A half-year survey has found that 28 percent of participants who were not vegan when they signed up for Veganuary 2023 are still eating a plant-based diet six months later.
Moreover, eight in 10 participants who were not previously vegan have maintained a dramatic reduction in their animal product consumption since finishing the 31-day challenge.
Toni Vernelli, Veganuary’s Head of Communications, told Plant Based News: “These results show that Veganuary is helping people make lasting diet changes that are good for the planet and their health.”
Learning about veganism helps people stay vegan
Asked for their number one reason for staying plant-based since January, participants’ most popular answer was “learning more about veganism” (34 percent).
Taking part in Veganuary helps open people’s eyes to the possibilities of veganism. Some 30 percent cited “being vegan was easier than I expected” as the key reason they were continuing on on with it.
Health benefits for those staying vegan
“Improved health” (16 percent) was the third most popular answer. Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of Veganuary participants who have continued to eat a fully plant-based diet for the past 6 months have experienced health improvements.
These include increased energy (58 percent), improved mood (57 percent), better skin (51 percent) and desired change in body weight (43 percent).
One respondent said: “I have become more centered, calm, and happy with my life choices. I have balanced more elements of my life too as a result.”
Going vegan makes people more creative in the kitchen
It is not only health where participants noted an improvement.
Respondents to the survey said that taking part in Veganuary helped them feel more inspired in the kitchen (68 percent) and make more adventurous food choices (60 percent).
One participant said: “I cook more than before and I pay attention to eating more healthily.”
Benefits for the animals
Of course, as well as the human benefits, the real winners from veganism are the animals spared cruelty and suffering on farms and in slaughterhouses.
In the UK, the average person consumes 10,000 animals in their lifetime. Each year 1.2 billion land animals are killed for meat, along with uncountable numbers of fishes*. Going vegan is the best way to save animals.
“Simply no downside to signing up for Veganuary”
Since launching officially in 2014, the annual challenge has gone from strength to strength.
Toni Vernelli added: “Cutting out meat and dairy is the best way to cut our carbon footprint. As an added bonus, over two-thirds of participants who stick with a plant-based diet feel health benefits as well! There is simply no downside to signing up for Veganuary!”
Never too late to go vegan
Of those who haven’t stayed vegan, more than half said that they are extremely likely to try veganism again in the future. In total, 96 percent indicated they are likely to try again.
“Difficulty when eating out at restaurants” (21 percent) and “Missing non-vegan foods” (20 percent) were the most likely reasons why participants did not stay vegan.
In some cases, the participants were influenced by others when choosing not to stay vegan. “Pressure from friends and family” (12 percent) was one of the most popular reasons some participants stopped being vegan after January.
*While the English language usually refers to multiple fishes as “fish,” we have chosen to use “fishes” to emphasize their individuality