Queen guitarist Brian May listed his reasons for taking part in this year’s Veganuary campaign, which sees participants trying to avoid all animal-based foods for the first month of the year.

He said he'll decide whether to continue with the new diet after he tried it for 31 days, and encouraged others to join him while telling those who didn’t want to that they shouldn’t feel bad about it.

“I will eat only vegan food for that month. After that, I will take a view on whether to continue or not,” May said in a recent Instagram post. "My reasons? 1) To lessen the suffering of animals. 2) To lessen the load on our groaning planet. 3) For my health. And … as an animal campaigner, it has been bothering me for a while that I still eat animal-derived food that has caused indignity and pain to a non-human animal. So I will try to move along the line. I won’t be pressuring anyone else to do the same, and it won’t change my commitment to helping farmers solve the problem of bovine TB. But ... for me ... it’s time.”

In a later post, the guitarist reported that the first day of his vegan diet “went okay,” though he might have use a dairy spread with his breakfast. He also noted that his local Chinese takeout shop is “kind enough to make sure they help” in his efforts.

May added that he wasn't ready to go vegan last year, but the success of some friends impressed him enough that he wanted to try it this year. He told those who aren't taking part, “Don’t worry. We all have our paths to tread.”

“This is definitely a new journey," May said. "But I already felt a benefit in my head. I watched a program on wildlife in the ocean, and noticed that my usual feelings of guilt, because of eating seafood in spite of wanting to protect these beautiful creatures, was absent. It’s perhaps the beginnings of the feeling of congruity that I’m searching for in my life. Well, it took me 72 years to get to this point. … So I ain’t gonna do any preachin’!”

On its website, the Veganuary campaign described itself as “a non-profit organization that encourages people worldwide to try vegan for January and beyond."

It notes that during the 2019 campaign, more than a quarter of a million people "took our pledge to try a vegan diet, while more than 500 brands, restaurants and supermarkets promoted the campaign. … Throughout the year, Veganuary encourages and supports people and businesses alike to move to a plant-based diet as a way of protecting the environment, preventing animal suffering and improving the health of millions of people.”

You can watch a TV spot for Veganuary below.


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