A new study from Dalhousie University finds that nearly 10 percent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarian or vegan. According to the research, 2.3 million Canadians are vegetarian, an increase from just 900,000 in 2003, while about 850,000 label themselves vegan.
What’s even cooler? Most of these people are under 35, leaving the meat industry scared of the inevitable growth in the plant-based market. Sylvain Charlebois, professor of food distribution and policy at Dalhousie, says the most common reason people adopt meat-free lifestyles is concern for animal welfare. Other reasons are the environment and personal health.
The rise in plant-based eating has resulted in a surge of vegan options across the country. With the rollout of the Beyond Burger at A&W Canada, the opening of 24-hour vegan drive-thrus, and an entire neighborhood dedicated to veganism, Canada is becoming more vegan-friendly every day and a place many vegans want to live.
Canada isn’t the only country making headlines for its growing plant-based population. A whopping 7 percent of the U.K. population identifies as vegan, while a 2016 study found that 4.3 percent of the German population between 18 and 79 identified as vegetarian. In comparison, only 3.3 percent of people in the U.S. consider themselves vegan or vegetarian.
With more people becoming aware of the environmental havoc the animal agriculture industry wreaks and the cruelty farmed animals endure, veganism has become part of a cultural shift toward more sustainable and compassionate practices. Over the past decade, veganism has seen consistent growth as millennials, the largest generation and the one with the most self-identified vegetarians, purchase their own food. But if you think millennials are vegan AF, you should know that Generation Z is even more into plant-based foods! As this generation grows older, we can expect to see a boom in vegan alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs.
The demand for vegan products worldwide is already rapidly increasing. Between 2014 and 2016, the number of new vegan food products rose by an astonishing 92 percent in Australia. And the research firm Global Data reports that veganism in America increased about 600 percent between 2014 and 2017.
This is all great news for the billions of animals who suffer at factory farms each year. Cows, pigs, chickens, and fish raised and killed for food are subjected to unthinkable cruelties: tiny, filthy cages; horrific mutilations; torturous transport; and violent slaughter.
Thankfully, with the growing demand for plant-based options, this is the perfect time to switch to a compassionate vegan lifestyle.
Join the millions around the world fighting to protect our environment and animals by choosing vegan meals. Get started today!