Our head of PR, Anton Nebbe is going Vegan this January and tells us how the annual Veganuary challenge began and why it is so popular in the UK.
The first day of the year goes hand-in-hand with promises about the year ahead, but did you know making New Years’ resolutions is not a modern tradition – according to history.com, the ancient Babylonians started the custom, some 4,000 years ago.
And increasingly popular is taking up a vegan diet for January, or Veganuary as it’s become known.
As someone who grew up on a cattle farm, I decided to take up the challenge and give it a bash. I spent many years helping my father out in his butcher shop and was fortunate to have seen animals treated with compassion and not factory farmed, but over the years I’ve become increasingly drawn to a more plant-based diet.
For the purposes of full disclosure, I made the move to vegetarianism around five years ago, but never thought I’d be able to live without dietary staples like cheese and eggs.
Have you tried veganism and not gone back? I’ll report back in February on how I got on…
Common reasons people go vegan:
- Animal welfare reasons
- Personal moral values
- Going green
- Environmental activism and protection
- Social Justice
- Health benefits of plant-based diets
- Personal preference
Vegan statistics (taken from the Vegan Society)
- The number of vegans in Great Britain quadrupled between 2014 and 2019. In 2019 there were 600,000 vegans, or 1.16% of the population; 276,000 (0.46%) in 2016; and 150,000 (0.25%) in 2014
- In 2018, the UK launched more vegan products than any nation
- In 2020, Brighton was found to be the most vegan-friendly city, followed by Bristol, Norwich and Cardiff
- 2020 became the year that every one of the top UK supermarkets (by revenue) had their own vegan range
- The UK's purchase and consumption rates of vegan milk, meat, butter/margarine, cheese, ready meals/food to go and seafood are the highest in Europe
- Waterstones have over 10,000 book titles with the word 'vegan' in them available for sale (as of November 2020) compared to 944 in August 2018
- Vegans and vegetarians look set to make up a quarter of the British population in 2025, and flexitarians just under half of all UK consumers
- In 2020, 16% of ready meals in the UK were plant-based, rising from just 3% in 2018