Veganism is on the rise. Within the last 15 years we have seen the number of vegans in Britain increase by 350%. We can imagine it is about the same with other countries around the world.
What’s with this sudden interest in not eating any animal products? What does it even mean to be vegan?
What Is Vegan?
Being vegan is by far more than just eating a bunch of fruit and vegetables – it is a complete lifestyle change. Unlike being vegetarian, veganism involves getting rid of all animal products from your diet, not just the meat.
Some vegans take the extra step and go as far as to not using any animal products, such as clothes or beauty items. Then, some vegans will not even use products tested on animals.
When the term was first used back in 1979, it was defined as, the emancipation of animals from the exploitation of humans. This definition is a great place to start the discussion as it is a way of living that does not include animals being treated in inhumane ways, and as some vegans say, seeing animals as their friends.
Why Do People Go Vegan?
Is this trend a lasting one, or is it just a fad? To answer these questions, we need to look at the reasons why people are becoming vegan in the first place. Here are some of the main reasons that more people are interested in such a lifestyle change:
- Ethical Reasons
- Health Reasons
- Environmental Reasons
- Social Media Influencers
The first reason for becoming a vegan for most people is because of the ethics behind it. These people believe that all creatures have the right to live and the right to freedom.
Ethical vegans choose not to use animals products because they are opposed to the psychological and physical stress that these animals are raised under. They also dislike the fact that these animals are bred, raised, and slaughtered in small cages.
Another reason that many people are choosing to avoid meat products is for their health. There are a growing number of studies which prove that, by eating a plant-based diet, people can prevent many diseases that relate to eating meat. Some include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimers.
There is also research to show that choosing a vegan diet will help you to lose weight. Finally, many people want to be vegan to avoid the antibiotics and hormones that modern farming often uses in their practices.
There is also a group of people that avoid animal products because of the effect that modern farming has on the environment. Since 2010, some studies show that animal agriculture uses more resources and contributes to the greenhouse gases more than plant-based agriculture.
For example,producing just 0.5kg of beef requires anywhere from 1,500 to 20,000 liters of water! So many young people are choosing to avoid meat to reduce their environmental impact on the planet.
SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS
With the rise of social media came the influencers, which is a big reason for the sudden interest from young people, mostly teenagers, in veganism. We see a growing presence of veganism posts, which is led by the big names on social media and of course, media in general.
This is a big reason why more and more young people are turning to a vegan lifestyle. They are seeing people like Natalie Portman, Madonna, Ellen Degeneres, and Jay-Z posting about being vegan, and of course, they want to give it a go.
How long will many of these young people turning to veganism is still to be seen. They might be like Beyonce, who tried it for three weeks, or they might have a strong enough reason to make the lifestyle change.
It’s safe to say that the new generations show a much higher consciousness of the leading issues of today’s world than before. They seem aware that the world will benefit from the development of this movement.