The Growth Of Veganism – How Has It Become So Popular?

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Veganism was once thought of as just another unachievable diet trend. What was once dismissed as a fad, or an extreme choice of apparently giving up tasty food, is now a mainstream trend. Veganism is no longer a ridiculed concept; it’s associated with numerous health benefits, tapping into the eco-conscious state of the world, and a progressive movement towards a greener way of life. 

Now, veganism has become so popular that businesses are rushing to adapt their food offerings to cater for vegan customers. 

According to the UK Vegan Society: 

• 51% are happy to see vegan food in shops and restaurants 
• 56% of adults in the UK practice vegan buying behaviors 
• 19% have cut down on buying meat and are checking cosmetics and toiletries for animal-testing 
• 13% actively choose meat-free or dairy-free meals when eating out 

Even those of us who don’t eat a plan-based diet are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of eating less meat. Perhaps because of this, the mindset towards vegans has drastically improved, with 43% of people saying they respected vegans for their lifestyle. 

But are environmental concerns the sole reason for the rise of veganism? Looking at the results of this past year's Veganuary, a movement that challenges people to sign up for a month of vegan eating, the top reason for people signing up was animal rights concerns (43%). This was followed by 39% of people who signed up for health reasons, and 10% who said it was for environmental reasons. 

People go vegan for many reasons; according to a study by British newspaper The Independent, Google searches for the word vegan have grown almost as much as searches for Instagram. You may also want to think about improving your diet and saving some money in the process. You can grab some growbags and start cultivating your own supply of tomatoes for a home-made tomato sauce, or cucumbers for the freshest salad you’ll ever taste! 

In a world where we love to take photos of our meals and share them on social media, it’s not difficult to believe that Instagram has helped circulate numerous brightly-colored vegan dishes to help improve its previously ill-held reputation of being nothing but leaves. Indeed, Vegan Food & Living offered up an array of vegan food trends such as vegan chocolate, and none of them could be considered ‘rabbit food’: 

• Vegan desserts, bringing back ice-cream and cakes in vegan-friendly ways. Ben and Jerry’s have released three delicious vegan-friendly ice creams: Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chunky Monkey, and Peanut Butter and Cookies are all sure to be a hit with vegans and non-vegans alike! 

 Fermented foods, while they might not conjure the most delicious image to mind, are coming into food trends in a big way. Think colorful kimchi and nutty-flavored tempeh. 

 Veggie chips, such as parsnip chips and sweet potato chips, make for a healthier option than normal potato. 

 Edible flowers, to make your meal Instagram-worthy! 

Businesses also need to provide more vegan food options. A recent survey found that 91% of vegans are having a tough time finding to-go meal options. The market is certainly there, and restaurants and supermarkets are slowly picking up on the potential gains to be made by catering to veganism. 

A new study was brought to the public eye by The Guardian, outlining that the “five-a-day” notion for fruit and vegetable consumption is, sadly, not entirely accurate. In fact, the study from the Imperial College London advises 10-a-day! The now-recommended 800g of fruit and veg daily would help reduce heart disease, strokes and premature deaths. Picking up a few vegan meals throughout the week, or switching to a vegan diet entirely, would certainly help hit this healthy target.

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