Will going vegan for January help protect the planet?

Sunday, 10 January 2016  |  Admin

Will going vegan for January help protect the planet?

January has traditionally been the time when we make major changes in our lives. After the excess of the Christmas period, and the pressure to make resolutions in the new year, we often take January as a time to reflect on our lives, cut back on our excesses, and recalibrate how we live on a day to day basis. As a result, in the last few years we have seen a number of different cut back campaigns emerge, most famously "Dry January", where you are encouraged to either cut back on your alcohol consumption or cut it out altogether. This year, however, a new January fad has to come the fore: Veganuary.

So, this month you can expect to see a number of major celebrities leading the cause to stop eating meat and dairy for the whole of January, including vegan and animal rights activists like Brad Pitt and Ellie Goulding, as well as those just joining for the ride like comedians Romesh Ranganathan and Sara Pascoe and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. The idea behind Veganuary is that as well as helping people to manage their diets and meat consumption, it will also highlight how much of an effect eating can have on the environment, but it has been questioned in the press as to whether it will help us protect the planet. So what's the truth about Veganuary?

Essentially, cutting out meat and diary is a good way to start helping the environment, as meat production is one of the major producers of carbon emissions. However, in order for a month-long diet of this kind to be effective, it needs to be able to effect a major change in the lifestyle of those taking part not just for the month, but in the long term. That's why if you feel as if you won't be able to keep up a vegan diet for longer than the month, it may make sense to look into other ways to protect the planet, for example by buying eco products or working on energy saving. It is this kind of long-term sustainable living that can really help you protect the planet in 2016 and beyond.