The Veganuary trend is growing in popularity exponentially year-on-year. The campaign started in the UK years back and promotes a vegan lifestyle in the month of January (and perhaps even beyond). While the trend gains traction, there are still people who see a plant-based lifestyle as difficult and/or expensive. So we took some time to chat to women who’ve pursued a plant-based lifestyle long-term to find out everything you’ve ever wondered about veganism.
Basically, veganism consists of consuming only plant-based foods. While this may seem like cutting your delicious dietary options in half, there are actually loads of super tasty, easy, and quick vegan recipes available. The rise in popularity of veganism has ensured we now have vegan cheese, cakes, chocolates, milks, and even meats!
Why you should consider following a plant-based diet
It’s easier than you may think: there are hundreds of trendy plant-based restaurants and grocery stores have taken to stocking tasty meat alternatives.
There’s relative consensus that following a plant-based lifestyle is better for the environment than the omnivorous alternative.
Downtoearth.org notes that avoiding meat, dairy, and animal by-products, reduces water and land use, lowers pollution levels, and slows deforestation. It’s a sustainable lifestyle that, contrary to popular belief, can be done on a dime.
If you’d like to do some more reading on this topic, have a look at another of our articles here. Obviously, we’re huge supporters of doing what’s best for you. Everyone is different, so everyone needs to find the eating plan that works for them.
Real women following a plant-based diet
Last January, I became a vegetarian and this year January, I decided to take it a step further and pursue veganism. I made this decision because I am a serious animal lover.
I realised that being an animal lover and animal rights advocate encompassed all animals and I couldn’t justify their potential suffering. Guilt over the past plays a very large part in this transition that some of us go through.
That being said, veganism has had huge effects on my physical well-being. My ulcer cleared up and I now feel slimmer and trimmer. I feel better in every aspect of my life and have rejoiced at now being a size 34!
For those wishing to make the change to a more plant-based diet, I recommend that you persevere despite how daunting it may seem at first. Don’t be intimidated by others and hang in there: you’ll soon see how life-changing it can be.
I became a vegan three years ago. I always considered myself an animal lover but due to growing up in a meat-eating household I had a big disconnect between what I loved and what I was eating.
One day someone posted on Facebook that you can’t eat animals and be an animal lover and that stuck with me. I had always been a big pork eater so I decided to give up pork for a year and see how it goes. Once I gave that up, red meat started to make me feel ill, so I just stopped eating it.
After spending a year doing research on what being vegan meant and the cruelty in the animal agriculture industry in general, I made the decision at the end of the year to give up all poultry as well and by March I had decided to go fully vegan.
If you are considering going vegan, just do it. Non-vegans like to make out that it’s hard to be vegan – it’s not. In fact it has never been easier! There are readily available vegan options and more retailers and restaurants are getting on board every day.
The only regret I have is that I didn’t choose to be vegan much sooner in my life. If you are unsure of what foods to eat to be healthy, go see a dietitian that specialises in transitioning to a plant-based way of eating. The professional advice will help you know the kinds of foods you should be eating to ensure a well-balanced diet.
I’ve been vegetarian since I was 16-years-old, but I transitioned to veganism in September 2019.
I made the choice to go plant-based mostly because of moral issues. When I was 16, I watched a segment on farming on Carte Blanche and that really stuck with me.
When I first changed over in my teens, I lost 20kgs. I never had any physical issues health-wise; I was always healthy and never needed any vitamin supplements.
Maybe due to my age, when I swapped over to veganism, I hit a bit of an energy slump in the beginning. But I pushed through and I feel great now. I also juice a lot, which has also helped!
If you’re wanting to go vegan, I recommend you go vegetarian first. Once you’ve adjusted to that lifestyle, then go vegan. Going cold turkey can be overwhelming and I think that’s why most people give up so quickly. Take your time.
I started following a plant-based lifestyle in 2016 after contemplating the plight of animals worldwide.
Physically I feel ‘lighter’ now, plus I have more energy and am more mentally alert. Emotionally, I feel at peace that I am making the best choice for myself, my daughter (who I am raising vegan), the animals and the environment. Ultimately, my decision was ethical but it has had a great impact on all facets of my life.
My advice for those looking to switch: Don’t look at everything you are giving up. Instead look at what you’re gaining in terms of health, kindness and compassion. Also, it’s really exciting to start trying new recipes and a new way of living.