As an ethical, rather than heath-led veggie, I am obviously aware that a vegetarian diet isn't perfect when it comes to avoiding cruelty to animals, but as a family we try to minimise our egg and honey consumption, leather and silk purchases, and avoid products tested on animals and animal-based entertainment (zoos/racing/circuses etc.). Our one big downfall is cheese, although I must say that since last January, I definitely buy less diary cheese than I did before.
For those of you who haven't discovered Veganuary before:
"Veganuary aims to reduce the suffering of animals by inspiring and supporting people across the globe to go vegan for the month of January. For most, a love of animals is the catalyst. Some people want to feel better about themselves and the impact they make on the world. Others would like to set themselves a challenge, and many combine Veganuary with their ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ and see trying vegan as the healthiest start to the year. Whatever your reason, we’re here to support you. So try vegan for a month and discover a whole new world of taste and flavour. We guarantee that, by the end of the January, you’ll feel fantastic! Sign up today."Although I didn't quite manage to stay completely vegan for the month last year, I made a concerted effort to reduce my family's dairy/cheese and egg consumption. I will admit that I found it tough at times, but it was a good experience, and one I am willing to try again. I currently have some cheese left over from Christmas to finish off, but after that has gone, I'm going to attempt a full vegan month. The rest of the family may have some cheese/dairy and the odd Quorn product, so I'll be keeping vegetarian options in my new Veganauary recipes.
I'm actually thinking of doing a 5:2 kind of meal plan for the family, whereby weekday meals are vegan and weekend meal are vegetarian or have a vegetarian option. That way if I fall off the vegan wagon, I know I can get back on the following Monday!
For anyone joining in with Veganuary, there's a great list of vegan pantry essentials for both the UK and the USA, which give dairy and egg-free alternatives to many common non-vegan cooking ingredients.
I you're thinking of joining in the Veganuary challenge, I'd love your support, so do drop me a comment either here or on Facebook, with your encouragement, tips, recipe ideas or questions.