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Veganuary: What did it cost you?

Image copyright Getty Images

As more and more people took up a vegan lifestyle last month, for the challenge dubbed “Veganuary”, we ask: can you save money by going vegan?

Right now, interest in veganism is on the up, with the number of people in the UK following a plant-based diet having risen 340% in the last decade, according to market research firm Mintel.

In budget-conscious January, along with health, environmental and animal welfare concerns, a further reason some try to cut animal products from their diets is to save money.

However, does that always end up being the case?

Conor Carey, living in Barcelona, told the BBC that for the first 10 days of January this year he tried to go vegan but actually found he was spending more money.

 

“To be vegan, it helps to be rich. If you open any vegan cookbook you come across all these expensive ingredients.

“Pine nuts are crazy. They’re the most expensive. There is nothing cheap about them.”

According to new research shared with the BBC, Mr Carey may have found his costs went up because he was vegetarian before he tried veganism.

Financial advice company Cleo found that, after three months on the diet, meat eaters who go vegan end up spending £21 less per month on eating out and groceries.

However, vegetarians who opted to go vegan ended up spending £11 more per month.

Mr Carey suggests the findings are pretty spot on. “Protein [from meat] used to be most expensive element of my food, followed by cheese, and when you replace them with raw vegetables you save loads.

“But when I went vegan I was cutting out the dairy from my already quite vegetarian diet, and I could see vegan alternatives would have been more expensive.”

Image copyright Rachel Tranter
Image caption Rachel Tranter with a bowl of vegan pasta

According to Cleo, it is difficult to say for sure whether people save money in January because they have changed their diet as many people are tightening their belts anyway.

However, Rachel Tranter from Abingdon told the BBC: “I didn’t do Veganuary to save money, but it’s nice to look back and see that it has actually saved me money too.”

A former meat eater, she found the higher cost of buying vegan food when she was out was outweighed by cooking more cheaply in the evenings.

“I’ve also been cooking from scratch more than I ever have before, planning meals ahead and knowing more about my nutritional intake than previously. I feel better in myself and have even learned how to cook yummy vegan cake!”

Rachel hopes that she will save more money when some of the purchases she made in January start to pay off throughout the year.

“I spent £3 on a big tub of nutritional yeast, which I haven’t used yet – but I plan to! I’ve topped up on lots of herbs and spices, but I would have used these anyway and they last ages,” she explains.

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Media captionLily Bell lives in the Philippines and described her experience of “Veganuary”

Lily Bell, who lives in the Philippines, also found there were initial costs when she changed diet.

“I have also probably spent about £50 on novel items – things like vegan cheeses from a market stall I found, frozen jackfruit from a very cool wholefoods shop that has just opened near me, vegan chocolate cake from Starbucks which is like £2.50 a slice.”

She too intends to maintain her new diet beyond January.

The demand for vegan foods is on the rise across the world, with the global meat substitute market expected to reach £6.5bn ($7.5 billion) by 2025, according to a study by Allied Market Research.

Riham Samir, a 28-year-old engineer from Cairo, chose to go vegan for health reasons, despite it being an unfamiliar lifestyle in Egypt.

“I didn’t know what the word vegan was until a year ago. People thought I was crazy.

Image copyright Riham Samir
Image caption Riham Samir from Cairo first heard of veganism last year

“There’s no tofu and almond milk here and meat alternatives are not found easily, so I’ve been finding the ingredients like shredded coconut to make milk at home which has been much cheaper.”

She also found herself cooking more at home which took more time but saved her money.

Makanka Mulenga, who lives in Sheffield, has also seen cost savings by trying veganism.

“You spend less if you buy pulses, beans and legumes – about a £30-40 reduction over the month,” she says.

“I will be continuing because I feel the health benefits, in that I have clearer skin and raised energy levels. I thought it might be difficult when going out for something to eat but there are so many vegan options.”

According to a survey by the Veganuary campaign group last year, 62% of respondents said they intended to continue a vegan diet after January.

While some found the resolution costlier than expected Lily, like Riham, says it’s changed her lifestyle for the better.

“I’m definitely going to carry on with my veganism into February. It’s better for my health, better for the planet and the animals and I’m saving money, so what’s not to love?”

 
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What If The World Became Vegan? | Earth Unplugged

In the UK alone there are over half a million people who have decided to live a vegan lifestyle. This involves not eating dairy or meat and instead opting for plant based food. However, across the globe, humans eat a staggering amount of meat and all these animals need land to graze, food to eat and are responsible for the production of methane which excelarates climate change. What would happen if everyone in the world became vegan?

