My Thoughts on Veganuary

I’ve read multiple articles recently referring to Veganuary* as ‘the latest trend’, ‘a celebrity fad’, ‘great for a New Year detox’ etc. This irritates me for obvious reasons, and in honour of my fourth year of Veganuary, I felt compelled to delve into this further.

I think Veganuary is a fantastic campaign, and a fantastic charity. We’re all aware that we should be reducing our meat consumption, therefore focusing on more plant-based foods. We know that eating vegan is a great way to address animal welfare and environmental issues (climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and saving water to name a few).

What I do have an issue with is extremist propaganda (ahemmm the What the Health documentary) and the claims that following a plant-based diet will automatically lead to weight loss and a variety of perceived health benefits. I could write a whole post about What the Health**, but I’ll save that for another time!

So, why am I partaking in Veganuary?

I’m not a vegan, but over the past four years I have considerably reduced my animal product consumption; I don’t eat dairy, and in general I eat meat once or twice per week. I say in general because over the Christmas period, I definitely did not adhere to this!

The reasons behind reducing my animal product consumption are predominantly all those that I mentioned above, plus the fact that cutting out dairy has significantly improved my eczema. Also, 95% of my favourite foods are vegan which definitely helps!

I am NOT taking part in Veganuary as a form of ‘cleansing’ or ‘detoxing’ my body, and I don’t approve of Veganuary being labelled a fad regime. Detoxing, of course, is a scam…and it’s a scam which should not be linked to veganism.

To clarify, I’m not claiming that the health benefits of eating vegan are redundant, in fact quite the opposite – the fact that cutting out (some) animal products has improved a skin condition that I have suffered from since birth definitely highlights this! My point is that a vegan meal is not necessarily a healthier option. There are healthy and unhealthy approaches to a vegan diet, just like every. single. other. diet.

There are PLENTY of compelling reasons not to eat animal products but using Veganuary as a ‘detox’ is absolutely not one of them.

*Veganuary is a non-profit organisation encouraging people to follow a vegan diet throughout the month of January.

**What the Health is a Netflix documentary promoting a vegan diet. I’ve watched some compelling documentaries on veganism and vegetarianism, but this documentary is full of inaccuracies, questionable claims and pseudo-science.

One thought on “My Thoughts on Veganuary

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  1. Loving the blog Mel! Just going through reading all of them. By the way, have been eating a vegan diet since Hampton Court as felt inspired by our conversation. Getting bored with my own recipes and would welcome any suggestions you have…. tired of curry and all things turmeric based… x

    Liked by 1 person

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