Veganuary: Going Vegan in January

Image by Michael Rosenstein, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Image by Michael Rosenstein, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Happy New Year! January is a month that inspires people to improve themselves in various ways—health, finances, spiritual pursuits, personal development, and many more. Veganuary is a global campaign, originally launched in the United Kingdom two years ago (that's 2014, in case you aren't used to it being 2016 yet!), that encourages people to try the vegan lifestyle for the month of January. As a fan of 30-day challenges, I'm in full support of this campaign and would like to encourage you to consider going vegan for January. If you're not comfortable with completely giving up various foods like meat, dairy, and eggs, it might be easier to try to reduce your intake of them.

The science is in—going vegan is one of the most powerful actions one can take to reduce the suffering of animals, heal the planet, and improve personal health. Before deciding whether or not to embark on this challenge, it's important to understand what veganism entails and how to prepare for the transition.

The Veganuary website has a Vegan Starter Kit page that has helpful information and links to feel confident going into the challenge, including meal plans, a shopping guide, food essentials, information and advice, and nutrition facts. Other areas of the site include an eating out guide (featuring various vegan-friendly cuisines and restaurant chains), a section debunking common misconceptions and myths about the lifestyle, and profiles featuring many well-known celebrity vegans like Samuel L Jackson, Ellie Goulding, Scott Jurek, Alec Baldwin, and Ellen DeGeneres. In fact, the entire Veganuary website is an excellent place to start for those interested. But what if you want to learn even more?

There is a wealth of knowledge about veganism on the Internet, and in books and films. I have gathered some resources for you to check out if you are interested in learning more and listed them below:

How to Find Vegan-Friendly Restaurants

Books to Read

Websites to Visit

YouTube Channels to Watch

Films to Watch

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should give you some places to start on your journey to learn more about veganism. If you choose to go fully vegan or cut down your intake of some animal products, I'd like to personally congratulate you for your efforts! I became fully vegan two years ago (after two additional years as a vegetarian) and have maintained a healthier weight, increased my daily energy, and saved money. Speaking of saving, vegans save each year: 

  1. 16 pounds of grain
  2. 2,500 gallons of water
  3. One pound of meat
  4. 406 animals

If now is not the right time for you, then perhaps you would benefit from more education. Take the time to learn about the benefits of going vegan, and you may be convinced that it's right for you, the environment, and the animals. Whatever happens now, try to become as educated as you can about this lifestyle, because it is one that could change the world for the better if more people were to give it a try.