Veganism is on the rise so much so that it has become trendy over the recent years, almost sounding quite the cliché when declaring yourself as Vegan. I often get the odd eye roll as if people are just tired of hearing it! Within recent statistics showing that..
‘542,000’ people are currently vegan which is a massive ‘350% increase’ (Marsh, 2016)
since 2006 in the amount of people opting for a plant-based diet. As discussed in a previous blog post of mine ‘Your planet, your choice!’ (if your new, I would advise giving that a read beforehand) I spoke briefly about how the vegan community is run by the younger generation particularly on social media. And it appears that many are in agreement that this is the year for mainstream Veganism.
Although this is great for movement and for veganism to be classed as trend in 2018 when we compare it to 2 years ago, it has come so far! I see more and more people showing an interest in the lifestyle rather than turning their noses up at the very thought of it. It’s amazing what the internet and social media platforms have done for the community allowing people to spread the word and share knowledge. According to google trends people are just as curious as it may seem with the amount of people googling ‘Veganism’has been increasing since 2012!
This is a graph from the last 5 years, it’s amazing how many people are getting online to research veganism for whatever reason that may be, when you compare it to five years ago it’s staggering difference.
However, I wonder if through all of this have, we lost the true reasoning behind why people started doing this in the first place? and does it even matter if we have, when were making so much progress in today’s society?
When scrolling through Instagram there is post after post just like this:
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Have you felt the power of living foods? ✨🌱 I started eating strictly plant foods almost 5 years ago. I started incorporating more ALIVE ⚡️foods into my diet. The result? I haven't felt more alive in my life. Mother Earth has provided us with the most perfect food. Fruits and Veg from the earth provide us with the best form of nourishment. The more living foods I incorporate into my diet, the better I feel! No need for plastic packaging, and any scraps go back to nourish the ground it came from ♻️ it's a perfect system. I vlogged an entirely RAW DAY of eating & the video will be up on my YouTube channel (Maddie Lymburner) soon!
It makes me wonder if Veganism has become more of a ‘plant based’ lifestyle, where we eat healthily and go to the gym ! Rather than considering the bigger impact of contribution to the harm of animals in the clothes that we wear and other factors. Now of course as I previously touched in my first blog post, in no way are we striving for this idea of ‘perfection’ and we shouldn’t be scared of making mistakes as a vegan. However, I think it’s important when calling yourself Vegan online to make sure you understand what you are actually stating that you will do as a vegan.
With the popularity of veganism increasing, the amount of people making vegan content online has also increased now this could be down to two things:
- There are more vegans so more vegan content.. (sounds pretty obvious, I know)
- Content creators on social media are understanding the rise in veganism and seeing the gap in the market.
Veganism and trends
Particularly on social media there’s been mass coverage on veganism, a particular trend currently is the ‘Vegan for 24 hours challenge’ or ‘Vegan for a week’ I find this can be problematic for a few reason people tend to take un educated approaches to veganism therefor not reflecting a positive vegan experience. When people take on a challenge such as this without any consideration for why, and without much research on the types of things you should/can be eating etc. It can often feel restrictive, therefore portraying an overall negative and un informative video that is not great for encouraging people to join the community. By no means am I suggesting that everyone who tries being vegan for 24 hours MUST have a positive experience, but I will be the first to admit that it’s disheartening when videos like these are not reflective of the lifestyle and just used a simple ploy to get views. However I will include below a YouTuber Samantha Maria who I think did a great job of trying out the vegan diet for a week with an educated approach and fair analysis which was uplifting to see amongst a lot of these videos floating around the internet currently.
Veganism, Just for show?
Fashion trends come and go, and recently I have noticed a lot of people going vegan but being unable to keep it up. I believe this is due to the increase of popularity via social media. Many people are claiming themselves as vegan in a bid to spread it across their social media platforms. However, not taking the time to research as to why going vegan is beneficial for yourself, the planet and animal exploitation. Nor are they eating the right foods. A lot Of videos I watched where people talk about why they are not vegan anymore, included reasons such as, ‘ I was never full’ potentially if they had done more research they would realise that maybe they were not eating enough protein rich plant sources and not enough starchy foods that are going to really fill you up therefor of course you’re going to be hungry! You have to fuel your body, Veganism isn’t about only eating salad!
Celebrities and the rise of Veganism
Celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande and Leonardo Dicaprio also have a part to play in more people wanting to ditch the meat, as they use there platforms such as Instagram, to spread there thoughts that will reach millions of people! As they scroll down there instagram feed. As a simple part of human nature we start to think well if someone like Leonardo Dicaprio cares, then maybe i should too?
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#Regram #RG @guardian: “If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania", Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF has said. Recent analyses showed that even if the destruction were to end now it would take 5-7 million years for the natural world to recover. Barrett says that there is a link between the food system and depletion of wildlife, explaining that eating less meat is an essential part of reversing losses. “This is actually now jeopardising the future of people. Nature is not a ‘nice to have’ – it is our life-support system.”
The problem is, Veganism shouldn’t be a fashion trend ready to be dropped as soon as the ‘hype’ is over. I strongly believe that Veganism is the future, maybe not in my life time but I will further discuss this in an upcoming blog post.Overall, i feel social media has greatly impacted a once very small and ridiculed community into a fast growing community of people. I will however, admit that through social media the direct reason for Veganism may have become slightly lost, Which is why i admire celebrities such as Leonardo Dicaprio who use their platforms to promote animal rights and the vegan life style. Social media hold endless possibilities for the Vegan movement.