Veganuary is underway and this time it is bigger than ever. More than 115,000 people across the world have already registered, and the UK charity expects the final figure to exceed 150,000!
One of those participants taking part this January is 6 Music’s Mary Anne Hobbs who told Veganuary that she signed up after watching Blue Planet II and recognising that we all need to do more for the environment. Caring for the planet is one of the main reasons people give for becoming vegan, along with their health and, of course, animals, and these three reasons are the basis of an international advertising campaign that is currently running on the transport networks in London, Manchester, Sydney and Boston.
Veganuary is now in its fifth year and has both driven and capitalised on the interest in veganism. In January 2014, 3,300 people took part, and that figure has grown year on year, with veganism refusing to be dismissed as a fad. Chain restaurants across the country are offering more and better vegan options – and in some cases, full vegan menus – while supermarkets are scrambling to keep up with demand.
Celebrity and sporting Ambassadors urge people to try Veganuary
Celebrities are also helping to drive awareness of the benefits of plant-based diets. Robbie Williams and Lewis Hamilton are two well-known names that declared themselves vegan during 2017, but they are far from alone. Miley Cyrus, Sia, Ariana Grande, Liam Hemsworth all bang the drum for the plant-based diet, and Veganuary has recently announced a raft of celebrity and sporting Ambassadors including food writer Jack Monroe, comedian Sara Pascoe, television presenter Sarah-Jane Crawford and Leeds Rhinos rugby player Anthony Mullally.
Other well-known names have donated recipes to the e-cookbook that Veganuary participants are sent when they register. Recipes include comedian John Bishop’schickpea burgers, cricketer Jason Gillespie’s potato and spinach curry and television presenter Jasmine Harman’s shepherd’s pie with a Mediterranean twist.
Veganuary’s new book How to Go Vegan in Top 20 best sellers on Amazon
Sensing the upsurge in veganism, publisher Hodder & Stoughton approached Veganuary this year and asked them to write How to Go Vegan, which has been in Amazon’s top 20 best sellers list since its publication last week. The first person to read it was the proofreader … and she went vegan.
Says Veganuary co-founder Jane Land:
‘Looking at the world around us, we can all feel despondent at times but veganism is empowering hundreds of thousands of people to have a real and positive impact. Animal-free foods are kinder to the environment, contribute less to climate change, can feed more people and require fewer resources to produce. Also, of course, they don’t rely on the factory farming and slaughter of animals. Every plant-based meal is a statement of kindness and compassion, and a contribution to a better world. While the reasons for veganism have long been compelling, supermarkets and restaurants are now catching up and offering a huge variety of wonderful foods. 2018 is going to see a significant leap in the number of vegans – this is the year that veganism will go mainstream.’