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‘We don’t need to eat animals to be happy’: Vegan experts explain London’s Veganuary craze

By Cameron Eyles
January 14 2020, 14.50

Veganuary is now more popular than ever with more and more people choosing not to consume animal products this month. 

The likes of KFC and Greggs, and Costa have used the month to launch new vegan products that are selling like hot (vegan) cakes. 

Veteran vegan Brian Jacobs, founder of the Vegan London website, is glad that the diet is becoming more popular. 

He said: “Veganism has become more mainstream. People used to think you were extreme but now it is accepted.

“Environmental issues and global warming being highlighted means it is more popular than ever.”

Mr Jacobs also praised the success of Veganuary and the ever growing number of vegans.

He added: “The Veganuary success rate is quite high as more and more people become aware of animal cruelty.

“It is a healthy way to live and makes you less likely to catch certain diseases.” 

Toni Vernelli, from the non-profit organisation behind Veganuary, says that more and more people are becoming vegan full time after taking part in the month long challenge. 

“Our participant surveys show that about half of participants intend to stay vegan when January ends.

“As we see the Amazon and Australia burning, it’s becoming much more difficult to ignore the warnings of the UN and other environmental experts who keep telling us that animal farming is a major cause of climate change.

“As more people adopt a vegan diet the price of products will go down and the availability will go up, making it even easier for others to follow suit.”

According to the Vegan Society in 2018 there were 600,000 vegans compared to 150,000 in 2006.

This means the number of vegans has quadrupled in that period and the Vegan society’s Dominika Piasecka believes this number will only get bigger. 

She said: “More people are starting to realise that we don’t need to eat or use animals to live happy, healthy lives.

“It’s perfectly possible to get all the nutrients your body needs from plant sources and taking away animals’ lives from them is cruel when we don’t have to.”

She added: “The reasons behind the rise of Veganuary and veganism are numerous: the positive portrayal in the media has contributed to its changing images and documentaries on the shocking realities of animal agriculture have gained prominence. 

“Peaceful activists are educating the public about veganism on the streets and in schools and top vegan athletes keep proving that you can be fit and healthy on a plant based diet.”

With record numbers now taking part in Veganuary it is safe to say that the number of vegans is only set to increase. 

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