It is nearly that time of year again. No, not New Year’s but Veganuary. The annual campaign to encourage the average joe to eat vegan for the month of January.
Clea Grady, Veganuary’s engaging and passionate Marketing Manager, was kind enough to answer some of my questions:
How did Veganuary start and why?
Veganuary’s founders, Jane and Matthew, knew that month-long pledges were not unusual, but felt that it could be done differently, and perhaps more successfully, by focusing on the month of January; a time for resolutions and new beginnings. Veganuary is dedicated to changing public attitudes, while providing all the information and practical support required to make the transition to veganism as easy and enjoyable as possible.
What is your personal story? What brought you here?
I became vegetarian at 12 because I loved animals. In my teenage years, being veggie was very much a part of who I was. I was the girl with the hippy skirts. Present day. I’m Veganuary’s Marketing Manager and can say, hand on heart, that taking part and going vegan has completely changed my life. My only regret about being vegan? That I didn’t find my way here sooner.
How many people signed up last year and how many people do you expect to sign up for 2016?
12,800 in 2015, a fourfold increase on the 3,300 of 2014. Hoping to do the same again so are aiming for 50,000 this year!
Any famous celebrity fans signing up?
Vivienne Westwood has been announced so far. http://www.veganuary.com/vivienne-westwood-is-taking-part-in-veganuary-2016/
Do you have an idea of how many people remain vegan after January?
We survey twice a year, once immediately after January and again six months later. In 2015, 51% of survey respondents said they were staying vegan, and 49% confirmed they have remained so in the follow-up August survey.
What are your favourite recipes/meals?
I have a load of my own recipes on Veganuary.com http://www.veganuary.com/recipe-authors/clea-grady/and I love the ‘Isa Does It’ cookbook!
What are your top tips for being vegan in a pretty much non vegan world?
I wrote the whole of our Vegan Starter Kit, which is brand new for 2016, so that would be my recommended first place to start! http://www.veganuary.com/starter-kit/. A sense of community is really important I think, so if you don’t know any vegans locally then get involved with a friendly group online. Our Facebook group is one of the nicest! www.facebook.com/groups/veganuary
How do you keep the momentum going after January?
We move into our ‘Try Vegan, Stay Vegan’ phase, where we support the participants who wish to remain vegan, and provide support to anyone interested in veganism during any month of the year.
As a vegan, what can we be doing to spread the message?
Share, share, share! We rely 100% on our support network to share our messages on social media, and grow momentum for each yearly campaign.
What is up next for Veganuary and the team?
We’ve merged with Animal Equality so that’s really exciting! http://www.veganuary.com/veganuary-and-animal-equality-join-forces/ Continuing to grow Veganuary and become a recognised voice for social change. Our ultimate aim is to make veganism a social norm, so everything we do is a step towards that. J
Thank you so much, Clea for taking the time to answer my questions.
If you want to know more and maybe even sign up, check out their website: http://www.veganuary.com or follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Veganuary
Let me know if you’re planning on taking the pledge this January.
Thanks for reading.
London Vegan Bird.
Come and be my virtual friend:
Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird
Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird
Follow me on Instagram: London Vegan Bird