Plant-based options are on the rise in Queensland’s cosmopolitan capital, Brisbane, with flexitarians the “main reason” for the booming vegan scene, The Source News reports.
“Flexitarian” is someone who consumes animal products but makes an effort to eat more veg-based meals.
Speaking to The Source News, plant-based food consultant and co-owner of Yavanna Plant-based Bar & Eatery Cale Drouin claimed the growing vegan market is attributable to these “people wanting to reduce meat.”
Drouin has been vegan for 15 years and said he hasn’t witnessed anything as revolutionary as Brisbane’s current shift towards vegan food. He claimed, “It’s the flexitarian sort of thing that is driving this more so than veganism.” Given the impact meat-reducers are having on upholstering the city’s vegan scene, Drouin thinks that flexitarians deserve more praise.“If you’re reducing the amount of meat and dairy that you take into your body, and that has to be produced, it’s a win.”
Brisbane Vegan Markets founder John Garrison has also been vegan for 15 years and concurred that the vegan scene has boomed since he moved to the city seven years ago. While the vegan community gives the markets a reliable support base, he noted that a significant portion of attendees aren’t vegan, but flexitarians. Garrison believes this is down to increased exposure to the realities of animal agriculture, and also celebrity endorsement, which he believes influences many younger people. QUT business lecturer and food marketing expert Dr. Gary Mortimer suggested that concern for health and animal welfare are also influencing the influx in demand for plant-based options.
Veggie food is rising to mainstream popularity not just in Brisbane but throughout the nation, which has the third fastest-growing vegan market in the world. This summer, Financial Review reported that “carnivores” are driving the “surge in vegan menus.” Since then, a study found that over two million Australians are vegetarian or vegan, and an even greater number are consciously cutting back on meat – 53.4 percent are consuming less red meat.
This appears to be a global phenomenon. Almost half of U.S. meat eaters would rather turn vegetarian than kill an animal themselves, suggesting why, perhaps, 70 percent of those purchasing the vegan Beyond Burger are meat-eaters. Non-vegans are also behind the rise of plant-based eateries in Canada, while an all-vegan UK meal delivery service reported that half of its customer base are meat-eaters.
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