Veganism is reaching an all-time high.
From 2006 to 2016, the number of those following a vegan lifestyle increased from 150,000 to 542,000 in the UK alone, the BBC reports. This year’s Veganuary- whereby people pledge to try veganism for the month of January- is said to be a contributing factor toward the increase of people going vegan for good.
Co-founder of Veganuary Matthew Glover revealed that this year, 78,000 people in the UK pledged to ditch animal products for the month. “Back in 2014, it was 1,500,” the BBC added.
Glover also noted: “What is so very exciting is that 67% of people who responded to our 2017 survey told us they were still vegan six months later”.
Similarly, Dominika Piasecka from The Vegan Society noted that veganism is more available to people than ever. “Vegan is the new vegetarian. It’s becoming more accessible,” she stated.
The reasons behind the shift are predominantly concerns about animal welfare, as well as an increasing consciousness of health and environmental factors.
“The animal welfare argument for becoming vegan makes a lot of logical sense, because actually, most of us are against animal cruelty,” Piasecka told the BBC.
In fact, recent data revealed that 70% of Americans are uncomfortable with the way animals are treated for food. Additionally, almost 50% of people in the U.S. said they supported a ban on slaughterhouses.
Increased connections between meat consumption and disease are also driving the changes. Additionally, it was recently found that almost half of young people were concerned about the environmental impact of meat. Vegan food is said to keep our bodies and the environment healthy.