From today (18 Dec), users of the London Underground and Manchester Tram Network may spot Veganuary’s newest advertising campaign. Eye-catching posters feature three of Veganuary’s celebrity and sporting Ambassadors: Sarah-Jane Crawford, Anthony Mullally and Dan Geisler. Each poster offers a different reason for taking the month-long vegan challenge: to help animals, to protect the environment and to improve health.

Dan Geisler

Dan Geisler

Last year, Veganuary’s advertising campaign in the capital helped encourage 10,000 Londoners to take part in the 31-day plant-based pledge. This year, the adverts will also feature on the Manchester Trams as well as the London Underground, as well as further afield on the Boston Subway in the United States. and the Sydney Light Rail in Australia. The charity expects the total number of people registering to go vegan for the month to exceed 150,000. 

Veganuary has recently announced a raft of sporting and celebrity Ambassadors, including comedian Sara Pascoe, food writer Jack Monroe, Harry Potter actress Evanna Lynch and television presenter Jasmine Harman. And three of the Ambassadors feature in this year’s crowdfunded international advertising campaign. 

TV and radio presenter Sarah-Jane Crawford became vegan after she undertook a three-week plant-based trial following Beyoncé’s lead in 2015. She invited JME from Boy Better Know onto her radio show to talk about all things vegan and from there she was hooked. ‘I felt like it was like a calling. It was almost like destiny for me because it just felt good to do it and it wasn’t something I struggled with. I just had this new sense of empathy, a compassion for animals that I’d never had before. Going vegan was definitely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, if not the best decision.’

For Leeds Rhinos and Ireland international rugby league player Anthony Mullally the transition to a vegan diet was a gradual one, and he was vegetarian for a year before looking more closely into the dairy industry. Its environmental impact, especially its contribution to greenhouse gases, shocked him. ‘I started to feel like a bit of a hypocrite. I don’t mean any disrespect to vegetarians but for me personally, I just couldn’t do it anymore.’ And making the leap to veganism was good news for Anthony personally, too. ‘There’s not been any detrimental effects on my strength, and strength’s a crucial part of rugby. I’ve maintained muscle and lost fat. On the pitch I feel fitter, I’ve got more energy and I recover quicker, which helps me train harder in the next session.’

Team GB Triathlete Dan Geisler was challenged by his sponsor Pulsin to take part in Veganuary 2017. He enjoyed the challenge of it but it was when he came to race that he really saw the benefits. ‘I’ve never been faster, never been able to recover quicker, never looked better, I’ve never raced better. I find that I can actually go deeper in races, and get more out of my body.’ Eight months after going vegan, Dan picked up a silver medal at the World Championships. ‘I went vegan for a challenge, but stayed vegan because it’s offered benefits to my life, better recovery, just in general better health.’

Whatever anyone’s reasons for taking part in Veganuary - animals, the environment, health, world hunger, sustainability or simply the challenge - it is free to take part, and everyone who does so receives daily support emails that offer shopping lists, an eating out guide, nutrition advice, recipes, meal plans, and answers to common questions. They also receive social media support in a closed Facebook group where they can connect with other participants, and a free celebrity e-cookbook. There are also competitions with great prizes and special offers throughout the month.

Registration is open at Veganuary.com