Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 June 2019

Why this meat-eater is taking part in Veganuary 2019

Lifestyle writer and cheese-lover Sophie Prideaux is going vegan for the month of January. Here's why...

Beetroot hummus at Hala Organic. Middle Eastern food lends itself nicely to a vegan diet.
Beetroot hummus at Hala Organic. Middle Eastern food lends itself nicely to a vegan diet.

I’ve always been an omnivore. In fact, I’m struggling to remember a childhood meal that didn’t have some sort of meat or fish element. Coming from a family of farmers, it’s always been the norm for me, but over the past year or so, my consciousness has switched, and I’ve started to slowly but surely cut down on the amount of meat I eat.

Going completely vegan, however, is something I never thought I’d do – not even temporarily. Yet here I am, embarking on Veganuary. Last year, 168,542 people signed up for the challenge and this month I will be joined by about 250,000 others who will try out a plant-based lifestyle for four weeks.

Everyone will have their own reasons for taking on the challenge. For me, it’s motivated mostly by health, but what I hope is that it opens my eyes to the endless possibilities that don’t involve eating animals. What I know is that I’m really going to miss cheese.

There are so many restaurants that now cater to vegans, and eating out is no longer such a minefield. The other great thing about living in this part of the world is that a lot of the local staple dishes are actually vegan-friendly. Hummus, falafel, fattoush, vine leaves – they should all keep me interested and well fed as the month plays out.


Read more:

Veganuary 2019: Why everything you think you know about veganism is wrong

UAE vegans share their recommendations on popular meat alternatives

Why you don't have to give up baked goods when becoming a vegan

Heather Mills: My kid is vegan and never sick


After the overindulgence of Christmas, I’m going to try and survive mostly on fruit and vegetables, for the first week or so at least, before I start to really look into the meat and cheese alternatives that are available. But I’m excited to (hopefully) discover some new favourites I can factor into a new, healthier, more responsible diet.

While I do not (at the moment) plan to go vegan permanently at the end of this, committing to a vegetarian diet is the point. So here’s to a month of health, happiness and discovery. Wish me luck!

Updated: January 3, 2019 04:44 PM