photo credit:Ā Jazzmin Kaita

Headlines in the mainstream media were loud and clear last year. With claims likeĀ ‘Veganism is ‘Single Biggest Way’ to reduce our environmental impact,’Ā (Independent.co.uk) partnered with statistics such as: ‘Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all transport combined’Ā (Guardian.com) and ‘If we all went vegan, the worldā€™s food-related emissions would drop 70% by 2050 (Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences),’ it’s no surprise that veganism is twice as popular now worldwide as it was five years ago.

While embracing a fully fledged vegan diet this year is fantastic(!), we’re here to let you know that baby steps and small changes to your eating habits are amazing, too! Have you heard of Meatless Mondays? That’s a creative challenge to omit meat from your diet every Monday (we’ll be doing a post soon about the merits of M.M!). Or Veganuary? Veganuary is a UK not-for-profit that promotes veganismĀ for the month of January. ItĀ boasts over 1 million participants since its inception in 2014 with 98% of participants saying they’d recommend Veganuary to friends and family.

RAOG Business Member, The Very Good Butchers is challenging you to try out Veganuary this month. We chatted with the VGB team to hear more about their history and their products alongside how they can help you kickstart your Veganuary diet this year!

RAOG: Could you tell us a little about The Very Good Butchers and how the concept came about?

TVGB: Fed up with the overly-processed meat alternatives available, our founders knew they could raise the plant-based bar. As trained chefs with years of experience, they set out to make the most delicious and nutritious plant-based meats they could, and in our humble opinion, they nailed it!.

After selling out the farmers markets on Denman Island, BC, our bean butchers knew they were onto something. They brought their magic beans to Victoria and opened the Canadian West Coastsā€™ first plant-based butchery.

A bajillion butchered beans, a Dragonā€™s Den appearance, 15 new products, and the opening of a production facility later (all in 3 years!), and our (not so) little Butcher Shop is online and ready to put some Very Good food on your plate.

RAOG: We’d love to hear more about Veganuary and how The Very Good Butchers are encouraging people to participate?Ā 

TVGB: A new year means it is time for a new set of resolutions, if you’re into that kind of thing. We’re thinkin’ it is a good time to give that plant-based eating thing a try. Whether you have been eating plant-based for a week or for years, toying with the idea of trying a new diet, or a flexitarian we want to invite you to join us in celebrating Veganuary.

We are offering 10% off the Big Box of (Plant-Based) Meat for the month of January. When you purchase a Big Box in January we will be sending you a 21 meal plan and a supporting cookbook.

In addition, we are encouraging as many of the Very Good customers as possible to take the pledge to support your fellow plant-based friends and those who are just beginning their journey.

RAOG: What’s one of the biggest misnomers you hear surrounding living a vegan-lifestyle?

TVGB: That you have to give up the stuff you love.

RAOG: With The Very Good Butchers offering individual meat and cheese subsitutes, butcher boxes AND subscription boxes it’s easy to recreate some of your family favourites using butchered beans as opposed to meat and dairy; they even have a salmon substitute!

RAOG: What’s your favourite vegan recipe, and can you recommend any great recipe sites?

TVGB: There are many great recipes or recipe modifications for great plant-based eats!Ā  We have a recipes section on our website that we highly recommend checking out if you’re new or old to a plant-based lifestyle. It can be found at https://www.verygoodbutchers.com/blogs/recipes.

RAOG: The Very Good Butchers team update their recipe listings very regularly. They even have a burger recipe of the month!

RAOG: Can you recommend another great spot in your hometown of Victoria BC that offers vegan options (aside from The Very Good Butchers)?

TVGB: Virtuous Pie

RAOG: If you’re in the Victoria area, be sure and visit TVGB deli to try out some tasty plant-based meals like Big Mac Fries and the Pickle Rick Burger. If your cozy and avoiding ventuing outside, you can order takeout online here.

Read more about The Very Good Butcher, here! You can get more info. on their fantastic deli in Victoria alongside their housemade meats and cheeses. They also ship their ‘butchered beans’ across Canada and the USA with plans to expand soon.

If you try out Veganuary this year, let us know. We’d love to hear more about your recipes, triumphs and challenges!