Another January upon us paves way for the growing wave of people adopting the most eco-friendly, environmentally conscious movement of the year; Veganuary. Started in 2014 by an impassioned British vegan couple, the campaign has gathered yearly momentum which resulted in over 582,000 people from 209 countries pledging to a plant-based lifestyle for the month of January last year, reaching a grand total of over two million participants since its launch!
With growing concerns of the climate crisis heightening, more individuals are becoming increasingly aware of the impact their food and lifestyle choices are having on the warming of the planet. Here at EvenGreener, we pride ourselves in achieving our mission to support sustainability and grow a community of environmentally conscious people, so this guide to Veganuary can be your very own pocket of knowledge to make this January your most fulfilling and rewarding one yet.
What is Veganuary?
Veganuary is a 31-day campaign throughout January, dedicated to encouraging individuals to adopt a vegan diet and lifestyle. This means abstaining from the use of animal products, ruling out meat, fish and dairy produce in your diet. Whilst this may seem difficult, the rise of veganism across the globe has forced companies to constantly innovate and introduce new vegan products to the market, with the Vegan Society officially registering their 50,000th product last April. There’s no doubt 2022 is any exception with the arrival of an abundance of new mouth-watering vegan foods to indulge on, so keep your eyes peeled!
Why Should You Try Veganuary?
Well, if you’re looking for a New Year’s Resolution that’s healthy for both you and the planet, Veganuary could be the one. With the conclusion of COP26 last year, U.S. Veganuary Director Wendy Matthews felt it “failed to really address animal agriculture’s contribution to the climate crisis,” which is responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Pairing this with Oxford University findings that state the vegan diet is the most effective method to reduce your carbon footprint, whilst enabling your food bill to be slashed by up to one third in comparison to the traditional Western diet, really paints veganism in a good light.
Joaquin Phoenix, an ambassador for Veganuary, urges more people to sign up in 2022, pledging, “If you look at the climate crisis or the violence of our food system and feel helpless, thinking ‘I wish there was something I could do.’ You can. Right now. Sign up to try vegan this January.”
How Can You Do It?
Veganism isn’t just a diet, it’s a philosophy and lifestyle that seeks to exclude all forms of exploitation and cruelty to animals for not only food, but clothing, cosmetics, and any other purpose. Whilst ticking each of those boxes in your Veganuary mission may seem a little daunting, fortunately there are plant-based alternatives for almost every type of food you can think of, and the trusted Vegan Trademark logo is labelled on over 57,000 products to reassure you your purchases are entirely free from animal ingredients and cruelty.
Veganuary shouldn’t be a chore, you should embrace the month to try new things and enjoy what is perhaps a completely different lifestyle for you. Treat your tastebuds to cuisines from all over the world, whether you’re swapping mincemeat for lentils, or steak for tofu, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to experiment with new dishes and healthier, more exciting alternatives to your old favourites.
Vegan for 31 days is a good commitment, so we applaud you if you stay fully dedicated. Just take one day at a time and remind yourself of the amazing benefits veganism has for yourself, the animals, and the environment if times ever get tough, and know there is a fully supportive vegan community behind you, alongside us here at EvenGreener.
What Are the Benefits of Veganuary?
According to Veganuary 2021, 46% of people participated for animal cruelty reasons, 22% tried it for personal health reasons, and 21% attempted it for the environment. Here are a few benefits for each:
Veganuary For the Animals
Roughly 60 billion land animals and over a trillion marine animals (!) are used and killed each year, to satisfy human taste preferences. These are astounding numbers, so having an emotional attachment to animals has forged a strong reason for why many people partake in a vegan lifestyle. Purchasing and using products free from animal exploitation and cruelty shows you stand with compassion for animals, minimising their discomfort, fear, and distress to enhance their lives and freedom.
Veganuary For Personal Health
Well-planned vegan diets follow healthy eating guidelines and consist of all the nutrients our body needs, ranging from whole grains, to fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables which are all jampacked with beneficial fibre, vitamins and minerals. Research has associated the vegan diet with lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. However, vitamin B12 is the only vitamin that is not recognised as being reliably supplied from a plant-based diet. Fear not, B12 can still be sourced from some plant milks, some soy products, and some breakfast cereals, not to mention multivitamin tablets and B12 supplements.
Veganuary For the Environment
We strive for anything beneficial to the planet here at EvenGreener, so lowering your carbon footprint via your dietary choice is something we proudly support. Compared to a traditional Western diet which is heavily meat and dairy based, the quantity of crops and water required to nourish and sustain a vegan diet are much lower, far reducing the carbon emissions and necessary land needed. A study showed the carbon footprints of two plant-based burgers were around 20 times smaller than that produced by the same amount of beef!
Also, vegans use less water globally. Recent studies by the U.N. state the world will only have 60% of the water it needs by 2030 unless significant global policy changes are adhered to. Fortunately, it takes at least one third of the amount of water to feed a vegan than it does a meat eater due to the resource-intensive farming required in the meat and dairy industry. Considering roughly 90% of our global water footprint relates to food, adopting a vegan diet is a huge step in the right direction for global water conservation, as the average vegan indirectly consumes nearly 600 gallons of water per day less than a person following the average Western diet!
Our Challenge to You
As part of Veganuary, we want to see your best vegan creations. Follow our social media pages and post your best dishes with #EvenGreener on Facebook and/or Instagram and tag us to be in with a chance of winning a gold, silver or bronze prize at the end of the month. Gold = £100 store credit, silver = £50 store credit, and bronze = £20 store credit.
Well, we hope this has inspired your mission for a vegan January and opened your eyes to the magic of a plant-based diet. Even by committing to one vegan meal a day, or one vegan day a week, you are helping us strive towards a more sustainable future, so we’re rooting for you. Keep Veganuary fun and spread the joy to friends and family, we’re all in this climate challenge together so know every little contribution is making a difference towards an even greener planet.