Well, it was a big day on Friday – the Veganuary 2015 results were published!
Reading the statistics that Clea had posted, it was great to see that over half the participants are staying vegan, but I have to admit to being a little bit sad that 49% of those who took the challenge said they would not be continuing. I wondered why this was, and how their experience might have differed from mine?
For me, I can’t believe it is March already! Has it really been two and a half months since Veganuary helped me change my life? In that time I have: rehomed all the Quorn products in my freezer; discovered chia seeds, and fallen in love with avocado and spinach again, and had a sale at work to get rid of my huge stash of toiletries (hoarder and bargain fanatic!) that were not vegan-friendly (the proceeds of which went to Calf Sanctuary). I’ve changed my shoes, my makeup and all of my household products – my husband joked that becoming vegan was just an excuse for a shopping spree!
I think there are many reasons why people choose not to continue with being vegan, and I would not presume to second guess or question their reasons. Throughout January, I personally felt that I was part of an amazing gang of people, worldwide, who were trying to make a significant change – a change to their health, the environment or, as in my case, for the animals.
Plus, the Veganuary website is so informative, so vibrant – both in content and its colour palette – and accessible, that it made it easy. I had amazing support via the Veganuary group on Facebook, but it was also really helpful to me that I could share knowledge that I was gaining with the group too. I admit to being glued to my laptop for a month!
Although I don’t get withdrawal symptoms now if I can’t access Veganuary on FB for a few hours, I still check in daily. Maybe this has played a part in my continuing enthusiasm for my new lifestyle…
I can see that for some, it could be easy to lose the structure that Veganury offered in helping us to make this change. I think what has helped me, aside from my personal beliefs, was focusing on restocking my larder, re-sorting my wardrobe, sourcing cruelty-free products and attempting new vegan foods. It gave me structure because they were mini challenges in themselves.
So now, I’m going for another challenge, in the form of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. As I’ve already made the transition to vegansim, I’m not going to be using the program exactly as it says on the box. If truth be told, I’m not the most organised person, and some nights after work, I am totally brain-dead and not up to anything cerebral (!). So I’m going to use it as a learning tool that I can dip in and out of. I’m looking forward to those lovely recipes, all of which I will try, but not necessarily within one month.
I guess what I’m most excited about is having Colleen’s vast knowledge and inspiration on tap, so that on days where I may not be feeling at my most enthusiastic, I know that I can access one of her videos or podcasts and get a boost!