I am interested in all the advertisements and publicity this year to encourage people to try ‘going vegan’ for January. Everywhere you look – on TV, in magazines, posters in shops – there are signs proclaiming how wonderful ‘going vegan’ for January is – both for your own health and for the sake of the planet.
As a vegetarian (no, not vegan – I love cheese too much), I have a couple of comments about all this hype
Firstly, why stop after January. Surely a more vegetarian, healthy diet should be recommended for life, rather than just one month, closely followed by a binge of dead animal meat in February!
Secondly, the food mainly advertised by the supermarkets – obviously because this is what they want to sell – is mainly pre processed vegan food – sausages, burgers, pies, falafels. What is wrong with proper food made from fresh ingredients – fresh vegetables, beans and fruit – without adding the extra salt and sugar that are often found in processed foods.
This also gives those trying vegan lifestyles for the first time, a wrong image of always having to replicate as near to ‘meat’ as possible. There are endless vegetarian meals – curries, casseroles, pasta dishes – that can be easily made from scratch. In fact, almost any dish can be created ‘vegetarian’ with a little forethought.
However, after all is said and done, it is maybe a step in the right direction and at least people are talking about vegan lifestyles and trying different types of food – perhaps a certain percentage will find they really enjoy the difference. Even if some of them still enjoy meat and fish occasionally, they may well cut down the amount they eat every week – better for their health and for animals everywhere.
Whether you try ‘vegan’ food or ‘vegetarian’ food for the first time, or are already a convert, I do hope you enjoy the difference – and keep it up for the rest of the year.