Thursday 4 January 2024

5 Reasons Why Nigerians Should Embrace Veganuary: A Journey towards Health, Compassion, and Sustainability

As January 2024 unfolds, the global phenomenon of Veganuary beckons, inviting us to embrace a vegan lifestyle for a month. For Nigerians, this might sound like a significant shift from our traditional diets, but it's an exciting opportunity to explore a compassionate, healthy, and environmentally friendly way of living that surprisingly aligns well with many aspects of our culture.

Veganuary and Nigerian Food Culture

Nigerian cuisine, renowned for its vibrant flavours and diverse ingredients, provides a fertile ground for vegan cooking. Our staples - beans, yam, rice, cassava, maize, and a rich array of fruits and vegetables - are inherently plant-based. Veganuary, therefore, isn't about uprooting our culinary heritage but about rediscovering and celebrating it through a vegan lens.

Top Five Reasons to Try Veganuary

Health Benefits: A plant-based diet is linked to lower risks of heart disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes - conditions that are prevalent in our communities.You'll discover the nutritional wealth of plant-based foods, often packed with vitamins, minerals, and fibre. 

Cruelty-Free Living: Veganuary aligns with the principle of non-violence towards animals. Choosing meals, lifestyle items and clothing that are free from animal products takes some intention but is not impossible.

Environmental Responsibility: Plant-based diets have a lower carbon footprint, crucial in tackling climate change.

Flavour Exploration: Discover new and exciting ways to cook with vegetables, fruits, and grains. It’s also an opportunity to reconnect with traditional Nigerian plant-based dishes that have been overshadowed.

Economic Benefits: Often, a vegan diet can be more economical, utilising local and seasonal produce.

Easy Recipes to Kickstart Your Veganuary

To make your Veganuary journey delightful and stress-free, try out simple yet delicious recipes like Jollof Rice, Okra Soup, or Beans and Yam Pottage. Each dish offers a taste of Nigeria, but through a fresh, vegan perspective. When it comes to replacing meat, opt for ingredients such as mushrooms, tofu (wara) and garden egg. 

For a treasure trove of ideas outside of this blog, my cookbook Vegan Nigerian Kitchen contains 100 recipes, each crafted to suit both the novice and the seasoned cook. Additionally, I have a free guide to going vegan, available for download here, which will ease your transition to a plant-based lifestyle. For continued inspiration and community, follow me on Instagram to see examples of things to eat. 



Embracing Veganuary is more than a dietary change; it's a step towards a more compassionate, healthy, and sustainable lifestyle. It's an opportunity for us Nigerians to lead the way in Africa by showing how our rich heritage can coexist beautifully with vegan principles. Let this January be the start of an enlightening culinary and lifestyle journey!

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