Join the plant based revolution


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Veganuary started as concept in 2014, as a way to promote the idea of consuming no animal-based products throughout the month of January. Since then the movement has grown rapidly and 620,000 people pledged to try vegan through the 2022 campaign, up from 580,000 the previous year. Joining them were many big businesses and organisations such as Papa John’s International the NHS supply chain. The Veganuary campaign has been so successful that ‘Veganuary’ has not only become a term that many of us are familiar with, but it has also now become a non-profit organisation, encouraging and supporting people and businesses to move to plant-based diets.

There are many reasons why people want to reduce their meat consumption as explained by the Vegan Society; which cites research linking vegan diets to lower BMI and rates of obesity and links lower blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Compassion for animals or concerns about the environmental impact, are additional drivers for adopting the vegan lifestyle.


According to Ecowatch, a staggering 35% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from food production of which  57% are from animal agriculture and their Veganuary article explains that the potential impact of the 2022 Veganuary campaign may have saved the equivalent of 62,304 tons of CO2 emissions.

The Climate Change Committee has recommended a 20% shift away from all meat and dairy by 2030 (rising to 35% by 2050) in order for the UK to meet net zero carbon targets.

You might think that veganism is difficult to adopt but there’s lots of online resources available including BBC Food which has lots of vegan comfort food recipes. And this BBC video clip explains vegan food shopping from a student’s perspective. Once you have become more aware of what you are buying, it becomes much easier to know what to look out for, what to avoid and how to shop on budget. There's endless resources online including our Veganuary Starter Kit article which contains lots of recipes, tips and advice.

Going vegan might seem a little too hardcore for you, that’s ok – trying a vegetarian diet for a month is a great step too. The Vegetarian Society provides lots of recipes, hints and tips to help you.

Whilst we all feel the pinch of the cost of living crisis, BBC Food have produced a range of £1 vegetarian family meal plans.

And for those who aren’t quite ready to commit to completely abstaining from eating meat; you can still feel good about adopting a flexitarian diet. A flexitarian diet is primarily plant-based but with small amounts of meat & dairy. It is a casual approach to vegetarianism and allows animal products to be consumed in moderation; even aiming for 2-3 meat free days a week can be a great place to start. The Proveg UK website provides free online programmes and recipes tailored to your preferences.

SOS-UK are encouraging universities and individual students to engage in more sustainable food choices and have produced this  sustainable food guide. It outlines key actions that institutions can take, and 15 actions students can take, with links to numerous resources and additional information, which includes choosing ‘Better meat and dairy’. And MSC Sustainable Certified Seafood.

Your Union venues are striving to deliver on the recommendations, such as stocking Fairtrade Tea and coffee, sourcing from local suppliers where possible and providing a wide range of vegan and vegetarian options, as well as offering our students our successful Meat Free Meals promotion.

You’ve got lots of options whilst eating out as our Union venues have vegetarian options listed on their menus.


When venturing further afield, this handy restaurant finder from Happycow comes in really useful.


If you’re looking for vegan and vegetarian ideas and support closer to home, why not check out our very own Project Earth Society? The society regularly post batch cooking tips and recipes on their Facebook page. And in the Project Earth discord.


Are you ready to try the Veganuary challenge?












This article relates to the following UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development: