Veganuary is here, with every man and his dog jumping on the vegan bang wagon, it’s hard to avoid this upgrade to the standard ‘New Year, New You’ start to 2019.
With the number of vegans in the UK soaring to more than 3.5m in the past few years, following a plant-based diet has never been more on-trend or accessible. And of course, along with the growing popularity of veganism comes the market opportunity. Only last week we saw social media set alight by the launch of Gregg’s vegan sausage roll, with Twitter trolling from Piers Morgan and even rumoureddemonstrations outside Greggs – who knew pastry could inspire such passion! Although after the debacle with Waitrose Magazine’s editor last year, it’s clear you generally don’t want to get on the wrong side of the vegan lobby.
It has to be said however that going vegan is an admirable choice, especially since what you eat can account for 10-50% of your total carbon footprint and by avoiding eating any animal products your conscience remains clear as far as any animal welfare issues. With veganism entering the mainstream, it’s fair to say that turning vegan is easier than ever before with retailers and restaurants alike offering vegan options across the board. Some of this January’s high profile launches included M&S Plant Kitchen, along with the Co-op, Boots and Aldi all launching vegan ranges, not to mention Waitrose fishless fingers, McDonald’s vegan-friendly happy meal, the new Crussh Vegan Soho store and TGI’s Vegan Bleeding Burger, the list goes on! And that’s only food, everywhere you look shampoo, make-up and all manner of toiletries now boast being vegan, so those who choose to can ensure their vegan principles are adhered to and brands can cash in on this new way to premiumise their products (sorry that’s the cynical marketer in me).
So the question is will I do my bit to save the planet, eat more healthily and turn vegan (if only for January)? Well, as much as I applaud those who can, I am afraid a January without cheese and eggs is not one I can face. I also have to admit to not doing Dry January either (although after Christmas I am back to only drinking on the weekend if that counts at all). The initiative that most appeals to me is Try January where people are encouraged to try new food and drink when eating out in January. As an avid foodie and Gousto devotee I regularly try new dishes from across the globe and have discovered all sorts of new favourites (some vegetarian I’d like to point out, in case you envisage me as some sort of meat-obsessed caveman), so I wholeheartedly support this January push. I’m not alone at Bean Towers, as Jess has also embraced Try January – watch this space for her blog coming soon! In the meantime well done to all you doing Veganuary, Dry January or Try – here’s to an exciting 2019 and all it may bring!