2016 has seen a huge rise in Veganism. With more and more people embracing a clean-eating lifestyle, and celebrities promoting their healthy regimes with smoothies, detox teas and more, it's interesting to see how popularity has increased over the last few years. Veganism does have health benefits in terms of weight loss, lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, reducing fatigue and more, as well as being an animal rights and environmental concern.
Experts have said: "The appeal and potential for vegan products is expanding beyond the small group of people who avoid animal products for ethical reasons to include the much larger base of consumers seeking healthier, cleaner foods."
More people are pledging to go vegan for seven or 30 days, according to the Vegan Society. There were 40% more people signing up to this temporary menu in the first two months of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012.
With campaigns such as Veganuary growing in popularity, the idea of eating clean is a choice being made by a lot of people for different reasons. Veganuary say their aims are to reduce the suffering of animals by inspiring and supporting people across the globe to go vegan for the month of January. It has introductory guides and inspiration for those interested in taking the plunge, and advice on how to go about it in a safe and responsible way.
The top reasons for people going Vegan are:
Veganuary say: "Two of the worst culprits are the dairy and egg industries. Research tells us that chickens probably suffer the most miserable existence of all factory farmed animals. Yet their eggs are consumed on an overwhelming scale. Dairy cows have their calves removed from them only hours after giving birth, after being forcibly impregnated to ensure they produce milk. Like any mother, they grieve. So too do their young."
Eating vegan makes a more positive impact than giving up your car; it can halve your greenhouse gas emissions and it will save wild animals from extinction.
More and more people are ditching animal products in order to combat specific health problems. Others report general improvements in energy and vitality, and exclaim that they’ve ‘never felt better’. Stories of successful vegan athletes and sports stars are on the increase, and plant-based living is regularly profiled in health and wellness publications.
You can learn more about the movement on their website. Veganuary.
April has been a massive month for Vegan related events and news. In April alone there was the "Go Vegan with Exeter Friends for Animals" event, including a film night, a ‘Great Vegan Breakfast’, and even an all-vegan Sunday carvery at one of Exeter’s popular pubs! The 9th April saw the Irish Vegan Festival take place in Belfast and the Lincoln Vegan Festival followed shortly after. The Cheltenham Vegan Fair saw a mixture of vegan food, beauty products and clothing on sale. This Saturday the Northern Vegan Festival is taking place in Manchester at various venues, offering vegan beer, wine and free food alongside talks, films and cookery demos. The Birmingham Viva! Vegan Festival takes place on the 30th of this month, with cookery demos, food tasting and a guest speaker. Closer to home on the same day, we have the New Forest Vegan Fair in Lyndhurst, from 11am to 4pm at the Lyndhurst Community Centre.
To see the full diary for this month and the next coming months, visit the calendar here.