About Veganism and Veganuary
In 1944 an animal rights advocate, Donald Watson coined the word ‘Vegan’ for the first time. Though ‘Vegan’ or ‘Veganism’ is a petty common term nowadays, have you heard about the Veganuary challenge yet?
Well, 'Veganuary' is a blend of ‘Vegan’ and ‘January.’ Essentially it is an annual vegan diet challenge conducted by a UK-based non-profit organization, ‘Veganuary’ in the month of January. Here, they encourage the participants to adopt a vegan lifestyle for January every year. However, British entrepreneur Matthew Glover and animal rights campaigner Jane Land started this challenge in 2014. Hence, ‘Veganuary’ can also refer to the event itself. In the first place, the movement began from a desire to prevent animal suffering, protect the environment, and improve the health of millions of people.
Moreover, the campaign estimated this represented the lives of more than a million animals and the carbon dioxide equivalent of 450,000 flights.
Above all, the Veganuary movement since its inception has spread rapidly, with over 620,000 people from 220 countries worldwide taking part in 2022.
Following a vegan diet
Firstly, vegans don’t just live on homegrown fruits and green salads. Though the vegan diet is indeed largely-based on fruits and veggies, with the expanding vegan market, there are plant-based meat alternatives or 'meatless meats' aka ‘mock meat’, dairy alternatives, and vegan substitutes for most products. Currently, Vegandukan is one of the top-rated all-vegan stores to deliver vegan goodness across the entire Indian subcontinent and rule the Indian Vegan marketplace.
Moreover, the searches for vegan restaurants are on a steep hike these days. It suggests that vegan awareness is changing the world at a rapid rate for good. Even the renounced restaurant chains are including vegan food on their menu, such as KFC’s “Finger-Lickin' Vegan” nuggets, burgers, etc., are launched by collaborating with vegan meat producers like Quorn, Beyond Meat, and Lightlife in the US, Canada, UK, and Russia. Similarly, in India, vegan restaurants are mushrooming in every corner of the country.
A quick insight into Veganism
However, the concept of Veganism is not just about eating a vegan way, it includes avoiding all products derived from animals in one way or another. Vegans exclude those products too that have been tested on animals. Hence, Vegans avoid products made from animal leather, spinning out silk from the silkworm, shaving sheep wool, consuming marine products, or using animal-tested products like makeup, cosmetics, shampoo, paint, and even floor polish. Markedly, Vegandukan offers a wide range of non-food vegan and eco-friendly body care and household products as well.
Precisely, Veganism promotes the movements for animal rights. However, it is not only the reason for animal cruelty that has led to the rise in vegan lifestyle adoption worldwide, but also concerns regarding environmental impact, and health issues like zoonotic diseases, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems. Therefore, people are signing up for the vegan lifestyle as briskly as vegan awareness splashing every shore of the world.
History of Veganism in India
Talking about the history of veganism in India, the practice of the so-called ‘Vegan’ diet in India dates back to the 5th Century BCE when philosophers like Mahavira and Acharya Kundakunda influenced the vegan practice in India. Though the term ‘Vegan’ for such a diet was coined only in 1844 influencing the western world.
Though one of the ancient religions, Jainism promoted a meat-free diet in the Indian subcontinent back then, they did not however put any restriction on dairy consumption. Some might argue why to consider Jainism's teachings as the primary concept of veganism. This is because Jain vegetarianism is not only a rigorous religious-motivated diet on the Indian subcontinent, but the Jain teachings strictly ban animal abuse or cruelty towards any living being by the concept of ‘Ahimsa’ or non-violence since the 5th century BCE. That being said, Jains didn’t consider consuming dairy as harming animals back then because the cattle were domesticated in personal households and taken care of as a family. It was only when the dairy farms were industrialized for mass production, that animal abuse got associated with the dairy industry. Therefore, Jainism in 5th century BCE India was practiced and spreading a very similar awareness to Veganism nowadays, and often the term ‘Vegan’ and ‘Vegetarian’ is used interchangeably in India.
Moreover, The principles of Jainism in India contributed to the vegan revolution worldwide, as the Jain community is completely Lacto-vegetarian and even avoids consuming underground vegetables for the fear of injuring underground living organisms.
Contemporary Veganism in India
Though India encompasses 24-37 % of vegetarians according to government research, 574 million Indians follow a meat-free diet to populate India with the highest number of vegetarians in the world. Though, in reality, this number might be lower, but then, vegetarian or non-vegetarian, Indians’ love for dairy and dairy products is indisputable.
However, Veganism in India these days has escalated as an impact of globalization and the increased use of social media. For example, Instagram is overflowing with aesthetic pictures and arguments of ethical rationale.
Moreover, in cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, and Goa fully vegan restaurants are rising in numbers. Additionally, Labels like ‘vegan,’ ‘cruelty-free,’ ‘veganisable,’ etc. are also on the rise.
Emphatically, online shopping sites like Vegandukan with meat alternatives and dairy alternative products are also contributing to the veganism hike in India. Also, the Indian market for vegan products is flourishing rapidly with many startups focusing on introducing plant-based food products and cruelty-free eco-friendly usable to their customers. However, there are a great many sustainable vegan lifestyle brands in India as well.
Though Veganism worldwide is commonly tagged with myths like high cost, lack of diversity, nutrient deficiency, etc., it may not be long before veganism becomes a major aspect of the Indian lifestyle. Because the rich diversity of Indian cuisine won’t ever taste boring even without meat or dairy
An Instant Analysis of the Veganuary Challenge
The veganuary challenge is blazing everywhere these days. Though Veganuary started as a way to encourage people to try the vegan lifestyle by making it a month-long challenge, it eventually ended up changing millions of people worldwide for the environment, out of compassion for animals, and health reasons.
How does the Veganuary Challenge Work?
Essentially, Veganuary is a crowdfunded campaign to issue a challenge in January each year promoting eating vegan for the month. Therefore, the Participants sign up online and receive a downloadable "starter kit" with daily support emails as regular challenge boosters.
However, the "vegan starter kit" contains product directories, restaurant guides, and a recipe database. Moreover, the participants are encouraged enough to share images and recipes on social media as well. Emphatically, according to academic Alexa Weik von Mossner, it creates a wider sense of community and conveys that veganism is easy and fun. Hence, taking up the Veganuary challenge is more than trying a lifestyle change for sure!
Impact of Veganuary
Remarkably, restaurants and food businesses in the UK have been introducing new vegan products in January to match the demands of the participants of the Veganuary challenge. Moreover, supermarkets in the UK, including Tesco, run advertisements promoting Veganuary. Therefore, it denotes the uprising popularity of Veganuary in the UK. Similarly, people in the United States are participating in increasing numbers in the challenge as well.
Markedly, in 2019, 46% of US people signed up for the Veganuary challenge due to health reasons, 34% joined to protest against animal cruelty, and only 12% signed up for climate issues. However, in 2020, Texas got the second-highest sign-ups in the US.
Though the annual participation in the Veganuary challenge in Britain continues to be highest, it’s rapidly spreading to the US, Mexico, Argentina, Sweden, Germany, and India.
Explicitly, market research indicates a steep rise in the popularity graph of veganism in India. Correspondingly, the YouGov survey in December 2021 revealed that 65% of Indians were consciously planning to eat more vegan foods in 2022. However, in January 2022, India recorded the third-highest number of participants signing up for the Veganuary challenge to try veganism, ranking right after the UK and USA.
Participants of Veganuary
Participation in Veganuary has become increasingly popular since 2015, with a rising number of people signing up each year.
2015 – 12,800 people
2016 – 23,000 people
2017 – 50,000 people
2018 – 168,000 people
2019 – 250,000 people
2020 – 400,000 people
2021 – 582,538 people
2022 – 629,000 people
Veganuary discount on the best vegan products in the market by Vegandukan
Taking up the Veganuary challenge for a month, people felt countless health benefits, like lower cholesterol, reduced saturated fatty acid levels, and higher fiber intake. Though there can also be some nutrient issues regarding low levels of good fats and key vitamins, supplements for these essential nutrients are easily-available everywhere and safe to take regularly.
At this instance, it may seem like a lot of changes to your lifestyle, but regular nutrition label checks and easy vegan recipes can make the switch easier. The only thing you need to do to participate in the Veganuary challenge is to sign up on Veganuary's website. Anyone can try Veganuary as it's never too late to join the plant-based party.
Curious enough to try Veganuary this January? Vegandukan is happy to help you out with amazing Veganuary Discounts on the best-selling vegan products. So, without further delay, go check it out before the offer ends.
Frequently Asked Questions
When was the beginning of veganism in India?
Evidently, 5000 years ago, existed a Himalayan tribe who followed a vegan diet. Even Vegetarianism originated in India and began influencing the Western world’s diet plans as early as the Fifth Century BCE. Thus, vegan eating is initially an Indian concept that has influenced the world like fire. However, the term “Vegan” was coined only in 1944 by Donald Watson and Dorothy Morgan.
When was the first Veganuary event that took place?
Emphatically, Veganuary is a UK-based non-profit organization that promotes veganism. They encourage people to follow a vegan lifestyle every January as a new year resolution. However, it started in 2014 followed by rapid growth since then. Moreover, over 620,000 people from 220 countries worldwide took part in 2022.
What does Veganuary aim for?
Evidently, Veganuary is an annual challenge run by a UK-based nonprofit organization promoting and educating people about veganism by encouraging them to follow a vegan lifestyle for the month of January every year.
Who was the first person to turn Vegan?
The first person to adopt a plant-based diet was Dr. William Lambe. Primarily, he started following a vegan diet in his 40s to treat his health issues. Back then, people commonly practiced a vegetarian diet that included dairy products. But, Dr. Lambe eliminated all dairy products as well. This made him the first vegan person in the western world to turn vegan as we know them today.
Were the earliest humans vegan?
As the published research paper in Nature Ecology & Evolution suggests, the first members of the genus “Homo” depended mostly on vegetation eating from trees and shrubs, just like Australopithecus, their ancestors.