The story of Veganuary
28th January 2020
January is a well-known month for planning numerous lifestyle changes. Whether it’s giving up alcohol and participating in Dry January, following a cleaner diet and a healthier lifestyle or losing weight and getting fitter. New Year’s resolutions don’t tend last for long, but if done right, by setting reasonable and achievable goals and targets, these resolutions have a higher chance of sticking. Perhaps giving them a timeframe can be a bit of help.
Veganuary is one of them.
What is Veganuary?
Veganuary is a name for going vegan, or not eating or using animal products, for the month of January. Veganuary is also a non-profit organisation.
Veganuary was launched in the UK in 2014, spreading to the U.S and other countries. In 2019 more than 250,000 people in the UK market alone took the pledge to try a vegan diet, while more than 500 brands, restaurants and supermarkets promoted the campaign, and launched new vegan products and menus.
Becoming vegan means omitting all animal products including meat, fish, poultry, dairy and eggs and replacing them with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and tofu (the list is excessive).
Various studies have found that plant based diet could lead to weight loss, dropped cholesterol levels, improved health and boost psychological well-being. The recent Netflix documentary called “The Game Changes” also shows that a plant based diet is linked to a better athletic performance, healthier heart and longer life spam.
A new study by Kantar found that most participants will not resume their previous food consumption habits when the month-long vegan pledge is over. People who cut animal products out in January 2019 preserved reduced meat consumption levels until at least July 2019. Kantar calculated that the total volume of this reduction was at least 4,452,603kg. The Veganuary team worked out that this reduction equates to approximately 3.6 million animals!
Why go vegan?
- For the animals – by preventing their exploitation.
- For your health – research has linked vegan diets with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.
- For the environment – the production of meat has a heavy impact on the environment. The vast amount of food required to feed the animals leads to deforestation, loss of natural habitat and species extinction.
- For sustainability – a plant based diet is a more sustainable way of feeding your family.
New research, conducted by the Veganuary and the environmental researcher Joseph Poore, shows that if 50,000 people worldwide go vegan for January 2020 it will save:
- 41,200 tonnes of CO2eq from the atmosphere, the same as 450,000 flights from London to Berlin.
- 160 tonnes of PO43-eq (eutrophication) from waterways, the same impact as preventing 650 tonnes of sewage from entering our waterways.
- 5 million litres of water, which is enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
- More than one million animals.
Whether it is a January thing or not, Veganuary doesn’t have to be a temporary solution, but a long lasting change. Food for thought.