We may not realize it, but there’s a remarkable transformation happening in the dietary habits and perspectives of people worldwide—specifically when it comes to removing animal products from their diet. Veganuary, the renowned campaign advocating for a vegan diet during the month of January, recently released the results of its follow-up survey for 2023. 

A staggering 98 percent of respondents reported a significant reduction in their consumption of animal products after participating in Veganuary. Notably, 80 percent of participants claimed to have slashed their intake of animal-based foods by 50 percent or more. 

For a noteworthy 28 percent, the commitment extended beyond the campaign, as they opted to remain fully vegan. The primary motivations for this group were rooted in newfound knowledge about veganism, closely followed by the revelation that adopting a vegan lifestyle was easier than anticipated.

Better health after going vegan

Among the multitude of benefits reported by participants, better health emerged as a key factor. Over 60 percent of respondents experienced improvements in their health, with 58 percent noting increased energy levels, 51 percent observing enhanced skin appearance, and 43 percent witnessing positive changes in body weight.

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Notably, the survey highlighted the campaign’s resilience, with 96 percent of those who did not maintain a fully vegan diet expressing a strong likelihood of attempting a vegan lifestyle again in the future. 

The data underscores the lasting impact of Veganuary, indicating that the campaign serves as a catalyst for sustained dietary change globally. Since its inception in 2014, Veganuary has been instrumental in guiding people worldwide toward embracing a vegan lifestyle through its month-long pledge each January. 

The campaign, which has witnessed the active participation of over three million individuals from nearly every country across the world, has positioned itself as a global leader advocating for plant-based diets.

More people try vegan lifestyles in the new year

For those who deviated from a vegan lifestyle, the challenges of dining out emerged as the primary hurdle, closely followed by the nostalgia for non-vegan comfort foods. Despite these obstacles, there is an overwhelming willingness among participants to revisit a vegan diet in the future, a fact that further underscores Veganuary’s transformative influence on participants’ attitudes toward plant-based living. 

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“Many Americans are focused on similar concerns right now: Protecting our planet, lowering food bills, and improving the health of our families. Eating plants can do all of this,” Sandra Hungate, Veganuary’s US Director, tells VegNews. “For these reasons and more, 71 percent of all US adults are hoping to eat more vegetables in 2024.”

The survey results come on the heels of a record-breaking year for Veganuary, with a staggering 700,000 people from nearly every corner of the globe participating in the challenge. Interestingly, the campaign’s actual reach may extend beyond these figures, as many individuals are believed to have informally embraced the vegan lifestyle without officially registering on the campaign’s website.

Adding to its worldwide momentum, Veganuary recently announced the opening of a new office in Spain, marking the organization’s eighth global chapter. Spain—where five million people identify as vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian—has shown significant enthusiasm for the campaign. 

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A January survey by Just Eat found that 12 percent of the Spanish population was actively participating in Veganuary.

Stateside, Veganuary campaigns continue their success likely due to the support that is provided to newbies, including free daily coaching emails with recipes and tips, a digital celebrity cookbook, a vegan starter kit, seven meal plans, and access to a private US Veganuary participant Facebook group where people can connect with each other for product advice, recipe sharing, and support. 

“In addition, there will be tons of special offers from companies nationwide, which we will formally announce in January, so folks can keep a lookout,” Jessie Lingenfelter, Veganuary US Media, tells VegNews.

Veganuary celebrates 10 years

Additionally, in celebration of Veganuary’s 10th anniversary, the campaign just launched its first official cookbook, titled The Official Veganuary Cookbook: 100 Amazing Vegan Recipes for Everyone. Published by HarperCollins Publishers, the cookbook is available in both hardback and ebook formats.

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The cookbook, a culmination of Veganuary’s 100 top tried-and-tested plant-based recipes, features a diverse array of dishes spanning breakfasts, mains, sides, dips, desserts, and more. Serving as a comprehensive guide to meat-free meals, the cookbook goes beyond recipes to include sections on pantry essentials, shopping lists, sample meal plans, go-to vegan ingredients, and no-waste inspiration. This holistic approach aims to help readers create meals that are not only delicious but also efficient and eco-friendly.

With a focus on making plant-based eating accessible to everyone, the cookbook is designed for seasoned vegans, flexitarians, and those simply seeking to explore new flavors. 

“We couldn’t be prouder to be publishing this beautiful and vibrant cookbook—the recipes have been inspired by the Veganuary community all over the world in this truly collaborative project from a brilliantly passionate team,” Lydia Good, HarperNonFiction Publishing Director, said in a statement.

The Official Veganuary Cookbook is for everyone looking to enjoy a varied diet, experience new flavors, learn how to pair delicious ingredients, and to give vegan cooking a try.”

The release of The Official Veganuary Cookbook aligns seamlessly with the campaign’s milestone year, further cementing Veganuary’s influence in the global movement toward sustainable and plant-based living. As the cookbook promises to inspire and tantalize taste buds, it marks another significant stride in Veganuary’s mission to make veganism accessible, enjoyable, and a year-round culinary adventure.

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