Remember why you're doing it. Stay curious. Reduce.
**We can't ignore the truth : we've been eating too much meat and dairy**
It's not ideal for our bodies, for our planet not to mention the animals themselves. You know this, this is why you're trying Veganuary.
Head over to Why Eat Less Meat for a broad overview and refresh on why our collective consumption of meat is not sustainable.
It's an issue of scale.
Depending on where you sit on the vegan spectrum and particular if you're new to the lifestyle, one line of argument is there's nothing inherently wrong with some meat and dairy in your diet - but it is the sheer scale at which these products are produced which have led to huge environmental costs, the level of antibiotics used f leaves our resistance under threat and of course serious welfare questions.
Meat and dairy farming at an industrial scale started with the humble chicken then the pig and now cows.
Eating less meat is hardly radical.
A bit like the backlash on single-waste plastic. The rise of the reusable should be called the return of the reusable, convenience culture is a phenomenon of the last few decades and so is our current levels of meat and dairy consumption. It wasn't so long ago that meat was considered a treat. Ask your mother or grandfather, how much meat were we eating two generations ago? And even further back, high quantities of meat were reserved for the monarchy and precious few.
If you're ancestors could do it, so can you. Ok, so it's psychologically harder when there is so much choice available to you. Celebrate every time you make the vegan choice.
Struggling going 'cold turkey'?
Meat-eater to vegan in one step can prove very tricky. It's as much a mindset shift as it is a diet change. A short lapse in concentration and there'll be milk on your tea; a mumbled request might mean you end up with the meat option at your local deli. And a bad stressful day at work may have you reaching for the BBQ chicken pizza. This does not mean you have failed. And one (or two) slips doesn't mean you should give up on your personal challenge to question what you're eating. Cause that's just it - it's the start of your new lifelong journey where you question what you put in your mouth. What is it? Or what's in it? Where does it come from?
Reduce. Become a reducetarian.
The reducetarian movement is about the active reduction of meat and dairy from our diets. Why Eat Less Meat suggests; “In such a polarized climate, an honest attempt to reduce the negative impacts of one’s own consumption receives little praise. But if we're really concerned with what's best for the world, we should reject the idea that eating meat is all-or-nothing.”
And that’s exactly what the reducetarian movement highlights: “We celebrate the small changes in personal and institutional behaviour that collectively result in a significant difference in the world." This movement encourages Meatless Mondays, Vegan before Six, Weekday Vegan etc.
They call on Winston Churchill's quote, "Perfection is the enemy of progress", and for us it makes sense. One mishap doesn't undo your previous good efforts nor should it be cause for a dairy-blow out - if 8/10 choices you make are actively reducing your meat and dairy consumption - well you're on to a good thing.
You are not alone.
The world over, people like you are actively reducing their meat consumption. The Guardian reports;
“It’s extremely encouraging to learn how many Britons are choosing to reduce their consumption of animal products” said Nick Palmer, the head of Compassion in World Farming UK. “Science proves that the healthiest diet is one that is plant-heavy. By eating less meat, fish, eggs and dairy and choosing higher welfare when we do, we can all help animals, people and the planet.”
Stay inspiredHere are some resources for the second half of Veganuary to reinvigorate your efforts
- Recipes from the Reducetarian website
- Veganuary have an eating out guide
- Happy Cow has as huge directory of veggie and vegan friendly eateries
- Shortlist of great Vegan Cookbooks you might treat yourself to:
- 10 Vegan Youtubers that will have you drooling
- Top 10 Vegan bloggers to follow from TreeHugger
- How about planning your next trip to a vegan-friendly location?