Whether you’re a dedicated vegan or just contemplating a lifestyle shift, the buzz around Veganuary has likely caught your attention. With a record-breaking 700,000 participants worldwide in 2023, this movement is gaining significant traction and shows no signs of slowing down.
Here we discuss the unstoppable momentum of Veganuary–what it means for us at Eatwith and what it means for you.
Vegan January: the story
As the 10th anniversary of Veganuary is fast approaching, we take a closer look at its social impacts and how you can take part, vegan or not.
Let’s dive in!
What is Veganuary?
Veganuary is a UK-based charity founded in 2014. The goal of the initiative, whose name merges ‘vegan’ and ‘January,’ was to encourage people to embrace the vegan lifestyle for one month.
For the plant-based-inclined, it has offered an entry point into veganism. For others, it’s an inspiring New Year’s challenge and an avenue to explore new dishes, understand the health benefits associated with plant-based diets and embrace eco-conscious living.
However, what is certain is its impact–Veganuary is succeeding in encouraging people to try more plant based foods, spreading awareness about dietary benefits, the environment and animal wellbeing.
The roots of veganism trace back to 1944, but it’s in recent years, spurred on by Veganuary and other initiatives such as Meatless March, that the conversation around reducing meat consumption has taken a positive and widespread turn.
Veganuary gives us at Eatwith the perfect chance to showcase our commitments to sustainability (with our Eco Hero initiative as one of them). We invite guests to embark on a culinary journey to explore the delights of plant-based eating and eco-friendly dining experiences around the world.
How Veganuary is leading a global transformation
Since its inception, Veganuary has kicked the door open to conversation about veganism and reducing meat consumption. It is pioneering a global lifestyle shift, and successfully rewriting the vegan, plant-based narrative, which is now viewed in an overwhelmingly positive way compared to the negative connotations veganism had some years ago. According to The Guardian, now more than a third of the UK express interest in adopting a vegan lifestyle.
When Veganuary launched in 2014, 3,300 people from around the world signed up. Since then, the vegan challenge has evolved into a global movement, gathering over 700,000 people this year.
It quickly spread across Europe, rapidly gained popularity in Germany, and has seen huge success in the US, South America and India. In fact, Veganuary has now received signups in every single country, apart from the Vatican City and North Korea.
Veganuary has had an incredibly positive effect. Media coverage worldwide has amplified the movement’s message and what is really encouraging is how businesses have connected with new audiences. We now see multiple vegan options served in Mcdonald’s, Subway, KFC and Starbucks, among other food giants. Over 400 US businesses took part this year.
From vegan recipes and meat substitutes, to the rise in vegan cosmetics, sustainable fashion and change in travel choices, plant-based options can be found almost everywhere.
Where is Veganuary now?
The impact of this movement can be seen on our plates, at the dining table, in the kitchen, in the way we consume, and in our conversations.
We are seeing a mindset and lifestyle transformation as plant-based meals are becoming increasingly accessible, normalized and devoid of their negative connotations.
However, participating in this vegan challenge requires more than avoiding certain ingredients; it’s about embracing a holistic approach to conscious and plant-based living.
How to get involved? Veganuary experiences at Eatwith
You don’t need to sign up as a participant to get involved in Veganuary and you certainly don’t need to turn meat-free to take part.
There are three ways you can get involved:
- Eat local. Explore sustainable and locally grown produce. Setting off on an immersive and cultural food tour is the perfect way to explore an area, try local cuisine and learn about seasonal produce and the best ways to cook it.
- Vegan Cooking Classes. Build on your cooking skills and learn new plant-based recipes. Roll up your sleeves and learn how to make mouthwatering vegan dishes from local chefs.
- Savour the whole process by eating and enjoying! Take the time to enjoy your meal and be mindful. You can do this with loved ones at private and personalised events or with new friends at supper clubs and multi-sensory dining experiences.
The act of gathering and sharing delicious meals with others shouldn’t be confined to the festive season or special occasions. So, round up your friends and bring them to the table, because that’s where the magic happens!
Vegan January–why it’s more than just a vegan challenge
Veganuary has not only shown the possibility and ease of adopting an alternative lifestyle but it has sparked a remarkable shift in consumer perceptions.
People are increasingly open-minded, driven by reasons such as personal health to animal welfare and, of course, environmental consciousness. This change is clear in the inclination towards plant-based options–68% of Americans have tried a plant-based meat or a dairy alternative and over 80% of consumers worldwide have drunk plant-based milk.
Remember though, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. The fact that more people are embracing meat free options is a promising start in reshaping dietary norms, and we must recognise each and every step towards a more conscious lifestyle.
Still don’t know what to try this Veganuary? Check out our IG to see what dining experiences are coming up!