If you’re remotely interested in the Vegan for Lent Challenge, here’s an added incentive courtesy of The Informed Vegan. He has compiled the effects of going vegan for Lent on the Earth, and although there will obviously be variation due to diet this is an excellent list and a great incentive to get you thinking seriously about the challenge.
The effects of going vegan for Lent if you are on the average American diet could be…
Save the lives of 40 animals.
Leave the cheese for the mice for the next 40 days
Save 70 pounds of grain.
Save 9,375 gallons of water.
Avoid 4 pounds of artery clogging cheese.
Avoid guzzling 2 gallons of fatty milk.
Do head over to The Informed Vegan blog and have a browse, it’s full of interesting info, and also think seriously about the Vegan for Lent Challenge, it’s definitely a worthwhile sacrifice.
*UPDATE* If you have decided to take up the challenge please do check out this website here for a free e-book download that has ALL the information on going Vegan for lent!!
A couple of weeks ago I did a post about a film coming out called Vegucated. This film is due out in Spring and follows the lives of 3 omnivores who make the transition to a vegan diet for 6 weeks, and looks at how they handle it. I promised I’d post a pretty similar challenge, so here it is. Lent begins this Wednesday, 9th March. Now I am not a religious person at all, but something about the challenge of Lent has always appealed to me. The idea of giving something up for 40 days is one I find quite meaningful and shows a huge level of self-determination if you stick it through, providing it’s something you’re not used to living without.
Last year my university held a “Vegan for Lent” campaign. The idea was to get people who were not vegan to try out veganism for 40 days and 40 nights, as is tradition. As an added incentive, many were sponsored for doing so and raised money for charity. At the time I was vegetarian, and after the determination of seeing it through for 40 days I remained vegan. I’ve heard many different methods for making a transition from vegetarian to vegan, some doing so slowly whilst others change overnight. However, this really worked for me as it was almost like it wasn’t my choice – I had to stick to the challenge or else I’d fail. And here I am, vegan for over a year now.
I’ve already seen calls to modernise Lent, and give up something which means more to the world than just chocolate, or the usual Lent sacrifices. For example, there’s even a Catholic Coalition on Climate Change calling for environmentally influential changes during Lent, such as giving up plastic bags. Like I said, I’m not a religious person but I enjoy the challenge of Lent. So, if you want to do something worthwhile this Lent then try veganism. Stuff yourself with any non-vegan foods that may be going off, and freeze the rest, and try giving up all animal products. See if it’s as big a challenge as you think.
As a helping hand to get you started, the New York Times are publishing a list of vegan dishes for anyone taking the challenge, take a look here. These recipes should be easy to make and prove to you that vegan cooking isn’t too hard. Please do let us know if you are going to take the challenge, and we would happily provide you with any assistance you may need as well!
Good luck, and by the end you’ll have earned the title of Vegangsta!