Media and PR Officer, The Vegan Society
“Veganism is about far more than the food on our plates. It’s the moral conviction that using and killing animals is wrong, and dietary choices are just one way in which vegans express this belief.”
The image of veganism is undergoing the most radical change in its history and shedding some tired, old stereotypes. People now closely associate it with health, fitness, and well-being.
No longer portrayed as an unusual diet, veganism is easy and accessible – walk into any supermarket and you’ll be greeted by a huge range of vegan-friendly products; walk into any restaurant and you’ll be presented with an exciting vegan menu.
A growing phenomenon
The number of vegans in America grew by 600 percent from nearly 4 million in 2014 to 19.6 million in 2017. The non-dairy industry is predicted to be worth $28 billion in 2021 — a staggering growth from only $6 billion in 2016.
This growing demand is not driven by vegans alone. Studies show as many as 1 in 3 Americans now consciously reduce the amount of meat, dairy, and eggs in their diet.
Vegan food is uniquely inclusive of nearly all dietary requirements. It can be eaten by vegetarians, the lactose-intolerant, the health-conscious, followers of certain religions, environmentalists, and those who simply enjoy vegan food.
A moral decision
Although people become vegan for a number of reasons, the main motivation has always been animal rights. Many people also do it because they are concerned with the huge impact animal agriculture has on the environment, while others choose to follow the lifestyle to improve their health.
The word “vegan” didn’t even exist until 1944, when The Vegan Society’s co-founder coined it. It can now be seen on menus and products around the world.
Veganism is about far more than the food on our plates. It’s the moral conviction that using and killing animals is wrong, and dietary choices are just one way in which vegans express this belief.
While some people may be adopting a plant-based diet temporarily or seeing it as trendy, ethical veganism is here to stay — surely, widening your circle of compassion can never be considered a fad.