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Jane Bates: When Veganuary seems a diet challenge too far

Gloomy days and chocolate conspire against the meat-free, dairy-free nutritional trend

Gloomy days and chocolate conspire against the meat-free, dairy-free nutritional trend


Picture: Alamy

‘I reckon that if the cow was milked in 2018, which it must have been, then it’s okay to eat them.’

A friend is doing Veganuary and was gazing longingly at a box of Maltesers, which were a Christmas present. Milk chocolate is not allowed as it contains animal products, and after week three her willpower was wobbling. Her fingers faltered over the cellophane wrapper.

A lifestyle, not a fad

It’s great to go vegan – I’m veggie myself and love vegan food. For her though, it was not the right time. Not only has she just had a baby, it’s also January, the gloomiest month of the year when we all have colds and spring seems far away.

‘I suggested she do it gradually when she wasn’t immediately post-partum, and when the days are brighter. Vegapril, maybe?’

A drastic change in diet does not seem like a good idea at a time like this. I suggested she do it gradually when she wasn’t immediately post-partum, and when the days are brighter. Vegapril, maybe? That box of Maltesers was cracked open faster than you could say fermented tofu.

Embracing the vegan lifestyle just for a month is a bit of a fad, but it has certainly brought important issues to the fore and made us all consider carefully what we eat. It has made us think about the cost of livestock farming to the planet, and to our fellow creatures, and about the health benefits of a meat-free, dairy-free diet.

But you have to be careful how you do it if you want to get the nutritional balance right. It’s worth time, thought and effort, and should not be done on a whim, because it is worth sticking to. I shall certainly support her when the time comes, I may even join her. Unless someone gives me a box of Maltesers.

 

 

Jane Bates is an ophthalmic nurse in Hampshire


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