“Veganuary” - is it worth it?

Veganuary ; a vegan's perspective

Editorial Team
20th February 2022
A Vegetable market/ Image credit: Pixabay
I am writing this article as a committed, 4-year strong, hummus-loving vegan. I am also writing this article as someone who drools over the taste of meat and cheese.  My journey to veganism took me around 12 months and featured many cheesy hiccups on the way. It was a radical shift for me, and stark shifts in dietary consumption can often lead to initial unforeseen side effects, such as an unsettled stomach and fatigue. I am therefore skeptical of the ability for a fellow cheese and meet lover to wake up, perhaps in a New Year's Day hungover ravenous state, and be able to ditch their animal products and adhere to this for the entire month of January.

However, 2022 has witnessed another skyrocketing of omnivores and vegetarians pledging to commit to an exclusively vegan diet for the month of January. A YouGov poll of 2079 UK adults showed that around 4% were hoping to give Veganuary a go in 2022, suggesting that a total of 2.7 million people might have joined in this year. This is a wonderful forecast considering that environmental researcher, Joseph Poore, has argued that if 350,000 people worldwide commit to Veganuary, it will save: 41,200 tons of CO2eq from the atmosphere (the equivalent of 450,000 flights from London to Berlin).

Accessibility to veganism has never been easier. Every restaurant I attended in Newcastle had a vegan option and most of these are still in place as we begin February feasting – I seriously recommend the sweetcorn and pumpkin dumplings from The Little Dumpling House! Additionally, The McPlant(MacDonalds), the Vegan Royale (Burger King), or the KFC Vegan Burger (I recommend adding some sweet chili sauce to this) will satisfy your fast-food itches (and with a decreased chance of clogged arteries alongside).

Learning how to cook without animal products takes time! This is almost impossible to learn overnight

My issue with Veganuary, and veganism, is its binary structure. It can mean that if those people who have committed to veganism have a cheesy hiccup, especially in front of a skeptical crowd, their veganism becomes rendered to be an ‘impossible façade'. Additionally, although I can confidently vouch that vegan cooking can be truly delicious, learning how to cook without animal products takes time! This is almost impossible to learn overnight – I am still learning new recipes now (the BOSH book seriously helps). 

Don’t worry if you don’t make it through Veganuary. And don’t worry if you missed it entirely. Veganism shouldn't be confined to a month. And it doesn’t need to be exclusive. The more we consume more vegan meals here and there and reduce our consumption of animal products, the safer this planet will become and the more people will realize how delicious it can be. Do this in whatever way is going to be most successful for you.

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