After this year's record-breaking Veganuary, it comes as no surprise that No Meat May, a program launched in 2013 by Ryan Alexander and Guy James Whitworth, has nearly doubled its sign-ups from 2019 to 2020. With nearly 25,000 participants in the 2020 program and growing, No Meat May is a global campaign that helps people ditch meat from their diet for 31 days, and according to their own surveys, roughly 94 percent of those who partake in NMM end up reducing their meat consumption permanently.

Ryan Alexander & Guy James Whitworth, founders of NoMeatMay.net

No Meat May offers support to participants with free weekly meal plans, shopping lists and a community to help reinforce healthy habits. Check out their Facebook page here. They also have resources to educate members about nutrients, as well as favorite food blogs and suggestions to help anyone who signs up find restaurants to order meatless options. The aim of NMM is to "provide a safe stepping stone, evidence-based information and support for that bold first step."

Four Reasons Why

Alexander and Whitworth's motivation to create No Meat May is four-pronged: For our planet, to end factory farming, to improve the health of participants and to feed the world. They explained that reducing meat consumption will help produce more food because "Global hunger results from a web of immensely complex factors, including both food scarcity and distribution. Food scarcity at the global level is an issue now with past surpluses being drawn down and it is fast becoming a critical issue as our seven billion population expands towards nine billion by 2050. As our population increases, available land, water, energy and other finite resources decrease. So we have more people to feed and fewer resources to feed them."

No Meat May was quick to take into account other global issues that may impact peoples' ability to participate in the program. In a press release, the founders say that they grappled with the decision to hold NMM this year, in light of the world-wide pandemic at hand, questioning whether it was appropriate while many losing loved ones, some were out of work and the program's partner businesses were closed.

Now is a Time for Community

Ultimately, they concluded that  NMM is"a way to connect to a supportive community while also helping your health and the world," elaborating, "One thing COVID-19 is teaching us is that we can and must live differently to protect the most vulnerable – and that includes animals and our fragile planet. Also, what better time to experiment with delicious, plant-based cooking than when you are holed up at home?"

To sign up for NMM and join the program launching this Friday, May 1st, click here.

For helpful guidance starting your plant-based approach, try one of these great on-ramp programs from The Beet:

The 21 Day Plant-Based Challenge: Everything you need to go plant-based for three weeks

The 2 Week Clean-Eating Plan: Your Guide to 14 days of plant-based healthy meals

The Beginner's Guide to Going Plant-Based: 1 Week of Recipes, Expert Advice and Motivation