There are many reasons out there why you should consume less meat and dairy products. It has been around for decades, studies are showing why too much meat is bad for your health, how the industry of animal agriculture is one of the most contributing factors to the increase of water consumtion and global warming, and furthermore how the industry creates a distressing life for many animals. Flexitarian has become a known word, but even better; we are now in a rising trend of veganism. (ScienceTime, 2013)
This article has a western world perspective and the examples will focus on America, Great Britain and Sweden – three countries with very high consumption values of meat and dairy per capita.
A diagram of Google Trends shows that the public interest in a vegan diet is on a rise, and now higher than ever before. From a number of 23 units in september 2006 to 99 units ten years later, september 2016, corresponds to an increasing interest of 330 % in the world. Best of the three countries mentioned above is Sweden, with an increase of 809 % the past ten years, compared to America’s 317 % and Great Britain’s 669 % (Google Trends, 2016). These numbers don’t equal the percental rise of veganism, but they definetly show an increasing curiousity about the subject of a non meat- and dairy eating lifestyle. Furthermore there are studies which prove the increasing level of vegans in America (TheHuffingtonPost, 2013), Great Britain (Telegraph, 2016) and in Sweden (OneGreenPlanet, 2014). Of course in different rates, but it is happening.
So where does this trend come from? Well, first of all the life style of veganism is found way back in the books of history, in fact all the way back to 500 BCE. The Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras talked about the importance of all spieces and adapted a diet similar to today’s veganism. So did Siddhārtha Gautama, founder of Buddhism, and many of the buddhists of todays’ western world still follow the vegetarian or vegan diet (BusshismInfo, 2012). The modern life style of veganism was founded in 1944. From ‘non-dairy vegetarians’ the word ‘vegan’ was settled to describe the movement. (Vegan Society, 2016)
During the past decade veganism has grown and turned into what I claim is a meso trend of today (Trend Set Go, 2012). It originates from several mega trends such as the environmental trend, the protection of animal life and the health trend. According to a study in Great Britain the health benefits from a vegan diet is the main reason why people adapt the trend. But both protection of the environment and animals were also mentioned as big influences. (Telegraph, 2016) Moreover the issues from the meat- and dairy production are more often brought to surface in different forms. One example is the american documentary production ‘Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret’. In a powerful way it spreads knowledge around the world and make people dare to talk about the problems. And my guess is that more and more people will eventually chose to do something to reduce their footprints – many of them become vegans.
In fact it seems as the vegan lifestyle is ntering the mainstream. Alot of celebrities have chosen a life without animal based food on their plates. Ellen DeGeneres, Liam Hemsworth and Ariana Grande are three out of many (Bustle, 2016) They are influencers of the trend (Transworld Business, 2012) all spreading the word which has an impact on their followers on social media.
As the numbers of vegans become larger, the request for substitutes replacing the meat- and dairy products in the market grows as well, and these micro trends comes in many forms. The mexican restaurant ‘Chipotle’ which is a big chain in both America and Great Britain has adapted the trend on their menu with a rarely broad supply of vegan food (Chipotle, 2016). Another example is one of Swedens most successful music festivals ‘Way Out West’, which decided in 2012 to turn the festival into a vegetarian area. The decision reduced their Co2 footprint with 25 % and they became an inspiration for other festivals around the world. Three years later they became completly vegan (Way Out West, 2015). You can also find the request of vegan products within the field of make up- and skin care products, where the british company Lush is a known example. They are free from animal ingredients and require them not to be tested on animals (Lush, 2016). On the other hand these micro trends create a possibilty for the vegan trend to grow itself. With more products on the market, it gets both more accessable and cheaper to live as a vegan.
What is the future of veganism then?
The stable increase of vegans shows that it is still on the rise of its life cycle (TrendSetGo, 2012). But we can only guess how great impact it will leave on the society in the future. My personal guess is that alot of people who were the early adopters of the vegan life style chose it in a drastic decision to reduce their foot print on the planet. As all trends it will eventually fade and then I think many of the vegans of today will slowly move over to a life style where there still will be focus on healthy food and leaving a lower footprint, but perhaps they will be more of flexitarians? A life style which includes a low amount of meat and dairy, but where it will be of great importance that it’s locally produced with the health of our animals and planet highly in focus.
What do you think is the future of veganism?
ScienceTime. (2013). The Triple Whopper Environmental Impact of Global Meat Production. Retrieved 2016-09-07 from
GoogleTrends. (2016). Interest over time: ‘vegan’. Retrieved 2016-09-07 from
Thehuffingtonpost. (2013) Interest In Vegan Diets On The Rise: Google Trends Notes Public’s Increased Curiosity In Veganism. Retrieved 2016-09-08 from
Telegraph. (2016). Number of vegans in Britain rises by 360% in 10 years. Retrieved 2016-09-07, from
OneGreenPlanet (2014) Sweden going meatless. Retreieved 2016-09-07, from
VeganSociety. (2016). History, we have come a long way. Retrieved 2016-09-08)
Buddhisminfo. (2012). Buddhismens syn på mat. Retrieved 2016-09-09.
TrendSetGo. (2012). Trend Pyramids. Retrieved 2016-09-07, from
Bustle. (2016). 32 Verified, Currently-Vegan Celebrities. Retrieved 2016-09-07, from
BusinessTransworld. (2012). The Lifecycle of a trend. Retrieved 2016-09-07, from
Chipotle. (2016). FAQ. Retrieved 2016-09-08, from
WayOutWest. (2015). Way Out West blir mjölkfri 2015. Retrieved 2016-09-08, from
Lush. (2016). Vad vi tror på. Retrieved 2016-09-08, from