The results of Veganuary 2018 have been released – with data showing it was the best year for the initiative yet.
According to the charity – which encourages people to try a vegan diet throughout January – 168,500 registered participants from 165 countries took part.
Following the month-long campaign, a participant survey was launched – showing who took part, why, and their future plans.
According to the data, 40 percent of survey respondents* identified as omnivore before taking part in Veganuary. 16 percent were pescetarian; 33 percent vegetarian; and 11 percent already vegan
The majority of participants – 83 percent – were female; 15 percent male; one percent gender non-conforming; and one percent identified as other.
For every 100 people registering, another 12 family members or friends also took part.
Animal welfare and rights issues were the key motivating factor for most – with 43 percent of respondents taking part for those reasons.
Health was next, with 39 percent, and 10 percent took part because of environmental concerns.
Most (previously non-vegan) survey respondents stayed vegan (95%+ of meals eaten) throughout the month – at 82 percent.
The majority of (previously non-vegan) respondents – 62 percent – said they intended to remain vegan afterwards.
Reasons cited were: they learned more about the issues such as animal cruelty and environmental impact (86 percent), being vegan was easier than they expected (82 percent), 67 percent said they would stay vegan because their health improved.
When it came to health, 66 percent of respondents reported improvements to their health, including energy levels (60 percent), mood (57 percent), body weight (52 percent) and better skin appearance (49 percent).
A staggering 99 percent of survey respondents would recommend Veganuary to others.
Veganuary’s Chief Executive, Simon Winch, said: “2018 has been a stellar year for Veganuary, with tens of thousands of people discovering the benefits of a vegan diet and deciding to stick with it once the month is over.
“Right across the world, people are recognising that each of us can truly make a difference to our health, to animals and to the environment, and we can do it easily – and tastily – three times a day.
“Small changes that we make have a huge collective impact, and for the two-thirds of our participants who reported health benefits in just four weeks, there is another incentive to remain vegan.”
He added: “We are so proud of the Class of 2018 for embracing the challenge with an open mind, and for everything they have achieved.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure to help them take their first plant-based steps and we offer heartfelt congratulations to all.”
*The survey was sent to 50 percent of Veganuary 2018 participants, with a response rate of 14 percent.