Unless you’ve been living in a social media blackout in the UK over the past few months, you may have noticed a huge increase in Vegan related posts online. In the last two years, interest in Veganism has escalated in the UK – see this image from Google Trends:
From a local perspective, there are now an increasing number of Vegan Fairs, with one in Gloucester in November, and a new one starting this month in my home town, Stroud (there are also national vegan festivals & much more.)
What is Veganism?
Veganism is not just a plant based diet, but a lifestyle that advocates no harm to any living being so this could be: not wearing any animal based products including leather and wool; not using feathers; not using beeswax; using cruelty free cosmetics; not using products that have used animals to obtain that product e.g. Coconuts that have been harvested by monkeys or products that are known to contribute to deforestation etc.
Why do Vegans Get a Bad Rap?
There are loads of reasons why Vegans may get a bad rap – like anyone that chooses what is considered by society as an “alternative” lifestyle, their choices tend to be pulled apart (human nature I guess.) It’s thought that 1% of adults in the UK follow a vegan lifestyle and looking at the chart above, I think this will grow and grow. Maybe as it becomes more mainstream, there will be less prejudice – we can only hope.
What is Veganuary?
Veganuary is a month long pledge in January, to give up eating animal based products eg. dairy, meat, fish, eggs and honey for the month. It’s free to sign up. To date, over 50k people have signed and with numerous Vegan support groups on Facebook, vegan vloggers / bloggers and instagrammers there has never been a better time to give it a try.
Why am I trying?
I’d love to say that I’m taking part for altruistic reasons. I’m all too aware of where our meat comes from so I cannot say that animal welfare has pushed me towards trying (although it is something that I feel strongly about.) The health benefits of a vegan diet are closer to my heart. I’ve been gluten free for over 3 years, and cut out most dairy for 6 months and the positive impact on my skin and digestion has been huge. Health benefits from the Vegan diet can include:
- reduced blood pressure
- weight loss
- improved kidney function
- reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers
- reduced arthritic pain
I definitely need to eat more veg & pulses and cut out meat. The links between cancer and processed meats are too strong to ignore and with 1 in 2 of us destined to develop some form of cancer, I want to do everything I can for my family to avoid it.
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to call myself a Vegan – I’ll still use honey for it’s excellent health benefits, wear leather shoes for their durability & general foot health (!), I will also continue to use wool.
Want to find out more about Veganism?
A Bit of the Good Stuff I’ve got her book (the “frittata” is to die for!) She also looks about half her age, which is more than enough reason for me to jump on the vegan bandwagon alone!
Minimalist Baker If only for the spicy vegan cheese ball – sooo good.
Bosh (okay – personally, I think they’re super annoying but the recipes are amazing!)