My wish list for vegan 2022
I’m not sure about you, but 2021 for me was not a lot of fun.
There were ups and downs, lockdowns, restrictions, grocery shortages, and even a hospitalisation. COVID got to me hard and, after an 11-day illness at home, I spent another 5 days on a ward.
The NHS saved my life and I will never be able to say enough good things about this public health system. I am also extremely grateful for free vaccines that might just have been the deciding factor in my survival.
Most of my events and money-making opportunities were cancelled, meaning my financial situation was challenging to put it mildly. Thankfully the tax office has allowed me to enter into a payment plan meaning I avoided legal trouble with the UK Government!
Of course there were some silver linings with the happiest being my marriage to my partner.
No matter how difficult these past 12 months (and a bit more) have been, I somehow haven’t lost my optimistic outlook for promoting veganism and I am hopeful that more people than ever will start to explore their compassion this year.
To celebrate surviving 2021, I’ve put together my wish list for 2022.
I am hoping for:
Return of vegan markets – outdoor markets are a great place for showcasing independent vegan traders. Sadly, street markets around the UK suffered from the stop/start unpredictability of the year and many small businesses just could not survive. I want to see small artisan markets return this year. These opportunities for people to be self-employed are crucial for our communities.
Meat reduction in restaurants – I am thrilled to see so many vegan options popping up on mainstream menus, however I am hoping to see more reduction of meat and dairy instead of the vegan stuff being added as extra items. When Greggs or McDonalds add a plant-based option, I wish it meant something non-vegan was taken away. Perhaps this can be our new approach to vegan consumer activism? We want new vegan stuff to take the place of non-vegan stuff!
Time with friends – oh, how badly have you missed your friends? It has almost been two years of restrictions and social distancing. This period of time has been a lonely road for a lot of us and I can’t wait to be able to have regular get togethers with my friends. I hope 2022 is the year it happens.
Travel to Australia – some people are surprised when they discover I am originally from Australia. They usually find out when they hear me speak for the first time! One of my big wishes for this year is to get the chance to visit my friends and family Down Under. It has been a few years since I was able to get down there and I have only been back once in the past 12 years. Let’s hope for a quietening down of the pandemic AND an improvement in my financial situation!
London Vegan Beer Fest – for six years I ran London Vegan Beer Fest, the much loved summer social event that brought people together from all over the UK and beyond. After a few years off, I am tempted to bring back the legendary event as a way to celebrate coming out of the darkness. Would you like to see London Vegan Beer Fest return?
Visit Mexico – my husband has missed two Christmases in a row with his family in Mexico and he is getting increasingly homesick. Travel restrictions and prioritising health has made traveling to his home impossible. I don’t think he will cope with another year without seeing his friends and family, so we need to work hard to get him over there ASAP.
Keep supporting independent business – fatgayvegan.com started over 10 years ago and has always been a place to support independent vegan business. My Instagram account has taken over a bit when it comes to viewing numbers but the blog, Facebook page, and Twitter account all still play their role. If people want to help me keep this vegan promo show on the road, they can pledge a small monthly amount via my Patreon page. I spend a lot of time and effort being FGV and all support is deeply appreciated.
Finally travel with VCC – I have been working hard with setting up Vegan Culinary Cruises for quite a few years now and 2022 feels like we will finally get some travel action going. Please? Our first outing is set for May 2022 and is a week-long land tour (staying in a fab hotel) through some of the most breathtaking National Parks in the USA, including the Grand Canyon. This vacation is all vegan and will be the perfect way for us all to ease back into travel. Click here for details and booking.
Eat in UK cities and towns – because I haven’t been able to move around the country due to the pandemic, I have missed out on a lot of good vegan eating in cities, towns, and villages. Of course I love the vegan food scene in London but there is so much more out there to be enjoyed. If it is safe to travel, I will be planning several small trips to hunt out some new food hot spots. Let me know where I should go!
Attend live shows, events, and concerts – I have been easing myself back into larger scale events by hosting and attending my new monthly night, London Vegan Social. It takes places on the first Wednesday of each month at a pub in Central London. As it becomes safer, I want to venture out even more and start seeing live music and theatre again. I have lost track of how many gigs have been canceled on me during the past two years! I’ve got tickets to see The Cure live this December so let’s hope we are all in the clear by then.
What are your wishes and dreams for 2022? Let me know in the comments.
Very glad you survived 2021, Sean. You’ve got a great list of goals/hopes for 2022. I’d love another Vegan Beer Festival. (Though I might be able to get to England only in September, if all goes well, so I’d miss an outdoor, summer event.) Wishing you a happy, healthy, new year!