'Veganuary' May Be Over, But Plant-Based Food Is Here to Stay

Whether you participated in "Veganuary" (giving up meat and animal products and going fully vegan for the month of January) or not, you've likely started to notice more attention placed on plant-based eating and maybe even given it a go yourself.

There are plenty of reasons for this, and they're all fantastic! Although we may have already said goodbye to Veganuary, here are some reasons why plant-based food is (and should be) here to stay:

1. It's Better for the Environment

The production of animal-based products—be that meat or things like dairy and eggs—uses drastically more natural resources and creates immensely greater waste and pollution than plant-based products, which has caused a massive detriment to the environment. Plant-based foods use only a fraction of the land, water and energy to create, but the average American still consumes enough meat and dairy for those industries to continue causing damage to the planet. By cutting down on the consumption of these products and choosing vegan or vegetarian options instead, you're making a choice that impacts the environment in a positive way. While one person might not change the whole system, plant-based eating is quickly catching on and becoming a global trend—one that could lead to major change. So why not be a part of that positive trend and give plant-based eating a go (past just January, of course)?

Shutterstock: Female farmer at her farm. Nothing genetically modified about these veggies. Only organic. Fresh from the earth. I am proud of my produce. Female farmer holding wooden box with vegetables

(via Shutterstock)

 

2. It's Better for You

Science has shown that a plant-based diet, even just a mostly plant-based one, leads to lower risks for heart disease, cancer, obesity and other health problems. Plants are packed with inflammation-fighting vitamins and nutrients, not to mention other health goodies like fiber, which means that eating a diet richer in plants than animal foods can lead to feeling better all around. If benefits like clearer skin, more energy and not feeling gross after a meal sound good to you, it's time to give plant-based food a try.

 

3. It's Downright Delicious

While vegan and vegetarian food may have been stereotyped as sad salads and general "rabbit food" for many years, we've finally reached a point of a cultural shift in thinking when it comes to plant-based food options. From mouth-watering avocado toast for brunch to Instagrammable rainbow bowls at lunch and even decadent desserts that just don't use dairy, the options truly are endless. The beauty of plant-based food is that you (or the restaurant you buy it from if you haven't quite mastered cooking at home yet) have more freedom to get creative and experiment with flavors—plus you have less chance of accidentally contaminating your entire family if you cook anything slightly wrong. Even if you're a picky eater, going plant-based can force you to get out of your comfort zone and discover foods and food combinations that can be truly life-changing.

Shutterstock: Healthy plant based fast food table scene. Top down view on a wood background. Cauliflower crust pizzas, bean burgers, mushroom tacos, bell pepper nachos and cauliflower wings and sweet potato fries.

(via Shutterstock)

 

4. It's More Ethical

Of course, a list of reasons to give up or at least cut down on meat wouldn't be complete if this one wasn't mentioned at least once. We'll keep it short and sweet, but naturally, the consumption of meat means that an animal did have to die, and usually not in a super ethical way. If you're the type to swoon every time you see a cow with pretty eyelashes or even just love the idea of adopting tons of dogs in the future, you might want to reconsider what ends up on your plate every day.

Shutterstock: Young woman and yak

(via Shutterstock)

 

With all that said, it really is no wonder why plant-based eating is catching on fast. A diet lower in animal products and higher in colorful elements like fruits and veggies is here to stay, and it might just be the way of the future.

If you're having a hard time catching on or sticking to your extended-Veganuary goals, though, don't stress—we (and TikTok) are here to help! Click HERE to check out a list of plant-based creators to follow for all the inspiration you need.