Vegan campaign flag flies on International Space Station in historical first
(January 1, 2024) Veganuary, the global campaign to try vegan for January and beyond, expanded into space in 2023 by sending a flag bearing its logo to the International Space Station where it orbited Earth 4,400 times – a historical first for a vegan campaign. This landmark event coincides with Veganuary’s 10th anniversary as the very first pledge took place in the UK in January 2014.
A photo of the flag can be downloaded here.
The initiative was the brainchild of Richard Garner, founder and director of The Space Collective, who is also celebrating 10 years of being vegan this year.
Speaking about his idea, Richard says: “Why launch the first Veganuary flag into space? Well, why not? The future of spaceflight is vegan after all. Curious? You should be! See, when humanity finally settles on a new world, those first brave explorers will be vegan by necessity.
Transporting the materials necessary to grow plants in space is considerably easier than transporting live animals. This is why NASA and other space agencies’ endeavours in prolonged spaceflight are centred around establishing greenhouses in space and on new worlds.
Even as we speak, aboard the International Space Station where the Veganuary flag flew, there is a Vegetable Production System that allows astronauts to grow their own food. This also has the added benefit of enhancing the astronaut’s happiness and well-being as it is a touch of nature from home. It is amazing what a little bit of greenery does for the soul, isn’t it?
The flag spent 275 days in space, orbiting Earth 4,400 times, travelling 112,000,000 nautical miles, and passing over every country on Earth. In a way, the flag followed the same journey as us, spreading the hope of a kinder, more compassionate world across the globe. Start as you mean to go on, right? To the stars with kindness.”
Veganuary’s Head of Communications, Dr Toni Vernelli, says: “It’s amazing how the presence and acceptance of veganism has grown around the world in the past 10 years and I know Veganuary’s friendly, non-judgemental, just-give-it-a-go-for-a-month-and-see-what-you-think approach has played an instrumental role in this shift.”
She added: “We’re thrilled to be now taking our message into space to spread this positive vegan vision even further. To everyone who took their first step towards a vegan diet with us in January 2014 – Happy 10th Veganniversary! To everyone taking their first step with us today – welcome to a growing movement taking positive action for a better world – and future worlds!”
Notes to Editor
Veganuary is free to join, and people can sign up at veganuary.com to receive our new 7-Day Vote for Veggies Meal Plan, Celebrity eCookbook, the Official Veganuary Starter Kit and 31 daily emails packed with nutritional info, delicious recipes, more meal plans and helpful advice.
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. From humble beginnings on a kitchen table in Yorkshire, Veganuary now has campaign hubs in Germany, USA, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, India, Spain and the UK. It has truly become a global phenomenon.
Jessie Lingenfelter, US Media, Veganuary