A number of high-profile names from Hollywood, alongside environmentalists and athletes, are urging people to sign up to a campaign promoting plant-based diets.
The non-profit organisation Veganuary, which challenges people to pledge going vegan for the duration of January, hopes to have more than 350,000 people take part this year.
Backers include Hollywood actor Joaquin Phoenix, The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bailik, Eastenders star Kellie Bright, environmentalists George Monbiot and Chris Packham, and former Australian cricket player Jason Gillespie.
Organisers have pointed to this year being even more important in light of the growing concern about our impact on the planet. It comes off the back of a scientific report by the United Nations this summer, which claimed that switching to a plant-based diet could help fight climate change.
In an impassioned plea, actor Joaquin Phoenix, said:
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.
The campaign, founded in 2014, has helped inspire a growing trend of restaurants and supermarkets to offer vegan food options for consumers. Organisers say that they are on course to have 350,000 people signed up to take part in the campaign in 2020, up from 250,000 in 2019. The campaign has had a knock-on impact on eating habits elsewhere too, with a study by Kantar showing that 1.31m people gave up eating animal products in January 2019.
Environmental journalist George Monbiot, said:
If we are serious about protecting the living planet and all its inhabitants, we must accept that meat and dairy are extravagances we can no longer afford.
Thanks to an increase in people pledging to support the campaign, for the first time, Veganuary will also launch a TV advert between Christmas and New Year urging people to take part. The advert will air in the UK, Germany, the US and Chile, reflecting the decision by organisers to run the campaign in four new countries this year (the fourth being South Africa).
To pledge to take part visit https://uk.veganuary.com.
Photo by Diana Ringo