Veganuary: The Vegan Movement Changing Lives

What is it?

“Veganuary” is much easier to say if you’re from the UK, where “January” is often pronounced Jan-yoo-ree. Veganuary is a play on words, combining “vegan” with “January” to name the non-profit organization based in the UK. Its primary objective? Encouraging people across the globe to try veganism for the month of January, with the hope that the habit will stick for longer.1 The organization was founded in 2014 by husband-and-wife Jane Land and Matthew Glover, who introduced three incentives to move toward a plant-based diet—to protect the environment, prevent animal suffering and improve the health of people—a trifecta of benefits.

Challenge accepted!

People like a challenge. Whether it’s the infamous cinnamon challenge of the 2010’s, the ice bucket challenge of 2014 or the Movember challenge that began in 2003—people love to be put to the test. The Movember movement encourages participants to grow out their facial hair during the month of November to help raise money for prostate cancer, and this is the challenge that inspired the founders, Jane and Matthew, to start Veganuary in 2014. According to Jane, she and her husband wanted to apply the same concept to helping animals and thus, Veganuary was born!2  During their launch year, the couple conservatively anticipated 100-1,000 participants, but 3,300 people around the world signed up, more than tripling their expectations!  And now today they have over 1,000,000 participants signed up globally, with continued growth.2

Who’s involved?

Veganuary has supported over a million people in 192 countries in their effort to try veganism for the month of January. The organization strives to inspire individuals, corporations and even celebrities to try a vegan diet. Their signatories range from a list actors and actresses like Joaquin Phoenix, Alec Baldin, Alicia Silverstone to Olympic cyclist Dotsie Bausch to comedian Tig Notaro, all of whom agree that 2021 is the year for positive change.1 Today the CEO is Ria Rehberg and the US Director is Wendy Matthews.

What do they do?

Matthew Glover described the non-profit as “a platform that could...be adopted by food businesses, bloggers, influencers to really help it take off. It was more setting the groundwork to allow others to bring it to the next level.”3 That is exactly what Veganuary does—utilizes individuals and businesses to change consumer attitudes and decisions for the greater good. As it turns out, January is the perfect month to get people motivated to build a better future!  And best of all it is a non-threatening way to try veganism for a short-term commitment, with the potential to foster longer term behavior change.  Even encouraging reducitarian is a great starting point.  It brings together people who join for different reasons, but with a common goal to make a positive difference.

N4L & Veganuary

Nutrition for Longevity vegan meal kits are available all year round, but in the first month of 2021 there has never been a stronger call for us to help our planet, ourselves and one another. With 94% of the planet’s mammal biomass consisting of animals bred for consumption, it is easy to see how livestock has some of the largest environmental impacts of all food production practices. 4  If you’ve ever been on the fence about moving toward a more plant-based diet, N4L makes it easier than ever to begin your journey with ready-made meals.  The N4L CEO, Jennifer Maynard, has made her pledge and is encouraging the entire N4L team to take the pledge with rewards and competitions internally to adopt the approach.  We offer fully vegan meal kits to make eating a balanced vegan diet easy to incorporate even into the busiest of schedules!

Below is a vegan recipe developed by our Dietitian and Culinary team. Give it a try to see what a N4L lifestyle and VEGANUARY is all about!

Warm Winter Vegan Chili

This chili recipe has lots of ingredients to maximize flavor, but it’s simple and easy to make! If you’re in a hurry you can simmer for as little as 30 minutes, but cooking for up to 3 hours will earn you bragging rights at the next potluck! Serve over ¼ cup of brown rice for a heartier meal that will get you through the coldest of winters.

Servings:   6   Prep Time:   20 min.   Cook Time:   30 min.-3 hr.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 4 serrano peppers, finely diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, finely diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons N4L EVOO
  • tablespoons tamari
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ¼-½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup scallions, chopped

Tip: Remove the inner wall and seeds of your hot peppers for chili with less kick!

Instructions

  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, serrano peppers, and jalapeno peppers. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes and corn. Cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables begin to brown around edges.
  3. Add chili powder, cocoa powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, tamari and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover pot with a lid and allow to simmer for 1-4 hours. Simmering longer will allow flavors to develop.
  5. Serve hot and garnish desired amount of chopped cilantro and scallions. Enjoy!

 

References

[1] The international movement inspiring people to try vegan! (2020, December 02). Retrieved from https://veganuary.com/

2 Living, V. (2016, December 21). Interview with Veganuary founder, Jane Land. Retrieved from https://www.veganfoodandliving.com/vegan-lifestyle/interviews/interview-with-veganuary-founder-jane-land/

3 Ho, S. (2020, December 23). Interview: Matthew Glover Veganuary Co-Founder "It's The Easiest Year Ever To Go Vegan". Retrieved from https://www.greenqueen.com.hk/interview-matthew-glover-veganuary-co-founder-its-the-easiest-year-ever-to-go-vegan/

4 Ritchie, H., & Roser, M. (2020, January 15). Environmental impacts of food production. Retrieved from https://ourworldindata.org/environmental-impacts-of-food