Anything worthwhile usually both takes time and ends up getting easier.  Riding a bike, learning to swim and taking up another language will all at some point seem dauting and beyond reach.  Yet they so often get done, despite the initial uphill feel of things.  And when it comes to veganism, guess what, the same is also true!

The vegan genie is well and truly out of the bottle and the rest of this year promises to be the amazing for cruelty-free living and eating.  For too long a time, veganism was to be found tucked away in the shadows of mainstream living.  That was until lately.  Now, ever more people around the world are taking up veganism and enjoying the many benefits that it has to offer.

Veganism is now absolutely mainstream and for those vegan-curious looking to take the plunge, 2020 will be the best year so far to go vegan.  There are any number of reasons for this:

  1. Spotlight on the meat industry

Consumers have become more aware of the environment, economic and health impact of the meat industry. ⠀Slaughterhouses are normally closest to the poorest communities. Locals have complained about conditions has as asthma, depression, eye irritation, allergies, respiratory hazards and cancer diagnosis which they have suggested is due to the contamination of the groundwater and surface water, permeating nearby communities with noxious fumes.⁠ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

The mental wellbeing of slaughterhouse workers has been highlighted as often, employees become mentally unwell, even suicidal, not long after working at these ghastly places. Some workers experience workplace injuries such as scalding, losing an eye, fracturing their fingers, suffering head trauma, being dismembered while they’re still conscious and approx. two workers lose a limb each week.⁠

The lack of availability of meat in the U.S. has brought to light that issue of meat producers imposing billions of hidden costs due to costs for healthcare, subsidies, environmental damage related to producing and consuming animal products. 

According to The Independent, studies into the recent pandemic have shown that the “Industrial animal has caused most new infectious diseases in humans in the past decade – and risks starting new pandemics as animal markets have done, experts are warning.”

“Experts from both the UN and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have pinpointed animals or food of animal origin as a starting point for emerging diseases, such as Covid-19, which has killed more than 270,000 people worldwide.”

2. Vegan food profile and availability:

Day by day, vegan food continues to gain a higher profile.  With just an app visit or a click or two of a mouse, a wealth of information on veganism is at your finger-tips.  You will also find an abundance of vegan food sites, social sites, campaign sites and the like online.  The great news is that if you find yourself as a new vegan in a more “traditional” non-vegan part of the world, an entire global community is out there for you online, offering support, advice and friendship.

Online, in “brick and mortar” stores and at restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars, vegan food, ingredients and options continue to flourish. Though there’s still some way to go yet, even the word “vegan” itself is no longer causing wrinkled foreheads and phrases like “That’s the one where you can eat fish, right?”  Veganism is out, loud and proud.  Which means an easier time than ever before for those looking to now adopt the lifestyle.

Add to that how an ever-growing number of high-profile celebrities and sport-stars are taking up veganism and you see once more how easy it’s becoming to know that as a newbie vegan, you’re in very good company!  

3. Vegan knowledge is vegan power:

One of the more enduring yet equally frustrating characteristics of humans can be the suspicion of the unknown.  Consequently, veganism for many years was barely known and badly understood.  Seen as vegetarians on steroids, myths about veganism were around for a good while, such as the seemingly perennial “vegans are pasty and sick because they never get enough protein.” However, that was then, and this is now.

Again, courtesy of the internet and the likes of social media, veganism has become much more widely understood in just the last few years alone.  More and more people are becoming simultaneously aware of the health benefits of plant-based foods and the health risks of meat and animal products.  Evidence continues to grow that shows the links between animal product consumption and serious health conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, type II diabetes and some cancers, being just some of the more concerning ones.  

Like-wise the issue of “vegans lacking protein” is on shakier ground than ever before – and for very god reason.  There is now a raft of vegan resources out there (online and elsewhere) showing just how easy and practical it is as a vegan to get a full complement of protein.

As we touched on earlier, veganism is now out of the shadows and proudly blinking in the bright glare of the mainstream.  Long gone are the days of the lifestyle being seen as “geeky” or somehow alien to the vast majority of us. Not only is there a greater understanding of the numerous ethical, health and environmental benefits, it’s now cooler than ever to be a vegan.

By taking up veganism, at a stroke you immediately become a champion for voiceless animals, a champion for the environment and a champion for your own health.  Right off the bat, that’s three gold medals in a row – how cool is that?!

The appeal of veganism is becoming more enticing year on year.  Consequently, the lifestyle now transcends different cultures, ages and countries.  It is a truly global phenomenon.  For a long time, veganism labored under any number of stereotypes, such as being the preserve of fringe radicals or only accessible to those with money to burn (a myth, and it is a myth, was kicking around for years that veganism was expensive to take up).  None of these are of course true.  The desire to reduce animal suffering as much as possible, improve your health and do your bit for the environment is an attractive mix that appeals across borders, age ranges and cultures.  As a result of that, those “and you’re vegan too!” moments in stores, at work, and, of course, online, are now more common than ever before.