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Veganuary- trying Veganism for a month

Margaret Scott Student Life
vegan burger

Yes, you can go vegan. Its 2019!

You can walk into Greggs and get a vegan sausage roll. The vegan options are popping up on every menu and now when I ask, “Is this vegan?” while pointing to an item on the menu, the confused stares are much less frequent. So, what exactly would you have to do to eat vegan? Veganism excludes all animal products, obviously that includes all meat, in addition to eggs, dairy products and all animal derived products. This can seem pretty overwhelming at first but any little change  is a move in the right direction. You can try doing one meal a day vegan or join the meatless Monday movement. Or even better, do what my roomies (Katie and Brandi) did and try going vegan for a month. Veganuary, is a charity created in 2014 to inspire people to go vegan for the month of January. Good news, they survived the month and have lived to tell the tale. Take a look at what they thought about Veganuary! 

Despite what you might think I did not beg or bribe them to try to go vegan they came to the decision all on their own. Most people choose to go vegan for one of three reasons, or a combination of them. First, is animal well-being, for every year you eat vegan you can save the lives of 200 animals. If you are an animal lover I would recommend watching the documentary Earthlings, it is definitely not for the faint of heart but will educate you on the abuse and slaughter of animals across the agriculture, fashion and entertainment industries. Secondly, there is the environmental impact, if you don’t know meat is extremely harmful to the planet. Meat production results in huge amounts of pollution and thus, changing your diet is actually a great way to become more environmentally friendly. Finally, you have the amazing health benefits! Vegans have been shown to be less likely to develop heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure. Additionally, vegans are on average 20 pounds lighter than their carnivorous counter parts. No matter what your reason is for trying veganism I can not tell you enough to educate yourself! Watch documentaries, read some books, search the internet. There are so many amazing resources for you and I will link some of my favourites below. For Katie and Brandi, a big reason they committed to Veganuary was to see how they would feel without consuming any meat or dairy products. In fact, you are likely unable to even properly digest dairy, it is estimated that about 75% of the world's population is actually to some level lactose intolerant. When you step back and think about it, milk is meant for baby calves not humans so it does make sense that we would have some difficulty digesting it. There are so many great dairy alternatives to try as well! I am a sucker for all the Alpro products their yogurts and nut milks are delicious. This all being said when you first start you may have to take a little more time to think about what you are going to eat. Brandi and Katie both found the hardest part about the experience was, “finding options when travelling” and that grocery shopping was a little more time consuming since she had to check all the labels. Unfortunately, the world is not made for vegans just yet. Living this lifestyle can require a little more planning and some creativity at times. Most importantly, always have snacks on hand! I will concede that sometimes it is hard you are trying to break the eating habits you have had your entire life. That being said, after one month of experimenting with veganism Brandi felt that, “being vegan is very doable and more people should be open to the idea of it.” Veganism is totally possible and if you want more information check out these resources. 

Documentaries: 

Earthlings

Cowspiracy

Forks over Knives

For All Things Vegan: 

https://vegnews.com/

https://www.peta.org/

Vegan Recipes: 

https://frommybowl.com/

https://sweetsimplevegan.com/

http://deliciouslyella.com/

http://keepinitkind.com/recipes/

https://runningonrealfood.com/start-here/

http://ohsheglows.com/

 

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