Hi, I'm Genevieve. This January I made the decision to go vegan for Veganuary. There were lots of reasons for this – environmental, ethical, and on health grounds. With the climate change emergency, Australian bush fires, and the human led destruction of half of all wildlife in the last 40 years, doing it for the environment was the big reason that persuaded me to go an entire month without animal products.
Some things were definitely easier than others...
Milk was easy – there’s a giant range of plant-based milks available and even now Veganuary is over I am sticking with my oat milk. I had expected chocolate to be the hardest thing, but I found lots of tasty vegan alternatives and discovered that certain dark chocolates are vegan too. The hardest thing was giving up cheese – it took a lot of time to find a cheddar substitute I liked, and in general I just went cheese free. However, after a week I found that I missed it less and after a month it didn't seem nearly as necessary to my diet as it did before. Yet, realising just how many foods contain dairy was quite shocking – certain veggie burgers, sauces, cereals, and even breads contain dairy.
Eating out has been a lot easier than I expected...
Especially as lots of mainstream brands have come out with their own vegan options. Vegan burgers out sold normal burgers at LEON, KFC sold over 1 million vegan burgers in a month, and January vegan orders via Deliveroo increased by 78%.
In my house, we all like baking and I was worried about adapting our much-loved banana bread or brownie recipes to be vegan, but it turned out to be surprisingly easy and tasted even better (perhaps it was the oat milk or the knowledge that we were doing something good for the planet whilst eating chocolate chip cookies).
It was estimated that over one million animal lives would be saved due to Veganuary this year, and CO2 emissions, equivalent to that of 45,000 flights, would be reduced. Since Veganuary, I have stayed largely plant based. Despite originally doing it for the planet, with the growing amount of information about the animal cruelty in the dairy and meat industries, there are more and more reasons to stay vegan, especially with the expansion of vegan options being sold by supermarkets and food chains.
Thank you to Genevieve for sharing your Veganuary journey with us this Go Green Week!