Happy Veganniversary to me!! That’s right, this week marks five whole years since I decided to try out Veganuary (read my blog on their website here) the switch to a vegan lifestyle. I actually went vegetarian around 20 years ago when I was just 12-13 years old. I didn’t really know anything about the meat industry at the time, I just knew that I didn’t want animals to be killed just to become food on my dinner plate. Over the years, thanks to the internet and films like Cowspiracy, my eyes have been opened and I constantly remain horrified by what really goes on in slaughterhouses and farms across the country.
The reason I didn’t go vegan sooner was that I honestly didn’t think enough about the dairy and egg industries. I have never drank cow’s milk and very rarely eat eggs, although I did consume both products in other foods. If you’re vegan then you’ll know the frustration of finding milk in every product from crisps to biscuits and pretty much every other product in between. For me, the switch vegetarianism to veganism was an overnight one and I haven’t looked back since. I can say 100% that I will never go back to eating animal products, and I’d encourage anyone to give veganism a try. I mean, what do you really have to lose?
So, here are some reasons why you should think about going vegan this January –
For the animals
There seems to be a distinct difference between how people view farm animals in the meat and dairy industry to every other type of animal. There was outcry recently when Japan announced it was going resume commercial whaling and people with pets like to call themselves animal lovers, yet so many people don’t even bat an eyelid at the fact millions of animals are slaughtered every year. It’s not just the fact that we’re killing animals, they spend their time in horrendous conditions, sometimes crammed into tiny enclosures with little room to move. The salmon farming industry is rife with disease and morality and there are serious cases of animal cruelty in Scottish abattoirs alone, with one cow being stunned 6 TIMES before it lost consciousness.
To make you feel healthier
It’s very unlikely that you’ll meat a vegan who doesn’t feel better after switching their diet. A plant-based diet will help protect you against diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure and a new study has shown that cancer causing chemicals added to bacon cause 6,600 bowel cancer cases in the UK each year. Of course, if you’re eating vegan junk food for more than just treats then you still won’t feel amazing. However a diet that’s rich on whole plant foods will leaving you feeling energised instead of sluggish and tired.
To save our planet
“Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet” That’s was according to new research published last year on the damage farming does to the planet. It also showed that loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife. For me, the environmental reason is now a huge part of my vegan lifestyle (and why I try so hard to reduce my waste too) and when the UN warns that we have 12 years to limit a change catastrophe, it’s something we should all be seriously thinking about.
Vegan food tastes amazing!
While the outdated view of veganism involves just sitting eating plates of vegetables every night, I can tell you that there’s much vegan food out there these days that it never gets boring. In the past week, Greggs started selling a vegan sausage roll, Marks and Spencer released 60 new vegan products and Pizza Hut have a new BBQ Jackfruit pizza. Personally, I try to stick to a mainly wholefoods diet (think homemade chilli, burgers, curries, stir-fry etc) but its great to know there’s so much choice out there for days when you want to treat yourself too. It’s also a great way to introduce new people to veganism.
Are you taking part in Veganuary? or are you already vegan? I’d love to hear more about your own vegan journey in the comments below!