Stars declare their favourite plant-based chicken as they urge everyone to “Choose Chicken-Free”

Chris Packham, Deborah Meaden and James Moore back Veganuary campaign

25th April 2024: Next week, Veganuary – the global campaign to try vegan in January and beyond – is launching a Choose Chicken-Free campaign to highlight the accessibility of plant-based alternatives to chicken and eggs, addressing mounting concerns over the devastation of British rivers from farm run-off and global avian flu outbreaks – major environmental and health threats that are often overshadowed by the climate debate and its focus on reducing beef and dairy.

Coinciding with International Respect for Chickens Day, the campaign, scheduled from 29 April 29 to 5 May, will feature an array of informative resources and vegan recipes, with a focus on egg and chicken substitutes available on the Veganuary website.

Chris Packham, Veganuary Ambassador and wildlife campaigner, is leading the call for people to stop eating chicken. His plant-based chicken of choice is Impeckable, which he enjoys in a vegetable-laden stir-fry and hoisin sauce (pic of Chris with dish here). He has recorded a short but hard-hitting video explaining the link between UK chicken farms and the destruction of our rivers and Brazilian rainforests.

In the video, he says: “In Brazil, they’re cutting down prime rainforest and burning it. All that carbon is going into the atmosphere, contributing to climate breakdown. And of course, all the creatures living there died, contributing to biodiversity loss. They’re cutting it down to grow soy, vast quantities of soy that’s put on a boat and transported to the UK where it’s used as feed on chicken farms – many by the side of the River Wye.

The bad news doesn’t stop there. All the excrement produced by those chickens is spread onto the fields, and when it rains, all the nutrients flow into the River Wye, which is on the brink of being declared ecologically dead.

If you want to help stop climate breakdown, reduce biodiversity loss across the world and protect UK waterways, there’s one simple thing you can do. Stop eating chicken and go for the plant-based alternative.”

Chris is joined by Deborah Meaden, Veganuary Ambassador and entrepreneur, who says: “My favourite chicken alternative is This! Is Not Roast Chicken with Stuffing, which gives me a roast one day and chicken and stuffing sandwiches the next. Most of the chicken alternatives – particularly the breaded products – honestly, you couldn’t tell they are not chicken…I have served them many times without people noticing!!”

Deborah recently adopted hens recused from the egg industry. In a heartfelt video with these adorable birds, she says: “Chickens might be the most misunderstood bird in the world. Since adopting these beautiful girls from the British Hen Welfare Trust, I’ve been amazed to see their individual personalities shine. They’re always busy exploring, looking for insects and other food, and they love to dust bathe – something they never get to do on most British farms where they confined inside industrial sheds their whole life.

But we all have the power to set these enchanting birds free – by Choosing Chicken-Free products and recipes. I stopped eating chickens many years ago and I’ve not regretted it for one minute! Veganuary has all the resources, recipes and support to help you do it too.”

James Moore, Veganuary Ambassador and Emmerdale star, who loved meeting rescued chickens at the Retreat Sanctuary in Kent with his fiancé Sophie (pic here) says:

“People should choose chicken-free because the treatment of chickens is some of the worst in the food industry. Thousands of chickens are kept in barns, with barely any personal space, or freedom to move around. When there are so many good options out there for plant-based chicken substitutes, why would you want to bother eating chicken anymore?

Chicken is also one of the easier meats to mimic, and because of that, there are plenty of great vegetarian chicken alternatives available. One of my favourites is What the Cluck, which makes a very realistic and versatile chicken substitute this is great when cooking meals. Another great alternative is VFC, which makes vegan chicken in the style of a particular fast-food restaurant, and these are great for making your own vegan fakeaway!”

Veganuary’s Choose Chicken-Free campaign page showcases the incredible range of plant-based chicken and eggs now widely available. It also includes information on chicken farming practices and actor Evanna Lynch’s moving account of her visit inside a typical British chicken farm. From 29th April, a free cookbook with delicious ‘chicken-free’ recipes will be available to download on the page as well.

Media contact:

Toni Vernelli, International Head of Communications, Veganuary

T: 07505 866 548

E: [email protected]

Notes to editors

Veganuary isn’t just for January! People can join in any time of the year at to receive our Celebrity eCookbook, One-Pot Meal Plan, the Official Veganuary Starter Kit and 31 daily emails packed with nutritional info, delicious recipes, more meal plans and helpful advice. All for FREE!

A press pack with more stats, celebrity quotes and links to general Veganuary images can be downloaded here.

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