Happy World Vegan Month! Right now, all over the world, people are “pledging” to go vegan for a week or a month. To most people that may not sound like a happy month at all, but it’s well worth considering.
Whether you’re a vegan or not, there are endless reasons why we should all be delighted that the movement has grown so fast in the last few years. You don’t have to be vegan to feel its affects. Through adapting their diets to make sure they get all the vitamins they need, to pressuring big corporations and governments for more ethical products, vegans are giving food the focus it deserves.
They are also doing their bit to reduce food miles and emissions, all the while campaigning for the rest of us to do the same. A study over the summer by the University of Oxford found that a meat-based diet produces on average more than double the emissions of a vegan one.
They’re teaching us a thing or two as well. My vegan and vegetarian friends have cooked me some fantastic meals, many of which I now make regularly. It’s saving me money, encouraging me to eat more vegetables, and reducing my meat intake. While I have no plans to give up meat, I recognise that it shouldn’t be the focus of my diet. I am now vegetarian every other day – not consciously, but because lots of my favourite meals are meat-free. I have also learnt lots of new techniques as I work around the limits of reducing dairy and meat products. I make cakes without eggs, burgers without beef, and pastry without butter. I try to drink vegan beer (thankfully almost all beer is vegan anyway) and refuse to buy any animal product that doesn’t have a guarantee of quality such as Freedom Food, free range or organic status.
Veganism has helped JamieOliver.com produce some amazing content too. Our writers have made healthier no-bake vegan fudge bars, invented the meat-less sloppy Joe and attended the world’s only mainstream vegetarian music festival in Sweden. On top of that, Jamie’s come up with some incredible recipes for those on a vegan diet, some of which are in the gallery below.
七個非常簡單的晚餐素食食譜 Seven super-easy vegan dinners
So, whatever your diet, celebrate vegan month, consider what you eat and whether it’s good for you and for the environment. Remember that what we sit down to at each meal affects a lot more than how hungry we are; small changes like meat-free Mondays or going vegetarian or vegan one month of the year can make a huge difference, and may even change your life.
Jonny Garrett is deputy editor of Jamieoliver.com. To say he loves food is an understatement, and to his mother’s dismay he is also obsessed with beer. If he could, he’d drink American IPAs and eat sushi all day, but he has settled for editing and writing blogs and news for the website.
Special Thanks to Freeman Law for the Chinese Translation