Read the new Green Impact blog written by Dot Curtis, one of this year’s Green Impact Project Assistants, which looks at some of the facts and figures around veganism.
This post isn’t going to barrage you with reasons why you should be vegan… at least not yet. It’s also not going to hand you a badge of honour for already being one. You are probably going to see plenty of those posts over the next month. This post is going to give you a whirlwind tour through some plant-based facts for you to drop into conversation this month; 100% guaranteed to wow the organic bamboo socks off everyone. Plus, we’ll take a wee look at the reasons why you might be vegan. No pressure though.
The Vegan Society is OLD, like great-grandparents old. It was founded in November 1944. (World Vegan Day is the 1st November if you want to pop the date in your diaries.) But the lifestyle of a plant-based diet has been around for hundreds of years and can be found in a lot of Indian and Mediterranean societies. The idea of not harming animals is as old as Aristotle and Buddhism. Veganism is a lifestyle that is scattered across the world and is not some Western fad, as some of ye modern hippies would have you believe.
So, who do you know who is vegan? Right, I’ll help you out with some a mix of some famous ones. Ellen DeGeneres, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Woody Harrelson, Liam Hemsworth, Moby, Russell Simmons, Stevie Wonder, Sia, Peter Dinklage, Evanna Lynch, Mya, Chaka Khan, Benedict Cumberbatch…. I could go on for a long time here.
Let’s talk more specific numbers: there are an estimated half a million vegans in the UK right now and 4 million vegetarians and these numbers are growing every day. Across the world there are as many as 168 million vegans – or just over 2% of the global population.
Or maybe you’re more interested in the point of veganism. Increasingly it’s being flagged up as a way to save the world or reduce the ridiculous carbon footprint. There are a lot of reasons to be vegan. People have a whole range of motivations for getting involved: veganism is cheaper, its more environmentally and economically sustainable, health benefits, they were brought up living this way, vegan food tastes better, they wish to experiment, they want to minimise their chances of developing certain diseases, they want to be different, they care about animal welfare, they care about climate change and a million other reasons.
All I’m going to say is just pick yourself one of those infinite ideas and use it to base your veganism this month. Because yes, if you’re going to try, it’s best to start this November when the support is greatest. And if you are already on the bandwagon, go be an interesting vegan and try something new this month.
N.B. A little note for those nerdy statisticians out there who, like me, like some good solid figures. All the info above has come from Google and I’ve tried to work out averages of the stats that are currently out there. Like taking the Vegan Society numbers and averaging this out with some less optimistic estimates.