Veganuary has announced that it had a record 700,000 sign-ups this year, which was 80,000 more than last year.
The campaign, which launched in 2014, sees people from across the world sign up to go vegan for one month. North Korea (where the internet is banned) and Vatican City are said to be the only places on Earth with no sign-ups this year.
Veganuary has been praised for opening up more people to plant-based eating, and many are thought to stay vegan after the month has ended.
“The impact our food choices have on the planet is getting harder to ignore, and it’s very inspiring to see so many people around the world starting the new year by taking action,” Veganuary’s Head of Communications Toni Vernelli said in a statement. “Attitudes towards veganism are changing, and Veganuary’s just-give-it-a-go-for-a-month-and-see-what-you-think approach has undoubtedly played an instrumental role in this shift, offering a non-judgmental way for businesses and individuals alike to explore a transition towards plant-based.”
In an Instagram announcing the record-breaking year, Veganuary also pointed out that these were likely the “tip of the iceberg,” as many people do the challenge without signing up.
In a YouGov poll conducted last month, four percent of UK respondents said that they were doing Veganuary.
Why do people do Veganuary?
People opt to take part in Veganuary for a number of reasons. The campaign previously said that the majority of people cite animal welfare as a motivating factor. Others sign up over environmental or health concerns.
While most people in the world eat meat, there is nevertheless a growing understanding of the ethical costs of our food.
The majority of farmed animals are kept in factory farms, where they are subjected to unnatural conditions, mutilations, and confined spaces.
Animal agriculture is also a key contributor to the climate crisis. It’s responsible for at least 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and is a driver of deforestation and biodiversity loss.