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Everything You Need to Know About Veganuary

Have you ever wanted to go vegan, but you’re too scared of the commitment or missing your favorite non-vegan flavors? If the answer is yes, then consider taking part in Veganuary!


Veganuary is a challenge taking place during the entirety of January where participants practice a vegan diet for the month. An English nonprofit organization, also called Veganuary, created this challenge to encourage an easy transition to the vegan lifestyle. At this time last year, I was studying abroad in London, which is where I discovered Veganuary. I noticed during the month of January, the British restaurants and other food establishments expanded their menus to include more vegan options in support of Veganuary. 


The nonprofit organization was founded in 2014 by Matthew Glover and Jane Land. Matthew Glover spent 17 years working in the window and door industry and became a vegan in 2011. Jane land was formerly an English teacher and she dedicated much of her time as an animal campaigner because she was mortified by the treatment of animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses. Both Matthew Glover and Jane Land joined forces in 2014 in efforts to support others going vegan for the month. Currently the two guide the nonprofit organization along with a team of trustees.


According to their website, Veganuary strongly values impact; empowerment; collaboration; diversity & inclusion; respect & integrity; and resilience. Veganuary’s ultimate goal is a fully vegan world. They want to create a world without slaughterhouses and eliminate other negative environmental impacts caused by the food production industry. The Veganuary mission statement is as follows: “Our mission is to inspire and support people to try vegan, drive corporate change, and create a global mass movement championing compassionate food choices with the aim of ending animal farming, protecting the planet and improving human health.”


Since 2014, over one million people from 192 countries have taken part in Veganuary. Many celebrities such as Joaquin Phoenix and Paul McCartney are ambassadors for Veganuary and are speaking out about doing their part to help our planet. Although I am not currently vegan, I am excited to participate in Veganuary this year. During 2020, I reduced the amount of meat I was eating significantly by only eating one meaty meal at most per day, and I also practiced meatless Mondays. 


Testing out the vegan lifestyle is less daunting when committing to a specific time period instead of committing indefinitely. Despite lasting only a month, Veganuary has inspired many participants to make a full lifestyle change. If you’re interested, head over to the Veganuary website and pledge to participate. Enter your email address and they will send support, recipes, meal plans and other helpful tips over the course of the month. 


So who’s ready to take the pledge with me?

Jackie Maese is a senior at Penn State majoring in Telecommunications and Theater Studies. If she's not writing at her laptop, you can probably find her cooking up a masterpiece, petting a dog, or eating a New Jersey bagel.
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