Matthew is the co-founder of Veganuary. After being vegetarian for 10 years, Matthew watched ‘the video the meat industry doesn’t want you to see’ and was shocked to see the cruel realities behind the dairy and egg industries. He then went vegan. And now he wants the whole world to join him! Veganuary is Matthew’s solution to making veganism an easy and tasty experience for everyone.
I became vegan after watching The Video The Meat Industry Doesn’t Want You To See. I had been a vegetarian for ten years, and expected to witness cruelty which would simply reinforce my previous decision to not eat meat.
What I hadn’t expected to see was the cruelty involved in egg and dairy production (even the organic, free range, ‘happy’ eggs and milk I’d been consuming). I began researching factory farming and I was horrified to learn the truth. How could a 38 year old man not know that male chicks are ground up alive in hatcheries, or dairy cows are impregnated every year, and their babies are taken from them? Was I in denial, or is it something most people don’t know?
I began researching speciesism and started joining the dots together. I realised that had I been born in England in 1772, I would have grown up in a society that believed that the enslavement and mistreatment of other human beings was acceptable, natural and ‘just the way it had always been’. But, that didn’t make it right.
Instead I had been born in England in 1972, and I had grown up in a society that believes the enslavement, mistreatment and slaughter of other species is acceptable, natural and ‘just the way it has always been’. But, that doesn’t make it right.
I didn’t know another vegan at the time, but realised I had to try. It was one of the best decisions of my life.
Whilst nobody can be entirely pure, I try to avoid all animal products and have refocused my life towards helping to reduce animal suffering.
With my background in business and marketing I researched the most effective ways I could use my time effectively for animals. Together with my wife, Jane Land, I launched Veganuary last year. We were pleasantly surprised with the response; we gained UK national media attention, and over three thousand people took part. Crucially, lots of people decided to stay vegan at the end of the month, and many more reduced their consumption of animal products.
We believe that millions of people are open to the idea of living cruelty-free, but they need the practical help and information to make that transition. For most people it’s a journey, and our month-long pledge is a great way to try being vegan and see if it works.
I hope you like our new and improved Veganuary website. It’s packed with recipes, vegan product information, eating out guides, nutrition information and other nuggets of practical support.
Most people who took part in 2013 enjoyed the experience, experimented with new foods, and many reported feeling great. If you fancy making the ultimate New Year’s Resolution then try vegan this January!