HAVE you heard of Veganuary? 

An amalgam of two words Vegan and January, it’s an initiative of supermarkets and influencers to convince people to eat a lot less meat after the festive break, which ends in Spain on the Reyes on January 6.

Christin Hagemeier

Its ethos is simple: eating animal products has a high ecological footprint, due to the amount of land and produce needed to raise livestock.

Instead, people should eat more environmentally-friendly foods, such as vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, pulses and nuts, etc, etc… You see, the non-animal-product list is never ending!

But, what is vegan?

Vegetarian means to eat no groceries to which animals died for, like meat and fish. Vegan includes avoiding all animal products, like cheese, eggs, milk, yogurt, caviar, and more. 

But why should we avoid animal-free products, I hear you ask.

Let me explain: To produce cheese, a cow needs to produce milk. To produce milk constantly, the cow has to have a calf once or twice a year.

The problem is that means more cows are born than are needed and cows continually burp and fart methane as they chew, a gas creating dangerous levels of CO2 which is bad for the planet and leading to further global warming.

And worse than that, the amount of food a cow eats is enormous and means considerable amounts of good, cultivable land cannot be used to grow other produce. In Spain, it’s estimated that perhaps half of the country’s productive land is used to grow animal feed.

Fruit and vegetable stocks in areas like the Costa Blanca plummet by up to 25% after months of virtually no rainfall
Image by Jose Zegarra Malatesta from Pixabay

Meanwhile, the cost of vegetables and food in supermarkets soars and let’s not mention the millions of starving people in Africa.

So, please start reducing your animal consumption and use Veganuary as an incentive to try vegan dishes! 

There are so many in Spanish cuisine (my favourite is pimientos de padrón) and every restaurant around will be coming up with new vegan dishes this month. Give them a try.

Please send your questions or comments on how to be greener to Christin@theolivepress.es

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