Launched in 2013, Veganuary has been a huge success. Now a new film, It’ll Never Catch On: The Veganuary Story” is set to celebrate its 10-year anniversary.
In January 2023, Veganuary counted more than 706,600 participants from every country in the world (except for North Korea and Vatican City) – successfully breaking its own sign-up record. The campaign, which supports people to go vegan for January, has been running since 2013 when it counted 3,000 sign-ups. The number might be dwarfed by Veganuary’s 2023 figures, but it was still far more than founders Jane Land and Matthew Glover expected to reach in their first year. Now, the striking success of the campaign is being acknowledged on film. It’ll Never Catch On: The Veganuary Story is set to premiere at the Plant-Based World Expo Europe in London this month.
The new Veganuary film
The new short film, which is just over 20 minutes, features the founders, Land and Glover, and several special guests, including Chris Packham and Evanna Lynch, all of whom discuss the overwhelming success and influence of Veganuary.
“[Veganuary] has given veganism a positive brand makeover,” Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter franchise and has long been a vocal advocate for the vegan movement, says in the trailer for the film. “We need to change,” Packham adds, referring to the impact that the global meat-heavy food system has on the planet.
Packham himself can speak to the effectiveness of the Veganuary campaign—he signed up in 2019 and has been vegan ever since. “We know the world is eating too much meat, and we know that we as individuals have to do something about it,” he wrote for the Guardian in February 2019, after completing his first vegan month. “So I was one of the record 250,000 people who signed up to Veganuary this year.”
“I’ve learned a lot over the last month,” he added. “Years ago, I was accidentally given a vegan meal on an aircraft, and it was terrible. But I’ve found it a complete untruth that vegan food is tasteless. I’ve discovered so many new flavorsome foods: vegan pies, tofu sausages, and some fantastic chocolate. Vegan cheese might not satisfy a cheese connoisseur, but it’s fine for a decent cheese sandwich.”
He’s right that the plant-based market is consistently growing and improving. In fact, by 2025, the global industry is predicted to reach a value of more than $77 billion.
Other high-profile British Veganuary participants, including TV presenter Jasmine Harman, actor Kellie Bright, and author Jane Fallon, also feature in the documentary. They are also accompanied by spokespeople for some of the UK’s biggest retail and fast-food brands, like Asda and Burger King. Both have launched significant vegan ranges in the last year to cater to the growing British demand for more animal-free foods, which has undoubtedly been partly stoked by the success of the Veganuary campaign.
Veganuary in the US
While many of the guests in the new film are from England, where Veganuary was founded, the campaign’s reach is global. In the US, celebrity supporters include Billie Eilish, Joaquin Phoenix, Emily Deschanel, Mayim Bialik, and ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic.
Internationally renowned British musician Paul McCartney is also a fan. “I’ve been vegetarian for over 40 years and have stayed with it because I believe that every meat-free meal is a win for animals and the planet,” he says in a statement on the Veganuary website. “This is why I started Meat Free Monday with my daughters Mary and Stella, and it’s also why I support Veganuary. We’re all trying to make the world a bit better, so why not sign up, take part, give it a go, and see how you feel? It could be the best thing you did.”
According to Veganuary, 2023’s campaign saw sign-ups from all 50 US states, including 400 US businesses like Beyond Meat, Pacifica, and Sweet Earth. This year American corporate participation was up 75 percent from 2022.
“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. American attitudes towards veganism are changing,” Veganuary’s US director Wendy Matthews said in a statement.
A growing body of research suggests that Americans are becoming more curious about plant-based living. According to Alliance for Science, around one in 10 Americans say they don’t eat meat. And even more are embracing a flexitarian approach. One study from 2022 noted that more than half of young Americans are starting to eat more plant-based products.
“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,” Matthews added.
Original source: https://vegnews.com