Veganuary, a charity dedicated to supporting those making the transition to veganism, launched in 2014 with just 3325 participants.
With huge success and growing participation year upon year, and approximately 60,000 participants in 2016, we have recently seen the announcement of hugely famous ambassadors, including Harry Potter star Evanna Lynch.
And today sees the launch of the game changing book – How To Go Vegan: The why, the how and everything you need to make going vegan easy – already a number one bestseller in both Environment & Animal Rights categories.
Co-founded by husband and wife team, Jane and Matthew, Veganuary aims to change public attitudes and make a challenge which was enjoyable, easy to follow and produces thousands of life long vegans.
I believe this book truly has the potential to change the world – even the editor went vegan following her editorial duties.
I caught up with Matthew to ask him a few questions about the new book, the success of Veganuary and his hopes for the future…
Veganuary has grown massively over recent years. What do you attribute most to its growing success?
It’s a combination of factors. There’s certainly an increase in interest in veganism which we’ve been able capitalise on. There’s so many passionate activists throughout the World spreading a message of compassion, so it’s very much a team effort.
I also think we came up with a really good idea which is simple enough for people to understand, and taps into the New Year’s resolution theme where people look to make positive changes to their lifestyles.
And, we’ve worked really hard on this. There’s so much going on in the background with long hours being worked by the team to expand the campaign and reach more people.
Your first book is due to be released on the 28th December. What made you decide to write and release a book?
I’d love to say that the book was always a part of our masterplan, but that’s not really the case. We were approached by Maddie, a Commissioning Editor of Hodder & Stoughton, in August this year, suggesting that we should write a practical guide to veganism. She had identified that there’s hundreds of vegan recipe books, but no big selling books focussing on the ‘how’ to go vegan.
So, we said to Maddie that if they could turn a book around before the coming January, then we’d write it super quick, and we’d have a deal. We were lucky to have Kate on our team, who organises the PR for Veganuary, and she’s a really great writer. Fast forward to today and the book ‘How To Go Vegan’ is printed and is now available from Amazon and Waterstones (and also available in store at Waterstones, as demonstrated by the lovely Jane).
We’re quietly confident it will sell really well, and will be an amazing vegan conversion tool.
This year sees the first year of Veganuary ambassadors. This is exciting and you have some really big names. Can you tell us more about the ambassador programme and how it started?
Yeah, we have got some really great ambassadors. We’ve always had a lot of support from a range of celebrities and key influencers, so we decided to formalise this into a programme. They’re all such passionate people and supportive of the vegan movement so it’s a real honour to have them devote their time and allow us to use their names for helping promote Veganuary.
Our hope is to further expand the number of Veganuary ambassadors we have over the coming years.
Have you got any exciting plans this January that are different from other years?
Yes, we’ve teamed up with Derek Sarno of Wicked Healthy to create 31 recipes for the 31 days of January. Derek is a culinary genius and the range of food he’s pulled together for the videos will be tempting to even the most carnivorous of society. These will be shared each day on our Facebook and Instagram pages to help support and inspire participants through the month.
What’s your favourite thing about Veganuary?
People going vegan.
How do you see Veganuary evolving into the future and what would you like to see in the coming years?
We just need to keep expanding, whilst trying not to burn out! We’re slightly more than doubling in size each year. Last year we had roughly 60,000 people take part, and this year we’re hoping to encourage more than 150,000 to give it a go.
This growth will create challenges in managing the organisation and keeping the momentum. But, we’re up for the challenge and excited to see Veganuary expand as the vegan movement as a whole grows.
I would like to thank Matthew for taking the time to answer my questions during this very manic – but hugely exciting time – and to Jane and the rest of the Veganuary team for doing such amazing work and helping to create so many new vegans. I look forward to following Matthew’s superb graphs over the coming weeks as they cruise through that 150,000 target!
Please, if you only do one more thing this year, buy the book, sign up to Veganuary. Give it a go. For the animals, For your health, For the environment.