By Joe Harker
It's the first month of the year and one of the prime times for a change in lifestyle.
New Year's Resolutions are nothing new but some of the more popular ones have been causes that lasted throughout the month.
Dry January is the abstention from alcohol and perhaps the most popular (if often a failed challenge), but another popular one is Veganuary.
As the name suggests, Veganuary requires the person doing it to go vegan for the duration of January.
It comes at a time when a vegan diet is being championed as much more than just a fad, meaning Veganuary is potentially a time where someone might end up going vegan full time.
A vegan diet tends to be rather healthy and it's quite good for the environment too, while food alternatives are cropping up all the time.
Even Greggs is full of vegan options now including meatless sausage rolls and steak bakes. If Greggs doesn't take your fancy then feast your eyes on the watermelon steak being promoted for Veganuary.
With more culinary options than ever available the opportunity to go vegan for just a month has never been easier, so why not give it a try?
The Counter Claim:
Look out vegans, there's a counter-argument to doing Veganuary!
Brian Boyd of the Irish Times praises the vegan diet for being healthier and alleviating the acts of animal abuse which often result from food that came from farm animals.
However, he accuses vegans of indulging in "a diet rich in zealotry", accusing veganism of being "an absolutist doctrine that demands the elimination of many important food groups from the diet".
Boyd also laments that going vegan makes food preparation far more difficult, turning the regular process of eating into an "obstacle course" where anything with meat or animal products in must be avoided.
He also suggests that there are health risks involved with a vegan diet as certain food groups are neglected and the body misses out on important vitamins.
If you want to do Veganuary then do Veganuary. The stereotype about vegans being preachy isn't as accurate as some people think it is so nobody is forcing you to go vegan.
Ultimately it's a matter of choice. If you want to give it a try then now is as good a time as any but nobody is forcing you to do it and if you want to eat healthier you can do it without going vegan.