Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Record Number of People Sign Up for Veganuary Challenge

Food
Record Number of People Sign Up for Veganuary Challenge
More than 500,000 people have pledged to try a vegan diet this January. weareveganuary / Instagram

More than 500,000 people have pledged to try a vegan diet this January.


The annual challenge Veganuary announced Tuesday that it had received more than half a million sign-ups and counting, the most in a single year since it first launched in 2014. It also reached its sign-up goal earlier than any other year so far, the group noted on Instagram.

"Proof that 2021 really is THE YEAR for positive change," the group wrote in the post.

Veganuary is a non-profit dedicated to motivating people to try a vegan diet for the month of January, and maybe keep it up the whole year round.

"Throughout the year, Veganuary encourages and supports people and businesses alike to move to a plant-based diet as a way of protecting the environment, preventing animal suffering, and improving the health of millions of people," the group explained.

Their message is catching on. More than one million people from 192 countries have participated since 2014, according to the website. In 2020, more than 600 businesses participated and more than 1,200 new vegan products and menus were introduced. In fact, its potential as a product launch opportunity means it has become a bigger deal in the retail calendar than Christmas, co-founder Matthew Glover told Vegan Food & Living.

This year, its reach is only growing. In addition to its record sign-up count, the group celebrated an unprecedented buy-in from supermarkets in the UK, which are using the month to promote vegan products.

For example, Aldi and Asda both launched Veganuary websites that included positive reasons to try vegan diets. Tesco and M&S both launched Veganuary-themed TV and radio ads for the first time.

"While new vegan product launches from big name brands are exciting, the way British supermarkets have embraced Veganuary this year is truly game changing," Veganuary's head of communications Toni Vernelli said in a blog post. "They are not simply using it as a marketing opportunity but are promoting the many benefits of plant-based eating and encouraging people to give it a try. As bastions of our food supply, they know that the only sustainable way forward is plant-focused."

The month-long-challenge is spreading beyond the UK as well. The campaign has recently focused on Latin America, according to The Guardian, where 150,000 people signed up this year. The challenge also saw 80,000 sign-ups from the U.S. and 50,000 from Germany, as well as 125,000 from the UK.

The month's popularity comes as a growing body of scientific research indicates that adopting a plant-based diet is one of the best things that people in wealthy countries can do to reduce their environmental impact.

"It really feels to me that plant-based eating is no longer controversial," Vernelli told The Guardian. "Pretty much everyone has accepted we need to be reducing animal products in our diets for environmental reasons."

If you are still looking for a New Year's resolution, it is not too late to sign-up for the challenge. You can do so here.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivers a video speech at the high-level meeting of the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council UNHRC in Geneva, Switzerland on Feb. 22, 2021. Xinhua / Zhang Cheng via Getty Images

By Anke Rasper

"Today's interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet," said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The report, released Friday, looks at the national climate efforts of 75 states that have already submitted their updated "nationally determined contributions," or NDCs. The countries included in the report are responsible for about 30% of the world's global greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

New Delhi's smog is particularly thick, increasing the risk of vehicle accidents. SAJJAD HUSSAIN / AFP via Getty Images

India's New Delhi has been called the "world air pollution capital" for its high concentrations of particulate matter that make it harder for its residents to breathe and see. But one thing has puzzled scientists, according to The Guardian. Why does New Delhi see more blinding smogs than other polluted Asian cities, such as Beijing?

Read More Show Less

Trending

A bridge over the Delaware river connects New Hope, Pennsylvania with Lambertville, New Jersey. Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

In a historic move, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted Thursday to ban hydraulic fracking in the region. The ban was supported by all four basin states — New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York — putting a permanent end to hydraulic fracking for natural gas along the 13,539-square-mile basin, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Read More Show Less
A 3-hour special film by EarthxTV calls for protection of the Amazon and its indigenous populations. EarthxTV.org

To save the planet, we must save the Amazon rainforest. To save the rainforest, we must save its indigenous peoples. And to do that, we must demarcate their land.

Read More Show Less
A rare bird not seen for 170 years has turned up in Borneo's South Kalimantan province in Indonesia. robas / Getty Images

In October 2020, two men living in Indonesia's South Kalimantan province on Borneo managed to catch a bird that they had never seen before. They photographed and released it, then sent the pictures to birdwatching organizations in the area for identification.

Read More Show Less