In late December, the non-profit Veganuary published a letter signed by Dr. Jane Goodall, Ricky Gervais, Paul McCartney, and over 100 different stars, politicians, businesses, and non-profit organizations calling on people to go plant-based to help fight climate change.
Other celebrities and influencers like Tabitha Brown have also joined the initiative by using their platforms such as Tik Tok and Instagram to encourage their followers to respond to the call.
Veganuary encourages people to try going vegan for the month of January and beyond. Over 500,000 people have pledged to follow a vegan diet this month alone—the largest commitment the company has ever had since its launch in 2014.
“A key value of Veganuary is empowerment. We strive to support and encourage people on their vegan journey in a non-judgmental, positive, constructive, and easily accessible way,” says Wendy Matthews, Veganuary’s U.S. Director. “By meeting people where they are, we’ve been able to successfully encourage well over 1 million people to try vegan in January.”
In total, over a million people from over 192 countries have participated in the campaign.
The organization is excited about the increase in participants. In a social media post, while referencing the number of pledges, they called it “proof that 2021 really is the year for positive change.”
“It takes many different types of activism to achieve change. But in general, I believe that creating a positive and uplifting experience for those seeking to transition to a plant-based diet increases the chance that participants will decide to stay vegan long-term, or at least significantly reduce their intake of animal products,” says Matthews.
By helping shift the world’s dietary habits, Veganuary hopes to protect the environment, save more animals, and improve the health of millions.
In addition, the organization works with brands, supermarkets, and restaurants to help them create and launch vegan items that will help drive change. This year also saw a big increase in buy-ins from corporations and supermarkets—many of which are also being intentional in promoting vegan products this month.
According to Veganuary’s website, the nonprofit has established four aims it is working towards—including increasing participation, corporate outreach, raising awareness, and growing the global movement.
While January is the brand’s focus, Matthews says that the Veganuary pledge is available year round.
“Once their pledge is complete, we stay in touch regularly with educational resources, recipes, and tips. In addition to the diet-change information we provide during the pledge, we also cover wider issues like cruelty-free beauty and vegan fashion,” says Matthews. “The more convenient and available vegan options are, the easier it is to achieve plant-based goals.”
Veganuary envisions a vegan world. And as the movement continues to grow, so will the collective effort to combat climate change and preserve our world for the better.