November Eco Challenge: Try Vegan

November challenge try vegan

A woman in a restaurant collapses to the floor clutching her heart as her partner desperately shouts out, “is anyone in here a doctor?” 

A man rises from his chair and replies “I’m a vegan”. 

Veganism may seem like a big commitment (and the stereotype of a preachy vegan can be off putting) but there’s no denying that more and more of us are turning to a plant-based diet. 

Currently, 7.2 million Brits (just over 10% of the population) are meat free, of which nearly 1.5 million are vegans. However, 61% of Brits still say they are not ready to take the plunge. 

But they should consider it. Researchers at Oxford University found that if everyone went vegan it could reduce agricultural carbon emissions by two thirds and in the process 8 million lives would be saved due to healthier diets. Globally, 14.5% of carbon emissions are due to meat and dairy farming.

Nor has there been a better time to forego your favourite burger as the meat-alternatives industry is booming. Currently worth roughly £6 billion globally, there is a vast array of fake-meat options on the market for wavering vegans to choose from. 

Dining out has been made easier too, with Deliveroo reporting a doubling of vegan restaurants on their app last year.

Of course, meat isn’t the only ingredient vegans avoid and options for plant-based milk are all around and more popular than ever. Oat, rice, almond and soy milk are all available at most supermarkets and last year 62% of shoppers said they’d purchased one of these green alternatives. 

By 2025 it is projected that one quarter of the British population will be vegetarian or vegan; so if you’re considering joining them why not try Go Eco’s November vegan challenge to get you started? 

In January we challenged you to try a veggie diet. Now we’ve stepped it up and are equipping you with three steps to ease you into the plant-based life, one chickpea at a time*.

*you don’t have to eat chickpeas

1 – Switch out meat for plant-based alternatives for one week 

Usually make lasagna with beef mince? Make it with Quorn instead. Having a sausage sandwich? Switch those pork ones out for a veggie brand! The only thing to bear in mind is that you’ll need to step up the herbs and spices when you do this, as well as adding more liquid to make sure your food isn’t dry. 

Vegan sausage rolls

Once you’ve got your head around this (because let’s face it it’s not that hard) consider giving vegan alternatives to dairy a try. Use oat or almond milk in a recipe or try out vegan cheese. Yeast flakes make an excellent option for a replacement  in cheese based recipes, but most major supermarkets now stock nut or other manufactured vegan cheeses. 

2 – Find your favourite restaurant

Vegan restaurants

As stated above the vegan restaurant business is bigger and tastier than ever. Switch those Friday night takeaways for a vegan alternative, or make your date night a vegan affair. The vegan option on restaurant menus are often bland and samey so opening your eyes to a wider array of dishes might even inspire your home cooking. 

3 – Get informed on veganism

As always, our mission at Go Eco is to stimulate your interest in green issues. Veganism is a great starting point to learn about the damages of industrial agriculture and meat rearing practices. Go out and learn something and then talk to your friends about it. 

Good luck!

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