We asked Vegan blogger Ella Gale to come up with some vegan recipes that everyone can enjoy to celebrate National Vegan Month this November
First Ella debunks the myths associated with living and eating a vegan diet, sharing her wisdom this National Vegan Month.
“‘I actually like this…and I’m not even veeeeeegan!’ Amazingly, this is a sentence I have heard on multiple occasions, as if vegan food is bland, boring and unpalatable…” says Ella.
“This outdated view could not be further from the truth – I am a firm believer that food without meat & dairy products can still be great food, even before considering the up soar in vegan-friendly dining experiences. In and out of home plantbased food is a phenomenon with restaurants springing up round the country and supermarkets such as M&S, Aldi and Tesco expanding their vegan-friendly product ranges all the time.
“But whilst I admire those who are full-time, committed vegans, I also recognise that for many the concept of going full-vegan seems unachievable. It’s a defeatist point of view to think that an all-or-nothing approach is the only way to make a different, setting many up for failure & leading most to give up on the idea before even trying it: ‘I would be vegan but I could never give up cheese’ – ring any bells?
“Could the answer be a happy in-between? – a more flexible approach; a diet that encourages us to take responsibility to reduce the negative impact our meat and dairy consumption has on the world, but is not so restrictive that it deters omnivores, flexitarians or vegetarians from giving it a try.
Consuming meat & dairy consciously: a norm shift from animal-based to plant-based meals, we must recognise our contribution as individuals to make a difference on a larger scale.
“Stats from the vegan calculator blow this statement out of the water: One person following a vegan diet for one month could save 30 animals’ lives, 124,917 litres of water and 543 kg of grain that could otherwise used to feed those in need. Annually, one vegan could save 3,322kg of CO2. That’s scary. What that also means is that a flexitarian – that is, a person consciously reducing their consumption of animal and animal products – could have a real positive impact if, say, they cut their meat and dairy consumption in half.
“Vegan-friendly milks use less land, water and generate less CO2 than dairy milk so a simple switch can do a lot of good. There’s so many options to chose from too!
“If that’s not enough, there’s been numerous studies to show vegans live longer, healthier lives.
‘But humans are supposed to eat meat!’
“Although our ancestors ate meat, their meat consumption was radically different to modern day factory farmed, mechanically reconstituted, processed, hormone injected meat that is on the plate today. Unless you are hunting your own deer or wild boar (unlikely) this point is moot.
‘Okay, I’m interested, but where do I start?’
“A day, a week, a month eating as vegans do will engage brain to pay attention to the food we are consuming and recognise it for what it is and where it’s come from. What better time to do this than World Vegan Month or sign up for Veganuary. Give some @lentilface recipes a go with your friends and family and enjoy trying something new!”
Ella’s Top Tips for reducing meat & dairy consumption this National Vegan Month
#1 Be mindful of the ingredients you are using & where they’ve come from#
#2 Get creative in the kitchen – try new recipes and substitute ingredients with the multitude of plantbased alternatives now readily available
#3 Enjoy the food! What we eat is a huge part of life so find ingredients and dishes you love preparing, cooking and most importantly eating. Vegan can be delicious!
“In summary, flexitarianism has backing by environmental and social sciences and you will lose nothing by giving it a go. If you aren’t open to becoming vegan or vegetarian, at least be a vegan ally by learning more about the cause and trying some new recipes; you just might enjoy it.
Read more from Ella: @lentilface on Instagram or visit her blog.
Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up-to-date with all the latest news, reviews, events, competitions and more from Staffordshire Living. Or have your say on this article by commenting below.