As we find ourselves on the brink of the new year, adding resolutions for the mind, body and planet, here is a sustainable suggestion: sign up for Veganuary. Started by the namesake UK-based charity, the idea is to go fully vegan for the month of January every year. The charity is focused on changing consumer behaviours and attitudes, while providing all the information and practical support required to make the transition to veganism as easy and as enjoyable as possible. It also is a wonderful way to test waters before diving deep into a plant-based lifestyle and start the new year on a healthy, environmentally-friendly note.
As soon as you enlist yourself on the site (www.veganuary.com/try-vegan), you will be supported through a series of emails, social media content, membership of a Facebook support group, and a website full of helpful resources like recipes, a starter kit and meal plans. Alongside providing devices to promote individual action, Veganuary also support brands, manufacturers and retailers to expand their plant-based options. More than 400,000 people from 192 countries took part in Veganuary last year, and this year’s goal is a global total of 500,000 sign-ups. Global giants joining the challenge this year through Veganuary’s Workplace Challenge include Nestle, Marks and Spencer, PwC, EY, Bloomberg, and Quorn, among many others.
Ayushi Shah has an email conversation with Toni Vernelli, International Head of Communications and Marketing at Veganuary, who tells her more about the initiative and its role in preventing climate chaos and global pandemics:
Why is Veganuary more important than ever now?
Because our consumption of animals is directly linked to the two biggest threats we currently face – climate chaos and global pandemics. Although these threats are very serious, they are not inevitable. If we act now the future can be better, and trying vegan this January is an easy place to start.
What has the response so far been and what are the numbers you’ll are expecting this year?
We’ve seen an increased interest in trying vegan since the pandemic started and our sign-ups this year are already more than 260,000 – double the number at the same last year.
How do you hope this Veganuary will be different from the last few years?
We’d like to see more coverage of the issue – the reasons that people do Veganuary – in the mainstream media rather than stories focused solely on all of the exciting new vegan products being launched. But of course, we love to see new vegan products and hope we’ll continue to see vegan versions of classic foods from household brands as this makes veganism easily accessible to everyone.
What are the next steps for those who want to participate?
We highly encourage anyone who is thinking about ‘doing Veganuary’ to sign-up on our website so they get all of the free resources and support we offer. We know that people who try to go it alone find their vegan experience more difficult and less enjoyable so we’re keen to make sure everyone trying vegan gets our support. We know it makes a difference.
The interview has been edited for clarity. You can read more about Veganuary and sign up on their website. To read Eco-Spotlight’s other solution journalism pieces, click here. All images (including the featured image) are courtesy of Veganuary.