Q+A W/ FOUNDERS, Jane Gland + Matthew Glover
At by CHLOE. we LOVE plants. We’re committed to spreading the plant-based love, and introducing as many people as possible to the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle through delicious, hearty, vegan dishes. We understand that adopting a completely vegan diet can be intimidating, so we’ve partnered with the inspiring non-profit VEGANUARY to help you get into a plant-based groove.
Veganuary is already a well-known “movement” to our friends in the UK, but to those elsewhere, it might not be so familiar. The mission is for participants to pledge to be vegan for the month of January (+ hopefully beyond!). Veganuary aims to support this journey, by being a source of information for restaurants that are vegan-friendly (ahem, I think we know one), provide vegan recipes, and disprove myths surrounding veganism. Taking the Veganuary pledge reaps nutritional, environmental, and health benefits, so watchya waiting for? Join the movement! “I pledge allegiance to the plant…”
by CHLOE: Thank you for chatting with us! Tell us a little bit about Veganuary- your mission and what you do?
Veganuary: Veganism is one of the most effective choices a person can make to reduce the suffering of animals, help the planet and improve personal health. Veganuary is dedicated to changing public attitudes, while providing all the information and practical support required to make the transition to veganism as easy and enjoyable as possible. Veganuary has had an incredible degree of success in a very short time and is changing lives all over the world! Our campaign is focused around people trying vegan with us through a month long pledge. Since we were founded in 2014, 250,000 people from 193 of the world’s countries have taken the pledge with us, and many have told us they have chosen to remain vegan since!
bC: What inspired your founders to start Veganuary in 2014?
V: Veganuary’s founders, Jane and Matthew, knew that month-long pledges were not unusual, but they felt that it could be done differently, and perhaps more successfully by focusing on the month of January; a time of resolutions and new beginnings. Vegan + January became Veganuary, and now the campaign is recognized all over the world!
bC: Tell us a little bit about the main problems that Veganuary works to address, and how going vegan for a month helps solves these issues.
V: We’re representing animals, people and the planet with our campaign work. We’re opening people’s eyes up to the suffering caused to animals through factory farming, damaging climate change and rising rates of poor health, while offering a solution – trying a vegan diet. And while choosing to go vegan as a life-long commitment will help make a difference, even just trying it for a month or eating a vegan a few times a week will help us bring down those damaging greenhouse gas emissions, which is causing huge strain on our planet.
bC: Outside of the month of January, what are the best ways for people to get involved?
V: Actually, you can take our pledge at any time of year. You don’t have to wait for January to come round! When you register on our website to try the pledge (it’s free by the way!), you can also choose the date when you want it to begin. You’ll then receive daily emails providing all the practical resources and support you need to make the transition. This includes recipes, and information on nutrition and how to stock your cupboards, as examples.
bC: What do you think are the biggest myths about veganism, and how does Veganuary work to debunk them?
V: Our in-house team of experts work hard to debunk the myths! We fuse robust scientific evidence with personal experiences, to ensure anyone trying our pledge gets all the answers they are looking for. Trying vegan for the first time can be a daunting experience (we know that) so we look to cover all the bases. Our website resource has a specific section on myth-busting, so that’s worth checking out. You’ll find typical questions like “Where do you get your protein?” or “Don’t you need meat to be healthy?” answered in that section!
bC: What are the biggest challenges your organization faces?
V: We’re a small campaigning charity, with less than 10 full time staff. As well as running the pledge, we’re also getting asked for expert advice from the corporate world about how to bring more vegan product to the market place, conducting media interviews on prime time TV shows, and even getting asked to present our campaign to politicians inside the corridors of power, at The Houses of Parliament!
This is a challenge, but we’re rising to the occasion and hope 2019 will be a year where we can grow a little bigger to help us sustain our campaign and keep pace with the Veganuary effect, which is taking place all over the world!
bC: What encouraging words or advice to you have for people starting the Veganuary challenge?
V: Veganuary is all about giving vegan a try. We’ll provide you with everything you need to make it a positive experience, and hopefully it will be something you end up deciding works for you! If it’s not, then no worries, you gave it a try. But if you don’t try, you won’t know!
Mark your calendars for Veganuary events at by CHLOE.! Steph Elswood is hosting one of her Stay Sassy, confidence-boosting talks at our Tower Bridge location on January 13th (tickets here.) And, don’t miss Zanna Van Dijk’s panel on plant-based nutrition at our Covent Garden location on January 10th (tickets here).