Every January, thousands of people sign up to take part in Veganuary – a yearly challenge to eat vegan for the whole month. Let’s take a look at what veganism is and why people choose to go vegan.
What is veganism?
People who have a vegan diet make a choice not to eat animal products such as meat, fish, eggs, or dairy. They also do not eat some foods that have hidden animal products in them such as whey (from milk) and gelatine (from animal bones).
So, what do vegans eat?
Vegetarians don’t eat meat but have plenty of meat-free alternatives to pork sausages, beef burgers and chicken nuggets. However, you may be asking yourself what do vegans eat if they won’t eat eggs, cheese and milk. You might be surprised to know that there are so many vegan options out there now so vegans aren’t stuck eating nuts and salads, despite this being a very common misconception.
But… don’t you miss the taste of animal products?
Vegan food doesn’t have to be bland just because it’s plant-based. In fact, there’s so many very healthy, nutritious, filling and tasty vegan meals and snacks that you can make yourself or eat out at restaurants and cafés.
You might not even be able to taste that what you’re eating is vegan-friendly, or you may even prefer the flavour. Let’s take the classic sausage roll from good old Gregg’s as an example. Gregg’s released the vegan sausage roll on 3rd January 2019 and it was a huge success with many people trying to get their hands on then, but they were sold on.
There was a bit of controversy about the taste of the new vegan treat, however, a lot of people couldn’t really tell the difference! If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go!
Where do you get your protein?
Meat, fish and animal products contain lots of protein which is a healthy part of your diet. However, vegan alternatives also have plenty of protein and can be very yummy, despite being less-eaten by meat eaters. Vegan foods containing lots of protein include:
- Wholegrain – oats, quinoa, seitan
- Vegetables – brocolli, spinach, asparagus, sweet potato, mushrooms
- Pulses and legumes – lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, soybeans
- Nuts and seeds – Chia seeds, almonds
Why become vegan?
There are so many different reasons why people go vegan or try the veganuary challenge. Often there are environmental, health and ethical arguments that empower people to become vegan.
So, how do you become vegan?
Becomming vegan seems like a massive step and can be very intimidating. A great way to introduce yourself to a vegan lifestyle is to participate in the veganuary challenge. You can find loads of tips on the Veganuary website about how to get started or how to change your favourite recipe and make it vegan.
There are so many people who have shared their experiences of Veganuary online, so use your favourite search engine or social media platform to have a look and find the best place to start for you.
Get a copy of PETA UK’s free vegan starter kit
Check out some budget friendly vegan recipe’s
Tips for staying healthy as a veggie or vegan student
Some of these documentary’s shed light on the environmental impacts of the meat industry