In 2014, a non-profit from the United Kingdom started Veganuary, a global event encouraging individuals to adopt a vegan lifestyle for the first 31 days of the year. The monthlong occasion promotes ethical choices, reduces environmental impact, and explores the advantages of a
Joining Veganuary is an enlightening journey that offers an opportunity to experience and learn the real purpose of this lifestyle. From health benefits to environmental impacts, it has various facets that we should look into. Read on to learn more.
Featured in: January - Awareness Months, Days & Observances.
In January 2014, Matthew Glover and Jane Land launched Veganuary, a non-profit initiative encouraging people to avoid eating animal products for 31 days.
Their motivation was their love for animals, concern for the environment, and curiosity about the potential benefits of a plant-based lifestyle.
Veganuary soon gained global attention and has become a popular annual challenge worldwide.
In 2020, over 400,000 individuals from 193 countries joined Veganuary, showing the increasing impact and popularity of the movement. The challenge has grown significantly since starting with only 3,300 early adopters.
It has also influenced companies to acknowledge the growing popularity of veganism. During Veganuary 2019, businesses introduced more than 500 new vegan-friendly products and menus, seizing the opportunity to capitalize on the trend.
Veganuary has become a powerful force that redirects the food industry toward a more animal-friendly and environmentally-friendly world.
Related Read: World Vegan Day.
The vegan lifestyle is more than saving animals. It can also positively impact our overall health and our carbon footprints.
Although Veganuary has made strides in promoting plant-based diets, many people need clarification about the nutritional value of vegan diets. Misinformation often leads to discouragement, countering the cause.
Moreover, grocery stores' expensive diets and the lack of vegan options, such as whole grains, are additional hurdles. However, this is only a myth. There are many ways to make plant-based dishes affordable while meeting all nutritional needs.
Despite these challenges, Veganuary continues releasing educational resources and recipes to counter these misconceptions.
According to a study, switching to a vegan lifestyle could reduce your food-related carbon footprint by 73%.
According to the World Bank, about 91% of Amazon rainforest deforestation is attributed to animal agriculture; grazing livestock is causing a significant loss of forest cover and biodiversity.
Additionally, producing animal-based products requires significantly more water than growing a similar amount of plant foods. This is a concern amid the growing issue of water scarcity.
Despite producing enough grain to feed billions of people, we allocate a significant portion to feed livestock instead of people. By choosing plant-based meals, we could use our resources more efficiently and address world hunger1.
Read more: Eat Less Meat to Help the Environment.
According to a study, not eating meat or any animal-derived ingredients may significantly improve cardiovascular health. This dietary approach can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Additionally, people consuming low-fat, plant-based meals experience better weight management. The digestibility of nutrients in such balanced diets assists in maintaining optimal body weight without depriving the body of the required energy.
Furthermore, lifestyle also has favorable impacts on mental health. Increasing fruit and vegetable intake to 5 cups daily improves one’s mental health.
Veganism directly benefits farm animals. With the shift to a plant-based diet, these animals are spared from harsh living conditions typically associated with the meat and dairy industry.
The lifestyle also advocates for the welfare of pets by discouraging pet breeding farms where animals are often bred in inhumane conditions purely for profit. Moreover, veganism is also against the cruel conditions some captive animals are in.
Lastly, veganism is fighting against animal cruelty happening in many industries. We counter animal testing, poaching efforts, and many other practices by choosing plant-based or synthetic materials over animal-derived ones.
The Vegan Society actively promotes Veganuary, a global event encouraging individuals to explore the vegan lifestyle. They use social media and tools like the Veganuary starter kit to spread awareness.
Moreover, influential entities, such as the United Nations Environment Programme, are reaching a consensus that plant-based diets can combat climate change.
The global Veganuary movement has seen active participation from local communities and businesses. Brighton, UK, has emerged as a notable vegan hub, with numerous events and activities during Veganuary.
Schools and universities are also incorporating plant-based meal options and educational programs.
Meanwhile, prominent food industry players like Pret a Manger and Marks & Spencer have expanded their menus to include vegan options.
Companies specializing in vegan products, like Quorn and Alpro, have experienced a surge in Veganuary sales, indicating the potential for business growth in this market.
Through a vegan lifestyle, you can positively impact the animals, your health, and the planet. The Veganuary campaign promotes plant-based foods to adopt a more mindful It is a way of living that considers the world and all its beings.
Joining the vegan world is a lifestyle overhaul. However, the ultimate goal of Veganuary is to create ripples of change, starting from one meal at a time. So, join the cause now!
Veganuary is a global movement encouraging people to adopt a vegan lifestyle for the whole month of January.
Participating in the monthlong challenge reduces environmental impact, improves health, and supports animal welfare.
Absolutely, a well-planned vegan diet can provide all the necessary nutrients your body needs. By consuming a variety of whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, you can obtain adequate protein, iron, and all other essential nutrients. Plant-based supplements can add calcium, vitamin D, B12, and omega 3s into your diet.
Many restaurants and supermarkets offer plant-based alternatives, thanks to the growing popularity of veganism. However, there are already many vegan recipes online that only use easy-to-find ingredients.
Set realistic goals, connect with the vegan community, and explore new recipes and flavors.
Poore, J., & Nemecek, T. (2018). Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers. Science, 360(6392), 987–992.
Chinny Verana is a degree-qualified marine biologist and researcher passionate about nature and conservation. Her expertise allows her to deeply understand the intricate relationships between marine life and their habitats.
Her unwavering love for the environment fuels her mission to create valuable content for TRVST, ensuring that readers are enlightened about the importance of biodiversity, sustainability, and conservation efforts.
Fact Checked By:
Isabela Sedano, BEng.