Organizers behind Veganuary, the UK-based charity that started the month-long pledge, reported 250,000 sign-ups for their 2019 campaign. That's more pledges in the previous four years combined, the group cheered.
"I think Veganuary has reached critical mass now—vegan living is growing, it's here to stay, it's part of the national conversation, and it has credibility," head campaigner Rich Hardy said in a blog post. "That's great news for people, animals, and the planet."
This year's initiatve grew globally thanks to 13 new overseas partnerships in India, Sweden, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, South Africa, Japan, Iceland and Russia.
A number of celebrities also helped spread the word, including BBC wildlife expert Chris Packham, Spanish international footballer Hector Bellerin and Harry Potter actress Evanna Lynch.
The travel industry publication TTG recently reported that airlines such as Norwegian and Emirates recorded noticeable spikes in vegan meal orders in January, up 7 percent and 40 percent respectively.
All together, some 500,000 people around the world have taken part in Veganuary since it first launched in 2014 and many participants remain plant-based. The organizers say that six out of every 10 participants stay plant-based after the first month.
Some omnivores might think a vegan diet can be too limiting or dull, but there are plenty of delicious recipes that prove otherwise. Even famously cranky chef Gordon Ramsey—who once joked about being allergic to vegans—gave his signature Beef Wellington a meat-free spin for Veganuary.
A vegan diet obviously saves the lives of countless animals, but it can also be good for your health and the planet's health. Scientists behind a recent study determined that the best thing you can do for the planet is go vegan.
"A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use," study leader and University of Oxford professor Joseph Poore told the Guardian. "It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car," he said.
If that doesn't convince you to extend Veganuary for another month, maybe Jay-Z and Beyonce can. The famous couple will give you free concert tickets for life if you forgo meat—such as Meatless Mondays or plant-based breakfasts—for a month.
Beyonce announced the contest to her 123 million Instagram followers on Wednesday in support of the Greenprint Project that aims to improve the environment by encouraging people to switch to plant-based meals.
By 2018 Ocean Heroes: Claire MacQueen (13 years old), Sabine Thomas (13) and Ava Inskeep (14)
We despise single-use plastics. We want to keep our oceans and our beaches clean. Early last year I (Claire) lived in India for several months and became curious about plastic waste, as it was much more visible in India than back home in the U.S. Seeing all the plastic waste while I was visiting helped me to understand that much of the trash produced by the U.S. actually ends up in developing countries, like India, which does not have a proper waste management system like we do at home, which causes a ton of trash to end up in waterways and the ocean.
In a case watched closely both by polluting industries and clean water advocates across the nation, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up an appeal of a Clean Water Act case out of Hawaii concerning treated sewage flowing into the Pacific Ocean from injection wells.