As we move into a new year, we always try to predict the events of the coming year. Sometimes, we do it successfully. While others, not so. Because of that I am not going to tell you what will happen. Instead, I will tell you that many things are in favor of seeing an increase of vegan lifestyle. I have been meditating that we have come a long way from a decade ago. My mind took me to the time when we used to say VEGAN and just about everybody gave us the strange look. Yes, you know exactly what I mean. I am happy to report to you that’s not happening today!!!
With so much acceptance, I began to write for the last issue of this year I started to wonder if my expectations for 2018 are going to even reach the 50% level of success? I sincerely hope that it will surpass that level! In that spirit, let me highlight those areas which most people agreed: 1) veganism continue to grow 2) new scientific studies are collaborating with the concept that much of our health issues are related to the amount of meat consumed 3) plants & vegetables are indeed the foundation of a happy life, and 4) worldwide acceptance or understanding that if you choose a vegan lifestyle, discrimination is not allow!
Since 2011 when we started to write about veganism, only 4% of Americans followed, or claimed to be vegans. Mintel says that between 2012 and 2016, “there’s a 25% increase in vegetarian claims and a 257% rise in vegan claims in new food and drink products you find in grocery stores”. Recent studies show that 6% of Americans are now vegan. We think that 2018 will have a significant variation. I will go even further to say that 7 to 8% will be a realistic number as we finish 2018.
Another major area that will affect 2018 as the vegan year, has to do with accepting the benefits of veganism. There is no doubt that Dr’s and hospitals are encouraging patients to switch to a plant based diet as a way to improve their overall health condition. Take a look at the following facts as indicated by BAUM+WHITEMAN INTERNATIONAL RESTAURANT CONSULTANTS in their report 2018 TREND OF THE YEAR: PLANTBASED FOODS GO MAINSTREAM
· 35% of Americans get the majority of their protein from sources other than red meat.
· 66% of consumers who eat alternative proteins believe they are healthier than red meat.
· About 83 percent of U.S. consumers are adding plant-based foods to their diets to improve health and nutrition, while 62 percent do so for weight management.
We found a wonderful article written by One Green Planet of the effects of compassion are far reaching and have been shown to have benefits for physical as well as psychological health. They mentioned that when humans connect in a meaningful way with other people or animals, contributes in the recovery from illness as well as promoting increased levels of mental and physical well-being.
For example, they “found high cellular inflammation levels in subjects whose happiness stemmed from a hedonistic lifestyle. Conversely, they found low inflammation levels in people whose lives were enriched by greater meaning and compassionate service to others, including non-human animals.” Isn’t this wonderful information for us to love and care for ALL animal lives!
Market Research Firm Packaged Facts (www.packagedfacts.com), recently wrote in its report that vegan labels on food has become acceptable and attractable to vegans and non-vegans. Clearly, we are seeing that society as a whole is removing its doubts, negative attitudes towards planta based products and is becoming standard.
No longer can we say that if you identify as vegan, that people would look at you as if you were coming from another planet. On the contrary, in today’s market people tend to at least give you their understanding. Feeling discriminated because you are vegan is becoming rare and to that we celebrate! 2018 will certainly be a year of greater acceptance!
I was very happy to see a few weeks ago that Microsoft founder Bill Gates has invested a substantial amount of money towards the creation of a new city called Belmont in Arizona. I was even more ecstatic that Plant based news organization wrote: “that Peta Executive VP, Tracy Reiman, said: ”The smartest move for a smart city is to leave the cruelly produced and unhealthy meat, eggs, and dairy products in the past. Peta knows that they future is VEGAN and this statement clearly is an encouragement to Bill Gates to set an example of what a compassionate, forward-thinking vegan society can look like”. Just imagine, if a new city provides only healthy and environmentally friendly foods, how society will start to see REAL and SIGNIFICANT changes.
We are encouraged by all of these facts, and remain aware that the road ahead is not easy. There is still too many people who think and adore killing and eating animals. The large majority are only moving into eating right because of the right reasons (their own benefit), but is up to us to teach ALL members of our society the terrible actions involved in all the slaughter houses in the world.
All the seeds that we have planted during the last decade is finally producing results. So many brave vegans started to write, to wear, and to proclaim that vegan is the ONLY option acceptable and is finally reaching a turning point. The New Vegan Times is happy to announce that 2018 will be a key year for vegan issues. 2018 will see a grow in food choices, cloths, magazines, newspapers, shoes and make up with vegan name included. Happy Vegan 2018!