Veganuary is one of the most popular paths to veganism and this year marks a decade of people going plant-based in the new year!
Queens, New York, January 4th, 2024 — Millions have signed the Veganuary pledge since the concept launched in 2014. During the 2023 campaign alone, 155 million people were reached via social media and more than 700,000 people officially signed up, with millions more reportedly following along without signing up. If past is prologue, the ongoing 2024 campaign is likely to surpass even those impressive numbers as this phenomenon just keeps on growing.
Veganuary is the brainchild of Matthew Glover, a UK businessman, and his wife Jane Land. These two committed vegans came up with the idea while sitting around a kitchen table in York, England. Over the last decade Veganuary has blossomed into a global event with campaigns in 14 countries across Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and beyond. Two of the world’s biggest celebrities, Joaquin Phoenix and Billie Eilish, are official Veganuary ambassadors. When you sign up for Veganuary, you get access to a Celebrity Cookbook, and various meal plans to get you started on the right foot.
Celebrity Recipes To Kick Off The New Year
Recipes in the cookbook include actress Alicia Silverstone’s Radicchio Pizza with Truffle Oil, tennis star Venus William’s Trio of Smoothies, and Dr. Jane Goodall’s Strawberry Cheesecake which uses tofu and coconut cream for the base. It’s almost dinnertime here in New York and you can bet I’ll be pulling out the truffle oil tonight.
Purple Sweet Potato: Vegetable Of The Year
Google search results on how to cook purple sweet potatoes are up 160% in the past 90 days, Veganuary reports. This rising popularity likely has something to do with its being featured on the Secrets of the Blue Zones documentary on Netflix which shows the purple sweet potato’s role in the diets of those living in Okinawa, Japan, people with some of the world’s longest lifespans.
Purple sweet potato is rich in vitamins A and B as well as fiber and antioxidants. They also look beautiful on a plate. I found this easy recipe for purple sweet potato fries with an herby tahini dipping sauce and I am excited to bring this vegetable to the table this year.
The Benefits of Veganuary Are Huge
The Vegan Society calculates that 3.4 million animals are spared a lifetime of suffering from every 1 million people who sign the Veganuary pledge. The environmental benefits are also massive, with the amount of CO2 saved equalling 1.2 million flights from London to Paris. Additionally 1.6 million gallons of water are saved for every million people eating plant based in January.
If you, your friends and family are interested in going vegan, there’s no better time to start than the present and the resources and recipes on the Veganuary site are an easy place to start. I highly suggest following the #veganuary tag across social media to get recipe ideas that will hit the spot. There are 1.9 million #veganuary posts on instagram and 1.1 billion views on TikTok– you are bound to find something mouthwatering to whip up.
To mark its decade milestone, Veganuary commissioned a YouGov survey to assess its impact on Britain over the years. The results showed an estimated 6 million British adults have participated at least once in Veganuary since its inception. That equals 9% of the population. 85% of the non-vegan participants cut back on their meat and dairy consumption. Almost a quarter of those who tried Veganuary went full-on vegan. Those incredibly impressive results give us hope that we can transition to a global, plant-based culture in time to save our planet.
So, what is Veganuary’s biggest goal? Simply put, a vegan world, says its website. “A world without animal farms and slaughterhouses. A world where food production does not decimate forests, pollute rivers and oceans, exacerbate climate change, and drive wild animal populations to extinction.” Now that sounds like a great New Year’s resolution.