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.
The move comes after regional authorities declared a state of emergency over the weekend after sightings of more than 50 bears in the town of Belushya Guba since December.
This year's letter from Bill and Melinda Gates focused on nine things that surprised them. For the Microsoft-cofounder, one thing he was surprised to learn was the massive amount of new buildings the planet should expect in the coming decades due to urban population growth.
"The number of buildings in the world is going to double by 2060. It's like we're going to build a new New York City every month for the next 40 years," he said.
By Shana Udvardy
After a dearth of action on climate change and a record year of extreme events in 2017, the inclusion of climate change policies within the annual legislation Congress considers to outline its defense spending priorities (the National Defense Authorization Act) for fiscal year 2018 was welcome progress. House and Senate leaders pushed to include language that mandated that the Department of Defense (DoD) incorporate climate change in their facility planning (see more on what this section of the bill does here and here) as well as issue a report on the impacts of climate change on military installations. Unfortunately, what DoD produced fell far short of what was mandated.
Trump is losing his rallying cry to save coal. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted on Thursday to retire two coal-fired power plants in the next few years despite a plea from the president to keep one of the plants open.
Earlier this week, the president posted an oddly specific tweet that urged the government-owned utility to save the 49-year-old Paradise 3 plant in Kentucky. It so happens that the facility burns coal supplied by Murray Energy Corporation, whose CEO is Robert Murray, is a major Trump donor.