2 min read

My 'Beef' with Veganuary

My 'Beef' with Veganuary

As a farmers son, Veganuary goes against my very being.

Being brought up on a livestock farm where our livelihoods depends on selling animals for human consumption, the concept is incomprehensible.

But to a lot of people, it's not. So in the interest of science and to try and keep an open mind on things, I thought I'd take a closer look....

What is Veganuary?

Veganuary started in 2014 and, to it's credit, has built a very strong following both here in the UK and abroad. Millions of people around the world have signed up and so it's no longer just a 'fad'.

The movement is built on 4 principals. It's a vote for

  • A greener planet
  • Better health
  • Kindness to animals
  • Lower food bills
By going vegan, you're helping the above......apparently

Lets look at the science

I put my predispositions to one side and took to Google to research the science and data behind Veganuary's claims of better health and planet. And here is what I found:


Nothing to categorically state that by cutting out meat or animal produce you'll be saving the planet or have improved health.

For every article stating that a vegan diet is good for you, there is another stating the opposite. For every article suggesting livestock are bad for the environment, there is another stating they're actually beneficial.

The data is not black and white. There are just too many nuances within each argument to be able to conclude that one is better than the other.

Veganuary marketing poster in London

The biggest con of them all.....

And this is my beef with Veganuary and veganism in general:

To state that their way is better than the alternatives is just simply wrong.

Their claims about better health or protecting the environment are not black and white and it is virtually impossible to prove one is better than the other.

And there is the breaking news: if you think by going vegan you're going to improve your health and protect the planet - you're not.

On the flip side, I can't categorically say that by eating meat or an animal based diet that you're improving your health and saving the planet. You're not.

So what's the answer?

Farmers now are wrongly treated like the enemy and as an industry we spend a disproportionate amount of our time having to defend ourselves against the anti-meat agenda.

And that is what I take objection to.

What this has highlighted to me is that, if you really want to protect the planet, improve your health and stop animal suffering then you should be:

Eating balanced, buying local and, if you live in the UK, supporting British farmers.

That is the best thing you can do for your health and for the planet. Vegan or not.

Until next week......