Vaganuary – Something For The New Year ?



Newest New Year’s resolution sweeping the globe is joining “Veganuary”

We all know that New Year’s is a time that people often try to make positive change in their lives and that resolutions often range from losing weight and quitting cigarette smoking to being better organized and saving money. Boring but effective.

Two years ago, an animal-loving couple in the United Kingdom decided to seize that opportunity for change and are getting people around the world to participate in “Veganuary,” an effort for people to try to eat a plant-based diet free of animal products for just one month.

David Quick Columnist

A website,, provides people with the reasons not to eat meat and dairy, a “vegan starter kit,” recipes and an array of other information, including stories of both everyday and celebrities, including Woody Harrelson, Venus and Serena Williams, Ellen DeGeneres and even College of Charleston math professor Martin Jones.

Jones says the project is a brainchild of a friend, Matthew Glover and his wife, Jane Land.

“(Veganuary) has really grown over the years and their website has been getting more and more hits every year,” says Martin.

The effort is gaining ground in the media, such as the Huffington Post, which last week included participating in Veganuary among “5 Ways to be a Climate-Friendly Eater in 2016.”

Power of Meetup

Stacy Shepanek, who has emerged as a leader in the local vegan and vegetarian community, supports the idea of Veganuary.

“You can do anything for 30 days, and there is no better time than now to go vegan. It’s such a powerful choice. All at once, you can improve your health, the environment and the lives of countless animals and humans. It’s such an easy way to make a huge difference. No wonder so many people are trying it out,” says Shepanek.

As the organizer of the online “Charleston Veggies and Vegans” Meetup group and Facebook page, Shepanek has seen the membership go from 60 to more than 600 in three years. The third annual Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck drew about 125 people in November.

Shepanek says joining the Meetup provides locals with the latest information on two monthly potlucks, dining events and cooking demonstrations as well as restaurants.

Marty’s Place

And Charleston has gained more vegan and vegetarian restaurants, including Gnome on the corner of President and Cannon streets in the fall.

On Sunday, from 1:30-3:30 p.m., the College of Charleston and its Jewish Studies program will hold the grand opening of Marty’s Place, a 5,000-square-foot dining hall devoted to providing kosher, vegan and vegetarian food.

The $1 million dining hall is located in the Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center at 96 Wentworth Street, is named in memory of the long-time pillar of the Charleston Jewish community. Marty’s Place, named for long-time faculty member Marty Perlmutter, is open to the public.

In a college release, Perlmutter says he wanted it the dining hall “to be a place where people do what they do: Get together and eat.”

“It is a vegan/vegetarian restaurant that is designed to be attractive to the local community,” says Perlmutter, the college’s director of Jewish Studies.


Vegan – Why – Animals –

Check out some Vegan people –

Vegan products –

Vegan recipes –

Vegan starter kit –

Why Vegan –


VITA Photo

Above Photo – Val Cameron

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