If you are looking to start the new year with a fresh outlook and perhaps make some much needed lifestyle changes then trying Veganuary is definitely for you. Sometimes we make new years resolutions that are simply unobtainable and we give up during the first 2 weeks of the new year, but with the amount of support and hints and tips offered by Veganuary it makes this particular resolution so much easier to keep and not necessarily for a month, this could be a life-changing experience that continues throughout the year.
Martin and I have been vegan for almost 6 years, having read the China Study and then watching Earthlings right after, it was an utter no-brainer for us that we needed to make some changes. We have not looked back since. Becoming vegan has changed our life immeasurably, from the way we feel both physically and mentally to the way we now live our lives.
Back in 2012 there wasn’t really much in the way of alternative foods, when you tried to go out for dinner, mayhem ensued as most restaurants didn’t have the knowledge or capabilities to cater for us and more often than not, you’d have to sit there with a bowl of limp lettuce, couple of slices of cucumber, 3 slices of tomato and a bowl of chips made up from the side order menu, eating out was not much fun.
Fast forward just a few years and the world suddenly caught up, vegan restaurants, cafes and delicious vegan food in supermarkets started springing up everywhere, in 2017 you can now get everything, delicious cheese alternatives (Sainsbury’s Wensleydale – Style with Cranberry was our favourite so far – but only as a treat every now and again), milk alternatives, ice-cream, sausages, yoghurts, all the things that many people say they simply “couldn’t live without”, well now you don’t have to, you just swap to a product that’s vegan.
Most restaurants now offer vegan dishes or are happy to adapt a dish (it’s still always best though to call/email in advance so that they have some notice that you are coming if they need to adapt something – it’s just common courtesy). Then of course there are the brand new vegan restaurants that are popping up all the time, all over the world. We’ve seen huge changes in places like Italy, Poland, Australia, America and the UK, cafes, takeaways, restaurants and even supermarkets all packed with vegan goodies. It’s really never been easier to go vegan than it is today!
But it’s best not to go crazy with the junk food, being vegan can also have amazing effects on your health. Personally, I saw changes very early on in regards to my skin. Having suffered with eczema for 33 years which then progressed into atopic dermatitis and seeing no end to it, I now, quite happily, can say that I’ve not had a break-out in the whole time I’ve been vegan, long may that continue! My energy levels have sky rocketed, my body feels cleansed on the inside, if that makes sense, and it’s made me feel amazing, shaking off bouts of lethargy and general grogginess.
There is, more importantly, the change this will make to animal welfare. Honestly, I have never classed myself as an animal lover, but I simply would not be able to live with myself, knowing what I know now. Continuing to support the atrocities that animals endure so that we can indulge our taste buds or fashion proclivities is not who we are as human beings, as a compassionate species. Choosing to ignore what goes on behind the screen should not be an option anymore. It seems insane that with alternatives for all the foods and fashion items people currently enjoy on a daily basis that many continue to choose the products which cause pain and suffering. People may not think that this is what they are doing, as a pack of bacon or a carton of milk doesn’t look like a pig or a cow, but as soon as you hand over the money and leave the store with your haul, you have been complicit in that animal abuse and its continuation.
But don’t go thinking that this is a blame game, I too was non-vegan for 33 years until I saw and acknowledged the truth and made the changes I knew I had to make, so it would be hypocritical of me to bash anyone who isn’t vegan. It doesn’t matter if your 5 or 95 when the same realisation comes your way, but we do need to take the time to open our eyes and see what so many others are now seeing and, I’m pinching Gandhi’s quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Together we can do great things.
Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great Veganuary!