Kickstart a kinder, greener life with the relaunched, revamped Vegan Easy Challenge
VeganEasy is the original trailblazing Aussie online vegan challenge program that has been attracting participants globally since 2009. We get the lowdown about its relaunch and special World Vegan Month edition, kicking off on 1 Nov 2021.
After launching on World Vegan Day 2009, the Australian non-profit Vegan Easy initiative is going back to its roots in 2021. These days, you can start the free online program any time of the year. But, in honour of its origins, Vegan Easy is kicking off a special month-long group Challenge on 1 November 2021.
Roots: World Vegan Day 2009
Over a decade ago, well before the days of Veganuary, Instagram influencers and the booming marketplace for vegan products, Animal Liberation Victoria (ALV) pioneered a 30-day vegan challenge – a hybrid in-person and online program to step people through the transition to a vegan lifestyle.
Lefki Pavlidis, who has coordinated the program from its earliest days, says, “It was the noughties after all, and MeetUp group potlucks could only reach so many. There was a burgeoning demand to help guide large numbers of people to successfully try the switch to vegan.”
At that time, World Vegan Day (1 November) was becoming a well-established date for celebrating all things plant-based, cruelty-free and sustainable. “ALV recognised people would be hard-pressed to pick a more perfect time to give vegan living a go,” Lefki says.
Those who signed up for the first ever Vegan Easy Challenge received starter packs via snail mail that included a free guide with recipes, info about the animals, bios of inspiring vegans, the environmental impacts of our food choices, and more. They could also participate online through the novel Vegan Easy Facebook group where the team provided daily support including product and meal ideas. Throughout the month, activities were held such as a vegan BBQ and an end-of-Challenge dinner.
Special edition for World Vegan Month 2021
Since 2009, Vegan Easy has continually grown, adapting and improving its resources in response to popular demand. Through its website, social media, info booklets and year-round Challenge program, it has already helped hundreds of thousands of people embrace vegan living.
After a few years away, Lefki returned to ALV last year to coordinate a refresh of the Vegan Easy Challenge. She is excited to be kicking off a special World Vegan Month edition of the program in partnership with Vegan Australia on 1 November 2021.
“You can start the Challenge whenever it suits you,” Lefki explains. “But if you’ve been waiting for the right time, this World Vegan Month is ideal. We’ve got our dedicated November Challenge Facebook support group ready to welcome you, newly-revamped resources including our 30-day emails for Challengers, and food demo videos from some stellar special guest cooks.”
By taking part during World Vegan Month, you’ll be joining thousands of plant-curious participants around Australia, New Zealand and beyond – and, if you register before 1 November, you’ll be eligible to win giveaways throughout the month.
Some of the November 2021 Vegan Easy Challenge gift partners.
Clockwise from top: Fussy Vegan (barcode scanning app for groceries in AU and NZ), Herbidoor plant-based meal delivery service (AU), Larrykin Dog Treats (Aussie vegan dog treats), Koala Eco (home & body cleaning products), PB Nutrition (AU specialist vegan dietetics clinic), vEEF (chef-made vegan meat alternatives), Nestar chocolates (AU), and Vegan Grocery Store (Sydney, Melbourne and online AU-wide).
Inspiration from experienced and empowering advocates
As always, participants will have the option to tap into the knowledge of experienced, friendly volunteer mentors, or access one-on-one guidance. The November 2021 challenge is also supported by a host of inspiring Ambassadors. One of them is Melbourne-based chef and social media star, Zacchary Bird, who has built a huge following for his good-natured humorous viral videos sharing the joys of vegan food. A signed copy of his new cookbook, The Vegan Butcher, is among the giveaways on offer for the World Vegan Month Challenge.
Another Ambassador is Melburnian oncologist Dr Despina Handolias. “I support the Vegan Easy Challenge because shifting toward a healthful plant-based lifestyle will be transformative for the health of individuals and the healthcare system. Veganism also embodies the philosophy of compassion and kindness which is fundamental to the practice of good medicine and to becoming more conscious human beings,” she says.
Ambassadors, from left to right: Liz Douglas of Vegan Diaries, chef Zacchary Bird, oncologist Dr Despina Handolias, Gabrielle Scollay of Sustainably Gabrielle, Tully of Tully’z Kitchen, Olympic athlete Izzi Batt-Doyle, and Vegan Italian recipe creator, Nadia Fragnito
Leading the partnership with Vegan Australia is Lucy Stegley, board director and Health Campaign Lead for the national advocacy charity. As World Vegan Day and COP26 approach, she encourages plant-curious people to kickstart a kinder, greener, and healthier life by signing up for the Vegan Easy Challenge. “With so many benefits, the only thing vegans regret is not having made the switch sooner,” she says. “From affording yourself greater protection from chronic diseases, limiting the impact of runaway antibiotic resistance and environmental degradation due to animal agriculture – not to mention saving the lives of hundreds of animals – each plant-based choice creates a positive ripple in the world.”
The November Vegan Easy Challenge is a great opportunity for anyone to join a welcoming, informative and fun 30-day introduction to a lifestyle that is rapidly going mainstream. Sign up free before 1 November 2021 to take part in the special World Vegan Month edition, proudly supported by Nourish: veganeasy.org.