At the end of every January, the hosts of vegan eating drive, Veganuary, email participants who signed up a questionnaire.
The questionnaire covers why participants chose to try Veganuary, how successful they were, and the reasons why they were interested in the diet in the first place.
According to 2017 research from GlobalData, veganism has showed huge growth since 2014. In the US, around 1% of people said they were vegan as of 2014. In 2017, that figure was 5.5%. The UK also saw its number of vegans increase from 0.4% to around 3%.
However, the Veganuary survey isn’t perfect. The survey was only offered to 50% of Veganuary sign-ups, and of those only 14% responded. Obviously those who failed the challenge of eating only vegan dishes for a month would probably be less likely to respond.
Still, taken for what they are the results from the Veganuary survey results give an interesting insight into modern veganism. They show some of the reasons veganism has become so popular in recent years and the demographics of vegans.
Who took part in Veganuary?
The majority of people who stepped up to the Veganuary challenge were actually meat-eaters. Omnivores made up 40% of those who gave up meat in January, and pescetarians made a further 16%. 33% of participants were vegetarians, and 11% were already vegan to begin with.
The survey also shows that veganism is still a predominantly female trend. 83% of Veganuary participants were female and 15% were male. The final 2% was made of non-binary and gender non-conforming people.
2018 was Veganuary’s biggest year thus far. 168,500 participants registered from 165 countries around the world.
Interestingly, the survey found that for every 100 people who signed up to Veganuary, 12 family members or friends also signed up. In other words, it looks like supporting someone else with a vegan lifestyle isn’t a huge motivation to try it yourself.
Why did people try veganism?
The most popular reason for trying veganism, as one might expect is animal rights/welfare. 43% of participants said this was their number one reason for taking part in Veganuary.
However, it seems animal rights is far from the only reason people are going vegan. An increasingly popular reason to try the lifestyle was health concerns. 39% of respondents took part because they felt that veganism was a healthy choice for them.
Finally, 10% of respondents said their number one reason for taking part was environmental concerns.
The last 8% had other reasons for trying a vegan diet.
How successful is Veganuary at convincing people to become vegans?
Of those who took part, 82% managed to make it all the way through January eating only vegan food.
62% of those who took part say they plan to remain vegan.
The survey also asked respondents for the reasons they’d decided to stay vegan. 86% said they’d be staying vegan because Veganuary helped them learn about issues such as animal cruelty and environmental impact.
For 82% of respondents said they’d found it was easier to be vegan than they’d expected.
And for 67% of respondents, trying veganism actually did have health benefits. Of the health benefits observed 60% said they had more energy, 57% reported better moods, 52% felt veganism had a positive effect on their weight, and 49% said their skin improved.
Safe to say, trying out veganism for a month clearly works for those who can commit to it.