Will Veganism Be the Future?
People have the option to eat whatever diet they choose. However, it seems like more people are embracing veganism these days. A vegan diet means you don’t consume animal products, including dairy products and honey, because they come from living animals.
With the rise of vegan restaurants, vegan products in grocery stores, and more people enjoying the vegan lifestyle, it may seem that the concept of veganism is taking over the world. So, will veganism be the future? The team at Wholistically Healthy opens the discussion on veganism today and where it could go in the future.
Will the World Eventually Go Vegan?
Veganism might seem like a fad diet. However, it’s a lifestyle with a long history in India and eastern European communities as an advanced form of vegetarianism. Vegetarians go back as far as 500 BC, when Pythagoras of Samos, a Greek statistician, promoted vegetarianism to show compassion for all creatures.
In 1944, carpenter Donald Watson coined the term “vegan” to separate vegetarians who consumed eggs and dairy from those who didn’t. Though vegetarianism and veganism took decades to become popular in Western countries, it has a thriving industry today.
For instance, in the 1990s, milk options in a typical grocery store included various cow milk and maybe soy milk. Today, consumers can choose from a wide selection of non-dairy milk, such as:
- Hazelnut milk
- Cashew milk
- Rice milk
- Almond milk
- Oat milk
The changes are notable across many aspects of the food sector, not just the dairy industry. Consumers have many vegan meat options, and the industry is likely to reach $7.5 billion by 2025. Between 2017 and 2019, the vegan food business in the U.S. had a 29% increase, with projections putting the worldwide average at $27.9 billion by 2025.
Demands for vegan fashions are also expanding as consumers shift from animal-based leathers. The 2025 estimates for the vegan leather and vegan makeup industries are $85 billion and $20.8 billion, respectively.
Despite the noticeable increase in demands for and consumption of vegan goods, that doesn’t mean everyone will go vegan. What you choose to wear, eat, and buy is your choice.
However, the increase in vegan products makes it easier for people practising veganism to access foods and other goods that fit their lifestyle. But that doesn’t mean veganism is completely taking over other diets and lifestyle choices.
It’s also worth noting that farming and consuming livestock are part of many cultures. The industry not only provides food and goods for people who aren’t vegans—the meat and dairy industries also provide employment and finances for millions worldwide.
If the world goes completely vegan in the future, it will have a ricochet effect on many people’s lives and livelihoods.
How Long Will Veganism Last?
There is no way to determine or estimate how long veganism will last. However, we know that it’s likely to be a part of many people’s lives for a long time.
Being a vegan today is not like it used to be years ago. Now, you have a plethora of vegan options in stores and restaurants. From delicious vegan meats to animal-free makeup, if you want a vegan product, it is accessible in many places.
Even big-name food chains are embracing veganism, at least in part. For instance, KFC and Subway offer vegan menu options.
With accessible consumer goods, it’s easier for more people to sample veganism or fully embrace it. However, veganism isn’t for everyone. Not everyone will choose it, and some vegans stop abstaining from animal products at some point.
Misinformation about health is why some people don’t last as vegans. Critical brain nutrients like vitamins D3 and B12, taurine, and carnosine exist in animal-derived foods, not plants. Some supplements have these nutrients thanks to extractions from non-animal sources like bacteria or algae, but not everyone knows that detail.
Why Veganism May Be the Way of the Future
Veganism comes with many health and environmental benefits. Diet plays an integral role in your health. Consuming high amounts of sugar, saturated fats, and processed foods like potato chips, breakfast cereals, frozen pizzas, and deli meats can contribute to several health issues, including:
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
Eating a well-balanced vegan diet could significantly minimise the risks of a poor diet high in salt, fat, and sugar, accounting for about 3% of overall healthcare costs. The dietary change could save lives and possibly lead to a longer lifespan for many people. If everyone went vegan by 2050, the global healthcare industry could save about one trillion dollars on treating diet-related illnesses.
Environmentally, veganism makes sense. According to a study on the environmental effects of veganism, if everyone embraces the lifestyle now, harmful greenhouse gases could decrease by 70% by 2050. That is an essential factor because greenhouse gases contribute to climate change by trapping heat in the atmosphere and warming the planet.
Many people don’t realise how much their food choices contribute to global warming. Cows are the primary source of greenhouse gases because bacteria in their guts produce methane, which they release into the air by burping and passing gas. According to the UN, farmed livestock makes up about 14.5% of all human-made greenhouse gas emissions.
It also takes up a lot of farmland to make enough food for livestock to produce food, milk, and other by-products for humans. Though farm animals only contribute to 18% of the world’s calorie consumption, the animal farming industry accounts for over 80% of global farmland.
Going vegan could make a lasting positive impact on climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The lifestyle could also free up substantial space and resources to grow food for humans instead of using everything to sustain livestock. The world has about 5 billion hectares of farmland, and 68% goes to livestock.
What Percentage of the World Is Vegan in 2022?
As of January 2021, about 1% of the world’s population is vegan, which amounts to roughly 79 million people. Since veganism is on the rise, this percentage is likely to grow steadily over the next few years. The prediction is that by 2031, one in ten people will be vegan.
Currently, the United States has the largest vegan population in the world, but other countries are also increasing their vegan numbers. Though it isn’t possible to know the precise number of vegans globally, between 2% and 6% of people in the U.S. identify as vegans. About 40% of millennials aged 26 to 41 account for the U.S. vegan population, with Generation X and baby boomers age 42 and above each making up 21%.
In Australia, about 2% of the population is vegan. That amounts to about 500,000 people. More people—about 2.5 million—practice vegetarianism in Australia, but people continue to find favour in both lifestyles.
Other global statistics about the global vegan population include:
- 1% or 1.3 million people in Japan are vegan
- 2% or 2.6 million people in Germany are vegan
- Denmark and Switzerland’s vegan populations are 2.7% and 2.6%, respectively
Veganism is a popular trend, so more people have started to notice it. Even if people don’t fully embrace the lifestyle, many are incorporating more vegan products into their lives now more than ever before. For instance, roughly 10 million Australians dedicate themselves to consuming less red meat, and Google searches for vegan-related goods and information have increased by 117% since 2016 in Canada.
Can You Be 100% Vegan?
Embracing veganism involves more than only eating vegan products. It affects every aspect of your life. To be vegan means you don’t consume or use anything containing animal ingredients, animal by-products, or animal-derived ingredients like honey and beeswax.
Many people choose a vegan lifestyle due to their views about animal cruelty and exploitation in various sectors, like the dairy industry and fashion industry. Drinking cow’s milk and wearing authentic leather are equally unacceptable in veganism.
While it isn’t possible to be 100% vegan because of the many industries that use animal products in everyday products, veganism isn’t about achieving perfection. Being a vegan means minimising harm to other creatures and abstaining from animal products whenever possible.
It’s Your Own Choice – We Have Meals That Cater for All Food Types
The question of “will veganism be the future?” is solely to engage in a healthy discussion about different ways to enjoy food for sustenance and health. If you choose to be vegan or explore other diet options, it is up to you. Whatever your decision, you can rely on Wholistically Healthy to have a wide range of delicious meal options suitable to your dietary preferences.
At Wholistically Healthy, we offer foods and meal packs for:
- Protein-based diets
- Plant-based diets
- Gluten-free diets
We craft our meals in Perth using quality ingredients and deliver them fresh to your doorstep. We may not know the definitive answer to “will veganism be the future,” but rest assured that Wholistically Healthy has delicious and nutritious meal options and foods suitable for a vegan diet if it is your preference. Call 0450 344 607 today to learn more about our vegan meal delivery service.