can have.

Vegan for the planet

Recently scientific reports have concluded that eating less meat is the single best way for individuals to tackle the climate crisis. The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption global farmland could be reduced by more than 75%.

Veganuary mission

The Veganuary envision a vegan world, “a world without animal farms or slaughterhouses”. A world where food production does not lead to climate crisis. Veganuary is predominately focused on the ethical and environmental impact and is not a challenge for weight loss despite what many might think.

Accessibility

Along with other areas of the sustainability movement, it is important to remember that not all lifestyle changes are accessible. We have to recognise that food inequality still exists in the UK and across the globe. Access to vegan food is not an equal playing field. Access to vegan foods is becoming more accessible and affordable however there is a lot of work to be done. It is important that we avoid judgemental veganism and realise that everyone should be fighting for a more fair and equal world collectively. We should encourage individuals to make the changes which work for them, even if that is partly changing a diet rather than encouraging an all or nothing attitude.

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