You probably clicked on this article just to know what the hell is Veganuary, so here it is: it is a movement that started in the UK in 2014 that urges people to go vegan for a month, specifically January.
The movement also has a website where you can pledge to take the challenge or a lifestyle change as some may rightfully call it.
“Veganuary, which asks people to ditch meat this month,” the New York Times writes, has emerged as this year’s trendy resolution. But beyond being a trend (let’s hope people continue on being one beyond January), there are practical, moral, and health considerations that are on the line here.
The bad news
If like me, you have had your hands on a copy of Jonathan Safran Foer’s new book, “We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast,” chances are you are unaware of just how big the impact of the animal farming industry.
Here are some facts from the book:
- According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), livestock is a leading cause of climate change, responsible for approximately 7,516 million tons of CO2 emissions per year, accounting for 14.5 percent of annual global emissions.
- If the number of cows grown for food consumption is to make a country, they would be the third-highest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and US. —UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
- The Amazon is being deforested to give way to animal agriculture—91 percent of it.
The rest you would have to find out by reading the book yourself.
The good news
We can still change the way we eat after acknowledging the fact that it is one of the leading causes of climate change. Something as simple as starting a little habit of eating meat only at dinner, or skipping it altogether, even for just one month can curb emissions, and hopefully, impact prevailing animal farming practices.
For aspiring vegans, this may be a good month to start going plant-based full time, while we’re still high on the new year’s resolutions. Why not start with cooking vegan at home?
Whether kickstarting a new lifestyle or continuing on, here are some recipes from our archives that are easy-to-follow and vegan-friendly.[READ: Plant-based food swaps for the aspiring vegan]
If you’re not the type to cook, being vegan in the country has recently become more manageable thanks to the rise of plant-based dining options.
(Don’t believe us? Here’s a list of some vegan restaurants for every price point)
But even outside of the country, finding a vegan restaurant is a breeze thanks to this website called the HappyCow.
In Makati alone, there are many vegan options with different cuisines to choose from. There’s Two Chickpeas, a place specializing in—you guessed it—chickpea dishes like falafel and hummus. But more than advocating for plant-based eating, they also host a zero-waste pantry where you can buy refillable essentials.
In Poblacion, Cosmic is the go-to place for life-long and aspiring vegans alike. There have their plant-based versions of Filipino favorites sisig, kare-kare, and even bagnet.
Green Bar Café in Legazpi Village offers an expansive plant-based menu from wraps, sandwiches, bowls to desserts like donuts, cinnamon rolls, and cookies.
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If you’re out of town, The Farm at San Benito also has two dedicated restaurants for vegan, vegetarian, and pescetarians called Alive! and Pesce. Fret not, they use mostly vegetables grown from their own garden and fishes from small communities in Batangas.
For desserts, there are also stand-alone shops in and around Manila. Here are seven of them for your perusal: 7 local vegan dessert places you can’t miss.
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