One can commit to living a plant-based lifestyle throughout any month of their choosing, which is why I think more should give the one-month veganism challenge a try.
By Juliette Stokes
Nowadays, everyone has heard of Veganuary, the annual challenge that promotes and educates participants on the effects and reasons why to live a plant-based lifestyle. This UK-based non-profit has had a global impact with 620,000 global participants last year, which for many has acted as a stepping stone in the transition to shift to a vegan lifestyle permanently. Veganuary officially runs in January. However, one can commit to living a plant-based lifestyle throughout any month of their choosing, which is why I think more should give the one-month veganism challenge a try.
I have listed different reasons to try the vegan one-month challenge as coming out of January. It is important to continue promoting the positive effects of this lifestyle on animals, each other, and, importantly, our planet. The reasons below are followed by examples that are aimed to help those stay committed and motivated to the cause, which, from my own experience, can be hard without support, motivation, and education.
Officially, January is the month of discounted vegan products, supermarkets see the increased demand during Veganuary for plant-based products and introduce at a higher volume new innovative products and companies to their animal-free lines. This is a great month to give new companies a try, as well as stock up on vegan staples, from blocks of tofu to frozen plant mince. Arguably there is more incentive value-wise to try veganism in January. Brand-new products and offers are introduced to the market monthly; therefore, any month can be a great time to try a plant-based diet.
Meat substitute company THIS has received a lot of hype surrounding their streaky bacon release this January in the UK. Currently, the product is discounted in many large superstores. However, this successful and innovative company has been coming out with new fresh and frozen lines throughout the year too.
The myth that a vegan diet requires much more cooking and time to eat deliciously is seriously outdated. As we have seen, new plant-based products and ready meals are coming out weekly aimed at those who are short on time. But for many, veganism has reignited a passion for the kitchen. A new diet increases one’s exposure to different ingredients, techniques, and recipes. Marinating, pressing and seasoning are integral to a vegan diet, these techniques are largely picked up and perfected by following videos and practicing (over and over again).
Tofu may require trial and error initially, but the world of vegan chefs is ever-expanding and innovating. Nowadays, one has access to more recipes and inspirations to follow through a multitude of different methods than ever before. Isa Chandra Moskowitz is worth a follow, not only does she release recipe books, but she has her website and Instagram, both titled @postpunkkitchen.
This might be the most obvious, but there is no bad blood-giving veganism a go, literally! Animal-free food is simply guilt-free.
The process of turning animals into a commodity is called bio-commodification, with virtually everything in modern society being commoditized, we have become numb to, by choice or lack of knowledge, the processes and number of lives that go into making our meals. Look at the highly vertically integrated swine and poultry industries in the United States intensive breeding, no light for the birds, severe overcrowding, and extensive unnecessary harm caused to the animals, yet this is common practice. With a small number of companies overseeing most of the poultry production in the US, it means transparency regarding these conditions is hard to come by. To put the bird’s conditions into perspective, albeit times have changed, Rebecca Hall, in 1993, offered four men £2500 to live like a battery when they lasted 16/24 hours.
Documentaries are exposing citizens to these practices and the horrors of eating animals and their by-products. To gain more specifically the food system in the US, ‘What the health?’ is worth a watch, and EarthlingEd’s new book titled Vegan Propaganda is a good place to start with vegan reading.
It is not true to say that every vegan brand is more sustainable and environmentally friendly than its animal counterpart. However, the lifestyle as a whole in comparison is. The movement supports the efficient use of resources to grow crops to feed people and not animals. When one beef burger uses up to 2,400 liters of embedded water for its production, we as consumers, need to be proactive in asking what else this could be used for. Switching to a plant-based diet is a great way to avoid over-consuming resources unknowingly, causing harm to our planet’s oceans, atmosphere, and land.
It is important to be alert to news media reports surrounding techno-scientific green projects on animals, more specifically articles titled ‘breeding cows for lower greenhouse gases.’ These articles project the dialect that is the bodies of cows that are a source of pollution and, as a result, justify new forms of violence against animals and prevent a food system revolution. So stay alert!
The vegan community is a wonderful space to be a part of and has an important role in motivating one to continue. It feels incredible to be a part of such a positive movement that resonates with all its members. Local vegan restaurants, cooking classes, and social media platforms are great ways to meet and make your community. Below are a couple of apps and pages I would follow to get involved, meet people and get tips and access to useful and exciting information regarding the community.
Grazer is a new dating app for vegetarians and vegans in the UK to meet like-minded partners.
The Facebook page named vegan travel helps vegans discover vegan-friendly restaurants and places to visit worldwide.
The Vkind app, which is updating and launching this year, is a great base for all things vegan, from restaurants to fashion brands.
Vkind is the U.S.’s largest fully-vegan search platform and listing app. Give our search tool a whirl and find any vegan product, service, or experience you desire.