IF you’ve overheard more people than usual asking for legumes and soy this month, they could be partaking in Veganuary.
In January vegans are encouraging others to give their lifestyle a try until the end of the month.
According to The Vegan Society a vegan is someone who tries to live without exploiting animals for the benefit of animals, people and the planet by eating a plant-based diet, free from all animal products including meat, cow’s milk, eggs or honey, for example.
A vegan also avoids non-food products derived from animals such as leather and wool.
Emily Reeves, of Warrnambool, has been vegan for three years and was vegetarian for about 20 years prior. She said her drive to remain vegan was based on her love of animals.
“Primarily it’s about the protection of animals,” she said. “As early as I can remember I was always rescuing little animals, bringing them home and looking after them.”
Ms Reeves said that as a teenager, her focus moved to making choices about her lifestyle and diet that would help animals.
She said Veganuary was a good opportunity for people to try something new, even if it was only for a month.
“I’ve got a few friends in the UK who are doing it and it has been interesting to see their Facebook posts about their experience.
“It’s just a good opportunity for people to try something different in their lives ... even if it means their diet is healthier for just one month.”
She said benefits of a vegan diet included a healthy mind and body.
“The first benefit in my lifestyle is protecting animals — psychologically that is a terrific place to be in.
“From a health perspective my diet is full of fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes and beans ... that makes me healthier in myself.”
Ms Reeves said she didn’t know any Warrnambool vegans and it was challenging to satisfy her diet locally.
“It can sometimes be difficult to get a variety of food, both in restaurants and also in the supermarket. I was based in Melbourne for nearly 20 years and it was much more accepted and recognised.
“I’ve noticed some supermarkets in Warrnambool have vegetarian products but the range isn’t the same (as Melbourne).”