There have long been many ways to greet the New Year. Getting more active. Eating less food. Cutting out the booze. But in the last few years a new resolution has gained momentum. Going vegan for a month. So how and when did this start? Might you want to try it? And how can you reward yourself if you do? Read on for the answers (which include an absolutely cracking afternoon tea).
Although many of us think of it as a month, Veganuary is actually both an event and an organisation. The word refers to a pledge by people to follow a vegan lifestyle for a month – no prizes for guessing which one. But Veganuary is also a UK charity that promotes veganism more broadly.
Good question. The Vegan Society defines it as trying to exclude all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals. So that means avoiding all foods that come wholly or partly from animals, and eating plant-based dishes instead. It also means only buying and using clothes, cosmetics and goods that don’t include animals products or involve testing on animals.
The plant-based pledge all kicked off in 2014 and has gathered size and speed ever since. Last year a whopping 580,000 people signed up from 209 countries. Veganuary also says the campaign prompted the launch of more than 825 new vegan products and menus. And generated more than 1500 media stories
Another good question. The bit about the charity generating hundreds of new menus is important. If you want to start eating vegan food at home it’s going to take some effort to weed out any foods that come wholly or partly from animals. But at least you know what you’ve put in the pan. But when you go out, simply opting for a ‘Vegetarian’ dish won’t cut it.
Which means those trying Veganuary need to take a long look at the menu before booking a table at a hotel or restaurant. It can be deeply frustrating to see lots of choice for meat-eaters and vegetarians, but nothing for you. Which is why the gorgeous grade II* listed Great House Hotel in South Wales has gone the extra scone and created a fabulous Vegan Afternoon Tea menu.
If you head to this historic hotel in Laleston, Bridgend – just 25 minutes from both Cardiff and Swansea – you’re in for a sweet totally vegan treat. It’s also quite a meal. The falafel is dotted with harissa tahini. Crispy jackfruit sits in a hoisin, spring onion and cucumber wrap. Rich brownies come with cinder toffee. Coconut panna cotta comes with lime gel and mango and mint salsa. And vegan scones come with violet gin jam and whipped oat fraîche. All without using any non-plant based ingredients.
Because it’s such a top-notch, bespoke menu, you need to book a table for four. But at just £19.95 per person, and with such a fabulous spread, even those not going vegan will be tempted. Whats more, £1 from every tea goes to charity. Which means a glorious and feel-good Veganuary reward will be yours – or whoever you choose to give it to as a gift. Enjoy!