January is traditionally a month for people to try Veganism.  There is lots and lots of information about it.  If you do decide to give it a go, you might even ask people to sponsor you and give the money to a charity of your choice.  Some people never eat meat again and adopt a vegan way of life forever. Environmentally we are all encouraged to eat less meat. A vegan diet probably has about half the carbon footprint of a typical meat eaters.  However one has to consider lots of things when choosing your food choices.  Those organic runner beans, might seem a good choice, but the impact of them being flown in from Kenya and wrapped in plastic hopefully will make you think again.  Beef has a particularly high carbon footprint far more than poultry. A vegan diet isn’t for everyone.  Maybe a meat free Monday would be more achievable.  But if you fancy giving it a go. I wish you the best of luck and don’t beat yourself up if you do fall off the wagon. 

Many would be vegans fall into the trap of buying lots of expensive meat and dairy substitutes, these are usually very expensive and unnecessary.  With beans and nuts you can get the protein rich diet you need.  Both rice and oat milk can be made for pennies.  Quinoa  and tofu too are rich in protein.  When we think about our ancestors, they probably only had meat occasionally, with vegetables and fruit making up a greater part of their diet.

Written by Anne Edward, PF Environmental Officer