January? You mean Veganuary!

Those who know me personally will know that I’ve been vegetarian for many years now. However after seeing the lovely Amanda Abbington and Rebecca Callard advocate it, I decided to start 2017 off by participating in the fantastic movement known as Veganuary! As their official website states, the main aim of Veganuary is to “reduce the suffering of animals by inspiring and supporting people across the globe to go vegan for the month of January.”

Honestly, I’d tried being vegan before and it lasted approximately 3 days so my hopes were fairly low. Turns out successful veganism is all about research and knowledge. With the help of veganuary.com, I soon realised the huge, tasty and most importantly cruelty-free range of foods/products still available to me:

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I’ve found the biggest benefit of veganism to be the fact that, even beyond animal products, I’m now a lot more aware of what goes into my food. I feel healthier and I take more pride in the food that I eat. There’s less guilt surrounding my eating habits because I feel a greater sense of responsibility.

Now here goes a subject that I couldn’t possibly ignore. I soon found that within the vegan community, there is a lot of discussion surrounding the best alternative to milk. Milkgate, or maybe more accurately NonMilkgate. Personally I started off with a sweetened soya milk and after gagging my way through several cups of tea, I came to the conclusion that it definitely wasn’t for me. Then came Koko coconut milk, and it’s safe to say that I haven’t looked back since. Only a month later it’s actually strange to imagine a cup of tea without the hint of coconut! I also have some rice milk in my fridge that I’m yet to try out of skepticism, so if I ever gather the courage to try it, I’ll get back to you!

My personal reason for going vegan lies within my love of animals and my belief that no animal should experience cruelty for a human being’s selfish gain. Here is a snippet from the Veganuary website:

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Although I am not here to brainwash you or force your hand in any way, I do encourage you to further educate yourselves on the cruelty that undeniably exists within the dairy/egg industries. If you really feel that a vegan diet is not the right thing for you, then please do ensure that you purchase animal products in the most responsible and ethical ways possible. Animals are someone, not something.

As I mentioned earlier in the post, my biggest reason for not going vegan before this point was a lack of knowledge regarding suitable foods and how effortless it actually is to obtain them. My biggest message to anyone considering veganism is, just don’t be afraid, and don’t put pressure on yourself. You don’t have to enter into it as a lifelong commitment. Just commit to a week at a time and see how it goes. If you fail, take a little break and try again. For many people it’s a gradual process, but ultimately it is possible and achievable. Be kind to yourself and be kind to animals!

As I type this at 12:30am on February 1st I can officially say that Veganuary is over, though I can also say that for the time being, I am going to continue on my vegan journey. It’s been a huge eye-opener and I really recommend it to anyone, no matter what the month is. I’ll keep you all updated here and on twitter @emkirsten. In the meantime, lots of love!

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P.S. If you’re looking to go out for a great vegan meal, try the lentil spaghetti bolognese at Zizzi! SO good!

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