Jane Lambert, editor of PlantBased magazine, looks back on her Veganuary journey

January 1st kicks off another Veganuary campaign, and it also marks three years since I first decided to take the plunge and try a vegan diet.

I’m a graduate of the Veganuary class of 2018, but it honestly feels as though I’ve been vegan forever! It’s hard for me to remember a time when I ate animal products without even thinking about the impact my choices were having. 

As thousands of people prepare to make the change, I find myself thinking back to my first month. I’d been surrounded by vegans for a while in my job, so I’d been immersed in the plant-based world, and had eaten plenty of vegan food. But for various reasons, I hadn’t made the leap to going vegan myself. 

That was until I decided, on a whim, to try Veganuary. New Year’s resolutions have never been my strong suit, but January 2018 felt like the right time. Not least because when you take part in Veganuary, you feel as though you are part of a team. A whole community of people who are trying this alongside you, and a wider group of people who are already vegan and are on-hand (either in person or virtually) to provide support and guidance should you need it.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but in the end, I found it so easy. With the privileges that come with being able to access plenty of options in a supermarket, and the knowledge that had come from being immersed in the vegan world for some time, I took like it to a duck to water, and I’ve never looked back. Within about a week, I knew that this wasn’t just a month-long endeavour for me. I’m a vegan for life! 

Three years on, I’m always so excited when January rolls around, and not just because this is the month when brands and companies release all of their brand new vegan launches. Every year I love looking through the #veganuary hashtag on Instagram, spotting new people posting about their first steps on their vegan journey. 

Claire is starting Veganuary 2021 with her 17 year old daughter. “My daughter and I are very excited to start Veganuary on 1st January! We are both currently omnivores but I have been a vegetarian on and off for years. Lack of time and planning has been my downfall but I am very keen to switch to a vegan diet for my health and wellbeing, and my daughter is keen to understand more about the social effects of the movement. My other daughter is a pescatarian and my husband is fully willing to support us. We can’t wait!” 

Also taking part in Veganuary is Nicole, from Madrid. “I heard about Veganuary from my college roommate. I want to participate to support her, the animals and the environment. I love cooking so i am looking forward to challenging myself in the kitchen. I am worried about eating out as many restaurants in Madrid are not vegan friendly.”

I’m looking forward to catching up with Claire and Nicole in the next couple of weeks to see how they are getting on, and if the journey is what they expected or something different. If this is your first vegan month as well, please head over and say hi on Instagram (@plantbasedmagazine), we’d love to hear from you. Tell us what you’re eating, what you’re cooking and what you’re buying! 

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