Billie Eilish encourages fans to join Veganuary 2023: “Together we can give Earth a fighting chance.”
Every January, Veganuary inspires millions of people to go vegan for 31 days, with 2023 set to be another record-breaking year.
Launched in the UK back in 2014, Veganuary has evolved into a global program with over 2.4 million registrants from almost every country in the world, and millions more who take part every year without officially signing up.
As it prepares to enter its tenth year in 2023, the campaign has just had an extra boost with Billie Eilish encouraging her 107 million followers to get on board. Sharing a Veganuary post to her Instagram stories last week, the acclaimed singer-songwriter included a link to sign up, resulting in a rush of new pledges and followers.
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Interest in veganism continues to climb
In the wake of another pandemic year and ever-more urgent calls for a plant-based dietary shift to protect people, planet, and animals, interest in veganism is growing globally.
Veganuary polls commissioned during 2022 suggest that around one-third of Brits are interested in becoming vegan, while nearly one-third of US citizens said they intend to eat more plant-based foods. The numbers are similar in Australia, with recent research indicating one in three people are reducing their meat intake, and 80 percent are choosing to have at least one meat-free day every week.
With the cost of living going up, the financial savings on offer are another selling point for saying ‘no thanks’ to animal products. Veganuary released research by Kantar in December 2020 finding that, on average, plant-based meals eaten at home cost 40 percent less than meat/fish-based meals, and take one-third less time to prepare. Here in Australia, a Toluna survey last year found that the high cost of meat is the second most commonly cited reason for reducing consumption after health.
In parallel with these encouraging consumer trends, the alt-protein sector is continuing to grow. Despite some noise around a slowing of growth in 2022, particularly in the US, research shows that the trajectory is still trending upwards. A major report by Boston Consulting Group published in July 2022 confirmed that their earlier growth predictions for the sector have been realised, and predicts that non-animal alternatives to meat, dairy and egg products could command as much as 22 percent of the global market by 2035.
Here in Australia, all signs point to ongoing flourishing, too. The latest ABS data tells us that grocery sales of meat and dairy alternatives grew by 14 percent in 2019-20, and the same again in 2020-21. With major funding for plant-based protein research, new on-shore plant-based protein production and processing facilities from WA to QLD, and Aussie companies at the forefront of both cultivated and precision-fermented alt-proteins, there’s no doubt that an exciting food revolution is underway.
Giving Earth a fighting chance
While health reasons are consistently the most popular entry point for exploring a vegan diet, research shows that concerns about the climate and ecological crisis rank high, too. For example, 30 percent of respondents to Toluna’s Australian survey cited environmental reasons for reducing their meat consumption.
As Billie Eilish shared to her followers, “The livestock sector contributes more than 60 percent of all food-system greenhouse gases. That’s a lot of pressure on our planet, but by replacing meat consumption with plant-based foods, together, we can give the Earth a fighting chance.”
With the array of benefits on offer from taking the plunge into vegan living, and a growing desire to take meaningful action to be part of the solution, it’s little wonder that Veganuary is anticipating another record year.
“Many of us could use a little hope right now,” says Toni Vernelli, Veganuary’s Head of Communications. “But hope is more than just wishful thinking – it’s taking steps that lead to the changes we want to see. Participating in Veganuary is a powerful way to start the year off with positive action, no matter what your resolution.”
By signing up for the free Veganuary challenge, participants receive the Official Veganuary Starter Kit, and 31 daily emails packed with nutrition info, recipes, meal plans, tips and advice. Registrants for 2023 will also receive the Veganuary Celebrity eCookbook 2023 edition featuring recipes from the likes of Dr Jane Goodall, Alicia Silverstone, Venus Williams, and many other plant-powered stars.