You may have noticed more vegan options popping up on the menus at local restaurants and some of your friends adopting the lifestyle recently. But this month, veganism has gone big and that’s thanks – in part – to Veganuary.
Taking influence from Dry January, Veganuary encourages people to ditch the meat and animal products entirely for the first month of the year. Veganuary is actually a charity that supports this animal-free lifestyle and offers recipes, deals and money-off coupons to start the process.
Motivations behind trying Veganuary differ, from pursuing a healthier lifestyle to wanting to help the environment. Sometimes, people take it on as a test to see if it could work long term and for others, it’s a case of seeing if they can get through to January 31st without giving in to that sausage roll craving.
Speaking of sausage rolls, a well-known high street bakery chain has just launched a vegan version of the savoury pastry for Veganuary. It was met by appropriate hysteria and many stores sold out on the first day it went on sale.
Whether this was down to veteran vegans or those struggling with Veganuary three days in remains unclear. It could also have been down to curiosity, as many speculated what a vegan sausage would actually contain – a carrot wrapped in pastry? Apparently not.
Not to be outdone, another popular fast food eatery launched a vegan version of its famous Happy Meal, complete with veggie wrap and plastic toy. It seems that it’s easier than ever to take on Veganuary when you’re out and about.
In the comfort of your own home, you can tuck into more vegan treats than ever too. A tub of non-dairy coconut ice cream from one of the big hitters sat in the freezer could be enough of a comfort to keep up the vegan diet through January and beyond.
Veganism is therefore moving away from being a niche diet choice, but a more mainstream lifestyle and something we’re likely to see grow even more throughout 2019. While the number of specialist vegan restaurants continues to grow, being able to bite into a meat-free burger or sausage roll so easily on the high street will make it simpler than ever to be vegan.
One question that is left to be answered is how long these new additions to mainstream menus will last. Is tapping into Veganuary a marketing stunt? Will demand for vegan items remain strong once New Year’s resolutions have faded away? Only time will tell.