According to a survey conducted by the company called ‘Compare the Market’, the number of vegans found in the UK has now reached up to 3.5 million! As you can see, the plant-based diet has skyrocketed. Especially when compared to the 2016 statistics, which found up to 542,000 vegans over 15 living in the UK.
Also, take this January (2018) as an example! Almost 170,000 individuals in the UK took the pledge to go vegan for a month during the Veganuary campaign (January of every year). Incredible! Back in 2014, only 3,300 took the pledge. So, something is definitely happening when it comes to the vegan movement in the UK!
The term veganism was first introduced in 1944 by Donald Watson, who purposefully rejected the terms vitan and benevore. Having found the Vegan Society of England, Watson and 5 other pioneers slowly started to promote the non-dairy vegetarian lifestyle which then came to be known as veganism thanks to their efforts.
Although, the term veganism was introduced in the 1940’s, it still took over 70 years for people to truly understand what veganism is and for the masses to start following the vegan lifestyle.
Veganism is the practice of not eating any food that calls for the use of animal products. Especially, veganism is known to be associated to the philosophy that rejects the idea that animals are a commodity, but rather considers them as living beings. When talking strictly about the diet aspect of veganism, of course, a vegan doesn’t eat any type of meat, fish, eggs, dairy and honey. Basically, a true vegan should abstain from eating any animal-derived substances. When I started thinking about going vegan, I didn’t even know that I shouldn’t eat honey for example.
So, what started out as a mock sub-culture movement in the UK, associated with scrawny figures, is now an official thriving movement! So, how come that veganism is so mainstream nowadays?
Many argue, that the rise of veganism in the UK is partly due to the PR it received from Instagram. Since the Vegan community is very active online, vegan food suddenly became visually appealing and lucrative due to the stunning photos shared online. No more preconceptions about vegan food being rabbit or goat feed. Today, thanks to social media, vegan meals are known to be vibrant, nutritious, colorful and above -all delicious.
In general, I think that this trend is amazing; considerate to animal welfare and an excellent way to living more healthily and sustainably. Many people make the choice towards becoming a vegan due to one of these reasons:
In either case, many people start with a Flexitarian lifestyle, eating vegan or vegetarian occasionally. Usually, people start with reducing the amount of meat they eat, slowly eliminating one animal product after the other until they become fully vegan. Naturally, you can do the same!
Start with this vegan recipe that will show you what vegan food is all about!
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