Time to ditch the meat and try a diet that is good for you and the planet – if only for a month!
The annual celebration of all things vegan is back for a 7th year. Veganuary has grown in scale and stature and claims to have encouraged over one million people in 192 countries to experiment with a wholly vegan diet for the month of January. Given the traditional emphasis on eating excessive amounts of roasted flesh during the Christmas period, the timing of this New Year vegan-fest is spot on.
It is pretty clear that eating less meat is good for our health and that of the planet. The intensive rearing of livestock places huge pressure on precious resources, causes pollution and encourages deforestation. A 2018 Oxford University study, which assessed the damage farming does to the planet, found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’. Studies have also shown that eating a vegan diet reduces the risks of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Going vegan for a month is a lot easier than it used to be. The leading supermarkets have not been slow to spot the trend and are devoting serious amounts of fridge space to meat-free alternatives. Celebrity chefs and food writers have also jumped on the bandwagon – we recommend Speedy Bosh! Over 100 Quick and Easy Plant-Based Meals in 30 Minutes by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, who claim to be the UK’s bestselling vegan authors of all time. The Independent has also produced this very useful list of the 8 best vegan cookbooks to help you go meat and dairy free in 2021.