Veganuary- what is it? Veganuary is a non-profit organization that tries to educate the public about the benefits of being vegan- and one of the ways they do this is by hosting an event; in which people challenge themselves to go vegan throughout the month of January. Not only does this event open people’s eyes to the many benefits of a plant-based diet, it shows them that it may not be as hard as it seems to give up meat. However, does it work?

Since 2014, when the organization started, they have reported double the number of participants in comparison to the previous year. In 2019, they had a suspected 250,000 people take part in the challenge. Speaking to Ms S. Tomkins, a partaker in the 2019 challenge, she stated “At the beginning, I found it very hard, but as time went on I found it more and more interesting to see what amazing recipes I could make without the use of animal products!”. Ms. Tomkins also commented that she is a vegetarian now, instead of a meat eater.

Due to the vast popularity of this event, many major retailers have begun to produce a wider range of vegan foods and other items. For example, Wagamama has a special vegan menu with options that are only available till the end of the month, and large food shops are providing a bigger variety of vegan meals. The boom in retailers producing vegan items, enables more people to become vegan without having to worry about lack of variety and meal options. In comparison to the past, you can now get many meaty favourites without any meat in them!

Despite being a rising trend, veganism still has many opposers. Some people believe that going vegan is pointless and unnecessary and will continue to eat meat, despite the devastating environmental impacts it has.

Going vegan even for a month can be a brilliant thing to do, not only does it reduce the number of animal deaths, it reduces blood sugar levels and can help with weight loss. The other major benefit is that it reduces deforestation for cattle grazing land, and in a world where CO2 levels are already high enough, that is the last thing that anybody wants. Even if after the end of the month you decide you do not want to go vegan, a very high proportion of people become vegetarians, not eating meat but still enjoying milk and cheese.