Well it’s January, which means one thing: Veganuary is underway!

This year is set to be the biggest and baddest year yet, with a predicted 150,000 people taking part in vegan for January!

Veganuary is in it’s 5th year and has seen a huge drive in vegan converts over the last few years. The move to veganism has been clear throughout 2017 with chain restaurants such as Zizzi’s, Pret, Nandos, ASK, All bar One, Las Iguanas, Prezzo and Carluccios all releasing vegan options and menus, while supermarkets have been stocking their shelves with more and more vegan products than ever before.

It is a predominately youth led move, with increasing numbers of under 35 year olds making the shift to a vegan lifestyle. This is so important as the more people going vegan from a younger age will have more of an impact on the environment as veganism moves through the generations.

 

I’m so excited to be part of this movement, and couldn’t recommend trying Veganuary enough! It doesn’t matter if you’ve missed the beginning of the month, you can start anytime and your body, the animals and planet with thank you for it!

You can find all the information about veganuary, tasty recipes and top tips here: https://veganuary.com

 

After a little blog absence Honestly Ombre is back and ready to start 2018 by bringing you fresh vegan content from all areas of society and walks of life!

Today I’m kicking off a new Vegan Community Series, sharing tales, stories and advice from some kick ass fellow vegans! The first of my lovely contributors is Aimee Hughes. Make sure you check her awesome blog out here.

Hello, I’m Aimee and I’m pretty new to the plant eating posse.

I hit the 6 month mark this month. Happy anniversary me!

I went vegetarian for a brief 8 months last year before failing miserably. My head and heart weren’t entirely up for the change and I didn’t feel or look any different just cutting out meat.
Fast forward a further 8 months, a viewing of what the health and I made the decision to cut out all animal products from my diet and haven’t looked back since.

My plant based cooking escapades have been going well and I’ve fallen in love with food again. The change in my body and mind has been unreal. I lost over a stone pretty much straight away, had a huge surge in energy and feel that my mental health and hormonal dips have been the best they have been all year.

The one thing I’m struggling with though…

My husband and children have not made the change.

Bella is 8 and I feel, old enough to make her own decision and Ray is only 4. Changing their entire diet straight away is proving hard. How do you just change the way your children eat overnight?

Anything I can veganise for them (and get away with) I do. They are already little fruit bats and love their veggies.

Pizza is life in our house and cheese is the one thing they are not budging on. I’m yet to find dairy alternatives they will actually eat so if you have found any good ones, hit me up.

I would of course, love them all to go entirely vegan but I also know it’s not always as easy as I have found it to completely change your diet. It’s still early days for them but something is better than nothing right?

……………………..

I think Aimee raises a really important question, about the best way to influence your family to make vegan decisions,  without imposing strong views in an aggressive or overpowering way. Especially with children, it’s important they feel empowered to make their own choices about food.

Here are 3 tips that could help kids become more interested in veganism:

  • Visit an animal farm sanctuary to see animals up close to help them make the connection – children are naturally very compassionate and they would never choose to hurt an animal naturally
  • Get them to watch children friendly YouTube videos about veganism – these are tailor made for children and avoid all the graphic videos often found in vegan documentaries
  • Discover new recipes together, get them cooking in the kitchen with you to try new plant based foods

It looks like Honestly Ombre isn’t the only place celebrating vegan month!

Plant based brand Fry’s have just announced the launch of their new product range featuring 12 brand new products, and have timed it to celebrate Vegan month!

The new range is available to buy from Morrisons, Wholefoods, Ocado, Holland & Barrett and Iceland, and includes a new range of vegan pies, beef and chicken strips, pasties, sausage rolls, battered prawns and Louisiana tenders!!

They all look delicious! Fry’s is a staple in my freezer, for those quick and easy meals – I can’t recommend their products enough.

Fry’s is a family run plant based company. All their products are vegan and sold all around the world, making it easier to make compassionate and ethical food choices for everyone.

You can get more information here from Plant Based News.

Tattoos are maybe something that you wouldn’t think to consider when following a vegan lifestyle, but surprise! There are many things to look out for when deciding to get inked, and it isn’t just the design.

Firstly, the ink itself.

The main components of tattoo ink tend to come from plants or metal, which is good news for tattoo lovers. However as with many products and industries, it’s never that simple. Black ink is often referred to as ‘bone black’, because it can contain charcoal derived from charred animal bones. Which is really just a lovely thought. Charred animal bones in your skin forever? Nah thanks. I’m good.

Unfortunately it doesn’t stop there, sometimes tattoo ink can also contain gelatin (hopefully we all know what gelatin is, but to recap it’s a jelly type product made from the boiled up bones, skin, tissue and ligaments from animals – and nope it isn’t just a byproduct of the meat industry, animals are killed directly to make gelatin, so it’s best avoided), and also shellac (from the lac bug).

In addition to this, the pigment within the ink is suspended in a carrier, and this ‘suspension’ keeps the ink mixed evenly to help with application. The carrier solution contains a variety of products such as ethyl alcohol, purified water, propylene glycol and glycerine etc. Glycerine typically comes from animals, specifically animal fat, so this is also something to avoid if you’re looking for a vegan tattoo (or you just don’t want to be gross forever).

Ok, enough with the bad news.

This doesn’t mean you have to remain vegan and ink-less forever, there are a lot of vegan inks now on the market! www.vegantattoostudios.com is a great resource for anyone considering a tattoo and wants to ensure it is ethical and animal free! And some vegan ink brands include: Eternal, StarBrite, SkinCandy, and Stable Color.

So once you’ve got the ink sorted, there are other things to look out for when planning your ink is the process itself that also have ethical implications. For example:

  • Vaseline: This brand tests their products on animals and the end product can sometimes contain bone char
  • Shaving: The moisterising strip on most razors contains glycerin – oh and they’re normally always tested on animals
  • Cleaning: Soap is normally used to clean the area – again, this might be from a brand that tests on animals or contain glycerin
  • Transfer: When transferring the design onto your skin, lanolin is quite often in the transfer paper which is derived from sheep wool
  • Furniture: It’s likely a leather couch will be used in the studio during the inking process
  • Gloves: Latex can often contain animal products
  • Aftercare: Many lotions and products used during the healing process can contain things like beeswax and fish oils

Whoa. I know.

But the good news is there are alternatives for all of these things! You can talk through these issues with your artist first and either many alternate arrangements, take along your own products or go for a completely vegan studio!

It just takes that little bit extra planning and consideration, but ensures you have an ethical statement on your body for the rest of your life.

Big news this month that Bailey’s have finally released an Almond Milk version of their deliciously festive drink which will be suitable for vegans and anyone who doesn’t consume dairy!

There were rumors of this product launching a few years ago, but now is have finally been confirmed as hitting our shelves this month, and in perfect time for Autumn and Christmas.

The company have spent the last few months spent reformulating the recipe to remove the beeswax from the dairy-free liqueur option, and they have relaunched the vegan version as Bailey’s Almande Almondmilk Liqueur. It’s made from almond milk, almond essence, cane sugar, purified water and real vanilla.

It is now available in the UK in Whole Foods, with plans to expand into other supermarkets by the end of the year.

Just think of all the Christmas cocktail possibilities now!! Vegan Irish coffee, almond milk White Russians, grown up hot chocolate, Pina Coladas and even non-dairy eggnog!

The vegan food industry is such an exciting movement to be part of and more and more brands are offering vegan alternatives and options – the world is changing guys! And it’s never been easier to be vegan!