Dede's Green Scene: January is Veganuary! by Dede Tabak, January 08 2015, 0 Comments

It’s January and you know what that means, time to make those New Years resolutions! This year, instead of making a vow to give up sweets or to only eat mac ‘n cheese (that’s mine), why don’t you help your health and the environment and join the 10,000 others who are participating in Veganuary!

Veganuary is a global campaign that asks people to pledge to give up all meat, eggs and dairy for the entire month of January and give veganism a try.

The campaign was founded by British couple Matthew Glover and Jane Land. Glover and Land were vegetarian for 10 years, but decided to go vegan in 2011 after watching a disturbing PETA video, “The Video the Meat Industry Doesn’t Want you to see”. The couple was inspired by Movember—a campaign that asks men to grow their facial hair to raise awareness for men’s health issues—and started Veganuary in 2013 to encourage people to go vegan.

“We wanted to provide people with the practical help and advice to try vegan, but we also wanted to create an inclusive community where people could feel supported and heard,” Land writes on the campaign’s site.

The Web site offers a shopping list to help you get started, vegan tips and recipes. It also has a cheat sheet for what to order when you eat out at restaurants. The site also addresses common myths and questions about veganism, such as “How will I get enough protein?” and “Isn’t it more expensive to eat vegan?”

There are many reasons to go vegan, but the main one that attracts people is the health benefits. Studies have shown that vegans tend to have a healthier body mass index (BMI), lower blood pressure and levels of cholesterol, and a lesser chance of contracting type two diabetes. Both Bill Clinton and Samuel L. Jackson went vegan to improve their health and extend their lifespans. There is an increasing number of athletes going vegan as well – David Carter, NFL defensive lineman, Scott Jurek, an ultra-marathoner and Mike Tyson, a former boxer, have all said that a plant-based diet gives them more energy and improves their athletic performance.

Another reason that some go vegan is to help mother earth. Going vegan is the easiest and quickest way to lower your carbon footprint, reduce pollution, and save energy and water. That's because meat production requires staggering amounts of land, water, and energy, compared to plant foods. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has openly stated that eating less meat is an important step in combating climate change. Whether you vow to eat less meat or forgo meat altogether and go vegan, you will not only be improving your health, but also helping the environment.

Glover and Land hope that at the end of the month, most of those who have taken the Veganuary pledge will love it so much that they will continue the vegan lifestyle after January is over. And although it’s already January 8, it's not too late for you to sign up for Veganuary. To make your own pledge or to learn more about the vegan lifestyle, visit