The founders of Veganuary have stepped down from the charity - claiming the toll on their health and personal relationships has become too great.
The initiative, which encourages people to try veganism throughout January, has seen major growth since its first roll out in 2004, with a staggering 162,000 people taking part in 2018. A slew of celebrities joined the campaign as ambassadors, and the initiative gained mainstream media interest.
But the efforts of maintaining such growth has seen founders - husband and wife Matthew and Jane Land - facing an increasingly untenable workload, with their last day off being Christmas Day 2017.
The pair told Plant Based News they have stepped down from operational roles, and will be stepping down as trustees once suitable replacements have been found. They also sent PBN their official statement, which says: "It's been an exciting time. We're immensely proud of what the campaign's achieved and the animals' lives it will continue to spare.
"Watching the number of Veganuary participants more than double each year, and seeing the changing attitudes towards veganism, has been phenomenal.
"We've had the honor of working with some of the most dedicated, compassionate, and wonderful people this world has to offer. And we are incredibly grateful to each one of you who has supported us as partners, as donors, and as dear friends."
Matthew and Jane added: "The intensity of our work for animals and the heartache it can bring has taken its toll on us. Like many others in the movement, our health has suffered and our personal relationships have been affected. Leaving Veganuary is one of the most difficult and sad decisions we've had to make.
"We're leaving Veganuary in the safe and capable hands of an exceptional team under the leadership of Simon Winch, our CEO. The charity is expanding at an exciting rate and is bigger and stronger than ever before.
"Veganuary is on target to reach a further 300,000 participants this year and is set to grow significantly outside of the UK."
The pair said they will be 'stepping back' from the vegan frontline in a bid to recharge their batteries - but have plans to return as more effective advocates for animals.
"After we've packed away our laptops, had a digital detox, we'll come back refreshed to serve the animals and our planet again with further campaigning opportunities later this year," they said.
"A huge heartfelt thanks to you all and please take care of yourselves and support one another."
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.Reuse this content
Maria is the head of written content for Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.
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