How Many Animals Did Veganuary 2015 Save?

12,800 registered that they were taking part by signing up to Veganuary.comOf those:

  • 3899 were omnivores
  • 1459 were pescetarians
  • 4226 were vegetarians

Whilst animals are saved by vegetarians turning vegan (in the egg and dairy industries), the big wins are when omnivores and pescetarians convert, so for the purposes of working out how many animals have been saved, we’re concentrating on the meat eaters.

Based upon Defra figures, people in the UK (on average) are responsible for the deaths of:

  • 0.04 cows
  • 0.15 pigs
  • 0.23 sheep and lambs
  • 0.28 turkeys
  • 0.21 ducks
  • 14.74 chickens
  • 70.20 fish

That equates to 85.85 animals per year, or 7.15 animals per month.

NB: For the purposes of working out the number of animals saved, we’re assuming all participants eat roughly the same number of animals as a UK consumer. In the US, the average is higher than the UK, whereas other countries tend to not consume as many animals. These figures do not include shell fish (which are, of course, also animals).

  • So, if all omnivores completed the challenge then 3,899 x 7.15 = 27,877 animals saved.
  • As pescetarians eat roughly 5.85 animals per month, the figure is 1459 x 5.85 = 8,535 animals.

It is likely that pescetarians eat more than 5.85 fish per month, as they substitute fish for eating other animals, but for our purposes, we’ll stick with the average consumption per person.

Assuming only around 75% of those taking part during the month actually completed the challenge, and some people slipped up, we’ll reduce the figures by 25%:

  • 27,877 + 8,535 = 36,412 -25% = 27,309 animals saved.

One consideration: we’re only factoring in those people who signed up to, it could be that somewhere between 27,000 and 60,000 animals were saved during the month.

The big numbers come from looking at the longer-term impact:

Our survey results show that 42.5% of omnivore survey respondents intend to remain vegan, as do 46.5% of pescetarians.

The average age of participants is 34, and life expectancy is 79.5 years in the UK. Again, assuming that all participants live a similar lifespan to those in the UK, then those converting to vegan will be saving animals for a further 79.5 – 34 years = 45.5 years.

So, assuming 42.5% of the 3,899 omnivores stay vegan, then:

  • 3,899 x 42.5% = 1,657 x 45.5 years x 85.85 animals = 6,472,824 animals saved

If you add in the pescetarians the figure is as follows:

  • 1459 x 46.5% = 678.43 x 45.5 years x 70.20 animals = 2,166,989 animals saved

Therefore, potentially over 8.6 million animals could be saved as a result of the Veganuary 2015 campaign.

However, recent research suggests that as many as 85% of people who go vegan or vegetarian return to eating meat. The average time these people remain vegan is 5 years, but they do tend to eat less meat than others when they revert. For our purposes, we’re going to assume only 15% stay vegan:

  • 8,639,813 x 15% = 1,295,971 animals saved by those staying vegan

Then allowing for the other 85% staying vegan for 5 years:

  • 1,657 omnivores x 85% = 1,408.45 people x 85.5 animals x 5 years = 602,112 animals
  • 678 pescetarians x 85% = 576.3 people x 70.2 animals x 5 years = 202,281 animals
  • We then have a figure of 1,295,971 + 602,112 + 202,281 = 2,100,364 animals saved.

There’s one other factor we need to take into account: supply and demand. Due to price elasticity, it’s likely that only around 75% of a person’s decision to stop eating animals will be reflected in fewer animals being exploited.

Final calculation

Our estimate is as follows:

  • 27,877 x 75% = 20,907.75 animals saved during the month of January 2015
  • 2,100,364 x 75% = 1,575,273 animals saved by people staying vegan after the end of Veganuary
  • 1,596,180 animals saved!

NB: It is possible that this estimate is on the low side. Most of those who are not staying vegan are suggesting they’ll cut down eating meat, or eliminate some animal products altogether, but we have not factored this in. Equally, these figures do not take into account the thousands of people who took part and didn’t sign up to And, these figures do not take into account people we have affected outside of our January 2015 campaign (family and friends of participants) or will continue to affect in the future. And, doesn’t take into account any impact from the positive media attention we gained, and how that might affect consumption.

How many animals saved per £ spent?

Using the 2015 campaign budget of £120,000:

For every £ spent, 13 animals are saved from ever having to go through the indignity of animal agriculture.

  • 1,596,180 / £120,000 = 13 animals saved per £ spent.
  • £10 = 130 animals saved
  • £100 = 1300 animals saved

*Please see below for additional currencies

To be an ‘Animal Millionaire’ a donation of £76,923 will help us save 1 million animals.

As the bulk of 2015 budget was spent on building the, and this doesn’t need doing again for a couple of years, then we will be even more effective with future expenditure, and hope to save many more animals for every pound, dollar or euro spent!

Matthew Glover, 9 March 2015.

*Additional currencies:

How many animals saved per $US spent?

£120,000 British Pound Sterling equals $177649.20 US Dollar (current exchange rate):

  • 1,596,180 / $177,649.20 = 8.98501090914 (9 animals)
  • 9 animals per $1 spent
  • $10 = 90 animals saved
  • $100 = 900 animals saved

Thinking of trying vegan?

Veganuary inspires and supports people all over the world to try vegan for January and beyond. Millions of people have already taken part.
Will you join them?