There’s no getting around the fact that ‘vegan’ is suddenly a buzzword.
Those who live a vegan lifestyle are growing in numbers faster than we can count. Anecdotal evidence is backed by market research firm Euromonitor International, which named Australia was the third fastest growing vegan market in the world (after the United Arab Emirates and China). About 11 per cent of Australians now don’t eat meat.
But how much of that is driven by a passion for animal rights and how much of it is bandwagon jumping? And more importantly, does motive really matter?
As more people spread the benefits of being vegan via their social media accounts, it’s no real surprise that we have seen an explosion in numbers. And the more airspace it gets, the more being vegan becomes a trend, and attracts people to try it for reasons other than a deep-seated philosophy.
These days it’s as much about health, a planet-aware lifestyle and yes, the examples of celebrities and influencers, as it is about defending the rights of living beings.
And really, who could fail to be swayed by those beautiful frames of vegan poke bowls, bursting with colour and vitality? Or those luscious lip colours that come free of eco-guilt, as well as animal derivatives.
From jack fruit and vegan pizzas to soft banana silk sweaters and can-you-believe-it’s-not-leather knee-highs, we’re all suckers for a pretty picture.
But whatever your reasons for giving it a go – even if it’s just the hashtag – the benefits of a vegan lifestyle will filter through to all, and will no doubt come as a pleasant surprise to those who wouldn’t have thought about going there if it hadn’t been for their Insta feeds.
The benefits that come from being vegan, such as weight loss, improved kidney function and increased energy levels, not to mention the general feeling of wellbeing that comes with making the right choices, is way more persuasive than the Likes on your Facebook feed.
And with reduced pain from arthritis and the positive effects on gut health of a plant-based diet, it’s no wonder the Dietitian’s Association of Australia has noted how the vegan trend is starting to trickle into older age groups.
Once you walk the walk, you might just realise vegans had a point all along.