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5 Reasons Why You Should Give Veganuary a Go This Year

There are plenty of good reasons to jump on the Veganuary initiative this year. Whether you’ve come into it late or have been doing it for the last two weeks, you have nothing but rewards to reap from your experience. That and you’ll be enhancing the lives of animals and reducing your impact on the planet. Essentially, doing Veganuary is a win-win for all who get involved. However, if that wasn’t enough to sway you to give it a try, here are five reasons why you should be open-minded to Veganuary, not just this year, but every year.

1. It’s good for your health

A vegan diet consists of plant-based products, whether it be a fresh fruit or vegetable or a delicious coffee made with dairy-free milk. A plant-based diet does nothing but good for your health, especially seeing as they contain antioxidants and are highly-nutritious in comparison to other, non-plant-based, food products. According to Frontiers, plant-based diets not only increase your fibre intake, but it also exposes your body to a broader range of good bacteria.

As a result of this, you will also find that it has a knock-on effect on your bowels. Wicked Leeks states that a healthy gut can improve and boost your: immunity, mental health and digestion. In addition to that, there have been an increasing number of studies that suggest that switching to a vegan diet is, in fact, healthier for us than a conventional diet that includes meat and animal-derived products. As well as this, Nutrition Facts claims that vegans have lower rates, overall, of:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes

2. It’s better for the environment

Along with making sure you’re recycling as much as you can and getting a lift-share or catching the bus to work everyday, it’s suggested that switching to a diet that is meat-free and dairy-free is also beneficial to the planet, according to Wicked Leeks. This is largely down to methane production, produced mainly by cows. We need cows for meat and a considerable number of dairy products, including milk, cream and butter.

Methane is an incredibly-damaging greenhouse gas, and so limiting the amount that’s released into the atmosphere is advantageous in our quest to reverse climate change. However, you might be wondering how you alone can stop this from happening. The answer is, you can’t. Not on your own at least. The idea is to get as many people as possible to switch from meat and dairy-based diets. This will then reduce the number of cows that are bred solely for food, whether it be for beef or dairy.

Methane production isn’t the only thing that connects meat and other animal products to climate change. We should also consider the air miles involved with transporting animal products. Whether it’s a packet of chicken from Thailand or lamb from New Zealand, that food has come a considerable way to end up on your plate.

Limit your carbon footprint by choosing fruit and vegetables and plant-based products that are grown and produced right here in the UK. In addition, make sure you’re choosing organic produce as non-organic produce has been grown using fertiliser and pesticides which, in turn, are released into the atmosphere.

3. It improves animal welfare

Where there isn’t much of a possibility of ridding the planet of meat and dairy-based products, allowing all of the animals in the world to live freely without being used for food, we can do our utmost to ensure that we reduce the number of animals that are used for such purposes. This, in turn, helps to improve animal welfare.

According to Farms Not Factories, there is a considerable difference in the respect, space and welfare overall that’s given to farm animals on small-scale, organic premises, compared to cruel conditions and treatment of animals in mass-production farms and factories. In addition to making the living conditions of the animals we use for food more respectful, we can improve their welfare by caring for the environment, which is something we have already touched upon.

You might be wondering how, exactly, helping the planet affects the welfare of the animals we use for food. The answer is that it helps to reduce the number of floods we have, the wildfires the world experiences and the heatwaves we have to endure. It was reported that, from 2019 to 2023, nearly 3 billion were killed or displaced as a result of wildfires in Australia, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

As if that wasn’t alarming enough, these scary figures are starting to hit closer to home as a result of severe flooding that has hit the UK in recent months. The Guardian states that 600 birds have died as a result of flooding in England. Earlier this year, two horses died in a flooded field in Britain, claims the BBC, while Canada faced a “heartbreaking” clean up of deceased animals after flooding that affected them in 2021, according to The Guardian. By looking after the planet, we can enhance animal welfare, and part of that involves giving Veganuary a try.

4. It gives you the opportunity to try something new

If you don’t normally follow a vegan diet, then trying Veganuary will give you the opportunity to try new food products and new recipes. If you’ve never tried tofu before, for example, then this could be your sign to give it a try; you might be surprised by how much you enjoy it as a meat alternative.

In addition, you will also learn some new and interesting ways of adding flavour and depth to your food, making a nice change to a bland jacket potato or a simple bowl of pasta with passata. You may even find yourself having new go-to vegan recipes that you reach for day-in-day-out from now on. Not only is a vegan diet healthy and eco-friendly, but it might just enable you to impress in the kitchen.

5. You’ve started the New Year off with a fresh, realistic & achievable goal

New Year’s resolutions can be, sometimes, unobtainable. They’ve been set out by an optimistic version of ourselves at the start of a new year, without giving a second thought to what might commence throughout the next twelve months. However, we’re still expected to meet those, often, unrealistic goals we have set for ourselves. Veganuary is something you can endeavour to do regardless of your other plans or what comes up in life. It can be easily followed and it might even become something that you adopt more frequently, even after Veganuary has passed.