Moooove over 2023! 2024 is here and Veganuary is officially baaaaack!
Veganuary is a non-profit organisation that encourages people to try vegan for January and beyond. 706,965 people around the world signed up to be part of Veganuary 2023. The annual campaign has once again seen great success, with the Veganuary Participant Survey recording that 72% of participants saying that they would reduce their consumption of animal products by at least half!
The v-revolution is advancing but not new
Aside from V-Rev being the name of an iconic (and now sadly closed) vegan restaurant in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, the v-revolution has been making moooves (yes we’re squeezing another animal pun in), for a long time.
The roots of Veganism stem’s back centuries. A vegetarian ideology is believed to have been practiced among religious groups in Egypt around 3,200BCE, with abstinence from flesh and the wearing of animal derived clothing based upon karmic beliefs in reincarnation. Vegetarianism itself is first mentioned by the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras of Samos around 500 BC, who was an advocate for benevolence among all species.
According to Dictionary.com, the term ‘vegan’ wasn’t coined until 1944 by Donald Watson, founder of the Vegan Society, as a statement against vegetarians who ate dairy products. Fast forward to 2020, where the worldwide vegan food market grew from $14.44 billion to $15.77 billion in 2021 and is forecast to continue growing for the next several years.
The impact of veganism in modern day life isn’t just understandable via economics. In the UK, we can tangibly see its impact around us. From vegan sections in supermarkets, McDonald’s McPlant, Veggie Pret, plant-based milks in coffee shops and more. Plant-based living is cementing itself into the mainstream.
Vegan-friendly living goes beyond just what we eat
But being vegan isn’t only about diet. It also encompasses the clothes that we buy, the furnishings in our home, our beauty products, makeup and more. Whereas once it might have been difficult to find vegan-friendly alternatives across all areas of our lives, the marvel of innovation means that we can we can now access all the things we need to live fully, without having to rely on the exploitation of animals.
In a bid to discover this for themselves, once again people world over had pledged to give Veganuary a try this January. Although their individual motives may vary, their reasons probably fall under one of a few key categories and for good reason too.
Let’s take a look at these and do a little quiz as we go along to get you thinking!
1. Vegan for the animals
Q: How many land and sea animals are killed annually to support UK food supply?
a) 64 million
b) 640 million
c) 6.4 billion
For many, preventing the exploitation of animals is the key factor in their decision to go vegan. Having emotional attachments with animals may form part of that reason, while many believe that all sentient creatures have a right to life and freedom. Avoiding animal products is one of the most direct ways to take a stand against animal cruelty.
Want to understand just how quickly we kill for consumption? Check out this website, Animal kill clock to understand what this looks like in real time.
Answer: 6.4 billion land and sea animals are killed annually to support UK food supply
2. Vegan for the environment
Q: What percentage of cleared lands in the Amazon rainforest are used as cattle pastures?
The production of meat and other animal products takes a heavy toll on the environment – from crops and water required to feed the animals, to transport and other processes involved. The vast amount of grain feed required for meat production is a significant contributor to deforestation, habitat loss and species extinction.
Going vegan can make a more positive impact than giving up your car, and even halve your greenhouse gas emissions. After just one month of a plant-based, vegan lifestyle an individual will help avoid:
- the death of 33 animals
- the use of 33,000 gallons of water for animal food production
- the destruction of 900 square feet of forest
- the creation of an extra 600 pounds of CO2 gas, and
- the feeding of 1,200 pounds of grain to animals that could have fed starving communities worldwide.
Answer: Nearly 70% of cleared lands in the Amazon rainforest are used as cattle pastures
3. Vegan for your health
Q: Eating a plant-based diet at any age may lower cardiovascular risk
Going vegan is a great opportunity to improve your diet, with health-promoting options like whole grains, fruit, nuts, seeds and vegetables packed with important fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Health is the second biggest reason people go vegan, for those wanting to cut out cholesterol, lower their blood pressure, and reduce the risk of disease. According to Harvard scientists: “Eating a vegan diet can cut your risk of developing diabetes by almost a quarter.” Another major study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine Journal demonstrated how vegans often live longer than meat-eaters, by up to 9 years!
Head to our Food & Drink section to have a browse of the delicious and healthy foods, snacks, nutrition, and drinks available. You’ll find all the protein, vitamins, and everything in between on our Earth friendly marketplace.
4. Vegan for other people
Q: Livestock uses 80% of global agricultural land. How much of the world’s calorie supply does it produce?
The Earth has a limited area of viable agricultural land; how this land is used is central to our ability to feed the world. Opting for a vegan lifestyle is the simplest way to take a stand against inefficient food systems which affect, disproportionately, the poorest people all over the world.
With that said, there’s a need for nuance within this conversation. In an article for Atmos, Elie Gordon quotes Demi Colleen, “Veganism can only be about the liberation of animals when it also stops the oppression of people”, before going on to say “Millions endeavor to lead a more ethically sound existence by cutting out animal products, whilst remaining in the dark about the colossal human rights breaches occurring in plant agriculture across the globe, the cultural sensitivities surrounding meat consumption, and the capitalist systems which led to unethical farming practices…”.
This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be opting for vegan. What it does means is that there is a fundamental need for intersectionality. “If we’re actively speaking out on the environmental and ethical impacts of eating meat, we should also be condemning the poor treatment of human lives in those systems, too”, says Gordon.
Answer: Only 20% world’s calorie supply is produced through livestock
5. Vegan as a personal challenge
Q: How many people that tried Veganuary in 2022, recommend the challenge to a friend?
629,351 people from all over the world signed up to Veganuary 2022, with (unsurprisingly) animal welfare, personal health and environmental benefits by far the most popular motivations. If trying a more plant-based lifestyle is something you’ve considered, Veganuary is the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself and pursuit that curiosity.
Today, vegan options and brands have never been more plentiful. More of us are choosing vegan and incorporating vegan options into our lifestyles.
Answer: 98% of people recommend the Veganuary challenge to a friend
If you’re still unsure about vegan, why not try flexi?
A flexitarian is a person whose diet is mostly vegetarian but sometimes includes meat, fish, or poultry. For some, the prospect of committing to an absolute vegan diet is overwhelming, and can put people off even considering reducing the amount of animal produce that they consume in the first place. If you fancy understanding how much of a positive impact eating less meat and dairy can have just one day a week, check out the Meat Free Monday calculator (we think you’ll be surprised).
Committing to Veganuary doesn’t mean you have to commit to a completely vegan, plant-based lifestyle your whole life. Although you could if you wanted to. It’s simply an opportunity to open your mind up to new possibilities and discover for yourself why vegan; plant-based lifestyles are amongst the fastest growing social movements.
Vegan is in our DNA
We are not here to preach, shame or guilt. Instead, we aim to inform, motivate and encourage new ways of thinking, whilst providing tangible solutions and better options when it comes to buying the things you need and love.
We are not only official supporters of Veganuary, we are also a 100% vegan as standard which means you can shop knowing everything our site meets our 3 pillars: Kind, Healthy & Sustainable! At Veo, sustainability is at the heart of everything we do, as we strive towards creating a better future for all living beings. The benefits of going vegan are numerous, and participating in Veganuary can help individuals experience those benefits firsthand.
Want to learn more about plant-based living, check out how we’re championing plant-based living at Veo: solutions and how we champion them here at Veo? Check out some of our previous blog articles below: