The trend of veganism

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?

 
Reference list:
ScienceTime. (2013). The Triple Whopper Environmental Impact of Global Meat Production. Retrieved 2016-09-07 from

http://science.time.com/2013/12/16/the-triple-whopper-environmental-impact-of-global-meat-production/

GoogleTrends. (2016). Interest over time: ‘vegan’. Retrieved 2016-09-07 from

https://www.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=vegan&hl=en-US

Thehuffingtonpost. (2013) Interest In Vegan Diets On The Rise: Google Trends Notes Public’s Increased Curiosity In Veganism. Retrieved 2016-09-08 from

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/02/interest-in-vegan-diets-on-the-rise_n_3003221.html

Telegraph. (2016). Number of vegans in Britain rises by 360% in 10 years. Retrieved 2016-09-07, from

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/news/number-of-vegans-in-britain-rises-by-360-in-10-years/

OneGreenPlanet (2014) Sweden going meatless. Retreieved 2016-09-07, from

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/sweden-going-meatless/

VeganSociety. (2016). History, we have come a long way. Retrieved 2016-09-08)

https://www.vegansociety.com/about-us/history

Buddhisminfo. (2012). Buddhismens syn på mat. Retrieved 2016-09-09.

http://www.buddhisminfo.se/Buddhismens%20syn%20p%E5%20mat.pdf

TrendSetGo. (2012). Trend Pyramids. Retrieved 2016-09-07, from

http://trendsetgo.bekijknu.nl/pyramids/dafne-de-jong/pyramids/55193.html

Bustle. (2016). 32 Verified, Currently-Vegan Celebrities. Retrieved 2016-09-07, from

http://www.bustle.com/articles/149515-32-verified-currently-vegan-celebrities

BusinessTransworld. (2012). The Lifecycle of a trend. Retrieved 2016-09-07, from
http://business.transworld.net/news/the-lifecycle-of-a-trend/#imAIryzdRiHrTqrO.97

Chipotle. (2016). FAQ. Retrieved 2016-09-08, from

https://chipotle.com/faq

WayOutWest. (2015). Way Out West blir mjölkfri 2015. Retrieved 2016-09-08, from

http://www.wayoutwest.se/way-out-west-blir-mjolkfri-2015/

Lush. (2016). Vad vi tror på. Retrieved 2016-09-08, from
https://www.lush.se/shop/info/11/vad-vi-tror-p%C3%A5

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3 thoughts on “The trend of veganism

  1. Very good article, great sources, you address all the right topics and explained things in the right way. Great work. This is excaclty what I am after.

    Like

  2. Ebba Lindström 2016-09-13

    Well, as a vegetarian I think you are right when it comes to the fact that my reason for becoming a vegetarian in the first place was to reduce my footprint on the planet. Some of my friends told me that it doesn’t matter, that how little meat I eat it will not make any difference. And they are probably right. What difference does it make that I choose to exclude meat from my diet? In a way, there’s no point, but becoming a vegetarian has brought up the topic to the surface.

    People are often curious about me as a vegetarian. Why did I become one and what kind of food do I eat? They often ask me for recipes that I can recommend. The dinners I participate in are often vegetarian even though the rest are meat eaters and my boyfriend has gone from someone who did not know how to cook vegetarian food to someone who loves vegetables! So, maybe there’s a reason. Making others aware of the current situation.

    Even though my primary reason for becoming a vegetarian was to reduce my footprint on the planet and not because i didn’t want to eat animals I don’t think that I will start eating meat again. The thought of it makes me uncomfortable and a bit sick. It’s more expected that I will stop eating any animal ingredients whatsoever. And I think THAT’S what it takes to make the non vegetarians “flexitarians”!

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  3. I never considered being a vegetarian/vegan, I am however al for people eating less meat, because we do not need to eat as many meat as we are doing right now. I didn’t know before that the meat industry is such a heavy burden on nature. And that it leaves such a big human food prints.

    I still don’t consider stop eating meat but I like that there are becoming more vegetarian dishes. Quite often I just don’t want to eat meat yet if you look at the most common Dutch meals its meat, potato and some vegetables. Of course you have you pasta’s and rice dishes but many of them also include meat in one way or a other.

    What do you think is the future of veganism?

    I think in the not so distant future people will eat less and less meat. Not only because it isn’t healthy but also a bad way of producing food. The population is growing we are already exceeding 7 billion people. And it may reach as much as 9,7 billion in 2050. We simply cannot produce enough meat for the population if keep eating as much meat as we do now. So yes I think I will be most likely that more people we eat less meat or become a vegetarian/vegan. Maybe out of choice but also out of necessity.

    Gates , B. B., & | March 18, 2013. (n.d.). Future of Food. Retrieved September 21, 2016, from https://www.gatesnotes.com/About-Bill-Gates/Future-of-Food

    By Vivien Cumming 14 March 2016. (n.d.). How many people can our planet really support? Retrieved September 21, 2016, from http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160311-how-many-people-can-our-planet-really-support

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