Veganism: Post Veganuary
Veganuary is a great incentive to get people to look towards veganism, and comes at a great time of the year when people are making new year's resolutions, but now we are through January, is this a fab or something that people will, and can, commit to?
While veganism is not a simple solution to the many ecological crises we face, it is for sure something that many can look towards to reduce their impact. Project Drawdown lists plant-rich diets as the 4th best solution to help fight climate change. The basic reason for this is that land used for growing plants for food, rather than for rearing animals, uses less land resulting in less deforestation. Coupled with the fact that a vast majority of plants grown is actually used to feed the animals eaten by humans, this actually has a larger negative effect as more deforestation results in less carbon sequestration.
People turn to veganism for many reasons, but those who say they do so solely as a benefit to the environment I do not agree with. Currently, a lot of vegan alternative foods are very poorly packaged and make use of materials that are either hard to recycle or some local authorities do not widely provide adequate recycling facilities for.
As a business focused on removing unesecary packaging from the goods we sell, it is hard to find suppliers of these types of alternatives. By nature almost everything we sell is vegan, however, as more options become available to us as a business, we can hopefully introduce more people to alternatives.
As an example, this Veganuary we introduced
a range of tinned convenience foods including Baked Beans with Vegan Sausages and Vegan Meatball Bolognese and everyday alternatives like Egg-free Mayo, and Dairy-free Chocolate Spread all packaged in widely recycled materials, even in a city like Sheffield where we have restricted access to recycling facilities. By promoting events such as Veganuary we hope that we can inspire individuals or whole families to seek out alternatives when some members of the family may not always be on board.
Another example of a plant-based alternative that we have been able to introduce is that we recently invested in a dispenser for oat milk, As can bee seen in the chart below, oat milk requires significantly fewer resources to produce compared to dairy. So by being able to introduce a vegan alternative that can also be purchased packaging-free, it's an all around win.
The BBC also has a really interesting tool for comparing types of food and their impact in a few different areas which you can find here.
Veganism also supports principals such as ensuring that the products you buy are not tested on animals, so look for products certified by The Vegan Society, By adopting veganism, or aspects of it, it can extend into other areas of your life that you may not initially think of, so it's always good to think of other changes that you can make.
Even if don't continue with veganism, or even go totally vegetarian, now that Veganuary is over then it's great to look to reduce meat consumption, and rather than having one day a week that is meat-free, then you only have meat once a week and work on making a majority of meals revolve around a plant-based diet.