Some of the world’s biggest names have thrown their weight behind Veganuary and are encouraging their followers to ditch the meat and dairy this month.
Sir Paul McCartney, Joaquin Phoenix, Alicia Silverstone and Queen guitarist, Brian May, are leading the way for cruelty-free, sustainable living by promoting plant-based diets.
Kim Kardashian, who has dipped in and out of veganism in recent years, has announced she is back on board the plant-based train to supplement her “sister boot camp”, which consists of two workouts a day.
“30 days to get our mind and body right this year!” the reality star said on her Instagram story.
The Beatles’ bassist and decades-long vegetarian, Sir Paul McCartney has once again signed on as an ambassador for the Veganuary initiative.
In a statement, the 78-year-old urged fans to “sign up, take part, give it a go, and see how you feel”.
“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.
“This is why I started Meat Free Monday with my daughters Mary and Stella, and it’s also why I support Veganuary.”
Joker star Joaquin Phoenix also backed the campaign and said those concerned about climate change should consider making the switch.
“If you look at the climate crisis or the violence of our food system and feel helpless, thinking ‘I wish there was something I could do’ – you can. Right now.”
Kinder diets …
The interest in veganism rose to an all-time high in 2020, and is showing no signs of slowing down.
In the UK alone, 6.5 million people are gearing up to go vegan, vegetarian or pescatarian in 2021, according to a survey by finder.com.
Since the Veganuary campaign’s commencement six years ago, interest has skyrocketed.
In its first year in 2014, just 3300 people officially signed up to participate.
This year, more than 500,000 people joined the movement.
But why are so many people making the switch to a kinder diet?
In 2020, 38 per cent of Veganuary participants listed their health as being a top motivator to sign up.
About 37 per cent said their main reason to ditch meat and dairy was due to animal cruelty within the animal agriculture industry.
Vampire Diaries heart-throb Paul Wesley highlighted the strong link between animal consumption and diseases like COVID-19, HIV, Ebola, Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Mad Cow disease and SARS – all of which originated in animals.
Factory farming is, in my opinion, one of the most important issues of our time. If not the most important.
The unimaginable suffering imposed on living beings, the cause of numerous diseases/ pandemics, and the greatest contributor to climate change.
Join me & go vegan in 2021.
— Paul Wesley (@paulwesley) December 20, 2020
About 18 per cent of Veganuary participants wanted to do their part for the environment, while seven per cent listed other, unspecified reasons.
Clueless actor Alicia Silverstone, one of Veganuary’s ambassadors, said the desire to better the planet was a big driver in her decision.
“Despite all of our recycling, energy saving and water conservation (all of which are great), most people still don’t know that they can have the greatest impact on our precious planet Earth by adopting a plant-based diet,” Silverstone said.
Like Kardashian, a focus on health and wellbeing was an important element of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s plant-based journey.
The couple wrote the foreword in Beyoncé’s personal trainer, Marco Borges’ book,The Greenprint: Plant-Based Diet, Best Body, Better World, and said they wanted to challenge themselves.
“We all have a responsibility to stand up for our health and the health of the planet. Let’s take this stand together.”