9, January 2023
All About Veganuary: We Asked Our Team
Our products have been proudly vegan since Rivka started making them in 1974, but for many, the idea of going vegan is brand new. In 2022, more people than ever signed up to Veganuary, a commitment to go vegan for the month of January. If you’re considering trying in 2023, you might have a few questions. Enter our Marketing Team, who between them have experience of both veganism and Veganuary. Here’s what they had to say about it…
Are you vegan or did you do Veganuary?
Imogen (Studio Manager): I’m not Vegan right now, but I’ve done Veganuary a few times and usually continue for a while after January ends. I enjoy finding new recipes and a wider array of ingredients and putting more consideration into meal. It’s a good reminder to do this – and a great time of year to start afresh. I’m doing it again this year.
Ellie (Social Media & Community Manager): I’m a vegan and have been for four years.
Sophie (Marketing Executive): I did Veganuary! I really enjoyed it and would say I still eat 90% vegan now.
Shelagh (Office Manager): I did Veganuary in 2020 as a challenge from our boss.
Anna (E-Commerce Account Manager): I did Veganuary, but I eat 90% vegan year-round.
Why did you decide to go vegan / do Veganuary?
Imogen: Obviously, for the benefit of planet and animals. Also improving my diet and being more considered about what I’m choosing to eat. I wanted to have a go at Veganuary as focusing on something for the month seemed manageable and there’s a good chance habits will form and stick!
Ellie: Sustainability, climate change – and I’m an animal lover! I became a vegetarian first; my neighbours had pet pigs and I used to go round and feed them with their grandchildren, who named them Peppa and George. One day, the neighbours invited us to a hog roast party and I was horrified to realise they were going to eat Peppa and George! I never ate meat again – and after three years of being a vegetarian, I decided to go vegan.
Sophie: I thought it would be a fun challenge for the new year and get me trying some new recipes and experimenting more.
Shelagh: I thought it would be interesting to see what vegan food was available and what interesting meals I could make, especially as I am also Coeliac.
Anna: To see if I could last a full month on vegan food.
What’s your favourite vegan meal?
Imogen: I love beetroot, so a beetroot and hummus falafel wrap with all the salad and fries! Or a carbonara which uses mushrooms and nutritional yeast, super creamy and delicious.
Ellie: Homemade curry! I love making a vegan curry, packing it with plenty of vegetables and coconut milk.
Sophie: Anything with tofu – one of my fave things to cook is a ramen with crispy tofu.
Shelagh: I made a fabulous vegan and gluten-free lasagne.
Anna: Roast cauliflower & courgette with butter beans, wild garlic pesto and roasted hazelnuts.
How did you change your habits beyond food?
Imogen: Over the years, I’ve closely monitored my skincare and cleaning products around the home to ensure they’re vegan and marine-life safe. I do still own and wear leather shoes, so I guess that’s the next step.
Ellie: Before becoming vegan (when I was vegetarian) I was already acutely aware of the issues around animal product testing, so learnt about what cosmetic and skincare brands were and weren’t cruelty free. This led me to think about products being vegan as a whole, e.g. not using animal derived ingredients. I started off avoiding leather, then studied a little deeper and found that fake leather shoes are sometimes made with glue containing animal by-products. Now I’m much more careful about where I buy things – and I mostly buy second-hand. Overall, I have become more conscious when shopping and choosing brands.
Sophie: Veganuary made me look at all my consumption as a whole and I’d say 90% of my clothes/accessories are second-hand now. I also buy products that are more natural / less harsh, especially cleaning products. And I think more about everyday plastic, using tote bags, Tupperware where possible and no more cling film!
Shelagh: Veganuary was a last minute decision for me, so mainly about the food. Definitely more to research if I do it again!
Anna: About 6 or 7 years ago, I switched my cosmetics to vegan and cruelty free ones, which meant leaving behind some of my favourite brands. I was committed to replace every single item in my bathroom with vegan and cruelty free products, and Faith In Nature made it easy! I no longer buy leather products, either.
What was / is the most surprising thing for you about your vegan experience?
Imogen: How many plants and veggies I’d been missing out on. Also that there’s always a substitute for something, like aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas) instead of egg whites. I’ve got a sweet tooth, and I love chocolate milk – the plant-based chocolate versions are just as good.
Ellie: It’s easy! There are so many alternatives to animal products and lots of restaurants offer vegan options now.
Sophie: There are so many vegan alternatives to try e.g., vegan Walnut Whips!
Shelagh: I found lunches difficult, because my diet is already restricted, but most meals were really simple!
Anna: You can create literally anything you want and make it vegan and it will taste as good as non-vegan, if not better. Once I made a vegan cake for colleagues and no one wanted to eat it. So, I tried again, this time not mentioning the part about it being vegan. After the last piece had disappeared, I told the truth. My colleagues said the cake was delicious and they’d have never guessed it was vegan!