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FAD FOOD?: Turns out, a lot of vegans would not recommend Veganuary

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Respondents raised concerns that the month-long challenge 'depicts veganism as a fad diet, when in reality it is a holistic lifestyle'. Others questioned whether four weeks is enough to create sustainable, plant-based habits.

RACHEL MOSS: If you’re flirting with the idea of veganism, pledging to take part in Veganuary might seem like the obvious first move. But some fully fledged vegans are not convinced it’s the best way to convert people long-term. In a poll of Reddit’s largest vegan subreddit, r/vegan, which has more than 756,000 members, 41% of the community said they would not recommend Veganuary to people.

Respondents raised concerns that the month-long challenge “depicts veganism as a fad diet, when in reality it is a holistic lifestyle”. Others questioned whether four weeks is enough to create sustainable, plant-based habits.

Bella, a 30-something blogger from London, has reservations about the transient nature of the new year initiative… “It doesn’t stick, it’s restrictive in the sense it’s only a month and the mindset is most people will look to February when they can finally eat cheese or meat, instead of creating a lifestyle change with the view to permanently change eating habits”…

Veganuary can of course work for some people and we also heard from those who’ve been inspired to continue beyond their first four weeks… HuffPost put some the concerns raised in this article to the official Veganuary organisers. Dr Toni Vernelli, head of communications, pointed out that… “40% of our 2021 participants said they intended to stay vegan after completing their one-month pledge and 75% of the rest intended to reduce their meat and dairy consumption by at least 50%, so we know Veganuary is helping people to make positive long-term dietary changes”…

Stephanie Marshall signed up to Veganuary last year and she’s been vegan ever since. She says the key to sticking to the lifestyle long-term (whether you start with Veganuary or not) is to stop judging yourself for “slip-ups”. “There are no vegan police that will lock you up if you get something wrong. Trying is what is important,” says the 32-year-old from Stockport, who owns the vegan business Treehouse Bakery…

Professor Ben Selwyn, an expert in international political economy and development sociology at the University of Sussex, says… “While it is great that so many people are including more plant-based food in their diets, if we are to combat climate change, we need to engage in a longer political campaign,” he tells HuffPost. “We need to make the government change the way we use our land and produce and consume our food”. SOURCE…

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