Want to join Veganuary but no idea where to start?
Then we've got some great tips for you.
Over the last few years, January has become synonymous with Veganuary – the challenge to take on a plant-based diet for a month. Over 700,000 people took part in Veganuary 2023, and 2024 is set to be another record year.
Changing your entire lifestyle, if only for a month, can be daunting. But fear not: “life with no cheese” is possible indeed, and can be delicious (have you heard of cashew cheese?) and indulgent. Veganuary isn't some kind of punishment after the holiday indulgences, but a possible pathway to many new flavours and discoveries. And if you're interested in taking vegan living beyond the kitchen, shopping for vegan fashion and beauty is easier these days, too. Read on for a few tips on how to make your Veganuary the best it can be.
Try new things. Going vegan isn't just about eliminating things – most of all, the dietary change is about adding new ingredients into your diet. Most supermarkets are packed with vegan options, but it doesn't have to be all about the Beyond Meats and the faux-fish fingers. Try new fruit, new types of pulses, new kinds of rice and pasta. Get more creative with your meals!
Get your nutrition right. Having information is key to success. You don't have to become a nutritionist on the spot, but basic health info is crucial to feel your best during the month. The charity Veganuary offer nutrition tips, and the Vegan Society has a wealth of knowledge on the topic of health. Things to read up on: how to get adequate iron, how to make sure your omegas are right, and the necessity to supplement B12.
Consider fashion. Contrary to what most people believe, vegan living isn't all about food. It's a lifestyle that includes other aspects, such as clothing. Animals are tormented, imprisoned and killed for fashion by the millions, and veganism includes taking a stand against their suffering. Nobody is advocating for throwing out your entire wardrobe for the month of January, but it is the perfect time to explore vegan fashion brands, marketplaces, and materials.
Expect mistakes...and don't beat yourself up. You WILL slip up. All vegans do. We live in a non-vegan world, and it's depressingly easy to mistakenly end up with milk powder in your cookies, egg in your pasta, or fish sauce in your miso soup. This is not the end of the world and yes, you are still vegan. Just chalk it up to useful experience and get back on track with your compassionate Veganuary ways.
Evaluate your beauty routine. If you find yourself browsing the beauty department or going onto your favourite online destination during January, keep your Veganuary in mind and choose beauty products that are free from animal suffering and exploitation. Due to murky legislation, it's not enough to trust brands' own materials saying “we don't test on animals.” Instead, look for certifications such as PETA's Beauty Without Bunnies logo or Cruelty Free International's Leaping Bunnies symbol to be sure that your lipstick and shampoo weren't tested on rats, dogs, mice, or guinea pigs. PETA's database also offers information on which brands offer vegan beauty products (which are free from animal-derived ingredients).
Find your tribe. Connecting with other vegans is easier than ever, as there are so many of us! Find your town's vegan Facebook page or attend a local meet-up – there are likely to be more of them during Veganuary. Connection and community is more encouraging than anything else when it comes to embarking on a new lifestyle, and advice from experienced vegans is gold to a newbie.