A campaign called ‘Veganuary’ is under way encouraging people to try a vegan diet for a month and has over 50,000 people worldwide have signed up.

Largely associated with making resolutions and changes, people are now trying out the vegan diet for the whole of January, but can it be healthy to have a diet which substitutes meat, fish and dairy products?

The campaign’s main focus is to promote animal rights and that they shouldn’t be eaten or used in food production.

Susan Hart, a Nutritionist from Nottingham, said that she feels great since she started a vegan diet and feels a lot more energetic.

She said: “I am already a vegetarian so it wasn’t much of a big leap for me to go vegan.

“Nutritionally I know I am eating a balanced diet and actually I’ve realised I’m not missing an actual lot.”

Susan went on to say that there are lots of vegan products out there, which are great to help keep a nutritional diet.

She added: “You can find something that works for you, I am trying so many new products and it’s brilliant.”

Since Veganuary, there are more options than any other month and a range of places are promoting different choices for vegans.

The Peacock, a restaurant and pub in Nottingham, became fully vegan in September.

Joseph Phillips, a bar tender at The Peacock, turned vegetarian at the beginning of December.

He said: “We have definitely noticed more customers since the change over as well as our existing customers.”

Paige Cronin, a student from Nottingham Trent University, was a vegetarian for eight years but decided to turn vegan last year.

She said: “I made the transition for ethical reasons, after further educating myself through documentaries on the dairy and egg industry.

Nottingham is a great city for vegans, with a large variety of restaurants, cafes and independent health stores.

The 20-year-old said: “My personal favourite is The Peacock, the food is great quality and the atmosphere is friendly.”

For most, the love for animals is the main reason for the change but there are other things such as your health and the environment, which play a key part in being vegan.

She added: “I think Veganuary is great as it is getting lots of press coverage, which means lots of people will be talking about it and hopefully will be more on board and try it out.”

However, Ellie Irons, a bar tender at The White Lion in Worksop, opposes the Vegan diet and believes that a meat eater can have an equally healthy diet.

The 21-year-old, said: “As much as I like to eat meat, I am also an animal lover.

“Vegans will argue that meat eaters can’t love animals if we eat them, yet I believe that people who eat meat can be ethical meat and dairy consumers if you buy products which you know have cared for the animals, for example free range eggs.”

Courtesy of Veganuary.com

Traditional Burger with Sweet Tomato Relish

Preparation

Serves 4.

Cooking Instructions (20-30 Minutes)
  • Relish: Place tomato and onion mix in small barbecue cast iron pot, add chutney and garlic. Place pot on barbecue and simmer for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Marinade: Combine BBQ sauce and mustard to create basting for Burgers.
  • Grill the Traditional Burgers on the barbecue for 8 minutes, or until cooked through, basting and turning regularly.
  • Slice the buns in half, lightly brush with olive oil, toast lightly on the barbecue.
  • Assemble the burger: Layer with relish, sliced tomato and watercress. Add the Burgers, gherkins, red onion and more relish.
    Ingredients.

    • 1 Box FRY’S TRADITIONAL BURGERS
    • 1/2 Can of tomato and onion mix
    • 1 tbsp Chutney
    • 1/2 Garlic clove, crushed
    • 75 ML Mustard
    • 200 ML Barbecue sauce
    • Salt and pepper
    • 4 Seeded buns
    • Olive oil for grilling
    • 2 Medium gherkins, sliced
    • 1 Red Onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 Tomato, sliced
    • Rocket