Veganism used to be a food trend reserved for weirdo hippies and animal rights activists on the fringe of society,
but in 2018 that has well and truly changed. The vegan of the new century is a modern, well-read, enthusiastic individual who, contrary to popular belief, is a seasoned foodie.
The vegan food 'trend' (if you can even call it a trend it's a lifestyle movement) has well and truly taken over Australia. Every second coffee spot and restaurant is totally vegan. Full cream has been swapped over for almond milk, and goats cheese for bio-cheese and ancient grains.
This recent influx of newly-minted vegans has certainly been derived from the vegan movement of days gone by animal loving hippies with a taste for incense and dreadlocks, but is certainly now more focused on a holistic perspective of what it means to be vegan.
Effectively, not eating meat, dairy, or eggs, is just one element of being a vegan in the 21st century. Vegans are now more concerned with their overall impact on the environment as a whole animal agriculture just happens to be a big part of that.
For this new wave of vegans, their choice to go vegan is primarily driven by their knowledge of how environmentally sustainable eating vegan is compared to a meat and dairy-heavy diet.
Climate change and greenhouse gases are two of the most spoken about environmental issues facing the planet in 2018. With animal agriculture responsible for 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emission, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation on earth, it is certainly a no-brainer to go vegan for many planet-advocates. And with animal agriculture emissions projected to increase to 80 per cent of all emissions there's a sustained effort to reduce the amount of animal agriculture needed to feed the planet.
It's not just environmental reasons driving Australians to veganism it's also health reasons. As we become more aware and educated about what we're putting in our body more people are turning away from the potentially dangerous effects of meat and milk.
Eliminating meat can dramatically improve your cardiovascular health and lower your cholesterol levels. Dairy products and meats also contain a huge amount of saturated fats which, if reduced or eliminated from your diet, can improve your health tremendously.
Now, we're not suggesting you need to go vegan immediately everyone's journey is different. But we can definitely all make small changes. Meatless Mondays might be one option or gradually lowering your meat and dairy intake over a period of weeks could help too. The best way to go about it is the way you want to go about it.
However, it is important that your business, no matter how small or local, is ready for the influx of vegans. No matter where you are, there might be one lurking about, looking for an almond latte or a vegan pie.
Remember, if you do good, you'll feel good. We can all make small changes to the planet that collectively will have a big impact.
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