World’s largest vegan challenge celebrates 10th anniversary
Veganuary, the global pledge to try a vegan diet for 31 days, reached a record-breaking sign-up rate of one person taking up the challenge every 2.4 seconds!
Veganuary is an annual challenge run by a UK nonprofit organisation that promotes and educates about veganism by encouraging people to follow a vegan lifestyle for the month of January. Since the event began in 2014, more than 1 million people have taken part in Veganuary, with more than 629 000 people signing up during 2022.
On local soil, food awareness organisation ProVeg South Africa continues to create awareness about the campaign as its official local NGO partner. Last year, the food awareness organisation facilitated 70% of all South African sign-ups to the challenge. This year marks the third year of their partnership with Veganuary which has seen over 10 000 South Africans take the pledge to live more plant-based lifestyles.
According to Donovan Will, the Director of ProVeg South Africa, South Africans enjoy these kinds of challenges: “We’re a country that cares about our natural environment, and our health, so when we hear that there’s an easy way to make a big difference we are often quick to sign up.”
Will continued: “What ProVeg South Africa and Veganuary are trying to do is to continue to educate South Africans about how food is affecting their health, planetary health, and what is happening to animals in factory farms.”
Will added that several unique aspects of the Veganuary challenge make it so appealing. The challenge is completely free to join, and participants receive daily motiving and insightful emails nutritional info, delicious recipes, more meal plans, and helpful advice.
On top of that, participants will also receive the Veganuary Celebrity eCookbook, a new One-Pot Meal Plan, and the Official Veganuary Starter Kit.
Some world-famous participants of the challenge who have also donated recipes to the cookbook include Queen lead-guitarist Brian May, Beatles bassist Paul McCartney, actors Joaquin Phoenix and Evanna Lynch, as well as Dragon’s Den UK’s Deborah Meaden.
Lynch, who portrayed Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter film series, has been a Veganuary ambassador since 2017.
“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.”
The campaign now has official chapters in seven countries and has attracted participants from every country in the world except North Korea.
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.
Veganuary’s Head of Communications, Dr Toni Vernelli, says: “Having been vegan myself for more than 30 years, it’s amazing how the conversation around veganism has changed in recent years and I know Veganuary’s friendly, non-judgemental, just-give-it-a-go-for-a-month-and-see-what-you-think approach has played an instrumental role in this shift.”
She added: “To everyone who took their first step towards a vegan diet with us in January 2014 – Happy 10th Veganniversary! To everyone taking their first step with us today – welcome to a growing global movement taking positive action for a better world.”
ProVeg South Africa – the official local NGO partner for Veganuary in South Africa
Arleen Nel – Communications Manager: [email protected]; +27 72 649 2346
About ProVeg South Africa:
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.
ProVeg has permanent-observer status with the UNFCCC, is accredited with UNEA, and has received the United Nations’ Momentum for Change Award.