Veganuary… what’s the big fuss?
The vegan diet is having a moment.
Here in the UK, more than 600,000 people have sworn off animal products, up a mind-boggling 400% in the last 12 years. And once you start adding the sometimes-vegan veggies and the meat-eating flexitarians into the mix, it’s no surprise that vegan food is flying off the shelves these days.
The bonkers growth of veganism is thanks in no small part to a little campaign called Veganuary.
What is Veganuary?
If you haven’t heard of the annual event, (where have you been?!) it’s simple: Veganuary’s meaning is hidden in its name. Each year, it nudges us all towards a more ethical way of living by challenging us to try a vegan diet in January. Some think of it as a vegan trial run. Others see it as a way to reset after an overly indulgent festive season...
Whatever their reason for joining Veganuary, the numbers are rocketing sky high. Last year, 400,000 people signed up. Brands are getting in on the fun, too – even the ones you’d least expect. Remember the Greggs’ vegan sausage roll? Yeah, you can thank Veganuary for that. Last year, more than 1,200 new plant-based products and menus hit shelves and restaurants for Veganuary.
And is Veganuary 2021 going to be even bigger? Abso-bloodly-lutely it is. But if you’re still wondering what the big fuss is about, just keep scrolling.
Why eating vegan is good for the environment
When you look at the cold, hard facts, it’s really no surprise that veganism has exploded. And there’s one man at the centre of the storm: Sir David Attenborough. While not vegan himself, David Attenborough’s documentaries put a glaring spotlight on the many ways in which humans are throwing a wrecking ball into the earth – and it’s led many of us to wonder how we can reduce our own carbon footprint.
The answer? Eat vegan. Researchers found that your average British vegan’s diet emits nearly half of the CO2 that a meat eater’s does.
Going vegan could be the “single biggest way” to reduce your environmental impact – and those are the University of Oxford’s words, not ours. They found that ditching meat and dairy products could reduce one person’s carbon footprint from food by almost three quarters. If everyone did it, we’d slash global farmland use by 75%. Sounds good, yeah?
Why eating vegan is good for animals
Of course, a vegan diet is also good news for animals. The UK has high animal welfare standards, but even here over a billion farmed animals are killed every year in slaughterhouses – and the details aren’t always pretty.
Data gathered by The Vegan Society shows the vast majority of chickens and pigs live in cramped, windowless quarters, and a number of dairy cows get bacterial infections while pumping out up to 10 times more milk than they naturally would.
Intensive farming is also bad news for wildlife. Thanks to our food system, almost 90% of land animals are likely to lose some of their habitat by 2050.
Why eating vegan is good for our health
There’s also something in it for us. More stats from The Vegan Society show that eating a vegan diet can cut your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by almost a quarter and make you 32% less likely to die from heart disease. Plant-based diets are also linked to a 35% lower risk of prostate cancer.
The Netflix documentary The Game Changers sparked huge interest in the vegan diet after it showed that eating plant-based had measurable impacts on the fitness of elite athletes like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The ‘vegan trend’ as we often hear it called, is no trend at all – it’s a train that’s not stopping any time soon. By 2025, vegans and vegetarians will make up a quarter of the UK’s population. Throw in flexitarians, and it’ll be just under half of all Brits. Next stop world domination?
Vegan snack ideas
That’s a lot of food for thought. But as you know, we at Wholey Moly aren’t just about the facts and figures – we’re after game-changing flavours that are great for the planet and keep us fighting fit.
We know that vegans have spent years and years bored out of their minds by yet another bag of carrots – okay, okay, we actually love carrots. But as a snack with your afternoon brew? No thanks.
There was a serious lack of vegan sweets in the UK. That’s why we ripped up the rulebook to make our cookies, which are totally vegan as well as being loaded up with decadent flavours and powerhouse nutrients (psst, you can read all about our wild journey creating Wholey Moly here and here).
Plant based, 100% natural, gluten free and absolutely no refined sugars – what more could you want?!
We’ll admit that while our cookies are great on their own, they’re also delicious as part of healthy vegan snacks.
So if you’re on the hunt for Veganuary recipes, then we have something just for you. The brilliant Hannah from @mylifeisforliving created a real stunner of a sweet treat using our cookies, and we can’t wait to share it with you. So without further ado, drumroll please...
Chocolate chickpea tart
For the base:
350g Wholey Moly cookie crumbles
60g coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup/honey
For the topping:
1 tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
60g coconut oil, melted
50g cacao powder
100g maple syrup (or honey if you prefer)
1 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
Method: start by making the base – blend all the ingredients together in a mixer, then press down firmly into a large tin lightly greased with coconut oil using a spatula. Place in the freezer.
Now make the topping – blend all the ingredients until smooth, then spread over the base. Drizzle over your favourite nut butter and then freeze again to set. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve and then slice into squares.
Give it a try on and let us know what you think! 🙃
Wholey Moly team