Veganuary: What Is It, and Should You Try It?

By Andy Tipp

We’re a month away from Veganuary, when hundreds of thousands of people will be trying out a vegan lifestyle for 31 days. Will you be among them? Find out what Veganuary is, how to do it, what impact it has, and what our network members say about it.

Let’s get into it…

First off, let’s start with the basics: What actually is Veganuary?

Veganuary is the concept of people trying a vegan diet for a month in January, and seeing how it goes. A vegan diet means eating 100% plant-based – no meat, dairy, eggs or any other animal products.

It can be a great way to try new and delicious food, learn more about veganism, and think about how our choices affect animals, the environment and health.

But even though a lot of people try Veganuary as a New Year’s resolution-style health kick, it can be as healthy or unhealthy as you want – there’s no judgement!

Going solo versus signing up

Technically, you can do Veganuary completely on your own. But a lot of people sign up with the UK-based charity Veganuary.

Veganuary (the non-profit organisation) say 500,000 people took part in 2021, and the number is growing every year.

The benefit of signing up to Veganuary rather than doing it on your own is you’re buying into a concept and community, which can keep you motivated and on track. You’re not literally buying anything – it’s free to take part – although as a charity Veganuary do obviously ask you to consider making a donation.

Veganuary send you daily emails with information and encouragement. These start out focused on food and recipes, but as the weeks progress they introduce content on animal welfare and ethics, as well as the impact of a plant-based diet on the environment and health.

There’s also a Veganuary Facebook group for that real-time interaction and support. Most of the group are vegan newbies, but there are also some vegan veterans to help out with advice. You can find lots of mouth-watering recipes and ideas in this community – from naturally plant-based meals to dishes with meat and dairy alternatives.

What impact does Veganuary have?

Veganuary run a survey six months after the whole thing has ended.

Following Veganuary 2021, some of the headline results from nearly 9,000 respondents were:

  • 63% feel more inspired in the kitchen since Veganuary, with the majority saying Veganuary has also helped them make more sustainable, compassionate and healthier food choices
  • 82% say they have reduced the amount of animal products in their diets by at least half, and 30% of people have stayed vegan after doing Veganuary
  • More than two-thirds of people who’ve stayed vegan saw improvements to their overall health, including energy levels, mood, body weight and skin appearance
  • 60% of people who’ve stayed vegan have been more active at promoting veganism, with over half influencing at least one other person to try it

You can read about the Veganuary survey on their website, check out the full Veganuary survey results and follow Veganuary on Twitter.

What do our members say about Veganuary?

A number of our network members have tried Veganuary in the past. Here are some takeaways from their experience:

Andy's face

“Doing Veganuary helped me make the jump from vegetarian to vegan. All the communication from Veganuary was engaging and motivating, and their online community was really supportive.” – Andy (2021)

“I feel better as a result of doing it, and I have more energy. This is a priceless gain. What I took away from it is a strong belief that a vegan diet and lifestyle is healthier.” – Anthony (2020)

“It’s been a great challenge and I’m really proud of myself for seeing it through. I have learnt a lot over the last month and it’s made me aware of the importance of education.” – Lauren (2019)

“It’s been a real positive experience for me and it hasn’t required the huge effort I thought it would to eat out, eat at home and to convince the kids to try some plant based alternatives.” – Hannah (2019)

What are you waiting for?

Well, there you have it. Everything you need to know to try Veganuary.

You can sign up to Veganuary 2022 now. Once you get nearer to January you’ll start getting those regular emails, recipes and meal plans and loads of support and encouragement.

The great thing about Veganuary is that unlike other New Year’s resolutions it’s very achievable and time-bound – you only do it for 31 days. If you absolutely hate it, you never have to look at another vegan sausage again!

Read our previous Veganuary blogs

Get in touch

You can give us feedback on this article by using our contact form or emailing vegannetwork@suffolk.gov.uk.

Find out more about our staff network, and how to get involved.

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