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The impact of Veganuary

Research shows Veganuary has helped millions of people to change their diet
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Peter Egan stroking a pig for Veganuary

Veganuary, the global pledge to try vegan for 31 days, is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its launch in January 2014, as new research from YouGov shows that 9% of Brits have taken the pledge at least once.

Some famous participants include rock legend Brian May, TV presenter Jasmine Harman, wildlife presenter Chris Packham, actor Peter Egan (main image), ‘dragon’ Deborah Meaden and Eastenders’ Kellie Bright.

Who’s doing Veganuary?

A YouGov poll released to mark Veganuary 2023 revealed that nearly three-quarters (71%) of British adults have heard of Veganuary.

9% have participated in Veganuary since January 2014. Based on the current population, Veganuary estimates this is approximately six million people.

53% of past participants have done Veganuary more than once, with 21% having done it four times or more – suggesting it is now a firm British tradition.

52% of past participants were still eating meat and/or fish when they took part for the first time, 31% were vegetarian and 12% were vegan.

‘I think I always knew Veganuary would blow up, and it would be huge but seeing just how big it got and how quickly has been just phenomenal. I feel very proud and very privileged to have been with Veganuary from the start and to be one of their Ambassadors.’

Presenter, property expert and writer, who took part in the first-ever Veganuary in 2014

Small pledge, big change

In total, 85% of non-vegan past participants have reduced their consumption of animal products since doing Veganuary.

After taking part in Veganuary, 23% of non-vegan participants became vegan, 43% reduced their animal product consumption by at least half (but not completely) and a further 20% reduced by between a quarter and a half.

The majority of past participants cited animal welfare as a motivating factor for taking part (62%), followed by environmental reasons (54%), personal health (46%) and global health, such as pandemics/antibiotic resistance (30%). Participants were asked to choose all that applied.

There has also been a marked increase in plant-based consumption amongst people who have not taken part in Veganuary, with 37% saying they eat more plant-based food now than 10 years ago.


How Veganuary went global

Forged on a kitchen table in York by a husband-and-wife team, Veganuary has made newspaper and TV headlines around the world – from front page of the Times to features in the Washington Post, New York Times, New Scientist and South China Morning Post, as well as CNN, Sky News and BBC Breakfast.

Joaquin Phoenix, Joanna Lumley, Paul McCartney and Evanna Lynch have backed the campaign which now has official chapters in seven countries and has attracted participants from every country in the world except North Korea.

‘Veganuary has given veganism a positive brand makeover. Every Veganuary we have amazing new options in all the mainstream chain-restaurants and it’s showing people that all these choices are right there – you don’t have to sacrifice anything.’

Actor, and Veganuary Ambassador since 2017

The launch of Gregg’s vegan sausage roll for Veganuary 2019 sent Piers Morgan into meltdown, in 2020 KFC and Burger King joined in with the first fast-food Veganuary launches and McDonald’s added its McPlant nationwide last Veganuary.

Thousands of vegan products and menu options have been launched around the world during Veganuary to capitalise on the ever-increasing number of people taking on the pledge.

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