The Mayor of Baltimore Encourages Everyone to Explore Plant-Based Options in 2024
(Baltimore, Maryland – January 8, 2024) – Baltimore has become the first-ever US city to declare January as the official month of Veganuary. The groundbreaking proclamation cites environmental, health, economic, and animal protection reasons for choosing to officially support Veganuary city-wide, as it paves the way for more American cities to prioritize fostering “resilient, sustainable, and healthy” communities for their citizens in the future. This proclamation was requested by Black Veg Society and Veganuary, with support by DefaultVeg.
In the proclamation, Mayor Brandon M. Scott proclaims “the month of January as ‘Veganuary’ in Baltimore, and urge[s] residents, restaurants, retailers, and institutions to explore and continue to add plant-based options by default.”
Throughout the document, Mayor Scott cites the importance of switching to plant-forward eating to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. He states that heart disease, stroke, and diabetes are the leading causes of death in Baltimore, MD and beyond – and notes that vegans can have reduced health risks. The proclamation points out that animals in factory farms are often caged and denied their natural needs. It also highlights that Baltimore’s diverse restaurants, grocers, and farmer’s markets increasingly deliver vibrant, healthy, and plant-based foods, a lot of that effort being spearheaded by Black Veg Society’s Maryland Vegan Eats. The mayor also highlights Baltimore’s Vegan Soulfest that continues to have an exponential number of attendees (16,000 in 2023).
In 2023, Baltimore ranked in the top ten cities nationwide for number of signups to Veganuary, the global campaign that encourages people to try vegan in January and beyond. A new study conducted by YouGov on behalf of Veganuary reported that 71%* of all US adults are hoping to eat more vegetables in 2024. Veganuary is working with brands and restaurants nationwide to help meet this demand with more inventive preparations of meat and dairy alternatives, more plant-based dishes, and more choice overall.
In Baltimore, Land of Kush, a longstanding favorite, kicked off Veganuary with an anniversary party featuring specials, new menu item samplings, and a resident artist unveiling. Other Veganuary specials include &Pizza, which is adding two new vegan menu options featuring Daring Chicken, and others city-wide.
“Black Veg Society and Maryland Vegan Eats are looking forward to this collaboration with Veganuary. With Baltimore Mayor Scott’s proclamation, I’m sending many blessings that the city will pledge to go vegan in January and support local vegan and veg-friendly restaurants as well as those around the state of Maryland. You can even challenge yourself to learn how to cook a healthy, vegan meal at home by watching a cooking demo online. Please reach out to us for guidance,” says Naijha Wright-Brown of Black Veg Society and Land of Kush. “We need to open the dialogue throughout our communities about health disparities, access to nutritional foods, environmentalism, and compassion for animals, especially in predominantly BIPOC ones. We will continue to partner with vegan and veg-friendly restaurants while organizing our celebratory events such as the bi-annual Maryland Vegan Restaurant Month in March and August, the annual Vegan SoulFest, and more.”
Veganuary aims to help people who are curious about eating vegan by providing free recipes, shopping tips, restaurant guides, and meal plans. Major national and regional brands, retailers, and restaurants have joined Veganuary by offering promotions, giveaways, and special menu items, viewable on Veganuary’s Special Offers page, while creating specialized marketing campaigns for plant-based products. The organization also works with restaurants, retailers, and other businesses to help them launch and promote exciting Veganuary specials and initiatives, outlined in the Veganuary Business Support Toolkit.
Veganuary is a nonprofit organization that encourages people worldwide to try vegan for January and beyond. Since Veganuary launched its first pledge 10 years ago – in January 2014 – millions of people, coming from almost every country in the world, have officially taken part, with campaign hubs in Germany, USA, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, India, Spain and the UK. This New Year’s revolution has also been embraced by businesses, with hundreds of companies taking part in Veganuary last year, launching thousands of new vegan products and menu items. Veganuary is free to join, and people can sign up at veganuary.com.
Black Veg Society is a 501(c)3 organization with a mission to educate predominantly Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, on the benefits of holistic living, the plant-based diet, and veganism while building a community centered around healthy, accessible, sustainable food with a focus on compassionate lifestyle choices. They establish strategic partnerships with businesses, schools, churches, non-profits, local and state government, health and wellness coaches, chefs, and vegan and plant-based campaign and coalition organizers. They organize and host special events such as veg fests, vegan restaurant weeks, multi-city hybrid events, and webinars. They offer a 24/7 online resource center with access to educational literature, wellness classes, cooking demos, and certified health and wellness coaches.
Maryland Vegan Eats is the brainchild of two Baltimore City restaurants, The Land of Kush and the Golden West Cafe. The mission of Vegan Restaurant Month is to bridge the gap by increasing the awareness, benefits, and accessibility of a plant-based diet through a fun, innovative, and community-based experience.
DefaultVeg is a program of Better Food Foundation, is a simple and inclusive way to offer healthier, greener, and more inclusive meals by nudging consumers toward plant-based options. A DefaultVeg menu features plant-based meals as the default, while still giving diners the choice to add or opt into animal products upon request.
Veganuary US Media
*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1242 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 1st – 4th December 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).