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Veganuary celebrates 10 years with one person signing up every 2.4 seconds for this year’s pledge

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3 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
Man standing in field holding sign next to cow grazing

Veganuary, the annual pledge to go vegan for the month of January, is celebrating 10 years since its launch, with a record sign-up rate of one person every 2.4 seconds for the 2023 edition.

The campaign begins as new YouGov research shows around 9% of Brits have taken the pledge at least once since it first started in 2014. According to Veganuary’s calculations, this amounts to approximately six million people.

The poll also reveals 53% of past participants have done Veganuary more than once, with 52% reporting to have been meat and fish-eaters when they first took the pledge.

Some 85% of participants have reduced their consumption of animal products since taking part, with 23% becoming vegan and 43% reducing their consumption of animal products by at least half.

Most past participants cited animal welfare as a reason for signing up, followed by environmental, personal health and global health reasons (such as the rise in pandemics and antibiotic resistance).

Consumption of plant-based goods has also increased for those who did not take part in Veganuary, with nearly 40% saying they eat more vegan products now than 10 years ago.

Over the years, supporters of the campaign have featured British actress Joanna Lumley, naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham, and Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden. Other big names include Michelin-starred French chef Alexis Gauthier, Queen guitarist Brian May, actor Peter Egan, tennis star Venus Williams, singer-songwriter Paul McCartney and American actor Joaquin Phoenix.

The number of participants has grown year on year, with last year seeing the largest number of people ever taking part.

New backers of the 2023 edition of Veganuary include TV personality Peter Andre – who teamed up with Beyond Meat last year to launch a new BBQ Beyond Burger recipe and will be cooking up vegan food this year with a competition winner in collaboration with the American plant-based meat brand – ITV chef and baker Juliet Sear, and actress and comedian Diane Morgan.

Commenting on going vegan, Chris Packham said: “To a great extent, the meat industry survives on people’s detachment from the food that they’re buying. If they knew where it had come from and how it was produced in terms of all of the chemicals, all the antibiotics, everything else that’s wrong about this type of industry, meat consumption would drop off straight away.” 

Speaking about the campaign, Joaquin Phoenix added: “If you look at the climate crisis or the violence of our food system and feel helpless, thinking ‘I wish there was something I could do’ – you can. Right now. Sign up to try vegan this January.”

Visit the Veganuary website here to find out more about this year’s pledge.

Can artificial intelligence help match animal products to meat-free ingredients at the molecular level? Find out more in this recent Food Matters Live Podcast episode:

Could AI solve our meat alternative challenges?

Browse the Food Matters Live events calendar


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