Matthew Glover, a vegan businessperson who was inspired by the Movember concept, is urging people to go vegan in January in order to improve their health, help animals, and protect the environment, all while raising money for the U.K.-based vegan advocacy group Viva! Matthew launched the Veganuary campaign in the U.K. on January 1, and he hopes to promote his vegan challenge worldwide next year.
But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until 2015 to go vegan. You can try just for the rest of Veganuary or take PETA’s pledge to go vegan for at least 30 days right now. When you sign the pledge, PETA will send you vegan recipes, information on vegetarian-friendly restaurants, and much more.
Veganuary: Getting Started
Here five easy tips to help you celebrate Veganuary for just one month or all year long!
- Resolve to eat healthier: It’s never too late to adopt healthier new habits. Try to incorporate more fruits, veggies, and other great-tasting plant-based foods into your diet. Enjoy vegetable fajitas, pasta primavera, lentil-and-spinach soup, black-bean and corn chili, oatmeal with almond milk and blueberries, and other nutritious meals. Many of PETA’s vegan recipes are low in fat and calories, and all are cholesterol-free, of course.
- Go faux: Eat veggie burgers instead of hamburgers, soy sausage rather than pork sausage, and faux chicken, not chicken flesh. Many mainstream companies, including Gardein, Boca, Beyond Meat and Morningstar Farms manufacture mock meats and other meat-free foods. Daiya, So Delicious, and Silk make popular dairy-free products, and The Vegg is a vegan egg yolk that can be used in a variety of recipes.
- Shop with scruples: Most conventional grocery stores now stock an array of vegan options. For an even bigger selection, try Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or Sprouts Farmers Market. The PETA Mall features a variety of vegan-friendly merchants, including Pangea and the Vegetarian Site.
- Eat vegan meals away from home: There’s no need to leave your principles at home when you go out to eat. There are tons of vegetarian- and vegan-friendly restaurants around the nation. Many chain restaurants offer vegan options. For example, Tropical Smoothie Café carries Beyond Meat, Chipotle offers vegan burritos, TCBY serves vegan frozen yogurt, and Starbucks stocks Silk soy milk.
- Find fellow vegans: Seasoned vegans can help you find the “hidden” vegan hot spots in your hometown, and it’s always fun for new vegans to discover things together. If you want to branch out and meet some fellow vegans, try joining a local vegan or vegetarian group or an animal-advocacy organization. And you can always chat with like-minded folks online—just search for vegans on Facebook, Twitter, or other social-media sites. There are even vegan dating sites and vegan meet-up groups around the U.S.
If you aren’t already vegan, please consider going vegan now in honor of Veganuary. Once you see how easy it is to be vegan for 30 days, you’ll realize that you can do it for all 365 days of the year. For even more tips on how to go vegan, be sure to sign up for PETA’s 30-day vegan pledge or download PETA’s vegetarian/vegan starter kit.
Image Credit: Vegetable Face photo via Shutterstock