THIS year's Veganuary saw more than 400,000 people sign up to take part – a 60% rise from last year. 

The campaign focusses on getting people to commit to a vegan diet for the month of January to highlight the case for moving to a meat-free diet.

The number of sign-ups far exceeded the expectation of 300,000, with notable figures such as rock legend Brian May, former Dragon Deborah Meadan and actor Rebecca Callard taking part. All three have stated that they will continue the diet onwards.

In an Instagram post yesterday, May said: “VEGANUARY!!! Yes! It’s done and I loved it. Not a morsel of meat or fish or dairy passed my lips. It was so much easier than I expected and gave me so much. So I am now plunging in for a Vegan February!!! I certainly don’t feel like giving up this new journey of discovery. Who’s with me?”

The National: Queen guitarist Brian May with the Queen 2020 UK £5 brilliant uncirculated coin

READ MORE: Vegan steak bake causes 20-minute queues as Veganuary begins

Rebecca Callard echoed his feelings: "I’ve had some of the best food I’ve ever eaten this month – notably Mildreds and the Greggs Vegan Steak Bake. I’m a pretty awful cook but even I’ve managed to knock up some decent stuff in the kitchen – there’s such a variety available everywhere. If it’s not even putting me out then there’s definitely no question of not sticking to an option that affects the world around me and our future.”

Hundreds of new plant-based products and menu items have also launched this January – including the first Veganuary offerings from fast-food giants KFC, McDonald’s and Burger King – with sales of many exceeding all expectations. 

KFC sold one million vegan burgers in the first month they were on sale –equivalent to one being sold every three seconds since the launch on January 2.

According to Deliveroo, orders of vegan dishes almost doubled when comparing the number in January 2019 and January 2020, increasing by 78%.

A spokesperson said: "As January comes to a close, Deliveroo has seen its highest ever demand for vegan and plant-based food which figures given Veganuary has smashed its numbers for 2020.

The National: A Deliveroo rider

"Many of our partners have introduced new vegan dishes to their roster which are now some of the most popular items on their menu, proving veganism is much more than just a fad.”

But for many businesses it was more than just a commercial endeavor as more than 50 companies took part in the Veganuary Workplace Challenge, encouraging their employees to try vegan in January and providing more vegan options in the workplace.

Many business bosses led by example, personally taking up the challenge, including Jens Hofma, CEO of Pizza Hut Restaurants, and Stuart Machin, managing director of Food at M&S. A more extensive list and quotes from company leaders can be viewed here.

Reflecting on the 2020 campaign, Veganuary’s head of communications Toni Vernelli said: “With the link between animal farming and the climate crisis making headlines nearly every day we expected Veganuary 2020 to be the biggest yet, but it exceeded all of our expectations.

"We applaud everyone who took part and encourage them to continue eating vegan food as often as possible. And we’re grateful to all of the businesses embracing Veganuary and making it easier for more people to eat more plant-based food more often.

"Together we are making an enormous difference for animals and the planet.”