January 22, 2021

#Veganuary2021: Saying no to ‘food of animal origin’

sandwich with boiled egg
Nestlé and Domino Pizza among the supporters of the initiative

Seven years ago, the Veganuary initiative was launched in United Kingdom, it’s the proposal to try to spend the whole month of January without eating food of animal origin or at least meat, to make an active contribution to the fight against climate change through decrease in the consumption of this type of food. Also this year the vegetarian month is about to start. With one difference: supporters, who over time have managed to extend the Veganuary to 152 countries by collecting memberships all over the world, think that 2021 could be a record month: in fact, 350,000 members are expected by the beginning of the month, and 500,000 by the end. Last January the participants were 400,000, compared to 250,000 in 2019 and 170,000 in 2018.

As reported by the Guardian, the optimism is due both to the fact that many, also thanks to Covid, have had the opportunity to reflect on the importance of nutrition on human health, animal welfare and climate, but also the trend towards growth constant of the initiative in recent years, and the support of various multinationals including Nestlé. Marco Settembri , CEO of Nestlé Europe, commented on the company’s involvement in the British newspaper: “A well-balanced plant-based diet can satisfy all the nutritional needs of different ages, and lend a hand to the planet, while bringing health benefits. . This year I have decided to encourage all employees to participate in the Veganuary and to take up the challenge it represents. I am happy to be part of this movement, and to see how much it is growing throughout Europe and beyond”.

Among others, the supermarket chain Marks & Spencer also joined, whose top management declared that they planned to expand the Plant Kitchen vegetarian and vegan lines, and that they want to accompany the pro-vegan campaign with initiatives for internal use, for employees, such as videos, games and comparisons between meat products and corresponding vegetable products. In addition, major media outlets such as Bloomberg and the first British manufacturer of vegan products Quorn have also joined, whose executive director said that through the Veganuary the aim is to get closer to the goal of serving 8 billion vegan dishes worldwide by 2030. On Friday, the first day of the year and of the vegetarian month, moreover, many chains such as Domino Pizza have proposed above all if not exclusively meat-free products and substitutes such as vegan nuggets, while others have announced the launch of new foods such as fake sticks. Moving Mountains white soy-based fish, designed with a flaky texture that should mimic that of real fish sticks. It is estimated that in 2020 over a thousand menus and new vegetable products were proposed in the participating countries.

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