Veganuary: What It Is and Why You Should Get Behind It
Here at Vegums we know all too well how hard that feeling can hit when you realise that a new year has come around already, so we’re here to help you start it off on the right foot. Whether you’re an omnivore, a pescatarian, a vegetarian, a vegan looking for motivation for yourself or others, or even just wondering what the hype is all about – we’re here for you! You might have heard the term ‘Veganuary’ being thrown around in the media recently and you’d be forgiven for dismissing it as a fad, but there’s actually a lot more to it than that. It involves cutting out meat, dairy, eggs, honey, leather and wool for a month and in many cases leads to people going vegan long-term. That might look like a scarily long list to think about, but even if you manage to cut out one of those things it still makes a massive difference! The Veganuary charity was launched in 2014 and has seen massive growth since then, hitting a record 120,000 subscribers in 2018! The hypewas expected to die down as the year progressed, but the number of brands and eateries getting in on the action has only increased. This is in part due to the rise of social media and the participation of younger people, but that’s not to say it’s ever too late to start.So what are the benefits, and what’s in it for you?If you’re looking to improve your health in 2019 then veganism could be the perfect place to start: the vegan diet offers lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, and a healthier BMI. Eating a vegan diet for your health is sometimes referred to as living “plant-based” as opposed to being an ethical vegan. Here’s where we give a shout-out to all those junk food-obsessed vegans out there, because every reason for veganism is valid and it’s not all about salad (a rhyme almost worthy of a protest sign)! Ethical vegans can still see a huge improvement in mood as it doesn’t only affect the body, but also the mind. (Photos by NeONBRAND (left) and Jannis Brandt (right) on Unsplash)Veganism is an incredibly poignant movement at a time when we see news stories and documentaries on climate change left, right and centre. The recent UN summit led to experts saying that we’re the last generation that can stop it, and studies have found that veganism is the best thing that we, as individuals, can do for the environment. It tackles climate change, deforestation, overfishing, water consumption and pollution and habitat destruction all at once. Of course, one of the biggest reasons that people go vegan is still out of sheer compassion from those that suffer at our hands. Countless studies have found that animals feel pain and joy, and have a will to live. Calves, ewes and chicks are taken away from their mothers and the mothers mourn that loss for days. In a world that’s so cruel, why not choose kindness? (Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash) Sound good? Here’s what you should know before you take the leap. Whilst veganism is fantastic for everyone involved in the long run, there are a few steps that need to be taken to ensure your safety. In the same way as omnivores are, vegans can be at risk of vitamin deficiency, primarily due to the vigorous way in which we clean our vegetables and remove vital vitamin-producing bacteria. If you don’t do proper research before converting, you endanger yourself. Vegans need to pay particular attention to their B12 and selenium intake, both of which are found in meat due to animals consuming bacteria. Selenium can be found in brazil nuts and B12 can be found in Marmite, but if you’re a hater and not a lover then Vegums are a great alternative. They’re delicious gummy bear multivitamins that give adults and children all the vitamins they need, whilst being good for the animals and the environment! It can be a massive lifestyle change for some people that makes it hard to stay motivated, especially as Veganuary sees a huge rise in the number of omnivores going straight into veganism and missing the vegetarian step in between. It’s a great idea to try and get your friends and family on board, but if you’re struggling to motivate each other or don’t know anyone personally who’s feeling ready to get involved, then head to Instagram where there’s an incredibly helpful and supportive vegan community. There, you’ll find that #vegan and #veganuary will be full of recipe ideas, tips for lifestyle changes, words of wisdom, motivational messages and even those in the same boat as you! Last but not least, converting to veganism is a huge learning curve. Don’t forget that lots of the basic food everyone eats is already vegan, such as bread, rice, pasta, chips and vegetables, so you only need to accessorise it differently. However, milk and eggs are hiding in things you wouldn’t believe, so don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake and don’t get yourself down by biting off more than you can chew. If you do overlook something then don’t waste food you’ve already bought, just put it in the memory bank and checking the ingredients will come to you like clockwork before you know it. Dust yourself off and get back on that vegan horse – doing something is better than doing nothing so no one’s judging you for trying! So be brave and follow in the feel-good footsteps of the likes of Beyoncé, Brad Pitt, Mike Tyson and the Williams sisters. Who knows, you might love it and you’ve got nothing to lose! Stepping out of your comfort zone can teach you a lot about yourself and it can be great fun to challenge yourself to learn to cook in a different way. Comment below if you have any tips to add or if you’re considering the change but want to ask any questions! Our blog is full of ideas, so follow us on social media for updates or to just have a chat. (Early) Happy New Year from Vegums!