According to a new poll, more than a third of people in the UK may be interested in becoming dietary vegans. 36% of UK adults believe eating a vegan or plant-based diet is “an admirable thing to do

The YouGov survey was commissioned by Veganuary — which every year breaks its previous year record of the number of people joining their January vegan challenge — and in December asked 2,079 adults about their attitudes towards giving up animal products 

Perhaps more interestingly, it found that 8% of respondents said they were already eating a plant-based diet, which is the highest percentage recorded so far. This suggests a 300% increase in the number of vegans in the UK in 2.5 years (in July 2019 just 2% were set to follow a plant-based diet). Earlier this month, a study commissioned by vegan dairy brand Nourish also found that one-third of Brits want to try to go vegan in the New Year.

Toni Vernelli, Veganuary’s International Head of Communications & Marketing, said to the Guardian: “As more people become aware of the incredible impact our food choices have on our day-to-day wellbeing and the health of our planet, attitudes towards eating vegan are changing. It is incredibly exciting to see one-third of Brits now interested in trying a vegan or plant-based diet, something that would have been inconceivable just a few years ago.”

There is no doubt that Veganuary is a very persuasive organisation. In 2021 more than 582,000 people from 209 countries and territories signed up to it, but already 400,000 have done so for 2022. The trick is, though, to transform all those who intended to try plant-based for a month to become vegan for life. From trying a diet for 31 days, to adopting a new philosophy for life that will affect all their choices, not just their food. That’s far more difficult to do — and to quantify. But one thing is certain. Beginning with the diet in the month where resolutions are taken more seriously and many people can also join you in trying, it’s a good way to start. 

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.