Veganuary: a global plant-based pledge
January 1 not only marked the start of a brand-new year, it was also the first day of Veganuary – a worldwide campaign that encourages people to try following a vegan diet for the month of January… and beyond. After the hot mess that was COVID, many of us are hoping that 2023 will be a year of positive change, and going vegan for a month is a great way to take steps towards a healthier body and a healthier planet.
The first Veganuary pledge, held in 2014, saw 3300 people take part. Last year, Veganuary saw an even bigger increase, with more than 629,000 people worldwide signing up to try vegan and more than 800 new vegan products launched. The campaign has also received the backing of celebrities like Paul McCartney, Ricky Gervais, Chrissie Hynde, Alicia Silverstone and – ironically – Meat Loaf.
Veganuary predict even more numbers of people signing up and getting involved for 2023 and are collectively encouraging everyone who cares about climate change to take part this January.
Making an impact
According to Google data, as of September 2020, Australia now has the second-largest vegan community in the world.
More than one million people have already completed Veganuary’s one-month pledge since it began in 2014, and statistics compiled by Dr Helen Harwatt from Harvard University’s Animal Law and Policy program show that their collective impact has been huge:
1. 103,840 tonnes of CO2eq saved, equivalent to driving around the world 15,000 times.
2. 6.2 million litres of water saved, the same as flushing the toilet almost half a million times.
3. Additionally, more than 3.4 million animals were saved, according to the Vegan Society’s Veganalyser calculations.
Save money and time: go vegan
But these aren’t the only savings. Research commissioned by Veganuary has found that, on average, plant-based meals eaten at home cost 40 percent less than meat or fish-based meals. They also take one-third less time to prepare. The study found:
1. A plant-based main meal costs 40% less than a main meal (lunch or dinner) containing meat, fish or poultry.
2. A meat/fish-based lunch takes 18.9 minutes to prepare, on average, whereas a plant-based lunch is 37% quicker at only 12 minutes.
3. A meat/fish-based dinner takes 37.5 minutes to prepare, on average, whereas a plant-based dinner is 32% quicker at just 25.4 minutes.
4. Vegan households spend 8% less per grocery trip, on average, than non-vegan households of a similar size.
5. Only 3.7% of all vegan households’ spend on food and drink goes on meat substitutes.
Plant-based eating on the rise
“COVID has sparked a huge increase in people interested in trying a plant-based diet, whether for their health or the health of our planet,” says Toni Vernelli, Veganuary Head of Communications. “It has also caused economic loss for many. This study shows that people can protect their health, the planet and their pocketbook with a plant-based diet.
“Those who’ve been eating vegan for years know that it’s great value. Yet somehow the myth has persisted that veganism is expensive and out of reach for some. We now have the data to dispel this idea once and for all. While some plant-based meat and dairy substitutes carry a premium, this study shows they are only a small part of a typical vegan diet and, overall, eating plants costs less. It’s another great reason to try vegan this January.”
You can sign up for the Veganuary challenge here. By signing up, you’ll receive recipes, shopping guides, meal plans, restaurant suggestions and more to take you on a taste adventure of new flavour experiences, and a kinder way of eating.