Veganism is the act of cutting out all animal related products from your diet. This includes items such as dairy, eggs, and of course, all things created with dairy and eggs. These added exclusions are what make vegans different to vegetarians, who simply cut out meat from their diets.
Historically, veganism has not been a popular choice, with very few committing to such strict eating rules. Today, although veganism is still not overly popular, it is very much on the rise. The number of vegans has more than doubled in the last 5 years, and this number is expected to keep rising.
The increase is somewhat unexpected, and leading many to ask what exactly is driving this new found interest in eating within such strict boundaries. Especially considering many find that living this lifestyle is a little more expensive, and may require you to win big in a few casino games to afford to embrace it fully!
Vegan Numbers Climbing
A study conducted in 2016, by the Vegan Society, found a dramatic increase in vegans. They put the number at around 540,000. This number is a huge leap from 150,000 in 2006, showing that a clear new trend is forming.
More than this is the big jump in lifestyle vegans, who take veganism to the next level. A lifestyle vegan is a vegan who not only cuts animal related products from their diet, but from their entire life. So beyond not eating dairy, lifestyle vegans also don’t wear clothing made from animal products.
In total, vegans and vegetarians combined make up about 1.6 million people in the United Kingdom, and several million more across the world.
Why The Increased Trend?
In looking more closely at the trend, it seems that the massive popularity increase in veganism is due largely to social media, and celebrity endorsement. Well known public figures such as Miley Cyrus and Ellen DeGeneres, among others, have been pushing vegan diets for years, which has led to the trend gaining momentum.
Giles Quick, a market researcher at Kantar Worldpanel, reflected on the veganism trend in a recent interview. He said that social media is likely the driving force of the increased numbers, pointing out that veganism has been made more accessible than ever before. Mostly, he concluded, due to the fact that veganism is no longer seen as a lifelong choice, but something that can be experimented with for just a meal or two.
This is likely making outlets of vegan foods very happy, but food trends are also notoriously fickle, and historically dropped very quickly. Still, popular supermarkets all over the world have started jumping on board, stocking more vegan friendly food products.
Why Go Vegan?
A survey done by Mintel in the United Kingdom shed light on why some are choosing to go vegan. The survey found that, overwhelmingly, young women were more likely to be vegan. Their stated reasons were health, above all else. This is not surprising, given that health benefits are one of the major factors pushed by advocates of vegan lifestyles.
The second most common reason for going vegan was weight loss, and weight management. Vegan diets are indeed a good way to lose weight, although this is also an indication that veganism may be seen by some as a method by which to quickly lose weight. Which in turn may result in veganism being dropped as quickly as it is adopted. The third most common reason was animal welfare. This is another factor often pushed by celebrities and social media figures such as Kat Von D, making it clear that social media is the driving force behind the new trend.
Vegan numbers are predicted to rise further all over the world, but only time will tell if this food trend stands the test of time.