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British Web Site Urges Visitors To Try Veganism In First Month of 2015

By Kim Glovas

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- If you are looking to get rid of a few pounds in the New Year, a trend which started last year in Great Britain might be the way to go.

It's called Veganuary: going vegan for January.

Last year around this time, two dedicated British vegans started a web site to promote veganism in January.  They dubbed it "Veganuary."  Rachel Atcheson, with the Philadelphia-based Humane League, explains.

"It is a small nonprofit that is trying to encourage folks to take a pledge to go vegan in January, kind of as a start to the new year, a fresh start, and hopefully a start to a new part of their diet," she says.  And she explains why she is vegan:

"I have been vegan now for five years due to my concern for global poverty, global hunger, as well as seeing the animal cruelty that is today's factory farm system."

But, she says, you may have your own reasons to try veganism.

"Maybe Veganuary can give someone a decent push in that direction," she says.

"Veganuary is a central resource for you to log into and get more information as well as more support," notes Himanshu Vyas,  founder of the Philadelphia Vegetarian Social Club.

"It's not as hard as you would think to try more plant-based food options," he notes.  "Most grocery stores, and even bodegas, convenience stores, do keep the basics on the shelf."

In a follow-up survey of those who tried it in the UK last year, 50 percent of participants said they intended to remain vegan for good.

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