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‘Cheap junk food to blame’ for obesity

Image copyright Cancer Research UK
Jaimie Treharne said she lost four stone in four months after changing her eating habits

Cheap junk food is largely to blame for obesity in Wales, according to a charity calling on the Welsh Government to help people shop more healthily.

Cancer Research UK’s survey found 86% thought offering extra items for free encouraged people to buy junk food.

Jaimie Treharne, from Ammanford, said so-called ‘bogof‘ offers were one of the main reasons she put on weight.

The Welsh Government said it was “considering a range of proposals” to help people stay a healthy weight.

Retailers say they are “fully committed to the health of their customers” and “playing a leading role in offering and promoting healthy options across their outlets”.

The survey of 1,067 adults in Wales also found 68% of those polled thought temporary price reductions influenced them to buy unhealthy food.

The results were published ahead of the Welsh Government launching a three-month consultation into how it should put in place its Healthy Weight, Healthy Wales strategy.

According to the charity, 13 types of cancer are linked to obesity and about 1,000 cases of cancer a year are down to being overweight or obese.

Image copyright Mumemories/Getty

Obesity in Wales is worse than any other UK nation – 59% of adults are overweight, with 23% classed as obese, according to the National Survey for Wales 2016-17.

Mother-of-two Jaimie Treharne, 31, dropped from a size 24 to a size 14/16 after changing her eating habits.

She said: “Buy-one-get-one-free offers were one of the main reasons I put on weight. I would buy biscuits and crisps that were on offer thinking they would last a few weeks.

“That never happened, and I would binge eat as the temptation was too strong.

“I believe limiting the multi-buy offers on food that’s high in fat will encourage families to make better choices and ultimately live healthier lives.”

Ms Treharne witnessed her mother undergoing cancer treatment and, while it was not weight-related, she said she was determined to live life more healthily to stack the odds of not getting the disease in her favour.

“I want to do everything I can to see my children grow up and I know eating healthily will help me achieve this.”

Ms Treharne, who is now a weight plan consultant, said: “I can’t look at my wedding pictures as that’s when I was at my biggest. Something clicked one day and I decided I couldn’t go on living the way I had been.

Image copyright Cancer Research UK
Image caption Ms Treharne said she was at her biggest on her wedding day and couldn’t look at the photos

“Now, my mindset has completely shifted and I now go out of my way to avoid the big supermarkets with multibuy offers so I can make healthier choices for my family.”

Cancer Research UK say the offers are “unhelpful and unhealthy” and “persuaded people to ignore their shopping lists and buy cheap junk food in large quantities”.

“By restricting special offers on unhealthy food and drink, the Welsh Government can do something really effective to influence the contents of our shopping baskets and help us all keep a healthier weight,” said Andy Glyde, from the charity.

The Welsh Retail Consortium said retailers were already “fully committed to the health of their customers and are playing a leading role in offering and promoting healthy options across their outlets”.

“Welsh customers benefit from a wide range of healthy, fresh and affordable options when shopping and retailers are leading the way in providing clear nutritional information,” said Sara Jones, the Welsh Retail Consortium’s head.

“All of which helps customers understand their food and make informed choices.”

The Welsh Government said it is “committed to reducing levels of obesity” and is “considering a range of proposals for our approach to supporting people to achieve and maintain a healthy weight”.

“Our approach is to promote a positive healthy lifestyle throughout life, with an early focus on preventing overweight and obesity in childhood,” said a spokesman.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk

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Vegans banned by pub during hunt


Image caption An employee has been suspended following the banning of vegans

Vegans were banned from a saloon during a Boxing Day hunt, leading to a backlash on social media.

Some people accused The Dorset pub in Lewes, East Sussex, of being “discriminatory”.

Harvey’s, the brewery which owns The Dorset, said it was “appalled”, and federal employees had been suspended over the “inappropriate” sign.

Sussex Police were called when brawls broke out between those taking part in the hunt and protestors.

Image copyright Google Maps Image caption The Dorset caters for vegans, but censored them temporarily

According to its menu, the tavern in Malling Street caters for vegan and gluten-free customers, and it was only during the hunt when the sign appeared in the window.

On Twitter, Gilly Smith said: “Isolating and discriminating against their own patrons? Actually clever marketing gambit. Should be ashamed of themselves and boycotted.”