6 ways to take part in Veganuary

Adopting a plant-based diet could improve your health and help to protect animals and our planet. Going vegan - even for just one month - is easier than you might think, so read on for 6 easy vegan swaps that you could make this month, without missing out.

3 bars of vegan soap made with plant-based oils
Switch to vegan soap for Veganuary!

Veganuary is a non-profit organisation that was set up in 2017 to encourage people from around the world to go vegan in January, and beyond. Last year, more than 500,000 people took part, while supermarkets and restaurants offered new vegan products and menus to support the campaign. On its website, Veganuary offers suggestions on where to find vegan food on the high street, shares vegan recipe ideas, and offers advice on nutrition and how to stock a vegan larder. With so many vegan options now available in the supermarkets, switching to a plant-based diet is getting easier and easier.

Veganuary's mission

Our mission is to inspire and support people to try vegan, drive corporate change, and create a global mass movement championing compassionate food choices with the aim of ending animal farming, protecting the planet, and improving human health.

a cow and its calf

5 easy meat-free swaps

Here are 5 really easy swaps you can make to take part in Veganuary:

1. Fancy a Big Mac or a sausage sandwich? Try switching out the pork sausages for vegan sausages, or load up a burger bun with a vegan burger (I've personally served up Beyond Burgers to meat-eaters and they never knew it was vegan ;)), add gherkins, lettuce, and beef tomatoes, and choose a vegan mayo or burger sauce from any supermarket.

2. Love ice-cream? Check the supermarket aisles for a vegan version of your favourite flavour - did you know that there are vegan versions of Ben & Jerry's ice-cream?

3. Can't do without your morning yoghurt fix? No problem, look for The Coconut Collaborative yoghurt - tastes delicious and is made from (you guessed it) coconuts! Top with crunchy granola and a banana and you're good to go!

4. Love Mexican food? Simply swap the meat for vegan mince, re-fried beans and vegetables.

5. Love Italian food? This is one of the easiest swaps of all - switch beef mince for vegan mince when making a bolognese sauce, swap cow's milk for oat milk when making bechamel sauce for lasagne, and try plant-based cheese when making pizza.

a vegan burger

Other ways to take part in Veganuary

If going meat-free isn't your cup of tea, you could also take part in Veganuary by switching to plant-based skincare. Did you know that many ingredients used in skin and hair care products are derived from animals?

For example, many commercial soaps are made using tallow - the rendered fat from beef or mutton that's produced by boiling the carcasses of slaughtered animals (do you really want to put this on your skin?) - so look for vegan soap that's made using plant-based oils instead, just like the soap below.

Other animal-derived ingredients to watch out for that are commonly used in self-care products include:

  • Gelatin - produced by boiling the skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones of animals. Found in nail and face creams.

  • Retinol - found in anti-aging products as a source of vitamin A.

  • Bee Pollen and beeswax - often found in shampoo and deodorant, make-up, and face creams.

  • Cochineal - a red pigment used as a colouring agent in cosmetics and shampoos, produced by crushing the female Cochineal beetle.

  • Keratin - produced from the ground-up hooves, horns, feathers, and quills of various animals, and used in haircare products.

Phew, it's a minefield, isn't it? Most people purchase their skincare products without giving a second thought as to the source of the ingredients. The good news is that there are plant-based alternatives to all of the ingredients above, so try to look out for them on the label before you purchase your next lipstick, face cream, soap, or even a tube of toothpaste. Certainly food for thought!

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