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DO NOT Go Vegan for the New Year!

It’s New Year’s Eve and you know what that means: time to roll out the resolutions.  Maybe yours is to finally ask out your crush, or to be more bold in your business decisions, or perhaps to lose those stubborn five pounds, or to save more money and get out of debt, or maybe to finalize the implementation of your plan to become the unquestioned all-powerful vegan overlord master of the universe supreme queen of the internet in the name of the animals!   Whatever your resolution may be, DO NOT go vegan for the new year. [Tweet This!]

You may be wondering why I of all people would be advising against making veganism a new year's resolution.  I mean, don’t I want more vegans in the world?  Isn’t that kind of the whole point to what I’m doing here?  (Other than the vegan overlord plan, that is…)

Let me explain.  With the new year always comes our hardened resolve and renewed commitment to our goals.  And that all lasts…maybe a week or two.  In fact, a 2014 study in the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology showed that only 8 percent of us are actually successful in achieving our resolutions. 25 percent of us fail within the first week and 54 percent of us fail within 6 months.

This is the same reason I don’t advise approaching veganism as a diet.  Diets and resolutions have a nasty habit of being broken when temptation or apathy becomes too great a force.  They simply don’t last.

We are human.  It’s in our nature to give up on things we find too challenging or overwhelming. And that’s why being vegan has to reach beyond a diet or well-meaning resolution.  Because while being vegan certainly can revolutionize our health for the better and aid in desired weight loss, it has a far great impact than any physical trappings we may dream up.

Going vegan saves lives.  Pure and simple.  Sure, it may decrease your waistline but it will save the life of a veal calf.  It may give you renewed energy and vitality, but it will keep a mother pig and her babies together.  It may help you get off your medication but it will set a battery hen free.  And it may cure your disease but it will save a dairy cow from violation.

Veganism is greater than you and me.  And falling off a vegan new year's resolution means more than breaking our word.  It means the continuation of the needless exploitation, torture, and murder of innocent, sentient beings.

So this year, don’t make going vegan your resolution.  Make it your purpose, your passion, your lifestyle, your gift to the animals.  Put them first.  Because in a moment of weakness it may seem like one deviation won’t ruin your figure or your newfound health, but it will mean life and death to them.  And don’t they deserve a new year of their own?

If you want to go vegan to improve your health, I say go for it.  You certainly can reap great benefits by eating a vegan diet.  But as I discussed with Gary Yourofsky in this interview segment and as I’ve said here, diet and health alone often aren’t enough to cement a true commitment.

And perhaps you want eat ethically but not necessarily healthfully.  That’s totally doable too.  There are plenty of ways to “ruin” your new year’s diet while remaining on ethical ground.  Vegan food is incredibly diverse and can be as rich, decadent and delicious as you desire.

My point is, don’t make going vegan another resolution to break or another diet to fail.  Being vegan isn’t difficult, it isn’t a state of deprivation, and it certainly isn’t about us.  This year, put the attention where it belongs.  Because while our resolutions rarely last the year, they may not last the next hour.

I’d love to hear from you:  Are you making a resolution this year and if so, what is it?  Do you find you’re successful in keeping your resolutions?  Let me know in the comments.

See ya next nugget!

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Videos Mentioned:

Is Going Vegan for Health Enough?

How to Eat Decadent, Sinful Vegan Food

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Get Fit for the New Year

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5 Comments

  1. markgil on 12/31/14 at 1:22 pm

    my new years resolution is not to make any resolutions. btw, you are already are the unquestioned all-powerful vegan overlord master of the universe supreme queen of the internet in the name of the animals Emily-at least Oobie thinks so.

  2. Debbie Prince on 12/31/14 at 1:25 pm

    Hi Emily, I just wanted to say that I went vegan almost 2 years ago. It didn’t quite coincide with the new year, but it was very close – maybe a week or so later – and I pretty much went “cold tofu.” I did have one lapse toward the end of that first month when hubby and I were invited to dinner at some friends’ house, and they were having chicken tacos – and nothing else. Since then, if we get invited anywhere (which is seldom – you can guess why), I bring my own food. Hubby has never made the commitment to go vegan, although he eats and enjoys everything I make. He tolerates my veganism, but just barely. Our kids have long since grown up and left the nest, so it’s just the two of us. I’ve never really made new year’s resolutions, per se. This is as close to a “new year’s resolution” that I’ve ever made, and I’m still vegan two years later. But for me, it was all about the animals, which is why I’ve been able to stick with it.

    Thank you, Emily, for all you do! Happy new year!

    • Emily Moran Barwick (BiteSizeVegan) on 12/31/14 at 2:45 pm

      that is awesome to hear Debbie! and i do think making it about the animals certainly adds to the “stickability” :) thank you so much for sharing and i’m SO happy that you went vegan and stayed!

  3. Lama Jigme Gyatso on 01/1/15 at 6:12 am

    Dear Emily,

    Thanks for another great video. I LOVE your sense of humor… oh undisputed queen of all media!

    By the way, I’m starting to produce a series of enlightened fitness videos that will each conclude with a call to go vegan.

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