The annual vegan challenge Veganuary has been branded 'unstoppable' as a record number of sign-ups make 2021 the biggest year to date.
Veganuary 2021 has seen the highest number of sign-ups to date, with a record-breaking 582,538 people trying the annual challenge this year. It seems that the rise of veganism is ‘unstoppable’ at this point, and we definitely are here for it!
The charity aimed for a high target of 500,000 after last year’s huge number of 400,000, but absolutely smashed it with over 82,000 additional sign-ups.
It is likely that the campaign was boosted this year with the overwhelming support from a variety of actors, comedians, musicians and even MPs. Huge names such as Jane Goodall, Ricky Gervais, Paul McCartney and Sara Pascoe promoted the challenge back in December, as well as an additional 100 celebrities who signed an open letter urging people to join the fight against climate change and future pandemics.
Despite the country being in lockdown for 28 out of the 31 days of Veganuary, the UK saw some amazing and innovative product launches which helped to make the challenge easier.
M&S sold one No Salt Beef Pretzel Roll every 30 seconds last month, while Pret’s new Meatless Meatball Hot Wrap became the first new product to be a top-five bestseller during its launch week in Pret history.
Moreover, Deliveroo saw an increase in demand for vegan food by 146%, with new customers purchasing vegan items up 163% from last year.
The class of 2021
Participants in this year’s vegan challenge came from 209 countries and territories, included several MPs from both the Conservative and Labour parties and even ex-Love Islander Eyal Booker.
In a statement sent to Vegan Food and Living, Eyal told us: “Honestly my journey into becoming vegan has truly been life-changing for me.
“I was sceptical I wouldn’t feel any health benefits and it really shocked me to notice the positive changes it was having on my life. About 2 weeks in I really started to feel the benefits of being vegan. My energy levels were at an all-time high, I felt more focused when I was working and was able to focus for longer. I also felt I could wake up easier in the morning which was a big thing for me.
“Morally it’s been really powerful to know I’m doing my bit for our planet and making a commitment to protect our environment and animals. I felt empowered by my decision and being able to stick to it!
My plan is to continue to be vegan and see how I get on. It’s been amazing working with Veganuary and having their guidance throughout my journey.”
Veganism in the workplace
Moreover, over 40 companies including PWC, Nestle, Quorn and M&S took part in the Veganuary Workplace Challenge, which involved encouraging employees to try vegan and providing more vegan options in the workplace.
Veguanuary’s Head of Communications Toni Vernelli told us: “We applaud everyone who took part and encourage them to continue eating vegan food as often as possible. And we’re grateful to all of the businesses embracing Veganuary and making it easier for more people to eat more plant-based food more often.
“Together we are making an enormous difference for animals, the planet and human health.”
Are you a Veganuary 2021 graduate?
Here are our Vegan food swaps for new vegans.