for or against a month with vegan sauce?

Three reasons to do “Veganuary”

1. Play it like Joaquin Phoenix. The American actor is an ambassador of British NGO Veganuary, at the origin of this challenge which consists in doing without products resulting from animal exploitation during the month of January. If, when you think about the climate crisis or the violence of our food system, you feel helpless and say to yourself, “I so wish I could do something”: you can. Right now. » By offering to relieve latent eco-anxiety with sweet potato pancakes, the vegan Joker has every chance of hitting the mark. A month to save the world isn’t that long.

2. Reduce meat consumption. It’s obvious: our carnivorous habitus leads us to loss. A Sunday night burger? Spaghetti Bolognese? A prime rib with friends? The French eat an average of 2 kilos of beef per month (23.6 kilos carcass equivalent in 2020, according to FranceAgrimer). However, these 2 kilos amount, according to the lowest estimates, to rejecting 20 kilos of CO2 in the air. The same amount as to travel 11,560 kilometers by TGV, or nearly eight round trips between Paris and Marseille. On this account, you might as well eat chickpeas and go bask in the pill in Les Goudes.

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3. Try KFC’s vegan chicken. Here is finally THE real reason to test “Veganuary”. Since January 10, the American restaurants of the fast-food chain have been offering Beyond Fried Chicken, developed in collaboration with the start-up Beyond Meat. From nuggets to plants – we won’t know more about the composition. Once past the slight cognitive dissonance of going for your “healthy food” in the absolute den of oil-based junk food, all you have to do is cross the Atlantic to taste this marvel (1 ton of CO2 for a round trip Paris-New York), not yet available in French KFCs.

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Three reasons not to do “Veganuary”

1. It’s marketing. In France, the movement is carried by the L214 association, which made itself known by posting shock videos online in slaughterhouses, in particular. To register for the “Veganuary” challenge and receive daily recipes, you can go through the association’s website, which opts for a much softer and more positive communication strategy than the methods to which it has accustomed us. Easier for brands to see their name associated with a trendy gastronomic challenge than with images of dying chickens. According to the website, in January 2021, 825 new vegan products and menus were put on the market to support the challenge. This year, Monoprix, Carrefour, Lush and even Uber Eats are taking part in the campaign. Operation “vegan washing”?

2. Too many challenges kill challenges. The year is already off to a particularly bad start, with four successive health protocols in less than a week in schools. It may seem a bit masochistic to want to rack up drastic food deprivation on top of that during the worst month of the year. January is now both “dry” (without alcohol) and vegan. No meat or charcuterie, no beer or wine, to sum up: no aperitif, all with children at home every other day. Knowing that it will then be necessary to chain a year without buying anything (“Nothing new” challenge), February without a supermarket, November without tobacco… In a society on the verge of burnout, we risk ending up without panties.

3. What about the pie? With “Dry January” and “Veganuary”, these two challenges from the United Kingdom, the candy takes a big hit. Fabien Roussel, PCF candidate for the presidential election, summed it up on January 9 on France 3: “Good wine, good meat, good cheese: for me, that’s French gastronomy. » An attempt to plead for purchasing power and a rise in wages, denounced by some as an “identity” vision of the French meal. Environmentalist Sandrine Rousseau tweeted: “Couscous, the favorite dish of the French…” In response to the controversy, the CPF Twitter account concluded : Before, the Communists were reproached for eating children, now they are reproached for eating meat. There is progress. »

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