The Veganuary 2024 campaign kicks off helping people lose weight and get healthier
The 10th annual Veganuary delivers support for plant-based eating and projects a record number of world-wide participants.
Launched in 2014, Veganuary is an annual challenge that encourages people to consume plant-based foods for the month of January. In 2023 alone 706,965 people from around the globe participated, joining the millions that have already completed the program.
A 30-day long challenge, Veganuary is an event in which people from almost every nation give up meat and animal products every year to promote better health, environmental sustainability, building a more equitable food system and kindness to animals. To make the vegan diet more approachable for those trying it for the first time, Veganuary promotes “plant-based” and “flexitarian” eating – which involves a more measured transition – for those who may want to sample this dietary pattern without a full commitment
One of Veganuary’s main goals ever since it began in 2014 has been to work with businesses to increase public awareness of, access to, and taste for plant-based cuisine. From humble beginnings on a kitchen table in Yorkshire, England, Veganuary now has campaign hubs in Germany, USA, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, India, South Africa, Spain and the UK. It has truly become a global phenomenon which ProVeg South Africa and its international partners eagerly support.
November this year saw the premiere of the short documentary It’ll Never Catch On: The Veganuary Story, marking a decade of progress. In the short film, founders Jane Land and Matthew Glover reflect on their struggles and successes, with celebrity participants revealing how taking part in Veganuary changed their lives. Global superstars Paul McCartney, Brian May, Billie Eilish, and Joaquin Phoenix, among others, have backed the campaign.
To coincide with the 10th anniversary of this world-leading vegan challenge, the first-ever Official Veganuary Cookbook has been published by HarperCollins. The photo-filled hardback book is a culmination of Veganuary’s 100 top tried-and-tested plant-based recipes, containing staple dishes for breakfasts, mains, sides, dips, desserts and beyond – all with a strong wholefood focus.
Breaking all prior records, Veganuary 2023 attracted more than 700,000 participants from 228 nations and territories. Following personal health and the environment as the top reasons for going vegan, nearly 40 percent cited compassion for animals as their main motivator. As a testament to the efficacy of the program nearly 30 percent of 2023 Veganuary participants reported to still be eating a plant-based diet by the end of October. During another survey 44 percent of participants said they will be reducing their animal product intake by 75 percent or more, and 69 percent said they were ‘very’ to ‘extremely’ likely to try a vegan diet in the future.
47 Percent of people saw some improvement in their general health, with the most frequent outcomes being more energy and better mood in nearly half of the participants and better skin and desired body weight change in more than 30 percent of participants.
Vegconomist reports that Veganuary India alone is expecting a record number of participants in its 2024 campaign, after a survey revealed that 59 percent of Indians are likely to consider a vegan diet in the near future. 74 percent of respondents believed a vegan diet was healthy, 72 percent said it was good for the environment, and 73 percent thought that it helped to stop animal exploitation. Around 3 percent of people in the UK are vegan, increasing by nearly half a million over the past 12 months. One survey found about 5 percent of Americans consider themselves vegetarians, and 3 percent consider themselves vegans. Year upon year the global population of vegans continues to demonstrate growth and in South Africa there are now unprecedented numbers of plant-based options available on restaurant menus and plant-based meat alternatives in supermarkets.
According to the World Health Organisation, the best diet for health and longevity is high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and grains. Plant-based diets reduce pollution by consuming less land, water, and fuel. According to a 2018 study on the environmental effects of 40 meals produced by 40,000 farms in 119 countries, eating less or no animal-based food is essential for lowering our ecological and carbon footprint.
Veganuary is free to join, and people can sign up to receive the new 7-Day Revolutionary Meal Plan, Celebrity eCookbook, the Official Veganuary Starter Kit and 31 daily emails packed with nutritional info, delicious recipes, meal plans and helpful advice.
Plant-rich diets are not a trend, but a lifestyle, rich in protein and other nutrients; it supports weight loss, a lowered risk for developing illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease and potentially reversing such a diagnosis, and dramatically reduces one’s dietary-related carbon footprint.
About ProVeg South Africa:
Official Veganuary partner 2024.
ProVeg South Africa is the local branch of ProVeg International. ProVeg is an international food awareness organisation working to transform the global food system by replacing conventional animal-based products with plant-based and cultured alternatives.
ProVeg works with international decision-making bodies, governments, food producers, investors, the media, and the general public to help the world transition to a society and economy that are less dependent on animal agriculture and more sustainable for humans, animals, and the planet.