January is the perfect time for resolutions; whether that be getting fitter, being more sustainable, or adopting a more ethical lifestyle. Luckily, Veganuary combines all of these causes. It challenges testers to thirty days of a plant-based diet – that means no meat, dairy or fish products.
Although this can seem intimidating, 2020 is the perfect time to give being vegan a go. With big-name brands such as KFC and Greggs even jumping on the bandwagon, there has never been a better time to go plant-based. Although some outlets are falling behind (we’re looking at you, Fusion) Warwick is also no exception to this, with a great range of vegan options being found all over campus.
Veganism is scientifically proven to be the best diet for the environment
Certainly the top choice if you’re after a healthier meal, Canopy offers an impressive variety of plant-based options. Whilst some of their selection can be hit-and-miss (their Vegan Breakfast was on the dry side), the sheer range of vegan options makes up for it. If you’re looking for a filling breakfast or brunch, their Coconut Porridge is five stars.
The Dirty Duck
Considering the Dirty Duck’s presentation as your run-of-the-mill pub-grub, their menu caters surprisingly well to vegans. Whilst not necessarily as healthy as Canopy, the Duck has perfected their signature comfort food, with much of their menu able to be veganised at request. To top it off, you can enjoy a meal and drink all for under £10. Win-win.
Pret has grown a reputation as a fantastic brand for vegans and veggies, and its addition to campus has only added to Warwick’s increasing selection of plant-based outlets. Make Pret your go to for a quick bite – they’ve just added a Smoky Carrot and Falafel Sandwich to their menu. Seeing as they don’t charge extra for soya milk, this is also a great place to enjoy a good coffee.
Unfortunately, Coventry is not known for being a plant-based hub. However, with the opening of creative quarter Fargo Village, the city is beginning to develop a small but steady range of vegan-friendly restaurants. Dirty Kitch opened in the village in late 2019, offering their own take on ‘soul food’ of the Deep South. Whilst their prices may be on the high side, the 10% student discount will ease the strain on your bank.
You know Leamington Spa is great for Veganuary when they even have a raw vegan café – Pure and Raw offers a great range of nutritious smoothies and snacks/desserts. Other independent cafés also have lots of vegan options – such as Warwick Street Kitchen (try there Sauteed Mushrooms with Homemade Baked Beans and Spinach on Sour Dough Toast) and The SteamHouse’s ‘The Morrissey’ bagel is the thing that dreams are made on.
Of course both Leamington Spa and Coventry offer chain restaurants which cater to all your vegan needs; Las Iguanas has a great selection, and even Creams has a vegan menu. Greggs has just added a Vegan Steak Bake to it’s ever-expanding list of plant-based options, and various pizzarias like Pizza Express and Basement Browns are also jumping on the band-wagon.
If you do decide to try Veganuary this year make sure to commend yourself on trying
With all of these options so close to home, going vegan for January is not only beneficial but also surprisingly easy. Even if you decide to return to your previous diet once February calls around, properly investing in veganism as a lifestyle – rather than a diet of boring salads – will ensure that you will adopt some important changes into the new month. Eating vegan, especially on a student budget, forces you to think outside of the box, resulting in creative meal choices and trying foods you never knew existed (ever heard of aqua-faba?).
Most, if not all of us, wish to be more sustainable in the future. Veganism is scientifically proven to be the best diet for the environment, with the meat and dairy industry ranking as one of the world’s top pollutors. Being conscious in your eating habits will ensure that you also become more aware in your environmental choices; palm oil, single-use plastics and fast-fashion all become a lot less scary to tackle if you’ve already got the diet side down.
If you do decide to try Veganuary this year, no matter how long you stick with it, make sure to commend yourself on trying – even testing out Meat Free Mondays with The Bread Oven or having a plant-milk in your morning coffee can have a far greater impact than you may at first think.