Veganuary is an annual challenge that urges people to go vegan for the month of January. Since it started in 2014, the number of people taking on the challenge has skyrocketed. In 2022, over 600,000 signed up.
There are many good reasons to consider eating more plant-based food and cutting back on meat and dairy. Animal agriculture drives deforestation that exacerbates climate change, while the methane produced by cows and other animals is a potent greenhouse gas emission. There are also concerns about animal welfare and many people argue there are health benefits to eating less meat.
The Climate Change Committee, the government’s independent climate advisers, recommend that the UK needs to cut its meat and dairy consumption by 20 per cent between now and 2030. And the National Food Strategy – charged with looking at carbon, nature and healthy diets – recommended a 30 per cent reduction in meat consumption by 2030. The more people that adopt vegan diets, the closer we get to reaching these targets.
For this podcast, James Fotherby, policy adviser and plant-based food enthusiast spoke to Baroness Anne Jenkin of Kennington about the benefits of vegan diets, animal welfare and the environmental impact of eating meat.