It’s the start of a new year. In this new year, we can follow an event named Veganuary!
It’s a time when lots of people challenge themselves to try to eat a plant-based diet throughout January.
Veganuary was created in 2014 by a couple in America to encourage people to try out veganism, learn more about the lifestyle and movement.
But what exactly is a vegan?
A vegan is someone who doesn’t eat or use animal products.
Unlike a vegetarian diet – where people don’t eat meat or fish – a vegan diet avoids all animal products like dairy, eggs, and even honey.
Some people prefer to call this way of eating a plant-based diet.
Following a vegan lifestyle also means only using or buying cosmetics and clothes free from animal products.
Research by the Vegan Society found the number of vegans in Great Britain increased from 150,000 in 2006 to 540,000 in 2016.
Many believe the number of people who call themselves vegans could now be in the millions.
Why has veganism become more popular?
Many celebrities, including Ariana Grande, The Voice UK coach will.i.am and tennis ace Venus Williams are vegans and talk publicly about it.
There are also many vegan cafes and restaurants, and vegan options being added to menus, meaning there’s much more choice.
Greggs introduced the vegan sausage roll in 2019, and in June that year, fast-food chain KFC introduced their first vegan burger in the UK – made up of a vegan Quorn fillet coated in the Colonel’s secret recipe, lettuce, and vegan mayo.
The animal rights group Peta called the burger “game-changing” said that “we’re confident it will be a huge hit with the skyrocketing numbers of vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians around the UK.”
Another fast-food restaurant, McDonald’s, has also got in on the action. It recently trialed the McPlant burger in Canada and it’s expected to be made more widely available soon.
The 2018 series of The Great British Bake Off introduced a ‘vegan week’ to add to the regular challenges such as ‘bread week.’
Bake Off judge, Paul Hollywood, told the BBC: “Veganism seems to be growing, and we wanted to represent that.”