Veganuary Is the New Dry January
Keep your red wine and give up red meat instead.
For many of us, Dry January isn’t really our cup of tea—because alcohol is our cup of tea. But if you can’t imagine kicking off 2020 without abstaining from something for 31 days, here’s another way to spend your January: Veganuary.
As the name implies, Veganuary is “a non-profit organization that encourages people worldwide to try vegan for January and beyond.”
Wendy Matthews, the program’s U.S. director, told The Washington Post that, last year, nearly half of those who made the pledge for January said they planned to continue eating vegan afterwards. (No word on how many of them were vegan to begin with, though.)
Originally launched in 2014, Veganuary says 2019 was its most successful year yet, with “more than a quarter of a million people [taking] our pledge to try a vegan diet.” But Veganuary is also a U.K.-registered charity—and if you want to promote a vegan lifestyle, you have to spread your message beyond a couple islands hidden somewhere above France.
So last year, the charity sent out an American press release proclaiming that the concept was “gaining momentum” as it “expands across the pond.” And this year, they’ve launched a campaign in the U.S. for the first time, including enlisting “Hollywood A-listers”—specifically Joaquin Phoenix, Alicia Silverstone, Mayim Bialik, and Evanna Lynch—to back their movement. (For the record, Lynch is Irish, but don’t let that stop you from giving up meat!) Veganuary is even promising their first ever U.S. television ad and have released a trailer to raise money.
For their efforts, Veganuary hopes to increase their numbers again this year to 350,000 participants—though they admitted to the Post that, as of this week, only about 65,000 people have signed up. Still, they think that number will increase once the New Year gets closer and people start thinking more about their resolutions.
However, don’t take their word for it! “If you look at the climate crisis or the violence of our food system and feel helpless, thinking ‘I wish there was something I could do’—you can. Right now. Sign up to try vegan this January,” said Joaquin Phoenix. Come on! Would the Joker lead you astray?!
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for 31 days of vegan recipes, we got that covered for you, no Veganuary required.