On the 11th of January, I wrote a blog titled ‘Reasons to Try Veganuary’ – at this time, Veganuary 2021 had seen 500,000 sign ups… more than ever before. Now, two days into February we have the official figures for sign-ups to this year’s vegan pledge - this year Veganuary seemed almost unstoppable, with 582,583 sign-ups.
So, how much of an impact does Veganuary actually have? Well, in 2019, when Veganuary saw less than half the number of sign-ups than we did this year, 3.6 million animals were saved in six months (many individuals decided to continue with plant-based living). We can only assume then, that the number of animals saved will have more than doubled this year, with more and more people seeing the benefits of committing to a plant-based diet. Even if we all committed to reducing our animal consumption by half (or even better 75%), we would save millions of animals per year – aside from the obvious ethical arguments, this would have far-reaching environmental benefits.
In a survey to research the effectiveness of going vegan on the environment, Uswitch (2021) have made some interesting discoveries. If all meat-eating Brit’s had got involved in Veganuary 2021, we would collectively save 4.87 billion kgs of CO2 this year alone – the equivalent to 541,100 hours of flying. To put this into context, on average, meat eaters produce 2x the amount of CO2 than vegans do. If all Brits committed to a vegetarian diet for a year, the UK would save 37,900 tonnes of CO2 - the average energy consumption of 4,373 British homes for a year. 57,100 tonnes would be saved if we were all to go fully plant-based - the average energy consumption of 5,977 British homes for a year. These statistics highlight the huge difference that going vegan, even just for half the week, could have on the planet.
Luckily for us, it’s getting easier and easier to follow a plant-based diet, with supermarkets and many restaurants trying to best cater for the huge growth in veganism with a wide range of meat and dairy alternatives. If going fully vegan isn’t for you (we know it’s not for everyone), why not make some small swaps a few times per week. Try some of the alternatives in the plant-based section in the supermarket. Swap mince or chicken for a plant-based alternative or opt for veggie burgers instead of beef; swap out dairy milk for plant milk; try some delicious vegan yoghurts. Half the time, you really won’t taste the difference. If meat and dairy alternatives aren’t for you, why not have a falafel night once a week, and make a delicious lentil curry or a three-bean chilli. You could even try and get more creative by making your own cheese with cashews, or milk with oats!
At Healthy Nibbles, we make vegan snacking so easy. With a range of Vegan Boxes to choose from, we always include snacks that are delicious and have nutritional benefit. Non-vegans will love this too and this is perfect for all the family… so, why not give plant-based snacking a try?