Did you take up the plant based challenge?
Veganuary 2023 draws to a close today – the annual challenge to ditch meat, fish, dairy and eggs for 31 days. This year has seen a record-breaking rate of sign ups, with a new participant registering every 2.4 seconds at the start of the month. The final number of participants is expected to exceed last year’s peak of 629,000 people worldwide. But what’s the point in taking part? And why are we talking about it at Planet Woking?
While veganism is a movement primarily motivated by concern for animal welfare, many people also cut out animal products because of their environmental impact. Climate activists are increasingly recognising the link between the meat and dairy industries and climate change. Animal agriculture is one of the leading emitters of greenhouse gasses, causing nearly 60% of all food production emissions, despite only providing 18% of the calories we consume.
It has been suggested than going vegan is the single biggest decision we can make as individuals to limit our impact on the planet. Just starting with a small change, such as swapping cow’s milk for oat milk in your morning coffee, will help lessen the carbon footprint of your diet. Once you take raising animals out of the equation, which requires enormous amounts of land leading to deforestation, gives off lots of harmful pollution into our air, soil and water, and uses one quarter of the world’s freshwater supply, the impact of growing plant based foods is much, much less.
If you’re looking to stick with your new eating habits, there are lots of restaurants and cafés in Woking town centre alone to help you keep it up. Marciano’s, Nando’s and Slug & Lettuce all offer vegan choices for a sit down meal, or if you’re looking for something quick to grab for lunch, Shin’s, Araceli’s and even Greggs have delicious vegan options for you to try.
Not sure where to start with vegan cooking? Check out a whole host of vegan recipes from Veganuary here, or from lots of other sources including BBC and Tesco. You can also read up on some vegan nutrition advice here if you’re not sure how to go about getting all the goodness you need from your new diet.
To find out more about Veganuary and get advice on making the switch to plant based eating, visit their website.