The vegan and vegetarian society in Iceland has issued its annual Veganuary challenge, or vegan January, where the public is encouraged to try going vegan for a month and its attempts to do so supported. Veganuary commences today, with a special meeting today at Sólon Bistro at 19:00, where the Vegetarian Association will disseminate information about living a vegan lifestyle, share experiences from practicing vegans, and offer participants a practical information package.
In conversation with the Grapevine, the chair of the society, Sigvaldi Ástríðarson, says that the public is growing increasingly interested in veganism for several reasons. “For some it’s about animal protection, and others it’s about a healthy lifestyle, or out of dire necessity,” he says. “I had personally been a ‘normal’ vegetarian for six years before I became vegan. I believed it was very difficult, but when I took the first step I realized how easy it is—that the transformation had only been difficult in my mind.”
In addition to health benefits for the individual, Sigvaldi notes that meat production is the least environmentally friendly industry in the world. “Raising animals and processing their products leads to the release of more greenhouse gases than any other industry,” he says. “All of the world’s sea, ground and air transport pollute less than agriculture. It’s not without reason that the Directorate of Health urges less meat consumption and encourages a greater emphasis on a vegetable-rich diet.”
Veganuary is a global movement. You can read more about it here. This is the second time that the vegan and vegetarian society in Iceland hosts Veganuary.
Admission to the event is free.