Sometimes we are struck by moments of inspiration. Sometimes this genius thought ends up being more akin to the thought of a fool. And often you have to walk the path before you know which of these is most true.
And so, one cold, dark November evening, I find myself saying the words “Let’s go vegan for a whole month. Let’s go vegan for January” to my husband. He is, naturally, quite taken aback.
I have never shown any interest in being vegan before.
I have never been a vegetarian.
I have always loved meat.
Sunday dinner – i.e. meat, veg and lashings of gravy – is my favourite meal. Closely followed by steak. Ham is my go-to snack. I love roast pork and crackling, beef stew, lamb shoulder, bacon, sausages, burgers and chicken. Not liver, I draw the line at liver. But most other normal meats make the list of my favourite foods.
Fish and seafood are also delicious and then there is cheese, milk, ice cream, yoghurt and the rest.
I’m not sure I have thought this through…
So, why? Why would someone like me choose to voluntarily go vegan for a month? Well, it is a great question. And I would like to say that it has a simple answer.
But I haven’t suddenly gone off meat; I haven’t suddenly become disgusted at the thought of eating dead animals – although my cold, cold heart is melting a little in this regard…
I have become more aware of the environmental impact of the meat industry – following George Monbiot on Twitter will do that to you. A Jamie Oliver programme pointed out that the dairy industry really isn’t much better than the meat industry, in terms of killing male calves when they are born as they are “useless1, pumping the animals full of antibiotics; feeding them goodness knows what, and the rest.
I am very conscious of the fact that our planet is essentially dying.
And I want to reduce my impact on the environment. We are trying to reduce our waste, we’ve switched to an electric car, we use 100% renewable electricity (from Bulb – try them here and get £50 credit). We have made changes. But, by continuing to eat meat regularly, we are supporting an industry that is causing massive damage to the environment.
Going vegan for a month gives us the chance to try it out. It is a challenge.
Can two meat-lovers make the switch to a meat-free, dairy-free diet?
Will we spend the whole month feeling hungry, craving bacon sarnies and turning a whiter shade of pale? Or will we adapt amazingly well? Relish trying out new recipes and new foods that we didn’t even know existed?
At this point, it is hard to say. One thing is for sure, it is going to be an interesting journey. I am fully expecting it to be a massive challenge. Apparently veganism isn’t just a change in diet, it is a way of life. An exaggeration? Well, we will see.
I am blogging the journey.
Maybe it will inspire you to join us in Veganuary.
Maybe we can make it a movement: everyone ditches meat and dairy for the first month of the year. And after that? Well, I have to be honest – I am not envisaging loving veganism so much that I never go back to meat and dairy. But I hope it will lead to a permanent reduction in our consumption of animal products.
Stay with us and let’s see where this thing ends up!
- “Although female calves will likely go on to produce milk themselves, male calves are more of a problem, as only 50 per cent of them are currently used for veal. This means that, sadly, the other 50 per cent of male calves are shot at birth.” from https://www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-features/features/the-truth-about-veal/