Are you doing Veganuary or thinking about a plant-based diet?
Veganism and plant-based diets seem to have blown up recently, even fast-food chains are adding plant-based alternatives to make it more accessible to people who want to try it, controversial, but I'm all for it! I adopted a plant-based diet 4 months ago and it’s been a lot easier than anticipated, this blog post isn’t meant to be preachy, so please bear with.
It would have been a lot harder to try a plant-based diet years ago, but now there's so much choice out there, meat alternatives, amazing takeaways and I’ve noticed supermarkets have really been pushing the whole Veganuary trend this month with a load of info and new products.
Plant based vs Veganism
Sometimes the vegan lifestyle can seem like a hostile environment (ironically), everyone has different reasons for adopting a plant-based diet which is why the term ‘plant based’ has been created rather than ‘Vegan’. Veganism represents more than just the diet and goes more in depth into the ethics and represents a lifestyle, this is where it can get intimidating but that's only because there's a lot of passion behind the movement.
Reasons you might adopt a plant-based diet
it’s a known fact one of the biggest contributors to climate change is agriculture.
I’m sure you’ve seen the huge battery farms, slaughter houses etc. it’s nothing new and when you see it, it's pretty barbaric.
Improving your health
A plant-based diet can be a really healthy diet for some people depending on how you ate before and how you approach the diet (Game Changers, albeit bias, is a documentary that goes into more detail on this and was a factor for me to change my diet)
Collective Social movement
If everyone cuts down on meat consumption even just a little bit, companies, restaurants and retailers would take notice, offer more plant-based alternatives and eventually this can be a HUGE win for the environment.
A new challenge
There's been a lot of lockdowns including lockdown 3.0 recently, lots of people have tried new things simply to pass the time or to try a new experience, switching up your diet is something you can do at home and it's interesting to see the affect it can have on your body and mood. It's also a great way to get more creative in the kitchen if that's your thang.
It’s your diet, it's your lifestyle, make your own rules, go at your own pace.
If you want to cut out all animal products including those in everyday items like clothing etc. then good for you, you’re doing so much for the movement! If you want to adopt a plant-based diet but want to have a break where you can treat yourself to something you miss, you do you, the change in your lifestyle is still having a huge impact on the environment, welfare of animals and potentially your health.
Make the ‘rules’ more personal and achievable for you at the beginning. I personally believe this approach would eventually lead to an even bigger impact and social movement than the few who go all in with every aspect of their life (although, I take my hat off to you guys and hope to be there one day too!).
There's definitely a negative stigma to 'veganism' and lots of myths on the negative effects it can have on you, the only way to find out what the deal is, is to have a go! Your passion and motivations may change the more you research into it or you might decide it's not for you. I got very giddy when I went up a level in climbing after starting, I expected to tire more easily so this was a bonus!
My initial motivation was the environmental impact and I was curious about the possible health benefits, I'm obviously against animal brutality but I'm yet to delve further into that subject. To be completely honest, I think lockdown pushed me to try something new and set new goals to switch up my lifestyle, at the moment I'm enjoying it and it makes me feel good that in some small way, this new lifestyle is having a positive effect on the world.
If you're just starting out I highly recommend joining some local vegan Facebook groups, they're an amazing resource for supermarket finds, new restaurants, the best takeaways and restaurants and general motivation and support!
PS: I understand I have fully taken on the vegan (or plant-based) stereotype here but it's becoming an even bigger topic today and hey, it shouldn't be such a taboo to talk about your diet!
Artful Sonder xoxox